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Sunday, October 24, 2010
October 24, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:34 PM :: 7332 Views :: Hawaii County News, Agriculture, Kauai County News, DHHL, Maui County News, Congressional Delegation, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party, National News, Development

Early Voting open Oct 19-30: Find your polling place

Aiona: "My opponent will cut programs or raise taxes”

Democrat media poll shows Aiona pulling 63% of Mufi Voters and 15% of Abercrombie voters

The headline is: Neil 51% Duke 43% but…

Aiona was also drawing most of the voters -- 63 percent to 29 percent -- who said they backed former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann over Abercrombie in the Democratic primary. Ward and other political analysts believe some of these Hannemann voters likely intended to vote for Aiona all along but wanted to participate in the competitive Democratic primary.

Aiona was also taking 15 percent of Abercrombie's primary voters. These Abercrombie voters are likely conservatives who disliked Hannemann or voted for Abercrombie for strategic reasons in the primary, believing the liberal would be a better contrast with Aiona in the general election.

Democratic strategists believe Hannemann has fiercely loyal followers who are attached to him, not a particular party, and who could be persuaded to help Abercrombie if the former mayor makes personal appeals.  (Which is why this poll is being released—to pressure Abercrombie into being less arrogant towards Mufi and his supporters.  Kinda late, eh?)

Earlier this month, automated telephone polls conducted for the national liberal website Daily Kos, the local news and opinion website Civil Beat, and the national polling firm Rasmussen Reports showed that the race was a statistical tie.

The Abercrombie campaign, according to several sources speaking privately, doubted the race was so close because private polls taken locally had Abercrombie comfortably ahead. But when the campaign's internal tracking and other private polls also showed that the gap was only a few percentage points, there was genuine alarm from within the campaign that spread through Democratic circles.

Some Democratic strategists believe the Abercrombie campaign was too confident after the primary and too slow to launch against Aiona. Democrats also chose not to immediately counter the Republican Governors Association's substantial investment in advertising to help Aiona.

Aiona said campaigns are decided by who works hardest in the last week.  (And the SA/Ward Research/HNN knows this.  That’s why they are telling their boy Neil to stop being so arrogant.)

"This election is really a question of whether our voters want to bring the political culture of Washington to Hawaii, or if we're better off with balanced, honest and fiscally responsible leadership," he said in a statement. "Campaigns in Hawaii are won by those who work hardest over the last seven days, and our grassroots supporters are reaching out to every voter in the state who believes Hawaii's best days are still ahead."

Funny how Ward Research poll is not mentioned at all in this article: Djou, Hanabusa in dead heat

RESPONSE: Aiona: Campaigns are won by those who work hardest over the last seven days

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Hannemann: I’m on the taxi squad

"I'm no longer on the starting team, I'm on the taxi squad, but I'm a member of the team," said Hannemann. "And the team is such that the Democratic Party has a candidate running for governor that bested me in the primary…

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Borreca: Leading Democrats here would be ideal job for Hannemann--except for the gays and the greens

And Hannemann would have to learn to get along with Hawaii's active environmental movement. Convincing the greens to accept him as party chairman would go a long way toward rehabbing Hannemann's own environmental reputation.

Finally, the biggest challenge would be for Hannemann to find a productive relationship between his own policies and the politics of the gay caucus. The GLBT Democratic wing is organized, energetic and loud -- and it is one group you cannot dismiss if you want to run in a Democratic primary.

(And those are the two reasons Hannemann will NEVER be Democratic Party chair.)

So this article exists solely because Abercrombie has realized that Mufi supporters are backing Duke.  

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Abercrombie on DoE finances: Don’t ask, don’t tell

» Abercrombie derided as a waste of time Aiona's call for an audit to track the Department of Education's $2.4 billion in annual spending. Those Democrats never run out of new applications for "don't ask, don't tell."

» Aiona accused Abercrombie of negative campaigning after his supporters spread information about Aiona's ties to a controversial religious group. The Republicans will strike back by stepping up their negative praying.

» Abercrombie celebrated an endorsement by Barack Obama, while Aiona claimed the support of University of Hawaii football mascot Vili the Warrior. Talk about a contrast. One is an admired local son who symbolizes the best of Hawaii to the nation. The other is president of the United States.

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Next governor will carry background into office

Aiona, though, perceives his political experience more substantively.

