Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona, the leading Republican candidate for governor, has taken exception to former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann’s talking point that his rivals for governor lack private-sector experience.
Aiona, a former judge, was a private legal consultant before becoming lieutenant governor:
Mufi Hannemann’s comments are incorrect, and the record must be made clear on this matter.
I have not only worked in the private sector, but I have also owned my own business.
It is telling that his false assertion came when he was trying to promote himself. His proposals show he has more to learn when it comes to running state government.
Aiona famously retired from the bench at 43 because he said he did not make enough money.
Ken Kobayashi, our man at the courts, wrote this story in November 1998:
The highly acclaimed judge who was the first to be in charge of the state’s Drug Court program will be retiring at the end of the year because of what he says is an inadequate salary for state judges.
James Aiona, 43, earns $86,780 a year as a circuit court judge. He said he doesn’t want to quit, but felt he had no choice financially because of the level of pay and Hawaii’s high cost of living.
“I can no longer ask my wife (Vivian) and four children (ages 6 to 15) to continue to make the kind of personal sacrifices that would allow me to remain on the bench,” he said.
Aiona said he believes he can earn more money as a mediator, arbitrator and consultant with the firm Dispute Prevention Resolution, which he will join after leaving the bench on Dec. 30.