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Inouye's call for Hanabusa puts Democrats on the spot

By Derrick DePledge


U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye's heartfelt request on who should succeed him will hang over Hawaii Demo­crats as they meet next week to choose three nominees for his replacement.

In one of his final acts before his death Monday from respiratory complications, Ino­uye sent a personal letter to Gov. Neil Abercrombie expressing his belief that U.S. Rep. Colleen Hana­busa possesses the intellect, presence and legislative skill to succeed him in the Senate.

The letter was hand-delivered to Abercrombie by Walter Dods, former First Hawaiian Bank chairman and chief executive, and Jeffrey Wata­nabe, a retired attorney and chairman of Hawaiian Electric Industries, two of Ino­uye's closest confidants, who are among the state's most politically powerful business leaders.

Inouye wrote that he understood that appointing a successor was Abercrombie's responsibility, but asked the governor to choose Hana­busa, who represents urban Hono­lulu's 1st Congressional District. The senator described the request as his "last wish."

"It is with much sadness that I share with you, that I will not be able to complete my ninth term in the United States Senate," Ino­uye wrote. "While I understand that selecting someone to serve out the remainder of my term is fully your responsibility, I respectfully request that U.S. Representative Colleen Hana­busa succeed me, and continue the work, together with Mazie (Hirono), on behalf of Hawaii in the U.S. Senate. Colleen possesses the intellect, presence and legislative skill to succeed in the Senate. I have no doubt that she will represent Hawaii with the same fervor and commitment that I brought to the Senate chamber since 1962.

"I hope you will grant me my last wish. God bless the people of Hawaii and God bless the United States of America," he wrote.

The party's state central committee will meet at party headquarters Dec. 28 and decide on the three nominees for Abercrombie's consideration.

Dante Carpenter, the party's chairman, said Demo­crats hope to forward the recommendations to Abercrombie in time for the governor to make an appointment before new senators, including U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono, who is replacing retiring U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, are sworn in in Washington, D.C., in early January.

"That is the target to ensure that we have somebody in place for the swearing-in so we do not lose one second of potential seniority time in the U.S. Senate," Carpenter said.

Abercrombie had discussed portions of Ino­uye's letter publicly Monday but did not talk about Ino­uye's recommendation. Ino­uye's office released the letter Tuesday.

The governor sent a letter to Carpenter on Monday, asking Demo­crats to choose three nominees to fill Ino­uye's seat within 21 days, as required by state law. But he also noted the urgency.

"We want to remember and be thankful for all of the senator's good works for the state of Hawaii and the nation. We will do that," he wrote. "However, the president and members of the 112th Congress are continuing their efforts to address fiscal and debt-reduction issues critical to the well-being of our state and the country and the new Senate will be sworn during the first week of January 2013.

"The people of Hawaii deserve to be fully represented in the debates and decisions the Senate will have on those matters in the coming days and weeks," the governor said.

The appointed senator will serve until 2014, after which voters will elect someone to complete Ino­uye's term, which runs through 2016.

Hanabusa and Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz have been mentioned in political circles as the most likely choices.

"I am honored that Senator Ino­uye has mentioned my name as his successor in the U.S. Senate, but I also want to respect the process set forth in Hawaii law," Hana­busa said in a statement Tuesday. "Succession will be determined in due time. Right now, I believe that our focus should be on honoring Senator Ino­uye and his tremendous contributions to Hawaii and America."

Democrats on the state central committee said Ino­uye's request would be considered in deliberations.

"I think it adds a factor that might not have been there otherwise," said Josh Frost, a Demo­cratic activist on the committee.

He said many people expected Hana­busa would be on the short list regardless.

"I think most people knew that she was his preference," Frost said.

"As far as difficulty, I think there will be certain people that will insist that she is the one just because she was Ino­uye's choice.

"I think the state central committee has the responsibility to look to what is best for the state, and what is best for the party, and the names that are chosen to go to the governor will be what we believe to the best representation of that necessity."

Amy Agbayani, a University of Hawaii educator and an Abercrombie ally on the central committee, said Demo­crats will consider both Ino­uye's preference and the requirements of state law that are meant to give the governor options.

"I think it will be tougher because everybody would be taking it (the request) into consideration," she said, "but I think that we will come up with some names."


Abercrombie's letter to Democratic Party Sen. Inouye's letter to Gov. Abercrombie

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MalamaKaAina wrote:
Lucky we live in a Republic and not in a Monarchy?
on December 19,2012 | 12:53AM
Anonymous wrote:
Dan has not always picked the right people to back. Dan picked Hillary Clinton over Obama in the first election. Hanabusa has not shown the Bi-partisan charisma that Dan possessed. Hanabusa's mannerism is a turnoff to many. Her effectiveness in her current position is still unproven...
on December 19,2012 | 05:58AM
Changalang wrote:
Hillary will be President in 2016. We need someone who is already synchronized with the new power of progress in the Senate. This person will technically have more seniority then Hirono if tactically sworn in correctly. This person should be young and in sync with Obama, Harry Reid, and the trendline trajectory in American politics. Senator Schatz is the best way forward for Hawaii to get a jump ahead of the line on the seniority contest which dominates U.S. Senate rules of advancement. Colleen is no doubt qualified to continue the establishment method; however, Hawaii is growing up. State House is going dissident/bi-partisan hybrid. That is what Brian brings. Neil should select for the future and give Obama an ally in the Senate. It would be a win-win. Tulsi Gabbard is barely a working Council person. Way over her head. Shinseki couldn't even submit a workable war plan as Army boss; negligence. Gov. Abs can do the smartest move; or the last wish of a great man whose shoes won't be filled by anyone. HI may need a new path FORWARD to compete. Hawaii GOP needs to stop drinking kool aide. Their failure for Nat'l contests here is defines their success.
on December 19,2012 | 06:38AM
false wrote:
I basically agree with what you're saying but Brian Schatz you really got a sense of humor. Not Schatz not for Senator, Rep or Gov. Get real.
on December 19,2012 | 07:17AM
Changalang wrote:
I am not kidding about Schatz. He is the future for Senate longevity. He was Hawaii Democratic Party Chair in 2008 and help bring Obama to power here when establishment was pushing Hillary. He will be on the short list; unless he tells Dante to leave him off. Outside chance of selection because the power base here is all rattled with the Senator's death and cannot think without passion affecting clarity of mind; but if Schatz goes to D.C. then we get a two for one power play on rebuild. Colleen will still be in D.C. when the House flips back Democrat in two years.
on December 19,2012 | 08:06AM
Changalang wrote:
Schatz is for real and being groomed for greater things for Hawaii's future. He is cool with most everybody that still matter in Hawaii Democratic politics. Current State Senate President S.T. will be another young politician to watch in the immediate future. Hawaii Democrats have a very deep bench on performers that can accel on the field or on Special Teams.
on December 19,2012 | 08:15AM
wiliki wrote:
I feel secure that Abercrombie will make a good choice. He has been pretty good in his appointments with the minimum of party hacks getting appointments.
on December 19,2012 | 08:27AM
false wrote:
Walter Dods's daughter works in Hanbusa's office, as does Peter Boylan's wife. Walter Dod's brother worked in Inouye's office. Dods had great influence through Inouye. But as the Senator became older, Dods took over the cultivation of Mufi Hannemann and Colleen Hanbusa, working to ensure continuity for his personal influcen as well as for the political-economic network around the Senator.

