Wednesday, November 25, 2015         


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Hopefuls' words drown out actions as races drag on

By David Shapiro


Political wars extended from the courtroom to the TV screen as we "flASHback" on the week's news that amused and confused:

» Ben Cayetano sued Pacific Resource Partnership for misleading attack ads in his mayoral campaign, and his lawyer wondered if our future will be controlled by "big money for big lies." Only if the money and lies win the election.

» Cayetano's opponent, Kirk Caldwell, scoffed at the lawsuit and said Cayetano needs thicker skin. Like when Cayetano called him a "potted plant" earlier in the campaign, Caldwell just shrugged it off and grew a thicker canopy of leaves.

» Mazie Hirono said Hawaii's U.S. Senate race is about the direction of the country and "is bigger than just me and Linda Lingle." Remember that one; if Hirono becomes a senator, you'll never again hear her admit anything is bigger than her.

» Lingle backed off an earlier denial and admitted she once "misspoke" and called George W. Bush our "greatest president ever." As Bush himself once said, "I don't particularly like it when people put words in my mouth … unless I say it."

» Hawaii voters see twice as many ads as news stories about political races on local TV news, a study says. It's a sad day when we have to get most election information through our sense of smell.

» Oahu voters appear tired of holding their noses and are getting the balloting over with early by casting absentee votes in record numbers. If only mailing the ballot could turn off the TV commercials.

» The state and Hawaii County knew before the island's primary election disaster that most paid county election workers planned to call in sick with a "blue flu." Only in Hawaii can election workers deliberately foul up an election — the sole purpose of their jobs — with no fear of losing their paychecks.

» The Abercrombie administration wants to invest $13 million on a strategy for growing more food locally. How about a moratorium on paving over more prime farm lands while it figures that out?

» The Department of Education says it would take 1,000 yearsat current fundingto make all repairs needed at our aging public schools. Maybe they could get Stevie Wonder to do a concert.

» Hawaii residents paid state and local taxes equal to 10.1 percent of income in 2010, among the highest rates in the nation. But we gladly pay because of the wonderful roads, schools and political leadership we get for our money.

And a double quote of the week heard at the latest mayoral debate:

From Kirk Caldwell: "Actions speak louder than words."

From Ben Cayetano: "Actions speak louder than words."

The only thing they agree on is that they should shut up already — and they don't.

Reach David Shapiro at or

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