Archive for November, 2010

Final

November 17th, 2010
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The state Office of Elections released final general election results on Tuesday. Here is the breakdown in the governor’s race:

Statewide

Neil Abercrombie/Brian Schatz (D): 222,724 (57.8%)
James “Duke” Aiona/Lynn Finnegan (R): 157,311 (40.8%)

Oahu

Neil Abercrombie/Brian Schatz (D): 150,554 (56.6%)
James “Duke” Aiona/Lynn Finnegan (R): 112,527 (42.3%)

Big Island

Neil Abercrombie/Brian Schatz (D): 33,095 (61.4%)
James “Duke” Aiona/Lynn Finnegan (R): 19,807 (36.8%)

Maui

Neil Abercrombie/Brian Schatz (D): 25,516 (60.3%)
James “Duke” Aiona/Lynn Finnegan (R): 16,024 (37.9%)

Kauai

Neil Abercrombie/Brian Schatz (D): 13,559 (58.9%)
James “Duke” Aiona/Lynn Finnegan (R): 8,953 (38.9%)

Staying Relevant

November 16th, 2010
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(Star-Advertiser file photo)

Panos Prevedouros already has said he will seek the mayor’s job when the chance comes up again in 2012.

One thing the University of Hawaii civil engineering professor and anti-rail candidate has learned in his two previous runs for the office is that the campaign never stops.

Prevedouros today sent an e-mail to supporters titled: “Good Food, First Assessment on Carlisle, and More!

“Good Food” refers to Restaurant Week Hawaii, which, aside from offering deals and discounts at various Hawaii dining locales, also serves as a fundraiser for UH Community Colleges’ Culinary Institute of the Pacific at Diamond Head.

“Carlisle,” of course, refers to new Mayor Peter Carlisle, who won the Sept. 18 special election to fill the final two years of the term vacated by Mufi Hannemann. Former city Managing Director Kirk Caldwell finished second, followed by Prevedouros.

He offers the following assessment:

City Hall.
What a disappointing start for Carlisle. It is too obvious now that he does not know anybody other than a group of downtown lawyers. So he made Managing Director a deputy prosecutor and reappointed the Mufi cabinet!

Carlisle appointed former First Deputy Prosecutor Doug Chin as managing director and re-appointed to permanent positions four members of the Hannemann Cabinet. Others were appointed until Jan. 31, at which time a determination will be made on filling the position permanently.

The e-mail points recipients to his infrastructure issues blog where he continues to outline his positions against rail transit on Oahu and concludes with an appeal for donations to help maintain an active campaign.

Friendly auspices

November 15th, 2010
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Gov.-elect Neil Abercrombie, who has spent his political career as a legislator, broke the ice yesterday with state Senate Democrats in his new role as chief executive.

The private meeting in the fourth-floor conference room of the Senate President’s office was a chance for Abercrombie to lay out some of his preferences on issues such as the appointment process for the state Board of Education and to listen to majority Democrats’ concerns.

Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican, met often with state House and Senate leaders but did not address private majority caucuses.

“The mere fact that the governor and the Legislature is meeting under compatible circumstances, under friendly auspices, is I suppose a real change in direction,” Abercrombie told reporters afterward. “So that in of itself, I think, is a big difference.”

State Sen. Clayton Hee (D-Kaneohe, Kahuku), who served with Abercrombie in the Senate two decades ago, said the former congressman understands the legislative branch. He also said Abercrombie has a direct approach.

“He’s the kind of guy who believes that if people are going to be angry with you, they should be angry for the right reason,” Hee said. “That’s something he said to me 20 years ago.

“He likes to have it right up front.”

Asked by a reporter whether the meeting was more jovial than previous meetings between Lingle and lawmakers, Abercrombie cracked: “I wasn’t at the last meeting with Gov. Lingle, but jovial is my middle name.”

Abercrombie said collaborating with the Legislature was one of the promises he made during his campaign.

“I promised everybody there would be a new day, and I promised in the campaign that having been a legislator at every level of government would be an advantage as governor, and I think that was shown today,” he said.

“But the proof in the end, obviously, is in the legislative package that emerges after this session. And today, I think, was a real good start.”

National Media Crush on Hanabusa

November 12th, 2010
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Out-going Senate President and in-coming congressional freshman, Colleen Hanabusa has been named one of the top 10 “Crushworthy Reps” by Politico.
The online political news service rated the incoming freshman class and put Hawaii’s Hanabusa between a fine arts major from Michigan and a former NFL lineman from New Jersey.
“We were able to comb through the list of newcomers to select the 10 we’ve found particularly intriguing. Or, as we’ll say, crushable. From the outgoing to the athletic, the stylish to the inspiring, (plus the just plain good-looking), here are 10 incoming representatives who we think, for plenty of reasons, will get the most valentines come February,” reports Karin Tanabe in the Clickable section of Politico.
“Why she’s crushworthy: She’s an inspiration. The daughter of gas-station owners and granddaughter of sugar plantation workers, Hanabusa is truly a selfmade woman. She spearheaded Hillary Clinton’s Hawaii campaign in 2008, and was the first Asian-American woman to serve as president of the Hawaii state Senate,” Politico gushes.
Hanabusa was not available for comment this afternoon.

Early filers

November 11th, 2010
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A field has formed in the race to succeed Todd Apo to represent City Council District I (Leeward Coast-Ewa).

As of yesterday, former Republican state Rep. Bob McDermott and union leader Mel Kahele, of Iron Workers Local 625 Union, were the only two candidates who had filed the needed paperwork with the city’s Elections Division.

The deadline for candidates to file is next Friday, Nov. 19, and the mail-in vote is scheduled to conclude Dec. 29.