So of course, it was Walter Dods who hand-carried the letter to Abercrombie. Along with the chief from the local "regulated" monopoly, Hawaiian Electric. We should thank them for coming out of the shadows and into the light. So please, take notice of them while you can. This is the core of the corporate/old boy network trying to ensure the best prospects for their future political control.

Walter, is that how you select the next President of First hawaiian Bank? The outgoing president gets to bequeath the office to whomever he wishes? If it doesn't make sense in the private sector, why should our highest government positions be treated like this? Sorry, while I respected Senator Inouye for many things, I am a small "d" democrat, not a monarchist, not a feudalist. The Governor and the Democratic Party should make their selections based upon their sense of what best serves the interests of the people of Hawaii. If that is to appoint Hanabusa, then so be it. If not, the Hanabusa cotery had better not yammer about this being "disrespectful" to the Senator. that is a cheap, manipulative argument. And even if they are not worthy of better tactics, Senator Inouye certainly was. They have cast a shadow by forever associating this crude tactical move with his memory. Shame.

on December 20,2012 | 12:07AM
false wrote:
No Changalang, I usually go along with you but Schatz is a real ZERO. He may have the longevity but you need more than that. He is just not DC material. If he's at the top of the barrel I really hate to see when we start scraping bottom. But then again it has been shown that you can be in DC and not be effective and say you represent Hawaii. That might at least take him out of the equation of running for Gov.
on December 19,2012 | 02:38PM
Changalang wrote:
I think you just cannot see his true value. Mufi and Neil BOTH wanted ONLY Brian for their LG. There was no second choice for either Democratic gubernatorial candidate, even though the field was rich with many other contenders. He must have something you fail to recognize.
on December 19,2012 | 03:03PM
aomohoa wrote:
By the way, Hillary says she is not running for President, as of now anyway.
on December 19,2012 | 06:42PM
hilocal wrote:
Anonymous, Dan was admirably bi-partisan like many of his colleagues in both parties from the 60s and 70s, but charisma?! And didn't he back Mufi, who supported the 2% behind our backs while proclaiming what he did was for us 98%?
on December 19,2012 | 07:06AM
false wrote:
Remember he iced out Mufi in the last election.
on December 19,2012 | 02:39PM
frontman wrote:
We are getting closer to a socialist dictatorship. For Danny, rename the airport, No....rename Kuhio , No The ZOO, yes, rename the ZOO for Danny Boy.
on December 19,2012 | 01:49PM
what wrote:
I see no compelling reason why Inouye should have made this request. What's so special about Hanabusa that Inouye would want to go against the established protocol of a formal public selection process? Seems like meddling.
on December 19,2012 | 12:56AM
EwaWarrior wrote:
Just goes to show how out of touch Senator Inouye was.
on December 19,2012 | 03:21AM
motherof17yearold wrote:
I agree. Why Hanabusa? What's so good about her? She and Hirono are only good at "goma suru".
on December 19,2012 | 05:01AM
Changalang wrote:
Sen. Inouye always felt he was the exception to the rule on meddling in all local politics. He was, without doubt. At this years convention, he embraced Mufi AND Tulsi on stage and shunned the others as the caucus submitted the rule for elected Dems to stay out of it. Neil has a different kind of cat. Inouye's D.C. staffers are top notch and black belt masters of D.C. Senate bloodsport. I am sure they will find an impervious position of power in a Schatz or Hanabusa office staffing; just like how Akaka took care of his "people" via Tulsi. Continuity of power means that the staffers must stay on in D.C. Akaka's people are already there. Inouye's people must stay. The relationships they have with the rest of the D.C. gov't elitist culture is the last thing Hawaii has to hang onto. Hanabusa or Schatz will serve Hawaii to the best of their abilities; but Schatz and Obama are cut from the same cloth and have a strong history of support for each other and synchronized agendas for the future.
on December 19,2012 | 06:47AM
false wrote:
Man you're really not kidding about Schatz are you. No way.
on December 19,2012 | 07:18AM
Changalang wrote:
He was House Majority Whip in the State House, Hawaii Democratic Party Chair before Dante, and current LG that both Mufi and Neil wanted over Sakamoto et all. He is super tight with the Obamas and Hawaii needs all the juice it can get.
on December 19,2012 | 08:03AM
wiliki wrote:
I think that there are better candidates than Schatz. In the legislature, I would like to see David Ige as the Hawaii senator. He is an engineer with strong business interests in Honolulu and a sharp mind. He has stewardship of the Hawaii budget in the Senate. He's also a great politician and keeps getting re-elected for the good job that his is doing in the Legislature. I'm not sure if he would want to leave the state to serve Hawaii in Congress.

