Caldwell and Djou advance to general election face-off
Hawaii News

Caldwell and Djou advance to general election face-off

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Precinct official Rosielle Facun laid her head to rest as she waited for primary election voters to turn out at the polling station in Waipahu Intermediate School on Saturday. At that time, in the early afternoon, only 48 voters had cast their votes at the district 38 precinct 4 station.

  • BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM & JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell made an appearance Saturday night after the second printout at the Caldwell for Mayor headquarters at 1130 N. Nimitz Highway.

    Honolulu mayoral candidate Charles Djou spoke to supporters Saturday after the second printout at his campaign headquarters at the Pearl Country Club in Aiea.

The final battle for Honolulu Hale will play out in a general election clash on Nov. 8 between Mayor Kirk Caldwell and former U.S. Rep. and City Councilman Charles Djou.

Caldwell narrowly finished first in Saturday’s primary election, with 44.6 percent of the 166,002 votes cast. Djou threatened to pull the mayor into a dead heat but by the end of the night trailed with 43.7 percent of the votes and a close second-place finish.

Former Mayor Peter Carlisle came in a distant third, garnering 9.4 percent of the votes. None of the eight other candidates for the post carried 1 percent. No candidate received 50 percent of the votes cast plus one vote to be declared the winner. So the two top finishers — Caldwell and Djou — move on to a November runoff.

As the evening progressed and the runoff became more likely, the top candidates began courting Carlisle and his supporters.

Djou went before cameras for KHON-2 saying he expects to have a chat with Carlisle soon. “Peter, I look forward to working with you in the next coming days,” Djou said. “I look forward to having a good conversation with him.”

Caldwell, meanwhile, told supporters Saturday night that he was grateful for Carlisle’s longtime support for the rail project. “Peter ran a hard campaign and there’s no one more passionate about rail,” the mayor said. “And when you take Peter’s votes and you take my votes, the gratifying thing for me is that it shows that the majority of the people voting right now support rail being completed to Ala Moana, all 20 miles, all 21 stations, with the trains that are here, with the technology that we have.”

Where Carlisle’s votes go in the general election could determine the future of City Hall.

After losing his re-election bid four years ago, Carlisle endorsed Caldwell, citing Caldwell’s support for rail.

In the 2012 primary election, former Gov. Ben Ca­yetano finished first with 90,956 votes, or 44.7 percent of the votes, putting him into a runoff with runner-up Caldwell, who finished with 59,963 votes, or 29.5 percent. Carlisle, the incumbent, had 51,101, or 25.1 percent, and was eliminated.

In the 2012 general election, Caldwell won with 157,714 votes (53.9 percent) over Cayetano’s 134,740 votes (46.1 percent).

Quick concession

On Saturday, Carlisle conceded after the initial results were announced just after 7 p.m. He likened his poor showing to “being flattened out by a steamroller.”

Carlisle said his main objective now would be to ensure the rail project is completed. “If we can make sure that (rail) can be done from Kapolei to Ala Moana, then I am perfectly happy with the result,” he said.

But the former mayor made it clear he would not support Djou or Caldwell in a general election runoff. He accused Djou of “wanting to destroy (rail)” and criticized Caldwell for having ethical issues.

The early returns Saturday were somewhat surprising because the most recent polling, including the Honolulu Star-Advertiser Hawaii Poll conducted in late June and early July, showed Djou 9 percentage points ahead of Caldwell.

The problems encountered by the city’s increasingly expensive rail project loomed over the election and dominated nearly every one of the seven forums or debates the three main candidates attended.

Djou and Carlisle accused Caldwell of mismanaging the project, and pointed out the cost had risen to an estimated $8 billion from the $5.26 billion that was projected when Caldwell took office in January 2013. Caldwell argued that economics and court delays were to blame for the cost increases, and charged that while his opponents could criticize, they were unable to produce a better plan to complete the line to Ala Moana as promised in the city’s agreement with federal transit officials.

Key differences

As the primary season drew to a close, it was clear that all three were in support of pushing to complete the rail line at least to Ala Moana, were hoping for further federal support to do so and were against using property taxes to pay for any part of rail construction.

But Djou, who had voted against the rail project while on the Council, opposed extending the 0.5 percent general excise tax beyond 2021 to fund construction, while Caldwell and Carlisle didn’t rule it out. Djou also voiced more willingness to change the technology for a rapid- transit means of moving from Middle Street to Ala Moana, while Caldwell and Carlisle said they believed switching tracks now would be disastrous.

The sniping about rail continued through Saturday night.

Djou said Caldwell was refusing “to take responsibility for the gross mismanagement of the billions of dollars of overspending, the years of delays on this project. We are going to get it done without breaking the backs of working families and our seniors here.”

Caldwell described Djou as “the anti-rail candidate (although) he doesn’t want to say it.” While Djou has said he wants to keep himself open to all options, “the one he seems to like the most is putting buses up there, that’s not rail. That’s some kind of elevated bus system the federal government would never support or fund.”

During the campaign Caldwell touted the progress he made on improving roads, sewers and other infrastructure needs of the city, as well a parks improvement program and tackling homelessness. Djou and Carlisle questioned his effectiveness on those issues.

