Archive for September, 2012

Repeal

September 28th, 2012
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The Kauai County Council has voted for a resolution urging the state Legislature to repeal the law that created the Public Land Development Corp., the development arm of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

The Hawaii County Council’s planning committee approved a similar resolution earlier this month.

From Kauai County Council chairman Jay Furfaro, according to The Garden Island:

“I probably couldn’t have a conversation around the table about this act without having to cover the poi bowl,” said Furfaro on his closing statements, making a reference to the traditional Hawaiian cultural practice of halting all conflict at the dinner table whenever the poi bowl was uncovered.

“This bill basically says that we shall exempt the state from the statutes, ordinances, charter provisions, from rules of any government agency; and that is not a call I take my kama‘aina stewardship,” he said.

`Stronger favorite’

September 27th, 2012
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Larry Sabato, of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, updated his Crystal Ball ratings on Thursday with predictions that the November elections are tilting toward President Obama and U.S. Senate Democrats.

Sabato predicts that both New Mexico and Hawaii – states where Republicans are hopeful they can compete — are moving toward the Democratic candidates for Senate.

Florida and Ohio, Sens. Bill Nelson (D) and Sherrod Brown (D) are not only favored, but we believe that Republicans and their allies ultimately might have better places to spend their money. Given that both should ultimately run ahead of Obama — especially Nelson — these races may be out of range for the GOP, although we are keeping both in the leans Democratic category for now.

The same thing goes for New Mexico, where Republicans have apparently already abandoned their candidate, ex-Rep. Heather Wilson. We’re upgrading Rep. Martin Heinrich’s (D) chances to likely Democratic, which matches our rating of the state in the presidential race. The situation is quite similar in Hawaii, where we now see Rep. Mazie Hirono (D) as a stronger favorite against ex-Gov. Linda Lingle (R). In a state where Obama might again get 70% or more of the vote, Hirono is now likely to win the seat. By the way, the Crystal Ball has consistently rated Heinrich and Hirono the favorites in their races. Some trends have been apparent for months.

Words

September 26th, 2012
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U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono is out with a new television advertisement in her Democratic campaign for U.S. Senate that ties former Gov. Linda Lingle, her Republican opponent, to GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Th ad uses audio of Lingle telling voters at a Laie rally earlier this month that she would personally vote for Romney, a former Massachusetts governor.

The ad also describes Lingle as a co-chair of the Romney campaign, a description that has aggravated Lingle in the past. Lingle is an honorary co-chair of the Jewish Americans for Romney Coalition.

Lingle, who needs independents and moderate Democrats to compete, has been telling voters that they can choose to re-elect Hawaii-born President Barack Obama and support her over Hirono for Senate.

*Update: Retired Maj. Gen. Robert G.F. Lee, Lingle’s campaign manager, issued this response on Thursday:

Because she has no accomplishments for Hawaii, Hirono is trying to distract voters with discussion of anything but her own lackluster record. Since zero bills she sponsored have become law and she missed 144 votes this year alone, Hirono’s D.C.-style campaign is orchestrated with national party talking points which are being repeated verbatim across the country.

There is nothing original here, but the voters can see through her smoke and mirrors to reveal an ineffective Congresswoman, hiding from her non-existant record. Despite Hirono’s own extreme party allegiance, Governor Lingle has stated time and again that she will not go to Washington to work for President Obama, Mitt Romney, Harry Reid, or Mitch McConnell. She will work for the people who sent her there, as an independent, bipartisan leader.

Preserve

September 24th, 2012
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A national seniors’ group supports U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono for U.S. Senate because the advocates believe the Democrat will protect Social Security and Medicare.

The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, a Washington, D.C., based advocacy group, is asking voters across the country to sign pledges vowing to back federal candidates who would not cut the entitlement programs to help with deficit reduction.

Carroll Estes, who serves on the group’s board of directors, is in Honolulu to support Hirono over former Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican.

Estes, a professor emerita in sociology at the University of California at San Francisco, described Hirono as one of the “strongest advocates” for Social Security and Medicare who opposes attempts to raise the retirement and benefit eligibility ages and to privatize the programs.