Another similar legislator is Roy Takumi with strong labor ties. But I think that he also would rather serve in the state legislature.

on December 19,2012 | 08:35AM
Changalang wrote:
Ige is unique in that he never lets power go to his head and views himself as just one of the people. I find that very rare in a politician that ascends to such heights; very rare indeed. Colleen is pretty much in; but Ige and anybody over 50 should be put into one category, imho. Senate is ruled by the edict that he who lives longest gets the most; so youth and capability are essential. Brian pulls East and West labor support together which resides in Inouye's territory. ILWU and Ironworkers stood with Brian. He also has intimate knowledge of how non-profits figure into the Hawaii economy running helping hands. Neil made his bones in local politics as a youthful dissident who now has decades of experience in the D.C. snake pit to reflect. Gov. Abs is the person with the most balanced experience to make the call. History will be as nice to Neil as it is awful to Lingle when things are reflected upon.
on December 19,2012 | 09:56AM
false wrote:
Brian should be thankful to have an uncle like you going to bat for him. When he comes over to the house for Christmas dinner he's going to bring an extra roll of sushi.
on December 19,2012 | 02:43PM
Changalang wrote:
The LG carries his own bat and is the number one draft pick for many top Democratic positions in the state. To have accomplished so much in the Party at such a young age demonstrates the same type of prodigy characteristics shown by a certain young ex-Senator from Chicago who later became our current President. That is called star power. I imagine Brian has the support and respect in the State from many people who matter. As for me, I am glad to be alive for another day in paradise and only want what is best for Hawaii from all the possible variables that are potentially available. I trust Gov. Abs choice on the matter fully, and can honestly say will strongly support his choice in 2014.
on December 19,2012 | 03:24PM
wiliki wrote:
I agree... Abercrombie will make a good choice. Everyone is shooting names to him at this point. I wouldn't be surprised if he just calls a truce and appoints someone who wont run for re-election to give everyone else the chance to run on an even basis. Say Governor Waihee? Hey we need a Hawaiian to rally the Akaka Bill.
on December 19,2012 | 05:09PM
Changalang wrote:
Word is he is not interested in a placeholder to the election secondary to the importance of establishing long term Senate seniority ASAP. We will appoint someone qualified with a political record and narrative ready to win election after election.
on December 19,2012 | 05:23PM
Changalang wrote:
Sorry, typo; "He will appoint someone..." not "We". Hands like hooks are not the best for typing. :)
on December 19,2012 | 05:26PM
Leinanij wrote:
You obviously have never been to the State Senate in session. Hanabusa is a force to be reckoned with when she is fighting for her constituents. She listens to both sides (pro and con) before making her decisions. And most of all, I would trust Sen. Inouye's decision before I would trust any one else's as to who could best represent Hawai'i in the US Senate.
on December 19,2012 | 01:03PM
ShibaiDakine wrote:
Well, so much for his trust in democracy to choose the best candidate and do what is best for the State. At least we now know what he thought of all the other potential candidates for his senate seat. Looking forward to seeing who are the two loosers.
on December 19,2012 | 02:04AM
pechanga wrote:
Pfft! Arrogant dictator right to the end! No class! He just never knew when to quit! Hmmm.. Hanabutta responsible for continuing the legacy of corruption? Enough is enough!
on December 19,2012 | 02:39AM
hilocal wrote:
pechanga, what legacy of corruption? Inouye was known for bringing home the bacon to Hawai'i and for being pretty honest among US senators. I didn't agree with a lot of his positions, but I usually felt it was due to a difference in philosophy.
on December 19,2012 | 07:12AM
Kawipoo wrote:
A god father to the end. His last words were not Aloha it was I am feel like I am starting to burn.
on December 19,2012 | 03:17AM
hilocal wrote:
Kawipoo, "Aloha" was his last word according to a news report.
on December 19,2012 | 07:13AM
wiliki wrote:
A great servant to the end. He wasn't afraid to speak his mind on the important issue of his succession. Hanabusa is a good choice although I think that Abercrombie could find better in our state. Perhaps General Shinseki.....?
on December 19,2012 | 08:42AM
false wrote:
He made Neil an offer he can't refuse.
on December 19,2012 | 02:45PM
danji wrote:
Wrong. Now I feel Colleen should not even be copnsidered. Though I respect Dan his suggestion is NOT AMERICAN. All people on the selection and the Governor should feel the same way. Dan's opnion is his opnion--there are people who think otherwise of Colleen. For the future I think Tulsi should be in that position seeing how many people voted for her(unknown) and she has a long career ahead of her. Colleen was Senate President who pushed passage of legislator pay raise while all other government employees had to take a pay cut. LET'S DO THINGS RIGHT AND NOT TAKE THE WORD OF DAN CAUSE HE IS NOT GOD. Sorry for being blunt but since when does a politician dictate who should be in office or not. Too bad Colleen but Dan just did you an injustice and the Governor should never had made Dan's request public if he had any sense. I hope the democratic party doesn't follow the Governors lead. ALL POLITICIANS MUST REMEMBER THAT THEY ARE SERVANTS OF THE PEOPLE AND NOT DICTATORS. Neil is hopefully a one term gov.
on December 19,2012 | 03:57AM
EwaWarrior wrote:
Very well said!!!!
on December 19,2012 | 08:46AM
geeknews wrote:
Incredible only in Hawaii.
on December 19,2012 | 04:18AM
serious wrote:
JFK wrote his book, Profiles in Courage, showing politicians who had gone against the party grain but did the best for the people they served. If he were to write it today in Hawaii--it would have nothing but empty pages. We have been judged the most inefficient DC legislation and we're just adding to it. I think anyone who has seen the debates or her record would put Linda into that position--but in HI--never happen.
on December 19,2012 | 09:59AM
DowntownGreen wrote:
on December 19,2012 | 10:36AM
Leinanij wrote:
Serious you're delirious if you think Abercrombie is going to appoint Lingle. Take 2 aspirins and come back in the morning when your head is clear.
on December 19,2012 | 01:09PM
false wrote:
To think that Neil is going to appoint Lingle more that aspirin will be needed. More like a lobotomy
on December 19,2012 | 02:51PM
false wrote:
Linda who? Surly you're not talking about that person who pretended to care about Hawaii.
on December 19,2012 | 02:47PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
You rememeber... we KNOW her.
on December 19,2012 | 03:30PM
tonosama wrote:
The "Shogun" of Hawaii politics has spoken and his"legacy" of anointing a successor has been established. But the immediate and proclaimed wannabees in line do not possess the swift and smooth spoken command of the English language to influence our other mainland congressional members. Have no ties with but fair consideration should allow Ed Case to enter the playing field again. An excellent speaker and much love for Hawaii to excel beyond politics.
on December 19,2012 | 04:21AM
mitt_grund wrote:
Case was always concerned about one thing -- himself. Even to the extent of finding an ethnically acceptable wife. As a representative, he was a loose cannon. Command of the English language? We are not looking for an orator or an empty facade.
on December 20,2012 | 12:12AM
omd111 wrote:
And they wonder why people don't vote. Why vote, when we keep getting the worst into office.
on December 19,2012 | 04:55AM
bender wrote:
Don't know why the Democrat Central Committee says it will be a tough choice. It seems like a no brainer to me and that pretty much describes the Central Committee as well.
on December 19,2012 | 04:57AM
false wrote:
You got it the DCC no brainer. What else is new.
on December 19,2012 | 07:20AM
mitt_grund wrote:
Haven't been active in the party for years, but DCC was always a hot bed of the ultra liberal activists. That's why there was often a disconnect between elected Dems and the party in adhering to the party platform.
on December 20,2012 | 12:20AM
hukihei wrote:
Colleen Hanabusa is highly qualified and the best choice for Hawaii, irrespective of Sen Inouye's last wishes.
on December 19,2012 | 04:58AM
motherof17yearold wrote:
I really don't feel she qualified and the best choice for Hawaii. I'm pretty sure they're someone that would be more qualified.
on December 19,2012 | 05:03AM
Publicbraddah wrote:
Can you elaborate on your comment so we know some specifics?
on December 19,2012 | 05:28AM
Taisho808 wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on December 19,2012 | 05:53AM
Taisho808 wrote:
Oh and Cayetano is never getting back into politics hes done!
on December 19,2012 | 05:59AM
hawaiikone wrote:
Your thoughtful, intelligent argument has almost swayed my opinion. Keep up the excellent counterpoints.
on December 19,2012 | 06:09AM
Pacej001 wrote:
LOL. Finally a comment/mentality that makes me think strict gun control is a good idea.
on December 19,2012 | 09:38AM
hilocal wrote:
Taisho808, Japanese-Americans wouldn't insult others to their face by referring to their "lolo brain." I guess a Japanese general (taisho) would do so and would have the courage to not hide behind a fake name.
on December 19,2012 | 06:54AM
Wazdat wrote:
on December 19,2012 | 06:44AM
kiragirl wrote:
If she is the best we got, then we're in trouble.
on December 19,2012 | 12:39PM
Publicbraddah wrote:
Governor Abercrombie and the Democratic Party needs to make a level headed decision on this one despite Inouye's last request. Hawaii should have had someone prepped to take over as we all saw the eventuality of this happening soon. Now, we have representatives with little or no power in Congress. The Dems should make a strong push for former Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki. He's got a lot of insider connections in Washington having been their for a while. Like many others commenting here, I don't see what Senator Inouye saw in Hanabusa which would lead to his endorsement. Hopefully, smarter heads will prevail.
on December 19,2012 | 05:27AM
Taisho808 wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on December 19,2012 | 05:57AM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
Taisho808 wrote: "Inouye has done more for hawaii than anyone has or every will. i think he should have a say who will replace him."

