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Abercrombie, Ige debate blame for Hawaii's issues

By Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 04:00 p.m. HST, Jun 24, 2014


A debate between Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie and state Sen. David Ige on Tuesday revealed few major differences in their visions of Hawaii's future.

Both Democratic candidates want to solve Hawaii's housing problems, support Native Hawaiian sovereignty and improve the state's troubled health exchange. They also both want to keep gambling out of Hawaii and improve its public education system.

But the primary rivals are split more on who's to blame for Hawaii's issues than they are on how to solve those problems.

That tendency was highlighted when the candidates were asked about possible solutions for fixing Hawaii's troubled health exchange, which was built under President Barack Obama's federal health care overhaul.

"The Health Connector has been a disaster," Ige said.

Ige said the Legislature approved only minimal funding for the entity and told it to clean up its act.

But Abercrombie said the health exchange is a "creature of the Legislature" and he told Ige and lawmakers to "hold up a mirror."

Ige countered that Abercrombie had appointed four cabinet members to the Health Connector's board. "To pretend like the governor is not involved with the Health Connector is absolutely inaccurate," Ige said.

The candidates also differed on who could take more credit for balancing the state's budget as Hawaii recovered from a recession.

Abercrombie stressed his role, saying: "We're back, we're in the black, we're on the right track." He said he worked to provide a long-term balanced budget, but "the Legislature has the luxury perhaps of taking the short-term view."

Ige countered that the Legislature cut the governor's budget requests by about $1 billion over the past four years, rejecting tax increases and making the state live within its means.

The candidates met at a lunchtime forum at the Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce.

Two other candidates outside the parties are expected to be part of the race in November. Republican James "Duke" Aiona, a previous lieutenant governor who lost handily to Abercrombie in 2010, is running again. And former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann is running as a member of the Independent Party.







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HD36 wrote:
We need a government that works for the people. Not people working to support government. Being a career politician is a lucrative job.
on June 24,2014 | 03:19PM
MalamaKaAina wrote:
ANYBODY but ABERCROMBIE!!!
on June 24,2014 | 09:36PM
loquaciousone wrote:
PROBLEMS:
"NOT ME NOT ME NOT ME" abercrombie.....
GOOD STUFF: "ME ME ME" abercrombie
on June 24,2014 | 03:28PM
nonpolitic wrote:
Ha ha ha! Good one, although that sounds more like Mr. Hannemann. Hmmm, maybe they're spiritual twins.
on June 24,2014 | 04:14PM
GooglyMoogly wrote:
If their visions for the future of the state are similar, what incentive is there to deviate from the status quo?
on June 24,2014 | 03:46PM
false wrote:
Maybe to begin with a new face. lol
on June 24,2014 | 04:05PM
KeithHaugen wrote:
I see another big difference between Abercrombie and Ige in today's news. Ige and every other member of the Senate and House voted to require members of many appointed boards and commissions (including the suspect UH Board of Regents) to disclose their assets. The vote was 50-0 in the House and 25-0 in the Senate, so we know how Ige and others who represent the people feel about this important issue. Now, Abercrombie says he will veto that popular bill. Guess he's taking care of his rich friends. VOTE IGE FOR GOVERNOR.
on June 24,2014 | 04:19PM
false wrote:
Point: Ige.
on June 24,2014 | 04:27PM
false wrote:
Ige and get rid of LBO abercrombie forever. No congress either.
on June 24,2014 | 04:37PM
veloperson wrote:
This is a very important point for Ige. I was not quite decided on who to vote for but based on this one issue, if nothing more distinguishing comes out before the election, MY VOTE IS IGE 4 GOVERNOR.
on June 24,2014 | 04:56PM
admiral wrote:
I agree. Although I have supported and voted for Abercrombie for several decades--even remembering way back to a time when his environmental concerns led him to propose a drastic one-car per family policy for this island--his currently frenetic cheerleading on behalf of the insane and unplanned over-development of Kakaaoko clearly suggests that he has now snuggled comfortably into the money-lined pockets of fat cats who have little or no concern for the people of Oahu. If he now vetoes the financial disclosure bill that includes the UH Board of Regents--as Haugen notes, passed unanimously by both houses of the Legislature--he has at long last even lost me.
on June 24,2014 | 11:48PM
Wazdat wrote:
They are BOTH the problem in this state. Life long politicians can BOTH take blame.
on June 24,2014 | 04:58PM
makiki123 wrote:
Abercrombie = Hawaii Healthcare Connector. Wasting our money to take care of people he owes favors to. Typical Abercrombie.
on June 24,2014 | 06:29PM
Kapaho wrote:
Abercrombie takes all the glory for the improved Hawaiian economy but it wasn't really by what he did. It would have happened to anyone who is governor right now. After Lingle, anybody would have improved Hawaii's economy.
on June 24,2014 | 07:14PM
holumuahawaii wrote:
It was clearly Governor Abercrombie's debate to lose. If Ige could just perform adequately, he stood to win. And he blew it. He was vague in his responses to questions. All he could say was "Me too." He has no platform other than not being Neil Abercrombie. That's just not going to be good enough.
on June 24,2014 | 07:22PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
2 career politicians arguing about who is to blame for Hawaii' s problems? Look in the mirror, you're both at fault for allowing developers, unions and monopoly business owners to run this state. And for what? so you can get reelected to office.
on June 24,2014 | 08:09PM
mikaele1 wrote:
Neil should be give another 4 years to keep the state on track. Changing all the appointees after the election will put the brakes on governing for at least a year which would be devastating. Making qualified people make a financial disclosure will only reduce the pool of candidates willing to serve on these boards and commissions. Neil's stand is not populist but it is practical and in the long term allows more people to serve without having to disclose very personal information. There is a conflict of interest contract that everyone serving on boards and commissions needs to abide by.
on June 24,2014 | 08:22PM
harley1 wrote:
guess this is the official kickoff of mudslinging season in Hawaii.
on June 24,2014 | 08:46PM
localguy wrote:
Mini Me is done. His failing political career tells him to retire. Just go away. Far, far, far away.
on June 24,2014 | 10:28PM
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