They also accused the incumbent of meddling with the city Ethics Commission and its longtime executive director, Chuck Totto, who resigned in June after publicly stating the Caldwell administration and Corporation Counsel Donna Leong attempted to exert control over management of his office.

Similar concerns were raised by the challengers about Caldwell’s handling of the troubles involving the Honolulu Police Department and Police Chief Louis Kealoha, who is being investigated by federal prosecutors. While Carlisle and Djou said they would have pressed Kealoha to remove himself from office at least temporarily while under investigation, Caldwell said the fate of the chief should be in the hands of the Police Commission.

Djou, a lifelong Republican in a Democratic-dominant state, fought to present himself as a centrist. That claim was bolstered by endorsements from former Gov. Ben Cayetano, longtime Democratic Party leader Walter Heen, Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi and five trade labor unions that had previously backed Caldwell. All said they were disenchanted by Caldwell’s leadership and felt the need for a change.

The mayor, meanwhile, won endorsements from more than 20 labor unions, current Gov. David Ige and former Gov. George Ariyo­shi.

Fundraising lead

Caldwell’s favorability and job performance ratings had declined steadily, according to the Hawaii Poll results. Nonetheless, more than half of those polled still had a favorable opinion of him and his job performance.

Campaigning practically nonstop since taking office in January 2013, Caldwell had a big jump on fundraising efforts over both Car­lisle, who threw his hat into the ring in May, and Djou, who announced his candidacy in June, the day before the deadline to file for office.

The latest campaign finance reports show Caldwell for Mayor raised $2.85 million and spent $2.1 million; Djou raised $484,894 and spent $277,474; and Carlisle raised $3,824 and spent $3,382.

Djou, however, far outpaced Caldwell in contributions in more recent reports.


Star-Advertiser reporter Nelson Daranciang contributed to this report.


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  • Caldwell and Carlisle combined shows that the majority wants rail to be completed as planned all the way to Ala Moana. Mayor Caldwell is doing a great job and he will win another four years so that our rail system can be finished for a better future for our children and grandchildren.

      • Uku – Mainland stepchild of Kirky Boy and Caldwell, rail troll, posts what his stepfathers give him.

        Sad to say uku has no concept what it means to be a professional, competent, man of the people mayor. Kirky Boy has failed the people in every way, lapdog to special interest groups. Sooner this old, out of date man is sent to retirement a new day starts in the Nei. New mayor will have so much work to do cleaning up Kirky Boy’s mess.

        With rail 300% over budget, years behind schedule, taxpayers have lost all faith in this money pit. Resigned to higher property taxes, a lower quality of life, they ask how they could have fallen for such a pack of lies.

        Our children and grandchildren, seeing the crushing burden of rail subsidies will pack up and leave the Nei for a higher quality of life at lower cost on the mainland. Never looking back as the Nei sinks under money pits like rail, pensions, infrastructure, education. Just another day in the little 8th world of Hawaii Nei.

        • If we are going bankrupt because of rail, why is it we have the lowest unemployment in the country, and one of the best performing state economies in the nation. State and City tax revenues are increasing yearly.

        • Voter have caught on to Charles Djou’s game. Vote against tax increases to improve parks, roads, playgrounds, Fire and Police departments then take credit for those improvements while claiming he never voted for a tax increase. Djou cannot be trusted to run Honolulu.

        • Vector says: “State and City tax revenues are increasing yearly.”

          As do expenditures.

          You realize all you’re really saying is taxes keep going up, the city and state spends more and more every year and there’s more children living in the streets and the parks are still an embarrassment.

        • Caldwell has done an outstanding job and that’s probably why he has done much better then the polls have projected.

        • vector & williki – Step children of Grabby and Kirky Boy. No clue what is going on, just post what their stepfathers give them.

          Unemployment has nothing to do with the fact the state is 10s of billions in debt to various money pits like pensions, education, infrastructure. Rail’s monthly O&M is estimated between $20-50 million per month, still no solid plan how to power rail. Property tax increases will be required.

          According to Forbes June 2016, HI ranks 42nd out of the 50 states. (CA is 3rd) Basically still in the gutter as it has for decades. http://www.forbes.com/sites/samanthasharf/2016/06/06/the-states-with-the-best-and-worst-economies/#bf1b34a4e44d

          Fact is the Nei has a track record of failing to maintain infrastructure. In today’s paper the state capital has water leaks, failing structure. Years of neglect are taking their toll.

          Rail will be the same, required preventive maintenance will not be done, trains will break down, stations will have issues.

          Both Grabby & Kirky have failed to do their jobs to standard since day one. No clue how to be professional and ethical, work with integrity. Both need to go away. Far away.