I think he should have a say too. One vote, just like everyone else.
on December 19,2012 | 08:14AM
DowntownGreen wrote:
His opinion definitely matters, but should it be the guiding force in the Governor's decision? Nope.
on December 19,2012 | 09:48AM
EwaWarrior wrote:
Shouldn't "The People" have a say???? What sets Inouye above the rest of us that his vote counts more?
on December 19,2012 | 08:50AM
DowntownGreen wrote:
Have you called Governor Abercrombie's office yet?
on December 19,2012 | 09:48AM
hilocal wrote:
Publicbraddah, has Shinseki done a good job getting vets the services they need in a timely manner?
on December 19,2012 | 06:57AM
false wrote:
Level headed is good, something new but good.
on December 19,2012 | 02:54PM
JPC wrote:
Hanabusa should be proud of where she comes from-the WEST SIDE. She hardly did anything to promote and bring this community to spread the "ALOHA" to upgrade and bring prosperous and hope to the west side. I agree what good is she?
on December 19,2012 | 05:39AM
Tropicboy wrote:
Interesting how the 'business leaders' hand-deliver the letter -- its a set up. One solution to consider is having Sen. Akaka appointed for the two years. He should retain his senate seniority which will allow Hawaii to have some clout a little longer.
on December 19,2012 | 05:44AM
Bdpapa wrote:
I have a lot of respect for Sen. Akaka, but I feel he left because he knew it was time. Let him enjoy his final years with his family and friends. He can always be an advisor.
on December 19,2012 | 06:08AM
lee1957 wrote:
Must have had a private plane waiting, it got here awfully fast.
on December 19,2012 | 06:34AM
Squint wrote:
God Bless the Senator, but he has left the Party. Hope the Governor has the spine to begin rebuilding the bench instead of continuing a string of poor decisions.
on December 19,2012 | 06:17AM
McCully wrote:
All you have to do is check Hanabusa's record in the house. Nobody repects her cause she's arrogant and only thinks about herself. Her so called $million dollars house still hasn't sold and she's still looking for a place in town. The democrat committee has to select a person who can protect the military presence and that person is NOT Hanabusa. I know that was Inouye last wish but right now you have to select a person who can carry on his work and a military person who knows how important the military is in Hawaii.
on December 19,2012 | 06:19AM
Changalang wrote:
Umm, she was State SENATE President for the record. Nobody can do what Dan did for defense spending. Akaka was his second vote and sure picked a lot of pretty stamps for his decade long ride as Dan's second. Mazie can do that just as well. Drydock is going to other states with more clout now that Sen. Inouye is gone. Pearl will always be a sub base though, at a minimum worse case scenario. USMC command should tread carefully with the Osprey. Hawaii will be getting a lot more local in the future of coming austerity with the reduced gov't workers/soldiers in the military here. Time for the U.S. to use the assets for self defense, instead of global offense we cannot afford anymore. There is no enemy to fear. China's wealthiest are buying up land and assets in America and Hawaii, so they will not attack what they already own. As soon as the U.S. leaves the Middle East to its own de-compensation tract, the less jihadis we have to worry about in the homeland. HI=No juice.
on December 19,2012 | 07:27AM
Leinanij wrote:
The day the military leaves Hawai'i can't come soon enough for Hawaiians.
on December 19,2012 | 01:15PM
false wrote:
on December 19,2012 | 02:54PM
Highinthesierras wrote:
Politics smells like last week's garbage
on December 19,2012 | 06:39AM
Wazdat wrote:
Sorry Dan, you did good service to the people, BUT Hanabada is NOT worthy, she is a REP.
on December 19,2012 | 06:42AM
yskeulb wrote:
Hanabusa should be on the list as she was Senator Inouye's last wish candidate. However, Senator Akaka should also be on the list as that will give us seniority for at least two more years and determine a gameplan going forward, perhaps electing Hanabusa. Aside from seniority, Senator Akaka can pick up where Inouye left off and mentor Hanabusa during the next two years. The third name should be someone younger like Schatz. So the Guv has three choices: Last Wish, Seniority, Youth.
on December 19,2012 | 06:56AM
cojef wrote:
Good suggestion. Only until the next election should be tolerable since there is no need to prepare for another election. Just the thought of having to go through a grueling election is enough to scare anyone. Then again give the guy a break, he deserve to relax an enjoy his retirement. Been retired for 22 years and know what I am talking about. Have loved and enjoyed every minute of it.
on December 19,2012 | 03:40PM
livealoha wrote:
If you feel strongly against the choice of Hanabusa, let your voices to heard to the Gov. He has 9 more days until the list gets to him. He is public servant and will be up for re-election, your choice matters. Call his office, write to him, email. Let your voices be heard.
on December 19,2012 | 06:58AM
false wrote:
Dods and Watanabe delivering the letter .....we'll see who's actually running this state.
on December 19,2012 | 07:14AM
Changalang wrote:
W.D. and E.W. have done their far share to keep the Hawaii/Inouye growth track on target. At a time when we are going to have to deal with table scraps in Federal dollars; we are fortunate to have the O.G. homeboys still keeping things going. Hawaii grinding to a halt is not good for anybody here. Established shot callers in the business and legal communities will keep things humming along as best as possible. Cash flow is the lifeblood of any local economy. With Dan gone; legalized gambling revenue will be replacing Sen. Inouye's D.C. bacon. At times like these; the power of the Aloha Spirit can be more of a blessing, than a curse. Corruption is just friendship squared as a multiplier anyway. What is in a word, when perception defines reality.
