There is nobody worthy of our endorsement running in the Hawai`i County Mayor’s race. Here are some quick points on the poor choices facing voters:
• Stacey Higa: Dogged by $278,000 sexual harassment case. Involved in numerous disputes on County Council.
• Lorraine Inouye: As Senator voted for school closure commission which would consider closing schools on 1/3 of the island, blocked ethics bill at behest of HSTA union—and that is just in the last session. She is a typical Legislative Democrat.
• Billy Kenoi: Underworld associate, raised money for Pali murderer Ethan Malu Motta’s defense fund while serving as Mayor Kim’s point man on methamphetamines. Hid the truth about his role in fracas involving Motta associates at Shooters Bar and Grille.
• Angel Pilago: Plaintiff in 1995 PASH case which created mechanism for activists to extort millions of dollars from developers by pretending to oppose their projects. Supporter of convicted drug dealer Ralph Palikapu Dedman’s effort to win county support for seizure of his neighbor’s kuleana plots at Punalu`u, Ka`u. Supports Dedman’s Ka`u Preservation, Inc being given management authority over Punalu`u, Ka`u. At behest of drug dealers’ lobby, voted against accepting federal funds for marijuana eradication.
Unfortunately, none of the other candidates has been able to present a credible campaign alternative, nor present a consistent case for a free-enterprise oriented future for the Big Island. This is due to the failure of almost all of Hawai`i County’s civic leaders to firmly, publicly, and consistently reject the fraudulent and self-interested eco-nonsense in which the Hawai`i County Council has spent the last four years swimming. Whoever is elected mayor (and we expect it will be Inouye) the only hope for progress will lie with the incoming county council. With the departure of Pilago and Higa likely joined by the defeat of Bob Jacobson and Brenda Ford, the Hawai`i County Council can be a very different place than the socialist cesspool it has been for the last four years.
Little discussed during the primary season, the biggest issue facing the four mayoral candidates will be the upcoming county workers union contracts. Kenoi has received the support of the UPW and HSTA as well as other unions. Obviously this bodes ill for taxpayers and for any chance of reforming dysfunctional county departments.
What union members should know is that electing a candidate owned and operated by union bosses does not serve the rank and file. Hawai`i government union leaders have a decades-long history of shortchanging their membership at the bargaining table. This is because higher salaries mean fewer positions and fewer positions mean less clout at the ballot box. The dirty little secret is that union members and taxpayers both would be far better off if their leaders were forced to negotiate with a politician they did not own.
It is unlikely that the mayoral primary will produce a 50%-plus-one winner so these issues will have to be fleshed out in the general election. The worst candidates are Pilago and Kenoi. Please vote accordingly.