        • Yes State and City tax revenues have been increasing since the rail project began. More people are employed, with higher incomes, which increases the amount of taxes they pay. Economics 101

        • Lets see, Caldwell was MUFEE Da Bully’s Mng director back in Ansaldo’s time. Ansaldo gets prosecuted for bribery in 2 other locals to the tune of Millions of cash payoffs. In Honolulu they catch the council playing a game of GOLF but yet shoved the HEAVY STEEL ON STEEL ELEVATED GIANT CEMENT STATIONED RUTING RAIL DOWN OUR THROATS. Now some like wiliki,uku,Vector(da new guy vector)and now Old Dribble returns. Oh my the MONEY must be threatened so they called out the big PRP guns to again lie to those who do not THINK. Who is going to ride the cho choo? Why did they build it backwards? How are they going to power it?? Who is going to pay for it and for how long? Why not Maglev or BRT? Why we were promised the UH Manoa but got Ala Moana?? Why 10.1 BILLION+ & growing when we were promised 3.2 BILLION ??. On time, WHO’S TIME??? Why on Earth would we re-elect this con artist for a second term?? Good question huh– jus sayin

        • Could it be worth mentioning that the rail construction delays and cost over-runs that Djou keeps on trying to blame on Caldwell, were actually created by Djou and Cayetano legal actions to delay and try to kill the project. Well, they didn’t kill it but they certainly cost Hawaii taxpayers BILLIONS of dollars and now Djou is trying to shirk his responsibility and fraudulently blame Caldwell. I was in the military during the Vietnam War and, if Djou was standing behind me in battle, I would have been tempted to turn around and shoot him before he could shoot me, he is such a back stabber! I’m pretty sure that Donald T Rump is taking his phoney cues from Djou “always on you”.

      • Caldwell has been managing and running the city for many years, and has done a great job. Djou has no experience running the city, which automatically disqualifies him. Caldwell has always supported the rail metro project. Djou has a record in the City Council of voting against rail. He has consistently opposed the rail metro project, and other infrastructure projects, in lock step with other Republicans and Tea Party people in Congress. Djou, as Mayor, would be a disaster for rail metro, ending job growth and economic development as directly or indirectly related to the rail metro project. Our taxpayer money already invested in the rail metro project would be wasted on an incomplete and inefficient rail metro project. Djou’s proposal to end the rail metro at Middle Street, and change to the Buses, would significantly increase the transit time between the east and west sides, lowering the metro ridership. Djou only plan is ending rail at Middle Street, his ideas for changing the guide way for buses, and changing to an on grade bus system are just speculative, unworkable, and unfeasible. Djou really has no plan, no budget, and no schedule. His speculative and unworkable proposals regarding rail metro, shows he knows very little about planning, designing, engineering, and building a transit network and making it a reality

        • Vector – Kirky boy has been mismanaging the city for many years. It’s what he does. Lets not forget the Feds just called him out on his numbers for assisting the homeless veterans. He has yet to explain why his numbers do not match the feds. He lies.

          Djou has always been about fiscal responsibility for rail while Kirky Boy actually believes rail is on time, on budget. The only person in the Nei besides Grabby Boy.

          With rail 300% over budget and no end in sight, Middle Street is the only option to stop the hemorrhaging of taxpayer’s money. Even the Feds called the city out for “utter failure” for fiscal management of rail’s climbing costs. Kirky has no problem raising taxes to throw more money down the rail money pit. Djou would step back, review everything, fix Kirky Boy’s massive and ongoing failures.

          Only a complete fool would say it is a great idea to spend a billion or more taxpayer’s dollars, torn up/gridlocked city streets for who knows how long, just to save a few riders a few minutes of travel time. Buses will work just fine.

          As we have seen over and over, Kirky boy is suffering the effects of advanced aging, has problems thinking and talking, no longer relevant. Man needs to retire and seek professional care.

        • Voters are rejecting Tea Party candidates like Charles Djou across the country. The most bankrupt states and counties are led by Tea Party candidates like Charles Djou. American’s are saying enough is enough because trickle down economics like Charles Djou supports is a miserable failure.

      • Only fools would vote for Djou and his technically unworkable, and unfeasible plan for the rail project, that comes with no budget or schedule. Djou’s plan is a joke, played on the people who are fool enough to believe him. Djou also has no background or experience running and managing the City. Mayor Caldwell has a background in urban planning, as well as doing a great job running and managing this city. Our economy is one of the best performing in the nation, and is improving annually, thanks in good part to Mayor Caldwell.

        • Vector says: “Only fools would vote for Djou and his technically unworkable, and unfeasible plan for the rail project, that comes with no budget or schedule.”

          Perhaps you should share Kirk Carswell’s plan with us.

          Last I heard, he was planning on stopping at Middle St until he “finds the money.” What kind of plan is that?

          And tell us about Kirk Caldwell’s budget and schedule. You know, the one he is BILLIONS over and 5 YEARS BEHIND.

        • Only a complete babooze would vote for Kirky boy as he still honestly believes he has rail “On time, on budget.”

          His failing mental faculties are obvious when he constantly backtracks on everything he says, property tax for rail, no property tax, no clue how to pay for rail’s O&M.

          Next election he will start his retirement. He is done. Stick a fork in him.

    • ukuleleblue says: “Mayor Caldwell is doing a great job”

      Despite promising to “build rail better” and bring it in “on time and on budget” the project is BILLIONS of dollars over budget, five years behind schedule and the tax extension he pushed through to the turn of billions more to supposedly finish the project and start exploring getting the train to where it was supposed to go in the first place, didn’t last 3 months before that was gone.

      He was the first one to mention stopping at Middle St until his masters snapped his leash.

      So, tell us. What has he done that’s so “great” besides breaking promises to the public and serving developers?

      And while you’re dodging that question, here’s another one. Where do you live on the mainland and what is your connection to this mess of a rail project?

