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Saturday, July 24, 2010
July 24, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 11:16 AM :: 6728 Views

Legislative Scorecard released by Grassroot Institute

Big win for free speech: Senate Passes Anti-Libel-Tourism Law

Wind farm is Maui’s biggest tax deadbeat

WAILUKU -- A wind farm on Maui has as simple explanation as to why it failed to pay $1.5 million in real estate taxes.  (It is always good to have an excuse handy.)

Kaheawa Wind Power LLC says it never got a bill.  (Sure.) It also didn't realize it topped Maui County's Real Property Tax Division's Internet posting of the 25 biggest delinquent taxpayers.  (Uh-huh.  I had that $1.5m check in one of these pockets somewhere along with a couple of movie ticket stubs and a 2 for 1 coupon for Spam.)

RELATED: Wind Energy's Ghosts

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If Dems win, LG could be Governor in four years

(Duke Aiona is young and not looking toward the Senate)

So we are really speculating and postulating about Hannemann or Abercrombie as governor. Let’s take Abercrombie first.

If elected, Abercrombie will be the oldest post-statehood governor by far. He is 72 years old (the next oldest was Cayetano who was 55 when first elected in 1994.) Now age in and of itself is irrelevant but it does raise the question of whether Abercrombie will seek a second term when he is 76. It makes the LG position more relevant in this regard.

With Hannemann, it’s a different scenario. I haven’t come across one person who is convinced that he will serve eight years as governor. The conventional wisdom is that a U.S. Senate seat will open up within the next eight years. (Yes, I know Sen. Inouye has already announced he is running for re-election in 2016 when he will be 92 years old but still. . . ) And the sitting governor appoints if there is a vacancy.

This is why the LG’s race this year is intriguing.

REALITY: Drunks, tax cheats, and other wannabees: Scary Democrat Lieutenant governor candidates air ideas

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Hanabusa tries to undo damage from “Bum Information” comments

State Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, in Washington, D.C., over the past few days doing outreach for her campaign for Congress, told a Washington Post blogger that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee relied on “bum information” in siding with former congressman Ed Case in the special election in May.

But Hanabusa also met with U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., the chairman of the DCCC, and several sources said that the “fence-mending” went well. (Several sources?  Who?  John Souza?  Larry Mehau?)  

“It went really well,” Hanabusa said by telephone from Washington tonight….”  (She told them their information was “bum” and they all said “yes ma’am”.  Sure.)

Hanabusa said she also met with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and U.S. House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., during her trip.  (But no White House initiation.)

In DC: Hanabusa not invited to White House, lectures National Democrats on “Bum Information”

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Hanabusa complains that Djou has gone to Washington

Djou, for example, has played up what he claims is newfound standing in Washington while admonishing Hanabusa for traveling to the same city to raise money and plot strategy.

"Despite having served for less than two months, Hawaii Congressman Charles K. Djou is influencing national policy in Washington," stated an e-mail Djou's campaign sent supporters last Sunday. "He has rapidly become one of the most active and outspoken representatives in the U.S. today."

Today, another Djou e-mail lit into Hanabusa, without naming her, for being "feted in Washington DC by the insider establishment," an event "led by both of Hawaii's senators and DC's liberal elite."

… Hanabusa spent the last week in Washington attending fundraisers, news interviews, and meetings with House Democratic leaders and U.S. Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka of Hawaii. The influential Inouye, who gave the DCCC $150,000 earlier this year, is one of her primary sponsors.

Hanabusa has raised $344,000 from PACs run by influential Democrats and interest groups, about a quarter of her donations since early last year.

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Hawaii unemployment 15.8% when discouraged workers are counted

A broad measure of joblessness that includes those who are forced into part-time jobs or have become so discouraged that they've stopped looking for work remains relatively high in Hawaii.

The unemployment rate for those workers averaged 15.8 percent during a 12-month period ending June 30, according to a report released today by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics…

Hawaii’s monthly unemployment jobless rate — which dropped to 6.3 percent in June — is among the lowest in the nation, while the broader jobless measure reported today is among the highest.

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Deadline for comments on Honolulu rail EIS extended to Aug. 16


The Federal Transit Administration has extended the deadline for the acceptance of public comments on the environmental impact statement for Honolulu’s rail project from July 26 to Aug. 16.

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HPD “screened”, ran “background checks” on list of union protesters prior to arrests

Eighty-three people wearing red protest shirts walked in pairs with arms locked onto Kalakaua Avenue in front of the Hyatt.  I decided to join them and went out into the street.

The police were there in force since they knew all about the protest. I was told to go to the back of the line where Eric Gill was.  I sat down in the street next to him and some of the other protesters.

Eric and I briefly argued as to my presence there and I was asked to leave their protest.  I informed him it was a public street and I had just as much right to protest as they did.

I held up a campaign sign for my candidacy to city council….

I spoke again with Eric afterwards and explained that I was not familiar with the concept of a protester protesting another protester.  At the time I thought his stance was as hilarious as it was nonsensical.

I have participated in many protests and no one before him had ever complained about my presence.  He explained that all the protesters had been screened and background checks made to accommodate the officials at Honolulu Hale. (They wanted to make sure that they weren’t going to have to hold anybody on other outstanding warrants.  I wonder how many wanted criminals and/or suspects were rejected until the gay Unite Here Local 5 got a list of 83 “clean” members.  How many opportunities to arrest criminals and/or suspects did the HPD pass up?)

My presence there may upset either the police or city officials who they need to coordinate with when protesting because they weren’t expecting me.

I am vice chair of the Democratic Party Labor Caucus and also running for City Council District 6.  I was at the protest to support workers and promote my campaign for public office.  (And he has a big mouth.  Thanks!)

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Poinography: Democrat legislative Staffer wins release of 2000 pages of Lingle administration documents

The Democrats are planning numerous investigations and retaliations if they re-take the governor’s seat.  This is just one part of the effort.

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Arakawa hammers Tavares for buying “expensive koa table” with Homeland Security funds

On his July 15 radio program, Arakawa had criticized costly renovations that he judged made the Mayor's Office less accessible to the public. He said that citing security concerns to justify the expensive project didn't make any sense, because the mayor and other county officials were vulnerable every day when they left the building in an unsecured parking garage….

(Skip 13 paragraphs of Tavares spin…)

Arakawa said his comments were aimed at calling attention to what he thought was an extravagant project that made the mayor less accessible to the public.

"The mayor should have taken the time to think about her reasons to improve the ninth floor (mayor's offices), before attempting to justify that it was done because of security reasons," he said.

The renovation included expensive tiles, stone countertops and koa tables, he said.

"I still have a hard time understanding how a very expensive koa table helps to secure the ninth floor," he said.

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