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Abercrombie, Ige spar in final televised debate

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 10:04 p.m. HST, Jul 10, 2014

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Gov. Neil Abercrombie offered a strenuous defense of his first term in a debate on Thursday night, while state Sen. David Ige insisted there has been a lack of leadership from Washington Place.

Abercrombie described an administration that has presided over an economic turnaround after the recession. But Ige, the governor's Democratic primary opponent, complained of poor execution by the executive branch that is holding the state back.

Ige said that, as a legislator, he has "spent many years passing good policy and I've been disappointed the last four years about the execution. There have been so many priorities that we've talked about and we've funded that just has not happened."

Abercrombie countered that the difference is "that it's one thing to look at a problem. It's one thing to talk about a problem. But you have to act on it. And leadership means action. And we've taken action in all of these areas."

Ige, who is still unknown to many voters, rejected the idea that he was taking advantage of the governor's low job approval ratings and running on an "Anybody But Abercrombie" platform.

"Absolutely not," he said, maintaining that "there has been a lack of leadership in many, many instances."

The one-hour debate, moderated by Hawaii News Now's Tannya Joaquin, was sponsored by Hawaii News Now and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. It was the second -- and final -- debate between Abercrombie and Ige scheduled to air on television before the Aug. 9 primary.

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AhiPoke wrote:
I'm curious if either candidate has a plan to address the hugely underfunded ERS and unfunded retiree healthcare benefits. Most politicians avoid any discussion on this very sensitive matter as it may affect their re-election. By doing so they've kicked the can down the road which ultimately means it'll be a bigger mess when the state finally runs out of money.
on July 10,2014 | 09:09AM
DowntownGreen wrote:
I'm also curious to know if Mr. Aiona or Mr. Hannemann has a plan to address that very issue?
on July 10,2014 | 12:42PM
Giligan wrote:
Just like social security, classic Ponzi.
on July 11,2014 | 06:10AM
zhiro wrote:
I have a retiree friend drawing a union pension. The IBT/GCIU cut pension benefits by 20% recently because the plan was underfunded. Is that an option for public employee pensions or is that to be avoided like the 3rd subway rail?
on July 10,2014 | 01:02PM
wiliki wrote:
Those are years in the future. The more important issue up to now is how to recover the State's economy.
on July 10,2014 | 02:56PM
holumuahawaii wrote:
Mr. Abercrombie addressed it and asked the Legislature for an annual appropriation of $100 million additional to fund the program until the deficit was ended. And got it, and more. His leadership did it, but they responded with great responsibility. Also, various other changes have been made to decrease the various benefits of future Retirees, in order to get savings. Then too, workers must work longer to get those reduced benefits. Unlike other states and other jurisdictions, Hawaii is meeting its obligations.
on July 10,2014 | 03:26PM
hilocal wrote:
holomuahawaii, the underfunding was to be zeroed out if the state paid $500 million a year for 30 years. That $100 million was a token amount. Neil has a grandiose idea for state-funded universal preschool that could cost $300-500 million/year but without a plan for funding it. Can you guess what would happen to the pension fund underfunding payments if the legislature had gone along with Neil?
on July 11,2014 | 10:01AM
Greyhawk808 wrote:
They $100 million was for healthcare benefits. The unfunded liability for the Pension fund is still in the billions of dollars. I agree that Abercrombie has grandiose ideas to be funded by more taxes.
on July 11,2014 | 03:44PM
loquaciousone wrote:
David Ige looks really really tall next to abercrombie.
on July 10,2014 | 09:13AM
serious wrote:
Everybody does. Let them debate the Jones Act. And also the fact that Hawaiians spend over a Billion Dollars gambling in Las Vegas---so why don't we have a lottery and get some of that money so we needn't raise taxes?? Sorry the excuse that it will corrupt our people doesn't hold water--48 states have corrupt people????
