Sunday, November 29, 2015         


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In island politics, pigs fly, D.C. buys, homeless left to fry

By David Shapiro


We've got confounding political rhetoric, flying pigs and huhu women voters as we "flASHback" on the week's news that amused and confused:

» In the governor's race, a new TV spot for James "Duke" Aiona said Neil Abercrombie's Washington-style politics aren't OK "here in Hawaii." It might have scored some points if the ad wasn't produced and paid for by the WASHINGTON-BASED Republican Governors Association.

» A Democratic ad, meantime, chided Aiona for soliciting GOP campaign donations by promising to deliver a "knockout punch" to President Barack Obama. They're just jealous that he used the same speech to get the endorsement of MMA Hawaii.

» Gov. Linda Lingle and her campaign committee were scolded for contributing too much money to Aiona's campaign. Lingle always said governing the state is like balancing a checkbook. That she can't keep her own straight explains a lot.

» Congressional rivals Charles Djou and Colleen Hanabusa traded new accusations of negative campaigning, claiming their views are being taken out of context. Given the crybaby context of this campaign, that could only be an improvement.

» Peter Carlisle, who once said he'd be elected mayor when pigs learned how to fly, quipped at his swearing-in ceremony that "apparently pigs have sprouted wings." Then he proved it by flying off to Washington to root around for rail transit money.

» Police and city attorneys said the City Council's new ban on pitching tents on public sidewalks will be tough to enforce because of the difficulty of defining a "pedestrian use zone." Um, the strip of concrete where people walk?

» A poll found that 86 percent of women voters believe local political candidates are self-serving and have ulterior motives. Obviously, our pols haven't studied up on Bill Clinton's four magic words for winning over the female vote: "I feel your pain."

» Hawaii's vote-tallying system will undergo an extensive test before the Nov. 2 general election. State election officials want to make sure they've arranged for enough fingers and toes to count all the votes.

» On the Big Island, the county building roof still leaked after a $27 million renovation, a $9 million recycling center sat idle and Mayor Billy Kenoi launched his new weekly TV show. It's called "So You Think You Can Run a County?"

» The local film community is hoping that a sequel to "Journey to the Center of the Earth" will soon start shooting on Oahu. Our spouting water mains make a perfect backdrop for the subterranean geyser scene.

And the quote of the week ... from Abercrombie on his plan to make better use of the state work force: "Public employees are the most under-resourced resource that we have." And his over-obfuscated obfuscation is certainly an eloquent tribute to them.

David Shapiro can be reached at or

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