David Shapiro: Surviving the Legislature means lifeboats and oven mitts
It’s the last Sunday in January and time to flASHback on the month’s news that amused and confused.
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It’s the last Sunday in January and time to flASHback on the month’s news that amused and confused:
>> The Legislature opened its 2020 session with House Speaker Scott Saiki warning, “As a community, we are at best treading water. At worst, we are drowning.” We wished we were, anyway, after listening to those speeches.
>> In his State of the State, Gov.
David Ige urged legislators to act boldly on jobs, affordable housing and universal preschool, saying, “Half measures will only add up to half a loaf.” With our leaders, even their full loaves come out
>> Ige admitted he’s fallen far short of his promise to functionally end homelessness by 2020, offering the excuse that the goal was “too aspirational.” It came as little surprise, since those who believed he’d
deliver were too infinitesimal.
>> Mayor Kirk Caldwell hopes to find a new job for Corporation Counsel Donna Leong, out on paid leave since getting a target letter from federal prosecutors. She can box up the skeletons to hide in the closet before a new mayor is elected in November.
>> Speaking of which, television exec Rick Blangiardi and community activist Choon James joined an unusually large field of candidates running for mayor. I hope they don’t think Caldwell’s $250,000 side job with Territorial Savings Bank comes as a perk.
>> Acting city Prosecutor Dwight Nadamoto said law enforcers are pursuing two crime rings that have put Oahu on edge. Besides the one that was operating out of the prosecutor’s office?
>> Loretta Sheehan, the only police commissioner to call out former Chief Louis
Kealoha’s corruption and oppose his $250,000 retirement payoff, was abruptly ousted as commission chairwoman. Our city can handle only so much integrity.
>> Oahu rail is six years behind schedule and $4 billion over budget, but CEO Andrew Robbins boasted it’s kept on time and on budget “for three years now.” It’s like a football coach giving up 72 points in the first quarter and then saying, “Well, we stopped them on the last three plays.”
>> University of Hawaii football coach Nick Rolovich departed for Washington State, saying, “What attracted me here is not the weather, it is the climate — the Cougar climate.” That and $3 million a year to keep him in woolen underwear.
>> Tulsi Gabbard sued Hillary Clinton for $50 million for calling her a “favorite of the Russians,” using the same law firm that’s representing Rudy Giuliani in the Ukraine scandal. Next, she’ll be on stage with Donald Trump yelling, “Lock her up!”
And the quote of the month … from Senate President Ron Kouchi on the Legislature’s opening: “We are working hard to address the concerns of the working men and women of Hawaii.” When you have to keep saying you’re working hard, everybody knows you’re hardly working.
Reach David Shapiro at email@example.com.