Saturday, November 28, 2015         


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Gubernatorial candidates twisting up campaign trail

By David Shapiro


The political combat went mouth-to-mouth as we plant tongue in cheek and "flASHback" on the week's news that amused and confused:

» Mufi Hannemann and Neil Abercrombie got to ask each other questions for the first time in a debate before the Hawaii Publishers Association. Here's the transcript: "What, bodda you?" ... "No bodda me, bodda you?"

» Hannemann's campaign had to pay a $225 fine for messing up the paperwork on his Pittsburgh fundraiser, following a $50 fine on the Abercrombie campaign for a fundraising infraction. Hannemann gloated, "My wrist slap is bigger than your wrist slap."

» Abercrombie was so excited about his endorsement by the Sierra Club that he immediately ran out to hug a tree. He sure was embarrassed when he looked up and saw he was wrapped around Hannemann's leg.

» Hannemann trumpeted his endorsement by the Hawaii Government Employees Association, describing the public workers as his "co-leaders" in government. I guess he didn't read the fine print in HGEA's memo: "We lead, you follow."

» Abercrombie enlisted U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to defend him against an ad criticizing his performance in Congress. She said, "Hey, aren't you supposed to be here fighting my battles for me?"

» Hannemann promised that his Cabinet members will have no self-serving agendas. They'll be too busy serving the agendas of his campaign donors.

» Not to be left out of the action, the Republican Governors Association launched new television and radio ads inviting Hawaii to "Rise & Shine ... with the ideas of Duke Aiona." Sounds more like bedtime reading to me.

» The state general fund was sharply down in July thanks to a $187.4 million payout to cover Gov. Linda Lingle's delayed income tax refunds, leaving the next governor already in the hole. Whoever follows in her footsteps had better wear good galoshes.

» Acting Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said roadway improvements such as better bike paths and sidewalks are as important as rail in getting people out of their cars. The only difference is about $5.2 billion.

» Mayoral candidate Panos Prevedouros backed away from his proposal to build a floating nuclear power plant off Oahu after it was sharply criticized. I hate it when an idea is ridiculed to death before I can get to it.

And the quote of the week ... from Peter Carlisle on why he's running for mayor: "The first thing we need to do in the City and County of Honolulu is to get our financial house in order." Should we be worried that the previous mayor is running for governor to get the state's financial house in order?

David Shapiro can be reached at or

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