on December 19,2012 | 07:40AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
WD and EW have done their share to keep their respective business interests on a growth track. That doesn't necessarily coincide with the greater good. Just because things are sweet for First Hawaiian and HEI does not mean things are sweet for you and me. (Well, maybe you, but not me :D) Case in point: Jones Act, Rail, and many other examples too.
on December 19,2012 | 08:21AM
Changalang wrote:
Hawaii Republican agenda items are the only thing that do not matter to the people of Hawaii, proven and confirmed time and time again. Personally, I see FHB in two phases. I consider myself a beneficiary of the Dod's era. That era saw major growth and development for the State over a Golden Age. Quite frankly, I regard him as the ultimate example of local boy done good who can swing with the big boys. Hawaii will need to promote its youth talent for tomorrow. Yeaman is another rising star. Nowadays, my money is on Peter Ho and Bankoh for a steady, stable, and pristine future. A big fish individual's success trickles down to the rest of the beneficiaries. I have nothing but respect for E.W. Don't you guys believe in trickle down voodoo economics anymore? That one was for the gipper.
on December 19,2012 | 10:10AM
Changalang wrote:
' And the last thing he said to me, "Rock," he said, "sometime when the team is up against it and the breaks are beating the boys, tell them to go out there with all they've got and win just one for the Gipper. ' Old School Movie Quote.
on December 19,2012 | 10:12AM
ichiban wrote:
IRT-- Your earlier comment about Mufi and Neil supporting Brian, that puts Brian in the minus column for me. Both supporters are turncoats to the people that elected them to office. Mufi, saying he'll stay the full term in office as mayor but when the election for the office governor of Hawaii came due he resigned as mayor in mid-term to run for governor. Neil, the man in the checkered cab car, former professor at UH said if elected to Congress he would make some heads turn and get rid of the Old Boy network. Yeah, he fitted right in like hand to glove. Now your comment above about Dod and Ho, you know they are banker and they deal with money. I thought with your Dem leaning you wouldn't want to be associated with wealthy people. Maybe unless it fits your need
on December 19,2012 | 05:29PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
There are many wealthy Democrats. And many poor Republicans (just look at Mississippi and Alabama). It ain't always about the money (usually is, but not always!)
on December 19,2012 | 07:36PM
Changalang wrote:
It really is not up to you, is it number 1? What has Schatz done that is a minus? He was seen as an asset by political competitors; maybe to balance out their own deficits. Perhaps you should hold people accountable for their own actions. Regarding your hatred of bankers and power; that is your own problem. Dods, Inouye, Watanabe, and Kobayashi built the foundation of the strength of the Hawaii Democratic Party. This is a one party state. What did you do to create an environment for shared success for Hawaii? If you think Democrats are supposed to be holier than thou; you really don't know squat about the real world. Most of America's wealth is concentrated in the Democratic Party. Dan himself was a major shareholder in CPB. Nothing romantic about being helpless. Help yourself get a better life, and maybe you will learn to respect those who have done it before you without prejudice. Success is not a crime in Hawaii. Vagrancy is though. Move along.
on December 19,2012 | 07:53PM
Changalang wrote:
" Central Pacific Financial received a $135 million injection of federal money after banking regulators were contacted by U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye’s staff, The Washington Post reported Wednesday. The Post said the bank was an “unlikely candidate” for the federal money and that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. had already decided that Central Pacific didn’t meet its criteria for the infusion of so-called TARP funds. But two weeks after an Inouye staff member called the FDIC, ostensibly to check on the status of the TARP application, the government approved the money for the Honolulu-based bank. Inouye, a Democrat who was involved in the founding of Central Pacific Bank in 1954, holds stock in the company that was worth between $350,000 and $700,000 at the end of 2007, according to The Post. (30JUN2009; PBN).........Wake up. Occupy "cigarettes" cloud the mind.
on December 19,2012 | 08:00PM
false wrote:
Bradda talk about the 1%. Sheezzz.
on December 19,2012 | 02:55PM
Changalang wrote:
Yup, shocking that so few have so much. More power equals more money in Hawaii, the realm of concentrated Aloha. The rest of us have to work until death do us part. No pension for THIS working generation. It is better to be part of the 99% in Hawaii then say freeze your arse off Maine, though.
on December 19,2012 | 05:33PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Essentially the magic letter was delivered by First Hawaiian Bank and Hawaiian Electric. Uh huh.Aloha.
on December 19,2012 | 07:17AM
Pookie_Baby wrote:
I guess Inouye wasn't watching the debates.
on December 19,2012 | 07:37AM
jekat2003 wrote:
Hearfelt request my As$. It was once last attempt to pull the strings from beyond the grave........Pathetic.
on December 19,2012 | 07:43AM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
Have you ever seen anyone in respiratory failure hours before they die? They don't write letters. EVER. They don't dictate them either.