      • Much of the delay and increased cost can be contributed to Cayetano and the rail opponents stopping work for over one year while everything was held up in the courts. THANKS CAYETANO!

        • That’s bull. Poor planning, estimates, and under the table dealings had everything to do with it. I don’t think the original estimate of $3.5 billion to the present $8 billion and climbing was due to Cayetano. Take whiff of reality, pal!

        • Makiki123, you need to get your facts straight. Not one lawsuit that was filed by Cayetano or Slater resulted in any delay ordered by the courts. The delay that you seem to be talking about is the one filed by the Hawaiian lady that proved the city didn’t follow the law on doing the AIS prior starting construction.
          If you think I’m wrong, prove me wrong then.

        • makiki123 says: “Much of the delay and increased cost can be contributed to Cayetano and the rail opponents stopping work for over one year while everything was held up in the courts.”

          That lie is apparently PRP’s new talking point.

          The then Mayor and rail insiders were making a forceful push to get rail started and beyond the point of no return. They tried a shady legal end run around the requirement for an archeological EIS to be completed before starting work. The City was sued by The Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation on behalf of cultural practitioner Paulette Kaleikini. She has and had no relation with Ben Cayetano or Charles Djou.

          The Hawaii Supreme Court ruled UNANIMOUSLY that the city had erred and ordered them to stop work until a archeological EIS was completed. They did, it was, and Paulette Kaleikini was satisfied. Pretending it was the work of Ben Cayetano is simply dishonest.

          Remember, if you can’t support the rail project without resorting to lies, then you can’t support the rail project.

      • Caldwell has done a great job of repairing 1500 miles of roads, improving and upgrading the sewer systems in Waikiki, Kakaako, Honolulu, Honouliuli and Sand Island sewer treatment plants, the new sewer tunnel between Kaneohe and Kailua, the waste to power plant at Barbers Point, the maintenance, repairs and upgrades to existing restrooms at parks and beaches, the addition of five additional parks, the improvement of regional parks, supported the development of affordable housing and rentals, helped with getting hundreds of homeless veterans into housing and shelters, relocated homeless from the beaches, parks and sidewalks in Waikiki, Kakaako, Honolulu, to shelters, transition and permanent housing, restored bus services and routes, completed the rail metro operational center, and made possible the construction of rail to Middle Street, and continues to explore other options for rail financing to complete rail all the way to Ala Moana Center and build the 21 metro stations.

        • Great job huh, wait until he present the city council with the bill for all those services rendered. Who do you think is going to pay for all of that? Where do you think he got all the monies for all of these projects? Do you think millions of dollars just appeared in the city coffers. He has borrowed and borrowed and soon it will be time to repay and where do you think the money will come from, You the tax payer! If not during his term then the next mayor will have to raise property taxes big time, people need to realize one truth, YOU DON’T GET SOMETHING FOR NOTHING.

        • To. Orrect you, since Mayor Caldwell has been in office, unemploymentally rates lowest in the nation, our economy is booming, one of the best in the nation, State and City tax revenues are increasing, reducing the need to raise taxes, and increasing the ability of the City to improve our infrastructure, and provide more public and social services and assistance.
          And no, I am a privately employed kamaaina, and have no connection with the Mayor, HART, Grabauskas or anyone in the city administration. It’s insulting to be repeatively falsely accused of being on the take from the city, HART, or the city administration. My only interest is the completion of the rail metro project all the way to Ala Moana, the constuction of all 21 metro stations, and the development and construction of affordable housing and rentals around and near the 21 metro stations, and along the 20 mile metro guide way. Another great benefit of the metro guide way, are the improvements and upgrades to the utilities and streets along the guide way and around the metro stations, as well as the development of commercial and business development around the metro stations, which will create more jobs, and improve our entire economy for years into the future

        • Every mayor works on improving roads, sewers, education. Nothing unique. Caldwell’s only repeated sticking point is the new or re-opened parks. Unless the sit/lie ban and vagrancy laws are enforced, new parks just conjure up images of dirty needles and feces. No way my grandkids will be in any park, soon.

        • vector – Not so fast. Once again the Feds have had to step in and clean up another mess by our elected bureaucrats – Kirky Boy.

          On August 1st he was caught in a bold faced lie. He was touting his progress in housing homeless. Through his spokesperson Jun Yang, “Today we have 197. It shows a 58 percent reduction in our homeless veteran population.”

          “On Monday, the Obama administration released new numbers that show from January 2015 to January 2016 the total number of homeless veterans in America fell by 17 percent. But in Hawaii the drop was only 3 percent….”

          Ref: http://www.hawaiifreepress.com/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/ID/17992/Feds-Contradict-Caldwell-Hawaii-Veteran-Homelessness-Only-Down-3.aspx

          We all know he has problems with numbers and math, the reason he can’t get a grip on paying for rail. But to lie about his shibai progress housing veterans…… No integrity. No leadership. Just a career bureaucrat.

        • wiliki – So true. Caldwell’s heart is in the right place.

          Problem is he sits on it every day.

      • Kalaheo1, you keep repeating the same stuff every day, day in and day out, I am not bothering to really read your posts anymore, since I know exactly what you are going to repeat, and it will be the same nonsense

        • Thank you for keeping me up to date on your reading habits.

