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U.S. Senate hopeful Lingle calls for unity

By B.J. Reyes

LAST UPDATED: 06:14 p.m. HST, May 18, 2012

Speaking of the need for bipartisanship on Capitol Hill and the need for Republican representation for Hawaii if both houses of Congress go to the GOP this fall, former Gov. Linda Lingle urged party faithful to support her campaign for the U.S. Senate and help overcome the Democratic Party's stronghold in the islands.

Lingle preached a message of unity as she helped rally party members Saturday at the Hawaii Republican Party state convention.

"We must rise above partisan politics in order to secure a strong, free, prosperous America," Lingle told a crowd of about 350 people at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. "It is critical that when we walk out of this ballroom later today we walk out as one — unified in our purpose."

Party members gathered for their annual convention to take care of business in preparation for the Republican National Convention this summer in Tampa, Fla.

The convention comes on the heels of the party's first presidential caucus, which was hailed as a huge success by party officials after bringing out more than 10,000 Republicans in March to cast their support for a nominee.

In addition to adopting planks of the party platform, convention delegates re-elected Ted Liu as national committeeman in a closely watched vote.

Liu, former director of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism in the Lingle administration, defeated former state party Chairman Willes Lee by a 169-137 vote. Liu defeated Lee in a vote in January to fill the slot after Brennon Morioka stepped down.

Several Republicans had protested the vote, alleging, among other things, that some votes were cast improperly by proxy. A move to rescind the vote ultimately was defeated.

Regarding the platform, members reaffirmed their stance on the 2010 planks of liberty, limited government, individual responsibility, fiscal accountability and equality of opportunity.

Lingle was among the keynote speakers, along with former U.S. Rep. Charles Djou, who is running for the 1st Congressional District seat he held for seven months in 2010.

"Linda Lingle and I have a record," Djou said, "a record of fighting not for our partisan masters whether they be in Washington, D.C., or the labor unions here in Hawaii, but fighting on behalf and for the people of Hawaii."

Lingle is in the GOP primary against former state lawmaker and retired Air Force pilot John Carroll, who said he did not attend the morning session out of protest because he was told he would not receive equal stage time as Lingle, who spoke for about 20 minutes.

"I just see a tremendous bias here, particularly against me," Carroll said. "She has had 16 years to make whatever kind of changes she wants. … I just think for the party to exclude me from even being able to say anything other than ‘Hi, I'm John Carroll,' is just plain bull."

Before her eight years as governor, Lingle was mayor of Maui County.

Lingle is widely expected to win the nomination and face the winner of the Democratic primary between U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono and former U.S. Rep. Ed Case.

Noting the rare opportunity of a Senate seat coming open — U.S. Sen. Dan Akaka is retiring — Lingle urged party members to seize the opportunity and reminded them of the result the last time she faced Hirono. The two faced off for governor in 2002.

"Let's come together once again to make history like we did 10 years ago when I beat Mazie the first time," she said.

Lingle acknowledged the difficulty in running in a historically Democratic state, especially with President Barack Obama at the top of the ticket in the state where he was born and still is popular.

"I ask people to separate the presidential election from the race for Senate," she said. "Whoever you want to vote for for president, that's your right. But this is about Hawaii for the next generation.

"If I can win this race and I get to Washington, I don't go there to work for Barack Obama or Mitt Romney. I go to work for the people of Hawaii."

On the national race, she said she believes Romney's business experience in the private sector is likely to be a key factor.

"With the economy being the most important issue that our nation is facing, I think it's going to be a very competitive race," she said.

Democrats took the opportunity to tie Lingle to the national GOP and described her call for bipartisanship as "double talk."

"The bottom line is that Linda Lingle is part of the Republican Party machine which tried to sell us on the virtues of Sarah Palin and is determined to take over the White House and the United States Senate," Chuck Freedman, spokesman for the state Democratic Party, said in a statement. "There's nothing bipartisan about it and it is time for Lingle to end the double talk."

Lingle spokesman Lenny Klompus called the statement "ridiculous."

"It's a shame he has to dust off an old news release which has no relevance today," Klompus said. "We're living in the here and now. They're living in the past."

