For Monday, October 25, 2010
POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Oct 25, 2010
U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye said that state Sen. Colleen Hanabusa will have a seat on the Appropriations Committee. But the Star-Advertiser reports that Hanabusa has not, in fact, been promised a seat. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi simply did not say no to Inouye's request. One guesses that Pelosi is not pleased to have a senator telling her how to make committee appointments in the House.
Closer to home, what does U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono think about this request? She has been toiling on less glamorous committees for two terms while Inouye brokers choice committee appointments for politically expedient reasons -- like trying to keep pace with the momentum behind Charles Djou. In any event, it appears that Hanabusa needs Inouye to do her political legwork. We need a leader in Washington, and it's clear to me that Hanabusa can't stand on her own two feet.
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Based on the story in your paper ("Hanabusa, Djou face off in debate," Star-Advertiser, Oct. 16), voters would have thought state Sen. Colleen Hanabusa and U.S. Rep. Charles Djou's agreement on repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" but for different reasons was what defined the candidates. In fact, what voters needed to know was the very different tone and approach of each candidate in talking about the issues.
Voters watching the debate on KITV would have seen Hanabusa answering the questions thoughtfully and with a nuanced grasp of the subject. She was both conversational and candid. Djou had a stump speech consisting of the oversimplified Republican talking points about the stimulus and the need to cut spending that he used in response to every question. That included refusing to answer the very direct question of how much he had wasted on robocalls and direct mailers after getting elected. Djou likes to say that his position is clear and simple. Legislating is anything but, and Hanabusa looked much more like the legislator Hawaii needs in D.C. with a command of both the process and the facts.
The Star-Advertiser's endorsement of state Sen. Colleen Hanabusa has got to be a joke ("Send Hanabusa to serve in D.C.," Star-Advertiser, Oct. 21). Hawaii already has three Democrats in Washington, D.C., who vote in lockstep with President Barack Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. They have supported policies that have pushed our economy further in debt, spending a trillion dollars for a stimulus bill that only gave us higher unemployment numbers. They voted for the monstrous and unpopular health care bill that promises to saddle consumers with greater costs and a rationed system of care.
Do we really need to send another big government, big spending liberal like Colleen Hanabusa to Washington to rubber stamp this insane agenda?
By contrast, U.S. Rep. Charles Djou would bring a reasoned and fiscally conservative voice to Congress and help push back on this current administration's job killing, tax-and-spend mentality and policies. We need balance in Washington and in our state representation. To advocate more of the same is dangerously flawed logic.
I am sick and tired of all these anti-Djou and anti-Hanibusa commercials. It's impossible to watch even a half-hour of local news without being bombarded by these negative ads. I don't live in Honolulu, but if I did, I'd be embarrassed that my only two options come off more like whining children than adults running for public office. Mr. Djou and Ms. Hanabusa, please tell the people of Honolulu what you will do for them, not what your opponent will or won't do for them.
Silly season is now the sickening season with all of the negative, misleading and downright false accusations in political ads coming from Republican mainland front organizations.
Since the right-leaning Supreme Court ruled that corporations are persons with free-speech rights, and money is speech for such special interest groups, a tsunami of mainland attack ads have flooded our islands.
Neil Abercrombie and state Sen. Colleen Hanabusa are decent human beings who care deeply about the needs and concerns of the hardworking residents of Hawaii. Their public service records speak volumes about their character. Of course, no one would ever know that if all they ever saw or heard were those disgusting mainland ads.
I hope everyone in Hawaii will vote smart and ignore those mainland ads.
An appointed school board takes away the voice of the people and the democratic right to be heard through voting. The appointment process would be influenced by special interests. Evidence can be found in House Bill 2377.
Gov. Linda Lingle should be applauded for vetoing the bill when she saw that the process for creating the list of candidates was being influenced by special interests. The members of the Hawaii P-20 Council would have had enormous control over the appointment process.
While the Hawaii P-20 group is touted as looking out for the broad interests of residents in the state, it is composed of special interest individuals and groups who also control organizations such as the Learning Coalition and the Hawaii's Children First. While it may seem that a large number of groups and individuals are involved, it is really a political ploy controlled by a small group of individuals.
Instead of taking a step backwards from the gains of democracy by eliminating voting for the BOE members, efforts should be focused on helping to attract more and better candidates.
Don't be fooled into thinking an appointed Board of Education will give your concerns priority over a governor's agenda. Remember, our elected BOE oversees both our statewide public schools and library system. When former state librarian Bart Kane awarded a non-bid $3 million book-buying contract to an incompetent mainland vendor, it was our elected BOE members who heard citizen concerns, investigated, and dumped the contract and the state librarian. An elected, independent BOE that serves the public interest, or an appointed, unaccountable BOE that serves politicians?
Instead of playing the blame game and power grab, a well-intentioned governor will find ways to work with our elected BOE to make education a priority.
Regarding the constitutional amendment question on the general election ballot, we disagree with Lowell Kalapa ("Don't let Legislature keep budget surplus, keep refunds instead," Star-Advertiser, Oct. 21) and urge voters to vote "Yes." This is the amendment that would allow the Legislature a choice, given the situation, to put surplus funds into a rainy day fund or to provide a refund to the taxpayers.
If the state had a $1 million surplus, I think that most people would rather see the money used for good causes such as education or the homeless rather than get a $1 tax refund. One dollar might buy you a cup of coffee, but collectively, those dollars could add up to avoid teacher furloughs or restore agriculture and food safety inspectors. Right now, the Legislature does not have a choice and is mandated to give back a return, even if it is only $1 per taxpayer.
Vote yes. It's the prudent, logical and fiscally responsible thing to do.
Diana Bonsignore chides the Star-Advertiser for its single-issue voter-guide question to state legislators asking where they stand on the hot-button HB 444 civil unions bill ("Election guide not much help," Star-Advertiser, Letters, Oct. 20).
She wants their "perspectives on complex civic issues." OK. So here's where they stand (or sit): the economy (sluggish); joblessness (woeful); homelessness (unmanageable); education (nowhere to go but up); housing (not enough); transportation (gridlocked); taxes (too high).
If she really wants to know how they would fix things like those she could (a) call candidates running in her own districts, and (b) read the Local section in the Star-Advertiser.
For me, I liked a question that's hard to waffle on.