          How is everything else? Regular exercise? Getting enough fiber?

        • Kalaheo1, I do have a life off line. Yes, I am exercising regularly, very healthy, and getting out and about. And you?

        • vector; an organism, typically a biting insect or tick, that transmits a disease or parasite from one animal or plant to another.

    • How are going to finish the rail to Ala Moana when you don’t have the money. That’s the problem and I do not agree with continually paying more taxes when I will never use the rail and neither will my children. You need to look for affordable options that achieve the same result and that is what Mr. Djou is saying. Caldwell and Carlisle lied to us and pushed to start the rail because then it would be hard to stop! Senator Inouye had good intentions but he too must have been fooled by what the City predicted the cost would be. Senator Schatz also said last night that the feds have a limited budget for this project. The only guys making out on this rail deal are the construction companies who themselves don’t know what to expect insofar as how much growth and new work will be encountered. They keep submitting change orders and the city keeps on approving them. Why is the city administration so stubborn about not looking for different transportation options to reach their destination? Sounds fishy, doesn’t it.

    • Sure, if we lived in a magical fairyland where we didn’t have to pay for it, it’d be great to have a rail line. One where we all are paying thousands or tens of thousands of dollars? No way!

  • Putting buses on the elevated rail guideway would greatly reduce transportation efficiency and would be a waste of the infrastructure. If we did this, we would be a laughing stock as no major city in the world would do this for a core rapid transit system. We need to stay the course and finish rail as planned.

    • uku – Wrong again, you always are. Truth is the Nei’s ongoing rail debacle has been the laughing stock of the entire world since day one. Everyone knowing the little 8th world of Hawaii Nei just can’t handle a project like rail, was never to be “On time, On budget.”

      We need to admit with rail 300% over budget, years behind schedule, the hemorrhaging of taxpayer’s money must stop. Middle street is the answer and approved by the Feds. Who by the way still can’t believe how rail incompetent the Nei is.

      Only a complete fool would say it is a great idea to spend a billion or more taxpayer’s dollars, torn up/gridlocked city streets for who knows how long, just to save a few riders a few minutes of travel time. Buses will work just fine.

      • A budget projection years ago, will not match one today. If you built a house back in 2004, for $100,000, today, the budget to build the same house, would cost multiples of that. The prices of houses, rentals, and property has escalated since 2004, a main cause of unaffordability, people moving away, and the huge increases in homelessness.

        • Actually, a competent planner factors all that stuff in. I’ve worked on multi-billion dollar projects before. You don’t just draw up a plan on a sheet of paper. It takes a couple years and a lot of footwork to create a decent cost-estimate, including envelopes for all these scenarios (economy tanks, war, etc). Every project moves ahead with low-balled cost estimates, but to low-ball by factor of three is either gross incompetence or deliberate deception; which it is depends on how charitable you feel. This is particularly bad when the amount is so large that you’re in the non-linear response regime for the budget. People are really buying into the sunk cost fallacy on rail. I suppose it’s a result of small-island politics that people feel more personally invested in the bed decisions they have made. The politicians should just own it, and accept that this project is no longer viable at this price. We need to look at other alternatives.

        • Jasurace, if cost projections are so accurate, explain how all the other rail projects on the mainland have their original cost projections way below current estimates. The Boston rail line extension was originally $1.1 billion, to build 4.5 miles and six stations. Now, the estimate is $3 billion. 300% increase from the original 2012 projection. All other rail projects on the mainland, have had original cost projections ballon into multiples of the original. Since you are so brilliant at cost estimating, apply for a job with HART as an estimator

        • Vector, did you live here during the multimillion dollar taxpayer funded media blitz to promote rail?

          Do you recall how we were repeatedly promised that “rail’s financial plan is solid” and there was a large contingency fund to cover any and all cost overruns and the rail tax was only temporary? We got hear all about back in the bad old days when these projections we paid hundreds on millions for weren’t accurately, unlike today… etc.

          I know wiliki pasted the same lazy comments in over and over again,but back then, it was “rail’s financial plan is solid.” Over and over again.

          Back then, I was pointing out a lies and false promises. It’s too bad you weren’t commenting then either. You could have joined with me warning everyone that this was clearly lowball false promises and these rail cheerleaders and fake bloggers are not to be believed.

          I wish you shown up sooner!

        • Vector says:
          A budget projection years ago, will not match one today.

          So true. So why did former mayor Mufi Hannemann sell rail to the public using a 2004 estimate in 2006. Why wasn’t he honest and give more accurate figures? The reason is that if he had told the public how much this would have cost, there wouldn’t be any support for it. The many who are against this rail is against it because of the many lies told, and cost of it is a major lie told to the public.

        • vector – Clearly you do not understand your own comments, never have.

          Mufster gave the cost as was presented to him by “rail planning visionaries.” This happens with all city and state projects.

          As we found out, rail was built on a pack of lies, no professional management, so many areas were never part of the plan.

          Grabby has yet to fully explain the most recent cost escalations. Just spin, smoke and mirrors.

        • If you’re here to bother to write, please do more than just fling personal insults. You got carried away with doing that to me one day and got all your posts pulled. You don’t want to have that happen again do you?

        • Kalaheo1, I usually try not to insult anyone, but when someone insults our intelligence, then, I will reply

        • Vector says: “Kalaheo1, I usually try not to insult anyone, but….”