If 88 year old Senator Inouye had been concerned enough about his successor to write such an eloquent letter hours before he died, I think he might have written it sooner... while he was much more likely to be conscious.

Sorry folks, but this "deathbed, last-wish letter" reeks.
on December 19,2012 | 08:17AM
DowntownGreen wrote:
It supports the mythology and Senator Inouye had been making it clear that Rep. Hanabusa was his choice. Deathbed letter though? Hard to believe.
on December 19,2012 | 09:50AM
Mythman wrote:
Was it a "deathbed" letter? How do we know he knew he was dying momentarily? HE WAS RESIGNING and that's why he wrote the letter - for someone to finish out his term, Colleen. Then he died. Sort it out, come on now.
on December 19,2012 | 12:57PM
primo1 wrote:
Agreed. This letter was dated (and supposedly signed) on the same day he passed. How could he have even dictated said letter in his condition? He was on a respirator - YOU CAN'T SPEAK. I respect the Senator and all he's done for the state, but what the Democrats and special interest are trying to do here is a shame. Does anybody remember similar "unusual" circumstances when Patsy Mink passed away? She's fine...she's stable...she's ready to return to the hill...and then she's dead. PR smokescreen put up so DP and special interest groups could get their s**t together...sad...
on December 19,2012 | 10:41AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
That will be enough from you, citizen. We will tell you what you need to know. Now, be quiet.
on December 19,2012 | 10:45AM
primo1 wrote:
You're funny...
on December 19,2012 | 10:51AM
wiliki wrote:
Rail is Hannemann's legacy for Honolulu. He supported it at the risk of his career. That takes guts. He has executive experience as Mayor of Honolulu. That'll be a strong factor and especially if his enemies can get over their distaste of his candidacy. Being who he is, he has been a lightning rod for progressive Democrat complaints in Honolulu.
on December 19,2012 | 08:25AM
Changalang wrote:
Local politics produces outcasts by its culture. It is sad that the unique talents of Mufi and/or Ed Case will never meet full potential because of the culture.
on December 19,2012 | 10:14AM
wiliki wrote:
If Abercrombie feels that they are well qualified, then he can appoint either of them. There's probably even a hope for General Shinseki. Abercrombie has been making good appointments. I notice there aren't too many political hacks that he has appointed.
on December 19,2012 | 04:53PM
Changalang wrote:
So, you think Gov. Abs will defy the will of Inouye's dying wish, and instead place his whipping boy example into his seat with an election coming up for the Governor incumbent in two years and not worry about disenfranchising Inouye's loyal voting block? Hmmmm. You think Shen-sucky will make the short list? An Army of One? Hmmmm.
on December 19,2012 | 05:16PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Hilarious to watch the Mufster running around town trying to drum up some support for a re-entry into politics. I bet he tries once again to meet Obama's plane..."here I am, boss, here I am, look over here, boss!"
on December 19,2012 | 10:47AM
wiliki wrote:
He'll run for office again.... I hope that Abercrombie is also considering Matt Matsunaga.
on December 19,2012 | 04:55PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Rod Tam's available too.
on December 19,2012 | 08:26PM
false wrote:
Hanneman,NO WAY!!
on December 19,2012 | 11:19AM
wiliki wrote:
He's paid his dues....
on December 19,2012 | 04:55PM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
wiliki wrote: He's paid his dues....

Actually, WE'VE paid his dues.
on December 19,2012 | 06:21PM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
wiliki wrote: "Rail is Hannemann's legacy for Honolulu. He supported it at the risk of his career. That takes guts. He has executive experience as Mayor of Honolulu. That'll be a strong factor and especially if his enemies can get over their distaste of his candidacy."