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Ken_Conklin wrote:
Lingle says her greatest asset is that she is bipartisan and can work with Democrats. That's not a good way for a so-called Republican to ask Republicans to support her. She's a RINO -- Republican in name only. She's Democrat-lite. Might as well vote for a real Democrat. Both Lingle and Djou strongly support the Akaka bill. That's why I strongly oppose both of them, and will vote for whatever Democrat wins the nomination. The only reason the Akaka bill has failed for 12 years is because Republicans have blocked it in the face of Democrat majorities. Those Republicans will not listen to any Dem telling them to stop blocking the bill. But Repubs would have to listen to a Repub from Hawaii telling them to stop blocking it. So Lingle and Djou would be very dangerous for Hawaii, which is why I will vote for the Dems for U.S. House and Senate this year.
on May 13,2012 | 06:32AM
paauilofarmer wrote:
can you say HYPOCRITE? funny that either my way or the highway is talking "compromise". lingle, you think we forgot what you did as gov? give me a break. talk your true stripes and i'll have way more respect for you. you just say what you think you need to say. yikes.
on May 13,2012 | 06:33AM
wiliki wrote:
Exactly. Her actions speak louder than her words.
on May 13,2012 | 09:19AM
Changalang wrote:
The latest polls show Lingle is behind the closest Democrat by 18 points. U.S. Chamber of Commerce needs to spend at least a million dollars on ads here if they hope Hawaii can forget the 8 years of miserable failure under Lingle.
on May 13,2012 | 06:43AM
Keith_Rollman wrote:
"It's a shame he has to dust off an old news release which has no relevance today," Klompus said. "We're living in the here and now. They're living in the past." Lingle's spokesperson sounds like he's talking about Romney's high school days....If what happened only four years ago in not relevant so is none of Lingle's record. Give me a break.
on May 13,2012 | 06:44AM
Keith_Rollman wrote:
The GOP convention organizers told John Carroll he would not be allowed to speak because there "would be no campaigning from the podium." Lingle did nothing but campaign for herself for twenty minutes. I don't blame John for walking out, it was the Linda Lingle bi-partisan rally not a Repubican Party convention.
on May 13,2012 | 06:47AM
Changalang wrote:
As his campaign manager; you must be really upset. Just found out yesterday when the original draft of this story was posted. When the good old days seem so much brighter than tomorrow; one always has daydreams of better memories to look forward to.
on May 13,2012 | 07:15AM
Keith_Rollman wrote:
We were told flat out that John would not be allowed even a minute of speaking time because "there would be no campaigning from the podium." Linlge, of coure, did nothing but campaign for herself for twenty minutes. So, much for a level playing field. The old days were no better...I used to work for Frank Fasi and he was notoriously abused at conventions.
on May 13,2012 | 09:15AM
Changalang wrote:
Expecting more from that venue will always lead to disappointment and a lesson in betrayal; in my humble opinion. Uncle Frank was the man, BTW. We sure could use 10 of him in Hawaii politics right now.
on May 13,2012 | 10:10AM
Keith_Rollman wrote:
on May 13,2012 | 05:42PM
Changalang wrote:
" Hawaii’s investment guidelines limit holdings in auction- rate securities to no more than 20 percent of cash assets, according to a state document. Finance department officials told legislators in December that the bonds made up 29 percent of the Treasury’s short-term funds when the market collapsed in 2008, Senator Donna Mercado Kim, a Democrat who chairs the Ways and Means Committee, said in a telephone interview. The guidelines also say that “individual security maturities shall not exceed five years,” according to the state document. Some of the auction-rate investments have maturity dates of 2045. " (Bloomberg; 04MAR2010) . . . " The Hawaiian Treasury bought the auction-rate bonds without making all of the required monthly disclosures to the state’s director of the Finance & Budget Department, according to a March 18 report by Auditor Marion M. Higa. . . The holdings climbed from $427 million in July of 2007 to almost $1.1 billion in February 2008, when the auctions that allowed investors to sell the bonds began failing. " (Bloomberg; 24NOV2010) The Hawaii GOP continues to fail because they continue to promote proven failure.
on May 13,2012 | 06:58AM
Changalang wrote:
Addendum: " March 19 (Bloomberg) -- Hawaii State Auditor Marion M. Higa found “lax management” of the state’s treasury led to a $1 billion investment in auction-rate securities that will result in $254 million in writedowns. The conclusion came in a 122-page report to the governor and state Legislature that the auditor released yesterday. Hawaii’s Department of Budget and Finance, which manages the state’s cash, failed to file reports on time, made investments that exceeded the maximum allowable and didn’t evaluate risk before more than doubling its stake in auction-rate securities, the auditor said. “Our examination revealed a lack of proper leadership and accountability in the Department of Budget and Finance,” the report said. “We found that the department is not efficiently and effectively managing the state’s $3.8 billion treasury.” The $330 billion market for auction-rate securities froze in February 2008 when investors stopped purchasing the bonds in regular auctions. Hawaii’s $1 billion investment was the second- largest an independent consultant could find, after an unnamed company that held $1.1 billion, the auditor’s report said. " (19MAR2010; Bloomberg) . . . Citi still has over 860 million of our Hawaii taxpayer dollars. The SuperFerry Fiasco cost Hawaii millions of dollars.
on May 13,2012 | 07:00AM
fka wrote:
Thanks,Changalang for the insightful information. With Lingle's mismanagement of taxpayers' dollars of this great proportion, the voters should not vote for her.
on May 13,2012 | 12:05PM
Changalang wrote:
Malfeasance of taxpayer funds is a political sin that transcends any party loyalty. Repubs who vote for Lingle knowing the facts are the worst kind of hypocrites.
on May 13,2012 | 08:44PM
aiea7 wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on May 13,2012 | 07:18AM
kahuku01 wrote:
Lingle speak with fork tongue. Speaking of the need for bipartisanship on capitol hill and if she can win this race and get to Washington, she won't go there to work for Barack Obama or Mitt Romney but work for the people of Hawaii just to win the votes from the people of Hawaii and that will never happen because like you said, "she will do what the repubs want, not whether it is good for Hawaii." I agree with Chuck Freedman, spokesman for the state Democratic Party, "there's nothing bipartisan about it and it is time for Lingle to end the double talk." I don't blame John Carroll for not attending the morning session for the Hawaii Republican state convention out of protest because it's all about Lingle. Lingle is for Lingle and the republican party and the heck with crossing the aisle.
on May 13,2012 | 07:51AM
Changalang wrote:
Carroll is a has been making a second tier attempt at being the loyal opposition. If you research his candidacy attempts over the last decade, then it is very clear as to what he is capable of and willing to settle for in the winter of his career.
on May 13,2012 | 08:05AM
kahuku01 wrote:
I'm not for Carroll, but he's still a candidate like Lingle and should be given equal time. What gives her the right to more time on the podium especially at a state republican convention. This shows you how the Republicans continuously handle their political agendas, Always looking out for "me, mine and the GOP" and the heck with the people.
on May 13,2012 | 08:39AM
Changalang wrote:
Exactly why they continue to fail. They eat their young, and back stab their own; thus deserving everything that is coming their way in November. It will be a pleasure to watch them reap it.
on May 13,2012 | 10:13AM
Changalang wrote:
The DSCC has footage of her while campaigning for Sarah Palin saying what she really thinks of Hawaii's favorite son and President. The fact is that she is so far behind that they won't even need to bother. :) A half mill investment in ads is chump change to the U.S. Chamber. Those guys bank rolled the House turn over in 2010.
on May 13,2012 | 08:02AM
Graham wrote:
Check what Inouye said about Hawaii's favorite son, while he was campaigning for Hillary. Oh sorry, Inouye is untouchable.
on May 13,2012 | 08:33AM
Changalang wrote:
Inouye is in his last term and will be in the Senate minority party in November dealing with a lot of payback. The only reason Hawaii gave Lingle a chance as Governor was when they looked at Mazie on the debate stage and Hawaii decided to give Lingle a chance. That is why Mazie won't debate Ed Case on T.V. for any local news channel. Lingle has a track record of fiscal malfeasance under her watch that makes Gov. Waihee look like a rock star. Hawaii knows Lingle now. Fool us once, shame on you; foll us twice, shame on US. Elections are about numbers. The Hawaii GOP does not have the numbers. Obviously, they do not have premium candidates to offer to compensate for the lack of numbers. The only chance the Hawaii GOP has to make it off life support, is to flush and hold the handle until all the particles are gone.
on May 13,2012 | 08:46AM
aiea7 wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on May 13,2012 | 10:32AM
Changalang wrote:
Sorry Machine man; the fact is that Cayetano won two terms; the last against Lingle. Mazie Hirono is the only gubernatorial candidate who lost the election to Lingle. Ben has never lost an election. If the Hawaii Democratic Party waits until the Honorable Senator Inouye moves on to greater glory to position for Hawaii's future; then it will be too late. His service and legacy is unquestionable when the game was to grab and barter. The new Senate under the fiscal constraints of reality will be based on compromise and cooperation as of this November. Obama will need a friend in the Senate without partisan D.C. enemies. Inouye's ego needs to realize that Ed Case is the best candidate to transition into the new environment. Not letting Mazie debate him to protect her from herself is a dis-service to all of Hawaii. It is a New Day, and Hawaii needs a New Way to move Forward. The Age of Inouye is over. I want the end of his career to add to the memory his bold service over the decades deserves.