          See, that “but” is important and the hallmark of hypocrites and other unpleasant people the world over.

          And you were saying some pretty awful and unprovoked things about me two weeks ago. It was so bad that the SA pulled your comments. And I’ve seen you write some pretty awful personal insults about others too.

          You might not realize that you are doing it, so this might help you pay more attention to the things you write.

        • vector – Actually people all over the world are laughing at all the wrong information I catch you in. All the shibai in your posts I expose.

          People read my posts to get a great laugh for the day at your expense. Actually asking how someone could be such a dunsel. Not sure how you do it but no one else comes close.

        • Kalaheo1, you are a fine one to accuse me of insulting you, when you insult and attack the Mayor, Grabauskas, HART, and everyone who supports rail. HYPOCRITE

        • vector; an organism, typically a biting insect or tick, that transmits a disease or parasite from one animal or plant to another.

  • Peter’s supporters didn’t vote for him because they love rail–they voted because they know him and trust his integrity. Now that he’s out, and being that he has publicly called Caldwell a liar that cannot be trusted, while at the same time praising Djou’s integrity and military service, where do you think his voters will go?

    Djou will win in the general, 52% to 48%.

    • Let’s take it easy with the predictions. The last primary for mayor had Cayetano (instead of Djou) vs. Kirk Caldwell & Peter Carlisle. After Peter got bounced out (just like in this primary), in the general election Peter’s supporters voted for Kirk over Ben.

      • Unlike Cayetano, most of Charles Djou’s experience is dealing with city issues at Honolulu Hale. This time around, the electorate is voting for change. Kirk Caldwell was Mufi’s managing director and has since served two terms as mayor. It’s time for fresh ideas to dig us out of the fiscal black hole that Caldwell has spent us in to.

        • Perhaps but changing horses midstream to someone who was not specific on anything and has a record of just saying No, made little sense to me. Perhaps you can say why you think a person with so little managerial experience will do a better job?

        • As a career bureaucrat, the only skill Kirky Boy has is to stick taxpayers with all of his failures. Man hasn’t got a clue how to stick to a budget, manage money and people, do his job. Needs to retire now.

        • Why don’t you run Localguy? Oh, your name is Charles isn’t it? Main thing Kirk has is that he has a vision of what Honolulu should be. Charles, if he has a vision, sure hasn’t said what it is except to just say NO.

        • Droid, voting for change, as voting for Djou, who has no background or experience in running and managing the city, is not a vote for change, but a regression to no plan, no budget, no schedule chaos in City government.

        • It appears as though Vector is the fool!!! With pretending the HONOLULU RUSTING RAIL PROJECT IS NOT A ONLY A BOONDOGGLE But a joke on the people of Oahu. As well as the future generation of tax payers otherwise known as our children and Grandchildren. Vote Djou for a level handed approach to managing the City’s Money (Our hard earned taxes).

    • Hopefully this will not come to pass. Djou is all talk but nothing specific on how he is going to fix it. All he can say is no more increases in costs. Well, good luck with that. You either will have cement columns with no steel in them or other deficiencies that will occur when corners are cut.

      • Getting ripped off is the issue and the collaboration on how to best make it very expensive is ongoing. Ask the contractors who think it is a joke and love the kala.

        • Dawg, contractors, developers work for money, to earn an income. They are not a charity or non profit. They are building our homes, businesses, streets, utilities, our city and the rail project. Your attacks on Contractors and developers, as rip off artists, is wrong and misguided. Without those Contractors, developers, and builders, we would not have homes, condos, office buldings, and malls. They are the only ones that are preventing more of us becoming homeless, and are a major engine of our economy.

        • vector – Sad to say so many contractors are not ethical, do shoddy work, no sense of honor.

          I caught one electrical contractor who was providing generator power to a US Army activity. Asked to see his license number as it was not on his truck. Said he didn’t have it with him, gave me an off number from memory he said. Also caught his work not according to OSHA standards, wrote him up for it.

          Checking with the city contracting license office I verified he was not licensed. The license number was his tax ID number. Man was a class A scammer. I filed a complaint against the loser.

          Not all contractors are of such low quality. Truth is you must constantly check up on them as they will cut corners for more profit. It’s what the do. Trust but verify.

      • Boots says: “Hopefully this will not come to pass. Djou is all talk but nothing specific on how he is going to fix it.”

        As opposed to Kirk Caldwell’s meticulously thought and detailed plan to “hope to find the money somewhere”? Is there a hidden crate of gold bars buried somewhere on Oahu?

        The Feds are running away from this mess as fast as they can and the developers said “no thanks, we paid (you) already.” That leaves Mayor Caldwell “finding” the billions more he needs to keep his developer friends happy in the pockets of struggling local families.

        I thought you were supposed to be against corporate welfare projects like this.

        • This project is screwed up but it sure isn’t the entire fault of the Mayor. The rail is needed so money will be found to pay for it. Perhaps one source of funding is to do away with the war on drugs. I just consider it pathetic that some would just prefer living in gridlock rather than to find solutions. The traffic from the west into town is obscene.

        • Boots says:
          This project is screwed up but it sure isn’t the entire fault of the Mayor.

