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Monday, June 13, 2011
Pro-Bowl: Collateral damage in Abercrombie’s war on Mufi?
By Andrew Walden @ 12:02 AM :: 6393 Views :: Energy, Environment

by Andrew Walden

“Neil is in a death spiral.”

“Tourette’s syndrome.”

“You don’t think Florida is making phone calls right now to the NFL?”

“This could be one of those defining moments that forever colors the way we will look at the Gov.  It’s gonna take a strong set of prescription beer goggles to make Neil look like anything other than an anti-business, economically confused codger.  As the young’uns say: ‘awkward.’”

“You must be wondering WTF he’s smoking.”

“Leading by emotion is for the inexperienced.”

The comments come hot and heavy on Volcanic Ash and other comment boards as Hawaii voters—and the State’s elite--come to terms with the reality of who they elected Governor.  Shorn of the handlers who kept him on the straight and narrow, Neil Abercrombie has reverted to the arrogant haole hippie know-it-all that he always has been.  The difference is that now he is shouting and waving his arms in Hawaii, not Washington.  And more and more news outlets are actually quoting Abercrombie verbatim after 30 years of covering for his blithering incoherence by paraphrasing his remarks.

But there is more to this.  Abercrombie’s bizarre attack on the Pro-Bowl is part of Progressive Democrats’ ongoing war against Mufi Hannemann, Dan Inouye, and the “old-boy” Democrats.   And this is not Abercrombie’s first attack on Mufi’s new base in the Hawaii tourism industry.  As the Star-Advertiser explained:

The state paid $4 million to hold the Pro Bowl this year, and will pay another $4 million to host it next year. Abercrombie first suggested diverting some of the money the Hawaii Tourism Authority spends on marketing to infrastructure needs in his first State of the State address in January.

Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, who has been one of the state’s strongest supporters of the Pro Bowl and who is now head of the Hawaii Hotel Association, said the Pro Bowl is an economic generator for Hawaii.  “Studies show it was $31 million last year. It you give the $4 million and get $31 million, it means bringing money into the state,” Hannemann said.

The Progressives are also at war against Hannemann’s signature old boy project, Honolulu Rail.  With Abercrombie quietly smiling in the background, his mentor Ben Cayetano and several progressive Democrat environmental groups have joined with conservative-libertarian anti-rail activists in a lawsuit which will probably spell doom for the $5 billion project.  Abercrombie’s comment when Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle broke ground for the project:

“This is all abstract right now. It’s all photos and photo-ops right now. I’ve seen those before.”

Tourism and Rail are not the only economic foundations being undermined by Abercrombie’s faction fight.  He is also taking aim at military spending.

As a Congressman, Abercrombie in 2009 made an abortive effort to lard a bill authorizing relocation of Marines from Okinawa to Guam with $10B in pork for his contributor, Hunt Building Corp.  But today, with Inouye fighting off Senate efforts to downsize the project, Abercrombie has suddenly switched sides.  Pacific Business News June 10 reports: 

Sens. Carl Levin, D-Michigan; John McCain, R-Arizona; and Virginia Democrat Jim Webb said in May that the current Department of Defense realignment plans (for Guam) are “unrealistic, unworkable and unaffordable.”  The senators proposed a stripped-down presence on Guam that would be bolstered by deployed, rotating combat units based elsewhere, including Hawaii.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie agreed with that assessment, and said the U.S. territory doesn’t have the infrastructure to support the move. At a recent speech to the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, Abercrombie said Guam also doesn’t have the facilities to provide training for the 8,000-plus Marines.  “They’re going to have to fly off to Saipan or some other place to do training. It’s not going to work,” Abercrombie said.

Abercrombie has spent an entire lifetime worming his way into the system and now that he is on top and at the end of his years, he is going all-out to cement the Progressives’ total control over the Democratic Party.   In this battle, jobs, the economy, public welfare, and national defense are just cannon fodder.  And the Pro-Bowl is just the beginning.

As Abercrombie explained last December: “I’m going to be on offense. I’m not about to apologize to anybody.”




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