on May 13,2012 | 10:47AM
kahuku01 wrote:
You're right, Ben won two terms but how quickly people forget that Ben kept a low profile on his second term and people labeled him as the do nothing governor and a lame duck. People wanted a change and Lingle can thank Ben and the democrat party for being elected but the changes never occurred and the governorship went back to the democrats.
on May 13,2012 | 01:56PM
Changalang wrote:
Facts stand alone. Mazie is a proven loser and Ben has never lost an election. Best not to coount Case out yet. Many people are p!ssed off that the Machine feels they are the only block that gets to vote for their people. You guys need to check some solid polls.
on May 13,2012 | 08:41PM
wiliki wrote:
When was Lingle ever bi-partisan? Her record doesn't show that.
on May 13,2012 | 09:17AM
Changalang wrote:
Lingle lost any chance of a bi-partisan administration when Awana left in the early years.
on May 13,2012 | 10:22AM
wiliki wrote:
Nope.... it just means that she can't do it. She could have easily replaced him...
on May 13,2012 | 01:02PM
Changalang wrote:
Awana made Lingle. He was irreplaceable to her. It takes a big Democrat to make any Republican relevant in Hawaii.
on May 13,2012 | 08:38PM
JimLoomis wrote:
Is this the same Linda Lingle who campaigned on the mainland for John McCain and said that the country would not be safe if Barak Obama were elected president? Yes, by golly, it is. And now she wants us to believe that this time around she will be ever-so-reasonable and won't go along with the right-wing crazies. Uh ... sure, Linda.
on May 13,2012 | 10:39AM
drgtherocker wrote:
Linda spent more time campaigning for/with Palin than any local republican candidate. The local GOP is doesn't get it, Linda is for Linda and is a fierce partisan. And her backers are supporting her with $$$ because she will buck Obama, not work with him. Her backers money wise are, by and large, right wing crazies...with a couple of birthers to boot.
on May 13,2012 | 02:12PM
neighborhoodmole wrote:
I will never forgive her for vetoing the Civil Union bill, what a mean-spirited and hateful person to deny any recognition of gay relationships!
on May 13,2012 | 04:22PM
tsushimama wrote:
Yes, we remember what kind of governor you were. We also remember your speech supporting the dimly lit light bulb, Sarah Palin. As for Djou, his lack of ability to work with others is remembered both in the city council and, thank goodness, his brief stay in Washington. What is up with the GOP? John Carroll is a long time faithful Republican. The least they could do is let the man speak!
on May 13,2012 | 08:07PM
Imagen wrote:
Do not agree here; If that means that Djou did not play nicely with the other kids at the playground? then he has my vote. There is NOTHING that the City Council did to better Honolulu/Oahu; absolutely nothing. We really need to rethink who we vote for and not to continue as if we are pleased with their non-existing efforts. I felt that Djou worked really hard FOR his constituents and did not go along with the status quo, just because it was popular to do so. This is what we have now; council members that vote along with the popular kids - for fear of not being popular themselves. Rehaul the entire Council and both legislative houses for that matter. The good ones are far and few between, and the not-so-good ones are running rampant and keep breeding new not-so-good ones...Can you say "kakaroches"...
on May 14,2012 | 11:10AM
inverse wrote:
They are all BAD. Lingle, Mazie, Case, Mufi, etc. etc. ALL are same old, same old retreads and all make decisions based on who donates the most to their campaigns. Regardless of who is elected into office both Demos and Repubs in Congress will NOT support the Akaka bill as to divisive nor giving Hawaii $1.5 billion for a train to nowhere given the $15 TRILLION national deficit. In the past when pork barrel entitlements were big in Congress, senators like Inouye make a big difference. Now the majority of congressman, both Demos and Repubs who want to keep their job will avoid votes based on blind loyalty or entitlement horse trading as there is NO money and no tolerance for this kind of shenanigans that Inouye, Pelosi, Stevens, Reid, etc used to dominate in the past. So it really doesn't matter who gets elected to replace Akaka. What is the highest priority for Hawaii taxpayers and voters is for Cayetano to become mayor and kill this pathetic Oahu rail project once and for all and end this pathetic rail money grab, all at taxpayers expense, once and for all BEFORE Hawaii goes bankrupt like Greece and California.
on May 13,2012 | 08:33PM
aiea7 wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on May 13,2012 | 09:02PM
inverse wrote:
Agreed Cayetano is like the rest HOWEVER he is on the people's side when it comes to the Oahu rail project.
on May 14,2012 | 07:54AM
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