          When the mayor promised to build rail better and on time and on budget, he personally vouched that under his time as Mayor, he would keep rail’s budget in check and deliver as promised. Billions over budget and years behind schedule, since Caldwell is the mayor of Honolulu, he is the first in command, so yes, it’s his fault.

    • You must be new to Hawaii. A large portion of Peter’s supporters really do not know him. Not sure if you were at the Brad Coates anniversary party but this guy, while holding his infamouse green bottle, was openly hitting on married women. The dude is married and does that… He is not an example for our keiki.

    • Yotare, you are wishfully dreaming. Carlisle’s supporters want rail to be built the entire 20 mile length. Djou will not spend another cent to reach there. The 9.4% of voters who voted to for Carlisle will definitely vote for Mayor Caldwell in the general.
      As for fiscal irresponsibilty, Djou would like us to forfeit the $1.5 billion from the Feds if we do not abide by the Full Funding Agreement we have with the Feds to build the rail to Ala Moana, and all 21 metro stations. By building a half ass rail line, we would also impacting the ridership and functionality of the metro, which would make the $5.6 billion already invested in rail, a poor investment and a waste of Federal State, and City taxpayer monies

    • Vector says: Droid, voting for change, as voting for Djou, who has no background or experience in running and managing the city, is not a vote for change, but a regression to no plan, no budget, no schedule chaos in City government.”

      Charles Djou is a former city council member and congressmen with a history of honesty.

      And if you really support Kirk Carswell, then bringing up budgets and schedules doesn’t seem the best way to do that, considering that the last time he ran for mayor, he promised to bring rail in on time and on budget…

      You may be unaware of this, but the Mayor’s train project is now FIVE YEARS BEHIND SCHENDULE AND BILLIONS OVER BUDGET and his plan to deal with this is “to hopelfully find the money.”

      I thought you should know that before you embarrass yourself or Kirk Caldwell any more today.

    • That’s right – Peter is honest. He may not be right, but he is upfront with what he manes, and he’s not getting some back door payoff that the taxpayers will suspect but not know about, like the feeling the others give you.

    • PRP represents the very people Djou is desperately courting. You are so naive for not realizing politics is about garnering special interest votes. You are so naive to think “smear” ads are limited to any one particular entity or party. Keep on waiting, fool!

    • PRP, spokesmen for the construction industry, unions, and construction workers. Before the rail project, 40% of the construction industry workers were unemployed. The construction industry , unions and workers wanted to get back to work, and saw the rail project as a great way to get them back to work. So PRP supported candidates for mayor, who also supported rail. To make PRP a villain in all this is also wrong. The construction industry now is fully employed building the rail project and other projects on Oahu. All this construction has contributed to our booming economy.

  • One of the surprises I had was that Tom Bower won his primary so easily. I thought for sure that this would be one who would have been removed. I mean taking sledge hammers to the homeless?

    Glad my representative, a true republican easily won. One thing this state doesn’t need is to have government decide who can marry.

    • Brower, showed interest in the Kakaako homeless, and gotten beaten up by the same. Brower brought attention to the homeless problem and crisis. Now City and State are making coordinated efforts to address homelessness. What have Republicans done. Nothing, causing the problem to turn into a crisis, while they vigorously opposed same sex marriage.

  • The two top candidates won and Peter Carlisle who just likes to hear himself talk will never be Mayor of Honolulu. Since both candidates support the rail it will be
    interesting who PRP will support. Caldwell has much more experience then Djou but Djou is honest and Caldwell is oh well!! There will never be enough money to
    complete the rail as planned and it will end permanently at Middle Street.

    • Willman, there will be ways to acquire additional funding for rail. Honolulu has AA+ credit rating, and interest rates at near record lows, long term financing to complete rail is a feasible option. Getting the Federal Transit Administration to increase its share of the cost is another option. Getting the property owners and developers, who stand to benefit from increased business, traffic, and property values around the metro stations, to participate and share in the cost of the metro stations. Reducing the State skim of the rail GET tax surcharge from 10% to a lower amount.Another option, extend the GET tax surcharge beyond 2021, up till the completion of the rail project.
      What I find disturbing, the defeatist attitude of people like you, who just want to throw their hands up in the air, and want to end rail now, tear it down, and have no constructive criticism to offer

      • Vector – Didn’t see you provide the credible reference for your rating of Honolulu. For once lets see you back up your claims. Who gave the rating and when was it issued? A hyper link will do. (Yes, I can do it but then you would never learn anything.)

        After all the Nei’s financial debacles, the FTA is in no mood to dump more money into another Nei money pit. Basically we are on our own.

        Property and business owners are also in no mood to dump money into rail’s endless pit. Not unless they receive tax breaks so not going to happen.

        GET extension is out too. Too big a hit on the overall economy. Plus it does nothing to clean up all the fraud, abuse, waste, going on with rail.

        The fact Grabby & Kirky Boy have yet to be totally honest about rails constant cost increases, have done little to stop the hemorrhaging, proves they do not deserve more money. Need to cut back on costs, find cheaper ways to get work done.

  • Djou is a very poor campaigner. Caldwell has totally dropped the ball and Djou is not taking advantage. Just like Cayetano who was a poor campaigner as well.