on July 10,2014 | 09:28AM
wiliki wrote:
They probably agree on these two issues.... the problem with other states is that addicted gamblers can easily drive across the border. In self defense they have to build their own casinos. Doesn't happen here because you need to use a plane to get to Las Vegas....
on July 10,2014 | 03:00PM
NITRO08 wrote:
Hello open your eyes there is so much gambling going on in Hawaii already and the state is not making anything from it.
on July 10,2014 | 09:49PM
kiana33 wrote:
We need to get LNG liquid natural gas to the state for our utility companies generation. Using pricey fuels for generation is killing the people with outrageous electric bills. All it would take is a modification of the Jones Act. Abercrombie dragging his feet again.
on July 10,2014 | 05:30PM
hilocal wrote:
kiana33, HECO's poor planning in the 80s and 90s probably has a lot to do with our outrageous electric bills with a PUC that rubberstamped its rate requests uncritically. Also HECO's overpaid executives: isn't its CEO getting $5million/year?
on July 11,2014 | 10:09AM
hilocal wrote:
serious, isn't it the Feds who decide on the Jones Act, not our governor/state legislature?
on July 11,2014 | 10:03AM
turbolink wrote:
Have you noticed the latest commercials? "Neil Abercrombie will stand up for you!" The next two photos he's sitting down. Then there's another using the same buzz phrase where he is standing, but is dwarfed by people standing on either side of him.
on July 10,2014 | 10:29AM
loquaciousone wrote:
He also claims that he got rid of furloughs. Of course he did. He just changed the name to STOWOP or state time off without pay.
on July 10,2014 | 11:33AM
Papakolea wrote:
That Abercrombie commercial where someone says "He got rid of furlough Fridays" makes me laugh. All he did was get rid of the name. And of course he looks short next to Ige. Ige has to be at least 5'-5" tall.
on July 10,2014 | 12:52PM
HaoleGuy wrote:
It was called "Directed Leave without Pay" or DILWOP.
on July 10,2014 | 10:39PM
Denominator wrote:
But you can't even tell if Abercrombie is standing or sitting?
on July 10,2014 | 01:05PM
hilocal wrote:
Denominator, why make fun of Neil's height? I'm not a supporter of him, but I criticize his policies and actions, not his shortness. When people criticize a politician's unchangeable physical looks like height, it's often a sign they can't come up with a valid criticism.
on July 11,2014 | 10:15AM
HanabataDays wrote:
And at his age, he could toss the whole waha nui crew in a dumpster and bench press it. With one hand. I'd pay for a ticket to that exhibition.
on July 11,2014 | 01:27AM
jayz43 wrote:
Abercrombie looks really, really short next to Ige
on July 10,2014 | 10:35AM
lowtone123 wrote:
You should see Neil next to Mufi. Comes up to his kneecap.
on July 10,2014 | 10:40AM
loquaciousone wrote:
I've never seen a picture of abercrombie and Hannemann together, unless they were taking a picture of Hannemann's knees.
on July 10,2014 | 11:19AM
awahana wrote:
Here you go. Google is your friend.
on July 10,2014 | 05:29PM
Denominator wrote:
I'd really like to as Abercrombie if he uses a car seat.
on July 10,2014 | 01:04PM
gsc wrote:
Good Luck Gentleman May the Best Candidate Win ........
on July 10,2014 | 10:37AM
nalogirl wrote:
I sure hope they have some IMPORTANT questions for these two, as mentioned above.
on July 10,2014 | 10:39AM
islandsun wrote:
Did the chimpanzee escape from the zoo again?
on July 10,2014 | 12:36PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
Nah, they had wireless installed so they could still post to this forum.
on July 10,2014 | 12:43PM
Johnmakiki wrote:
The debate just ended and it was quite obvious that Gov. Abercrombie won; scoring many more cogent arguments as to why he deserves re-election than the tongue-tied Senator Ige, who inspires about as much confidence as a funeral director. Ige could not even present a sufficient list of reasons why someone should even bother voting for him. How sad.
on July 10,2014 | 08:03PM
HawaiiMillers wrote:
Interesting that the poll on KGMB indicates 62% of viewers prefer Ige. I guess Ige did not have to present a sufficient list of why someone would even bother voting for him.
on July 10,2014 | 08:17PM
HawaiiMillers wrote:
Sorry, latest numbers on Hawaii News Now poll are Ige 64% Abercrombie 36%. So sad.
on July 10,2014 | 08:26PM
Giligan wrote:
Abercrombie got $4.3 million in contributions, Ige $311,000, now if the people will just vote, the money won't mean anything.
on July 11,2014 | 06:14AM
hilocal wrote:
HawaiiMillers, Ige has to show he's not a Neil, which is easy, and some understanding of the state's problems. Ige is against 600 foot towers in Kaka'ako that Neil promoted; Ige was against rezoning of prime ag land (Ho'opili) for 12,000 houses that Neil favored; was against giving unlimited powers to the PLDC that Neil pushed.
on July 11,2014 | 10:34AM
DowntownGreen wrote:
John: Can you tell us why Gov. Abercrombie said the children's brains are fully developed by the time they are 5? Or why he didn't know who Paul Brewbaker is?
on July 10,2014 | 09:18PM
hilocal wrote:
Johnmakiki, Neil was certainly the smoother talker. But I found him glib, a bluffer, disingenuous, clever at avoiding answering uncomfortable questions, and deliberately misleading in some of his replies. Ige could improve in his public speaking, but I found his replies honest, sincere, and knowledgeable about legislative matters, especially those relating to funding and cost-benefit items.
on July 11,2014 | 10:25AM
Greyhawk808 wrote:
Promises and glad handing always "sound good". Fiscal responsibility is what's important.
on July 11,2014 | 03:49PM
blackmurano wrote:
There both Democrats and Liberals. . .not for me.
on July 10,2014 | 09:30PM
connie wrote:
Experience counts. Gov. Abercrombie is the only candidate with Washington DC experience. He has and understands the bigger picture. May not have made the most popular decisions in the past. But, hard to say what others would have done.
on July 10,2014 | 09:56PM
hilocal wrote:
connie, does that mean our governors with no DC experience (Ariyoshi, Waihee, Cayetano, Lingle) didn't understand the bigger picture?
on July 11,2014 | 10:38AM
honupono wrote:
Ige comes across as a weenie. I don't like his voice. It's whine-y. It's clear to me that Ige is a puppet of the same backers as Hanabusa. I don't like either.
on July 10,2014 | 10:05PM
hilocal wrote:
honupono, I agree that Ige's voice is not an asset. But I've not seen anything indicating he's a puppet of his backers. He listens to ordinary people, something Neil has stopped doing since returning from Washington. Neil seems to listen to his campaign big donors and supporters, the 1%, although I don't believe he's their puppet
on July 11,2014 | 10:43AM
sleepingdog wrote:
Abeercrombie had to keep trying to defend his record because his record couldn't defend itself.
on July 10,2014 | 10:31PM
hilocal wrote:
sleepingdog, yes, Abercrombie tries to defend his record by distorting it.
on July 11,2014 | 10:44AM
false wrote:
Hmm. I'll go with the taller and younger guy. I never trusted folks with mustaches or beards.
on July 10,2014 | 10:43PM
hilocal wrote:
false, then you wouldn't have trusted Abe Lincoln. Didn't Ige sport a mustache at one time?
on July 11,2014 | 10:46AM
false wrote:
Another false. One way Neil can easily be defeated is for the independents and republicans to vote for Ige in the primary. That, plus the Ige supporters votes, will topple Abercrombie. Then it will be Ige, Mufi and Duke in the general.
on July 10,2014 | 11:03PM
false wrote:
Another false. Neil can easily be defeated if the independents and republicans vote for Ige in the primary.
on July 10,2014 | 11:05PM
HawaiiMillers wrote:
Excellent point. This is clearly the route to go in the primary. Return to vote for your party candidate in general.
on July 11,2014 | 06:45AM
hilocal wrote:
false, also the disaffected Democrats who supported Neil in 2010. I've talked to many of them.
on July 11,2014 | 10:49AM
brusselsprouts wrote:
wow the troll speaketh, "i did not eat your ige sashimi boo." i'd rather eat Pizza, hehehee =)
on July 11,2014 | 04:22AM
Greyhawk808 wrote:
I would have preferred more information from the candidates not long winded non answers. Tannya Joaquin was not very good as a "moderator". A posterboard with written questions could have done as well.
on July 11,2014 | 03:39PM
Greyhawk808 wrote:
Tannya Joaquin is not a very insightful moderator. Does anyone think otherwise? She let the candidates spout off with no follow up.
on July 11,2014 | 03:59PM
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