Apo resigned Monday for a job with Walt Disney Parks & Resorts in Hawaii.

Breather

November 10th, 2010
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Gov. Linda Lingle said today she would take six months to reflect before deciding whether to run for U.S. Senate in 2012.

The Republican governor, who leaves office on Dec. 6 after two four-year terms, said she would give serious consideration to a campaign against U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii. She has also said she would consider a role in national GOP politics.

I’m not going to think about it for six months. I’ve been in public life for 30 years. I think it’s important for anyone who has lived this kind of a public life and intense life where they are making decisions every day, to have time for reflection, more time for reading, more time to create a context for Hawaii’s future.

Whatever I do, it will be something that will make life better, that’s my mission myself. But I just think it’s important to take some time and to reflect.

24-16-3

November 9th, 2010
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State House Speaker Calvin Say, (D-St. Louis Heights, Palolo Valley, Wilhelmina Rise), has 24 votes to remain as speaker, two votes shy of the majority of the 51 members necessary to control the chamber, several sources said.

State House Rep. Sylvia Luke (D-Pacific Heights, Pauoa, Punchbowl), has 16 votes in her dissident faction, sources say.

That leaves three lawmakers — Rep. Roy Takumi, Rep. Jessica Wooley and Rep. Cindy Evans — who have not committed, according to sources.

Evans said she believes it is healthy for majority Democrats to have a leadership debate and determine whether they need to change to operate better. “We would never have that discussion if everyone just signed up” for Say, she said. “I believe groups have to storm to find their norm.”

Say would either have to pick up two votes from the undecided or convince some of Luke’s faction to break ranks.

A stalemate could force Say and Luke to negotiate and open up an opportunity for a third speaker candidate to emerge.

Minority report

November 8th, 2010
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State Sen. Sam Slom, (R-Hawaii Kai, Kahala), may have lost all his GOP colleagues, but he has kept his sense of humor.

The only Republican in the state Senate put out a news release today announcing his ascension to minority leader.

After a long series of weekend State Capitol deliberations — sometimes contentious — behind open doors with the Republican Caucus, State Senator Sam Slom (R-8 – Hawaii Kai, Diamond Head) emerged as the new Senate Minority Leader.

He is also the Minority Floor Leader. And the Minority Policy Leader. There are no Minority Republican Whips.

Re-org

November 5th, 2010
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___

State Sen. Shan Tsutsui of Maui is the new Senate president and Sen. Donna Mercado Kim is the Senate vice president after Senate Democrats agreed on a reorganization plan tonight.

Tsutsui, who was elected to the Senate in 2002, replaces state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, who is resigning to go to Congress.

“We’re looking forward to working with the new administration to make good things happen,” Tsutsui said.

State Sen. David Ige will be the new chairman of the powerful Senate Ways and Means Committee. State Sen. Clayton Hee will chair the Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee. State Sen. Rosalyn Baker will lead the Senate Consumer Protection Committee.

Tsutsui said other committee assignments will likely be announced on Friday.

Earlier this week, state Senate Vice President Russell Kokubun of the Big Island appeared to be the favorite to replace Hanabusa.

Democrats control the Senate with a 24 to 1 majority. Democrats have aligned themselves in competing  factions and have formed leadership coalitions, usually by splitting the presidency and the Ways and Means Committee between factions.

Although reporters had been monitoring the behind-the-scenes talks over the past few days, the news broke on social media. State Sen. Will Espero posted information on his Facebook page around 10:40 p.m. (see photo above) and it was quickly picked up on Twitter. Espero said he will be part of leadership as a Majority Whip.

State Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz issued a news release with the committee breakdown.

UPDATE 11/5 — The complete lineup, per Tsutsui’s office:

President Shan Tsutsui
Vice President Donna Mercado Kim
Ways & Means David Ige
Ways & Means, Vice Chair Michelle Kidani
Majority Leader Brickwood Galuteria
Floor Leader Les Ihara, Jr.
Caucus Leader Ron Kouchi
Majority Whip Suzanne Chun Oakland
Majority Whip Will Espero
Judiciary and Labor Clayton Hee
Commerce and Consumer Protection Rosalyn Baker
Agriculture and Housing Donovan Dela Cruz
Committee of Investigative Affairs Donna Mercado Kim
Economic Development and Technology Carol Fukunaga
Education Jill Tokuda
Energy and Environment Mike Gabbard
Hawaiian Affairs Brickwood Galuteria
Health Josh Green, M.D.
Human Services Suzanne Chun Oakland
Public Safety and Military Affairs Will Espero
Tourism Donna Mercado Kim
Transportation and International Affairs J. Kalani English
Water and Land Russell Kokubun

– Derrick DePledge and B.J. Reyes.

Aces and eights

November 4th, 2010
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State House Republicans are scheduled to meet on Friday at noon and could select a replacement for House Minority Leader Lynn Finnegan, who gave up her seat to run for lieutenant governor.

The contenders are state Rep. Gene Ward, (R-Kalama Valley, Queen’s Gate, Hawaii Kai), and state Rep. Kymberly Pine, (R-Ewa Beach, Iroquois Point, Puuloa).

The GOP caucus has three new faces: retired police captain George Fontaine, who beat state Rep. Joe Bertram III on Maui; Aaron Johanson, a former Finnegan aide who won in her Mapunapuna district; and mortgage broker Gil Riviere, who took the North Shore district vacated by former state Rep. Michael Magaoay.

The caucus grew to 8 with the Fontaine and Riviere victories.

House Republicans will be expected to have more of a voice in public-policy debates now that the state Senate is down to a single Republican in state Sen. Sam Slom, (R-Kahala, Hawaii Kai), and the GOP lost Washington Place.

*Update: Ward was chosen minority leader on Friday.