  • Carlisle’s a smart man. He knew he didn’t have a chance at the mayor’s office but kept himself in the public eye to run for the Prosecutor’s office since Kaneshiro hasn’t done a good job.

  • Unfortunately the rail cost is what it due to our booming economy. We need to stay the course and complete the project as planned and find the needed funds. Truncating the system at Middle Street or changing to an inferior configuration using buses is not a viable solution. We are building a modern rail rapid transit system for our long term future. We need to stay with Mayor Caldwell as no one else right now could do any better under the circumstances. The votes clearly show that the majority wants rail to continue. It’s too bad that we now have to wait until his win in November for Kirk to be able to accomplish his funding plans to get rail finished the right way.

    • ukuleleblue says: “It’s too bad that we now have to wait until his win in November for Kirk to be able to accomplish his funding plans to get rail finished the right way.”

      So what’s stopping him?

      The Feds want nothing more to do with this mess, and the developers already paid once int eh for of millions to PRP and their dark money SuperPAC.

      That leaves only one source to find the money, and that’s sitting in the pockets, purses, and savings accounts of hapless Oahu residents. I doubt Kirk Caldwell is honest enough to reveal that his super-secret funding plan is raising taxes and begging the state legislature to extend the rail tax again… especially after he was so spectacularly wrong last time.

      So why weren’t you concerned about rail not getting to go where it needed to go when they cut the route to UH and into Kapolei, but now, you’re so very, very concerned it might not get to the high-end luxury tourist mall. Why is that?

      And I have another question, where do live on the mainland and what is your connection to this mess of a rail project?

    • uku – Wrong again, you are 100 for 100. Unfortunately rail’s constantly escalating cost is due to shoddy management from day one.

      As in failure to plan and budget for rail’s power supply. Still no progress.

      As in failure to plan for the costs to move underground water and sewer lines, other infrastructure like power lines.

      Rail will end at Middle Street, the debacle will end. No one would dare support rail to Ala Moana or UH Manoa as they know it will cost in the billions. Tax payers have had enough of money pit rail and its shoddy management.

  • Fact is pro-rail has come out on top every time and is likely to come out on top again. Fact is having picture of traitor Cayetano next to him hurts Djou, not help. Most Democrats can’t stand that little Napoleon who has turned into a closet Republican wearing his wife’s underwear. Fact is people are sick of banana Djou’s fake smile, fake policy stands (if he has any), and the mud slinging ads funded by the Mainland Republican money.

    • oxtail01 says: Fact is pro-rail has come out on top every time and is likely to come out on top again………..and the mud slinging ads funded by the Mainland Republican money.

      Fact is, pro rail came out on top only because they kept lying to the public, (Mufi, rail will only cost $3.6 billion, surcharge will end in 2021, etc. Caldwell, on time and on budget, if the surcharge isn’t extended, property taxes will be raised up to 40% to finish construction, etc.)

      And those mud slinging ads, wasn’t it PRP who spent more than the previous 2 mayoral candidates combined slinging mud at the last election.

        • You say facts, but is it not true that Mufi used 2004 estimates to sell rail to the public in 2006? Why did he not use 2006 estimates when pitching rail to the public.

          Is it not true that Caldwell said on time and on budget. End of story there.

          And is it not true that PRP spent over $3 million dollars on a smear campaign against Cayetano.

          No crying here, but you want to talk facts, I pointed out those facts and since you could not refute them, you think we’re crying.

  • Didn’t I read that the City has until the end of year to let the feds know how they propose to fund the completion of the rail? If so, then aren’t Djou’s plans pointless since if he wins, he will not take office in 2017 when there should already be a plan in place?

    • Carlisle would endorse any animal or fish.

      Uhhh, you do understand rail as planned goes all the way to UH Manoa. There is no more money for this extension or the one to Ala Moana.

      What part of “There is no more money” do you refuse to understand?

  • djou wanted so desperately to win it in the primary but he actually lost it in the primary, that is why he spent all his money in the primary with false attack ads. no way is he going to win in the general. another defeat for the antis, great. when will they ever learn?

  • If you continue heavy rail to Ala Moana, the final cost will exceed 8 billion dollars, closer to 11 billion dollars. If Caldwell wins, confirmation of the final cost will equate to how much of a GET extension is asked for. Unless of course, he plans to continue with the same rhetoric regarding costs that got him to where he is in the first place. People will not buy the HART is autonomous statements from Caldwell any longer.

    Djou should push for light rail to UH. If he continues on course with his overhead bus transit system, which will effectively kill the proposed rail system, he will lose the election. That in spite of the ethics issues surrounding Caldwell. Come to think of it, why doesn’t Caldwell propose light rail to UH?

    Nowhere is it mentioned in today’s SA article if Anderson is proposing light rail or heavy rail, let alone how much it is anticipated to cost. If his proposal is for heavy rail to UH, given the common sense costs that will have to paid for such an endeavor, the proposal for another GET extension to the State will be dead on arrival, even including federal funding. So, unless there is something obvious that we are missing, Anderson’s proposal seems to amount a lot of smoke right now. Kind of sounds like, “the people will eventually settle for Ala Moana with another GET extension, so let’s just throw out this lifeline for now”. What is troubling is this just looks like nothing more than a mad scramble to buy more time, all of which makes for even more future headlines of “haste makes waste”.

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