Well, that and he was soundly repudiated by voters in his last two attempts at running for office. That ought to count for something too. The voters said "No thanks."
on December 19,2012 | 11:20AM
wiliki wrote:
Except that in this case, we have the opportunity to go beyond the ballot box and appoint the best qualified person who may not necessarily be the most popular. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Abercrombie appoints someone like Governor Waihee for the next two years on the condition that he not run for re-election. Hawaiians need a Hawaiian to rally for the Akaka Bill.
on December 19,2012 | 04:59PM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
wiliki wrote: "Except that in this case, we have the opportunity to go beyond the ballot box and appoint the best qualified person who may not necessarily be the most popular. "

Well then, you should be advocating for them to appoint former Governor Ben Cayetano, not some washed-up former 1 1/2 term mayor like Mufi.
on December 19,2012 | 06:22PM
Mythman wrote:
Except the mufster is a republican
on December 19,2012 | 01:02PM
wiliki wrote:
Nope he may be a little socially conservative as a Mormon but he's changing... A little like Catholic Joe Biden. Hawaii Mormons may be the vanguard of a more liberal group of Mormons....?
on December 19,2012 | 05:01PM
Honuahu wrote:
Since 'old boys' ' political machine still @ work (Dods/Watanábe) and thinking they can still control thru Hanabusa! Arrogant is exact description for her... Never gave the time of day to people who did not 'obey' her commands in the State Senate! Not the ALOHA that the late Senator was..no Aloha at all for Everyone!
on December 19,2012 | 08:32AM
EwaWarrior wrote:
Hanabutta and "highly qualified" are mutually exclusive it seems!
on December 19,2012 | 08:48AM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
If we had let Senator Inouye choose for us in the past , we would have President Hilary Clinton and Congressman Hannemann.
on December 19,2012 | 09:20AM
Ronin006 wrote:
Smacks of North Korea, where the outgoing leader selects his successor.
on December 19,2012 | 09:25AM
mitt_grund wrote:
Not only does he select him, he also fathered him. That's called a dynasty.
on December 20,2012 | 12:26AM
nonpolitic wrote:
I think a lot of people are missing the point of the Late Senator's letter. He RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED that the Governor appoint Ms. Hanabusa to succeed him. He did not issue an edict. He merely made his preference known through a written communication since he could not do it in person. In his opinion, Ms. Hanabusa is the appropriate choice and he gave his reasons therefor. The way I see it, the Late Senator was still looking out for what's best for the country and this State by putting forth a person he believed to be the best possible candidate to succeed him in Congress. After all, who would know better than he in this regard. I certainly don't profess to have such insight, and I don't think anyone who hasn't been an effective U.S. Senator for as long as he has does either. Let 's show the Late Senator and his family a little courtesy and respect. Honor the man and his accomplishments done on behalf of this country and Hawaii.
on December 19,2012 | 09:27AM
serious wrote:
I have all kinds of respect for the late senator as a war hero, certainly deserving of the medal of honor. That said, HI has the highest cost of living, the highest housing costs, the worst education system, the worst traffic--should I go on? So if someone can state, other than being a nice guy and leading the most ineffective (Time magazine) state legislature in DC--what has he accomplished? $$$ earmarks are just used between legislators to get their vote--that is nothing to be proud of. Jones Act? Not when you're financed by the shipping industry and their unions!!!
on December 19,2012 | 10:26AM
false wrote:
Well said nonpolitic,I agree.
on December 19,2012 | 11:23AM
Surfer_Dude wrote:
I question this letter dated December 17th. The man had only a few hours to live and he had the presence of mind to dictate and sign a letter? I don't know folks. The fact that this letter shows up on the governor's desk the same day he died is also kind of strange. Maybe this was one of those you fill in the date kind of letters that one of his staffers filled out. The verbiage and content of this letter does not seem consistent with someone who has been in and out of consciousness and on a respirator.
on December 19,2012 | 09:27AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Next thing you will be suggesting his staff covered up the seriousness of his condition for over a week. Pretend everything is alright. No updates, no release of information. No nothing and then First Hawaiian Bank and HEI guys get "the letter." Aloha.
on December 19,2012 | 10:51AM
KekoaBradshaw wrote:
Why are we all worried? I bet all you posters who look for a conspiracy behind everything are expecting that the world will end this Friday Dec. 21 because of the Mayan calendar. So why worry who's going to replace Sen. Inouye? After Friday it won't matter.
on December 19,2012 | 11:59AM
Mythman wrote:
Kekoa, you are so stupid you don't even know how ineffectual your comments are - apples and oranges to bash someone don't add up to do do
on December 19,2012 | 01:07PM
KekoaBradshaw wrote:
It was a joke, Mythman.
on December 19,2012 | 03:33PM
Mythman wrote:
How dare you suggest Dan Inouye would stoop to such a low act as to have his staff write letters for him to sign or have singed using a robo signing thingee. And that Jeff and Walt would connive to set up their boy, err, girl as the next Dependable Dan they can wind up as their own personal toy boy. Shameful innuendos.
on December 19,2012 | 01:06PM
false wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on December 19,2012 | 09:43AM
Mythman wrote:
It's called leverage - making somebody do something you want them to do: this is the outer part of the play - behind the black curtain, other intrigue is going hot and heavy, like everything involving politicians and media, these days.
on December 19,2012 | 01:09PM
moondog73 wrote:
Anybody but Hannemann and Case!
on December 19,2012 | 10:06AM
Changalang wrote:
There is no way Neil would appoint Mufi. If you saw it before your eyes, it would only be because Mufi was wearing a Neil suit. He would never fit into that costume. Ed is cool with the Governor, though. However, to scorn Inouye's staff's dying wish and put Ed in there instead would be political suicide for any incumbent Governor. Worry not. Those two will not be in the final three, for better or worse. CD 1 contest? We shall see. :)