Hirono and Lingle both support raising the payroll tax cap for Social Security so higher-income workers would pay a greater share. Lingle, however, would also gradually raise the retirement age to claim full benefits starting in 2027, while Hirono opposes raising the retirement age.

Lingle has backed a premium-support option in Medicare in which seniors would receive voucher-like payments they could use to purchase private health insurance as an alternative to traditional Medicare. Hirono opposes a premium-support option as a potential threat to Medicare. She instead supports the Medicare adjustments in the federal health care reform law, which reduce payments to hospitals and insurers and direct money toward preventative care and expanded prescription drug coverage for seniors.

Lingle has said she would vote to repeal the health care reform law unless significant changes are made to reduce the potential costs to families and small businesses.

Both Hirono and Lingle oppose raising the Medicare eligibility age.

Estes warned that a voucher-like option could leave only the sickest seniors in traditional Medicare and send the program into a “death spiral.”

“Every economist knows that universal risk pools are the best — where you’ve got some people very sick and some people not sick at all — in terms of potential for cost-containment,” she said.

17 days

September 21st, 2012
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The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees has spent $71,200 on television advertisements critical of former Gov. Linda Lingle’s campaign for U.S. Senate.

AFSCME had previously financed the ad campaign by Working Families for Hawaii, a labor-friendly group.

`Disrepectful’

September 21st, 2012
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Retired Maj. Gen. Robert G.F. Lee, former Gov. Linda Lingle’s campaign manager for U.S. Senate, released a new video on Friday praising U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye and claiming that because of his seniority he would retain power no matter which party controls the Senate after the November elections.

In the video, Lee acknowledges that Inouye would lose the chairmanship of the Senate Appropriations Committee if Republicans take control, but he claims that as ranking member of the committee — and with his seniority — the Hawaii Democrat would still have influence.

“Anything else said is disrespectful to the senior senator,” Lee said.

Lee cited Inouye’s partnership with the late U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, and suggested that the Republican Lingle would be a similar partner. Lingle is facing U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, in November.

Inouye, in a statement, called the video “grossly misleading:”

I am not supporting Linda Lingle’s Senate candidacy and I would ask General Lee to stop using this misleading ad.  Neither General Lee nor former Governor Lingle discussed this advertisement with me.  If they had, I would have objected because it is grossly misleading and suggests a relationship that has never existed.

To claim that Governor Lingle could replace my brother Ted Stevens is outrageous and as I have said previously, Linda Lingle is no Ted Stevens.  After watching the ad, I would like to state that I am Daniel K. Inouye and I do not approve that message.

Chamber made

September 20th, 2012
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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is out with a fourth round of advertising on behalf of former Gov. Linda Lingle’s Republican campaign for U.S. Senate.

The $311,000 ad buy, which focuses on job growth, comes after the interest group spent about $750,000 on behalf of Lingle before the August primary. Lingle is facing U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, in November.

“Linda Lingle has a proven record as a bipartisan leader who will work with members of both parties to get things done and create jobs,” Rob Engstrom, the U.S. Chamber’s senior vice president and national political director, said in a statement. “She stands with Hawaii’s job creators and will support free enterprise policies that create economic growth. Her independent leadership will serve Hawaii well in the Senate.”

Women, vote

September 19th, 2012
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Women Vote!, the independent expenditure wing of EMILY’s List — the interest group that helps elect Democratic women who favor abortion rights — has invested $75,000 in advertising in Hawaii targeting former Gov. Linda Lingle’s Republican U.S. Senate campaign.

The ads focus on the teacher furloughs used to help balance the state’s budget during Lingle’s second term as governor. EMILY’s List has endorsed U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono, Lingle’s Democratic opponent. The theme is the same as the spots purchased by Working Families for Hawaii, a labor-backed group, which dropped more than $63,900 on ads against Lingle earlier this week.