on December 19,2012 | 12:50PM
mishtah wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on December 19,2012 | 10:48AM
KekoaBradshaw wrote:
Gee, that was 20 years agao. Look at Bill Clinton and all the charges against him---and now he's considered an "Elder Statesman". I don't mean to minimiza these accusations from 20 years ago against the Senator, but were any such accusations made in the 20 years since then? If not, maybe he learned his lesson.
on December 19,2012 | 12:19PM
Leinanij wrote:
Agreed. Clinton was impeached. Nada for Sen. Inouye.
on December 19,2012 | 01:21PM
Mythman wrote:
Let the dead rest, don't bring this stuff up, please - he's gone, let's move on, without bringing up dirt......
on December 19,2012 | 01:10PM
KekoaBradshaw wrote:
There's another point here for the Democrats to consider. If Abercrombie appoints Hanabusa to fill Inouye's Senate seat until 2014, a special election will have to be held quickly to replace Hanabusa. According to law, vanacies in the House of Representatives are filled by special election; vacancies in the Senate are filled by appointment until the next general election. That's how Djou got elected the first time. He took a plurality of the votes over a number of Democrat "big wigs wanna-bes". A special election to fill Hanabusa's seat would attract a lot of Democrats, and only a few Repubglicans. Maybe Djou would win again with a plurality, not a majority. For all we know, Tom Berg might win. (Didn't he win his Council with only 18% of the vote to replace Todd Apo when Apo resigned?) It would be better for Hanabusa to pass on the Senate for now and Abercrombie to appoint a "placeholder" like Dante Carpenter who would agree not to run in 2014. Let Hanabusa run against Case then, and face Djou or Lingle (ugh!) in November 2014. Since the Democrats gained 8 seats in the US House of Representatives last month, why risk giving one of them to the Republicans? Another scenario would be for Abercombie to appoint Hanabusa and at the same time annouce that the Dems are uniting behind Ed Case for Hanabusa's House seat to ensure that Djou doesn't take it with a minority of the vote.
on December 19,2012 | 12:13PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Hanabusa already signed up. The job is hers. You guys got to understand - to refuse Hanabusa would be to repudiate Dan's last request which would send the Kepani contingent into an orbit of outrage. We saw a tiny bit of that when Ed Case bucked his instructions. Now imagine if the dying Senator's last request was not treated as gospel by the Machine. Gents and Ladies, this is Hawaii politics 101. You don't mess with the Kepani.
on December 19,2012 | 01:04PM
KekoaBradshaw wrote:
You're right, Maneki. But what about all the non-Kepani here. With Dan and Dan our Senators were balanced ethnically, same thing with Tulsi and Hanabusa. Now, if it's Collen and Maizie, two Kepani along with Abercrombie and Schatz, two haoles at the Capitol, the top offices are ser seriously unbalanced.
on December 19,2012 | 03:37PM
Changalang wrote:
The politics of Hawaii has voters of both parties in a post Dan and post-Lingle environment. The Mayan Prophesy of renewal is upon us, and it is far from the end of the world.
on December 19,2012 | 03:38PM
Mythman wrote:
And Colleen saw what happened to Djou and is reluctant to have it also happen to her arse.......
on December 19,2012 | 01:10PM
Changalang wrote:
Dante would be great; but it is foolish to put in a placeholder when the Senate seniority clock is stamped in real time. A place holder means we start from scratch again at the bottom in two years. Timing is everything. Getting our replacement appointee sworn in before the newbies elected for the next Congressional session is tantamount to starting the seniority clock for our Senator ahead of the new pack. Inouye's replacement will have more seniority at swear in than even Mazie, if Hawaii uses the tactic to OUR best advantage. The appointee should have the qualities to serve a lifetime by winning election after election with the greatest chance of accruing as many years as possible in the seat. That is the rule of the game, and how Hawaii got as far up the ladder as we did.
on December 19,2012 | 03:35PM
mitt_grund wrote:
Just wondering why Inouye's replacement would have greater seniority than Hirono if they are sworn in at the same time?
on December 20,2012 | 12:35AM
Highinthesierras wrote:
The King is dead, long live the king. Old saying, still true.
on December 19,2012 | 12:42PM
Sat wrote:
While Hanabusa may seem to be a logical pick, there is an issue bigger than her being Inouye's successor. Abercrombie and the Democratic Party need to address the lock on political and business power in Hawaii. The two people chosen to "delliver the wishes" of Sen. Inouye has been in positions of power for most of their business lives. It is time to pass the torch to a new generation. Unfortunately, they may have done Hanabusa a disfavor because her appointment to the Senate would be just a continuation of what has been the power play in Hawaii for many decades. Surely, Hawaii must move on as it seeks new paths of leadership.
on December 19,2012 | 12:52PM
sunnyhi wrote:
Gimme a break. Inouye submitted the letter to formalize what has probably already been discussed many months ago in planning for such a situation. It's just a formality. Hanabusa is the chosen one and everyone is going to fall in line.
on December 19,2012 | 04:20PM
localguy wrote:
Hanabusa is the chosen one? LMFAO!!!
on December 19,2012 | 07:04PM
localguy wrote:
Just because Dan recommended Colleen for the position does not instantly mean she has it. If Colleen had any integrity, doesn't, she would wait for voters to decide. She might be surprised to have someone else far more qualified fill the position. Colleen? Give me a break. We have enough dysfunctional bureaucrats, we do not need another one.
on December 19,2012 | 07:03PM
64hoo wrote:
that letter was written by one of inouyes staff workers in washington DC because whenever you get a new person in the senate they bring there own staff and get rid of the former staff so hanabusa made a deal with them get me dans seat and i will retain you as my staff to keep your job.
on December 20,2012 | 12:06AM
64hoo wrote:
the letter did'nt put the democrats on the spot they dont have to give it to hanabusa just because dan says so. forget what he says hes dead already, abercrombie you make the choice your living dont make a choice from a dead mans commit.
on December 20,2012 | 12:11AM
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