From EMILY’s List, which has bought ads in several battleground states:

WOMEN VOTE! plans to communicate with Hawaii’s women voters statewide on TV and online, nearly 60% of women voters find Lingle’s irresponsible budget that slashed funding for Hawai’i schools and resulted in 17 furlough Fridays a convincing reason not to vote for her.

*Update: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which spent about $750,000 on behalf of Lingle during the primary, is also preparing to debut a new round of ads, sources say.

`Wow’

September 19th, 2012
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*Update: Former Gov. Linda Lingle said Wednesday that she does not agree with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s controversial remarks about government entitlements.

The Republican U.S. Senate candidate said people in Hawaii do not believe in labels and that it was unfair to place people in a category. Lingle becomes the fourth Republican Senate contender to distance themselves from the GOP presidential nominee’s remarks.

But Lingle also said that U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono, her Democratic opponent for U.S. Senate, is attempting to use Romney’s comments to nationalize the election.

Despite Mazie Hirono’s best efforts, the people of Hawaii know that this election for the U.S. Senate is about she and I, not Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, President Obama or Vice President Biden.  Mitt Romney is running his national campaign, and I am running my campaign here at home.  Mazie Hirono’s repeated attempts to nationalize this election are proof that she does not have a record of accomplishment for the people of Hawaii and she must campaign on fear tactics and national party talking points, rather than her own plans for our future.

I am not a rubber stamp for the national party and I am not responsible for the statements of Mitt Romney. With that said, I do not agree with his characterization of all individuals who are receiving government assistance, as I know many of them are driven, hard-working individuals who are actively working to better the situation of their ‘ohana. It is not fair to place these individuals into any one category. The people of Hawaii know I don’t believe in labels and I know they don’t either.

Earlier Wednesday, Hirono had condemned Romney’s remarks and Lingle for her previous silence.

Hirono called Romney’s comment about the “47 percent” who will likely vote for Hawaii-born President Barack Obama no matter what because they are dependent on government “deeply offensive.”

From Hirono, in a statement prepared for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union’s state convention:

Wow.

Let me translate Mitt Romney for you. Romney is saying, ‘If you support President Obama, you’re lazy.  You have no self-respect.  You don’t pay taxes.  And I won’t be your President.’

Here in Hawaii, where President Obama was raised – where President Obama received over 71% of the vote in 2008 – Mitt Romney is writing off a whole lot of people.  People right here in this room.

And my opponent, Republican Linda Lingle – who says she is “proud” to co-chair one of Mitt Romney’s campaign committees – is silent about Mitt Romney’s absurd words and hurtful views.

But I will not be silent.  You will not be silent.  These words are an outrage.  These views are unacceptable.  And, this is just one more reason we must re-elect our island son, President Obama.  And, we cannot allow Republican Linda Lingle to go to the United States Senate.

Lingle, who needs to attract independents and moderate Democrats to be competitive, has tried to avoid being drawn into comparisons with national Republicans. She has endorsed Romney and is one of five co-chairs of the Jewish Americans for Romney Coalition.

A few Republican candidates for U.S. Senate in tight races have sought to distance themselves from Romney’s comments.

Distance

September 18th, 2012
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Gary Hooser, the director of the state Office of Environmental Quality Control, has spoken out against the Public Land Development Corp.

Hooser, who is on unpaid leave while he campaigns for Kauai County Council, expressed his opposition at a Kauai public hearing on the corporation’s draft administrative rules and at a recent campaign fundraiser.

From Hooser:

That is a bad, onerous piece of legislation that has tremendous negative potential in my opinion, O.K.?

I spoke up against that. I’m hoping that the Kauai County Council will possibly step up in a leadership position and possibly ask the state to repeal that law.

But just because it’s a state law or a federal law, does not mean we give up our leadership potential here as council members or as community leaders.

Hooser, a former state senator, was also one of the few Abercrombie appointees to oppose efforts at the state Legislature last session to exempt state construction projects from environmental review.

*Update: The Hawaii County Council’s planning committee approved a resolution on Tuesday urging the Legislature to repeal the law that created the PLDC.