"For the last eight years, I've been working with the governor hand in hand," he said in a recent PBS Hawaii debate. "I feel I have that administrative experience that's necessary. ... I'm ready to go."

While his job duties as lietenant governor may not be well-known, Aiona can draw a crowd — as was evident during a stroll through an Aloha Stadium parking lot before a recent University of Hawaii football game.

"He's been a friend of the family for a really long time," said Kela Hanson of Honolulu, after warmly embracing Aiona. "I'm going to vote for him ... He stands by certain values and he sticks by it."

Born in Pearl City, Aiona hails from a large family with Portuguese, Hawaiian and Chinese roots. A Catholic, religion is a crucial element of his life.

"I've always put my faith first and foremost in my life," he said last week. "I've never in any way imposed that on any person or any organization or stepped over the bounds when I've served in my official capacity and it will remain the same as governor."

Still, Catholic and evangelical Protestant leaders are promoting his candidacy mainly because of his opposition to same-sex civil unions.

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Willoughby vs Hirono: Can’t think of anything they agree on

Willoughby, a Republican, wants to make a race out of his challenge to two-term Democratic incumbent Hirono, and he has picked up endorsements from tea party groups, former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in hopes of closing the gap.

For Willoughby, he has made a point of emphasizing how different he is from Hirono, saying he can't think of anything they agree on.

"We're opposed on virtually every single issue," Willoughby said. "She knows that all these dollars she's spending on her wasteful bailout schemes and her special interests are coming from the American people."

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NYT celebrates victory of eco-religion over football

Meanwhile, island residents like Rich Rapozo warned that some people were talking about refusing to rescue birds they saw on the ground in protest of the schedule switch.

“They chose the bird over our keiki,” he said after a Saturday game, using the Hawaiian word for children.

KGI: Endangered birds battle tradition

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NYT celebrates as Iwamoto and other surgically altered men run for offices nationwide

In Oklahoma, Brittany Novotny, a 30-year-old Democrat, is competitive in the Republican-leaning 84th District for the State House of Representatives, despite supporters of her opponent who have ridiculed her as a “confused it.” And there are transgender incumbents in Oregon — where the mayor of Silverton, Stu Rasmussen, is seeking a fourth term, and her second as a woman — and Hawaii, where Kim Coco Iwamoto is seeking to return to the State Board of Education.

All of which has been hailed by advocates as both a sign of acceptance …

And why is “acceptance” important?  Here’s why:  Beyond Marriage The Confession: Hawaii Gay marriage advocates let the polyamorous cat out of the bag

RELATED: The transsexual agenda for Hawai`i schools

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Vote for me, Schmucker says, I’m not a Democrat

Although some of Souki's votes line up with his conservative views - he agrees with Souki's vote against civil unions - Schmucker's main beef is with the Democratic Party itself.

"The problem is he is a member of a party that has gone completely corrupt," said the 52-year-old Waikapu resident. "I suppose if there is one main thing or reason I would say, 'Vote for me and not Mr. Souki,' (it's because) he's a Democrat."

Schmucker said that at one time the Democratic Party was honorable and represented working-class families.

"But over the years, the lefthand side of the party has hijacked them," Schmucker said. "The only way to reform the Democratic Party is to vote them out of office."

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Council candidates agree on fixing infrastructure

Candidates Richard Turbin, 65, and Stanley Chang, 28, (both Democrats) are running for the 4th District seat that covers Waikiki, Kaimuki and Hawaii Kai. The seat was vacated by Charles Djou, now in Congress.

The Council selected former Honolulu Police Chief Lee Donohue to finish Djou's council term, but Donohue is not seeking election.

(This is why Democrats pushed for non-partisan races.)

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HMSA wants 14.8% boost in large employer group rates

However, the release does state that to reduce health care costs, "HMSA is aggressively pursuing a new methodology of provider reimbursement that rewards health-care providers for quality rather than volume." The release also refers to an agreement reached in June between HMSA and the Queen's Health Systems that would have the health insurer pay the hospital group based on quality and efficiency, known as a "pay-for-performance" model.

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Son's altercation leads state to evict disabled parents

A disabled couple in Kalihi Valley Homes public housing faces eviction and homelessness due to their son's involvement in a violent altercation earlier this year.

Although the son, 22-year-old Laupo Kivaha, no longer lives on the premises, the Hawaii Public Housing Authority is moving forward with evicting his parents, Sipu Kivaha and Wanda Sitani.

Sipu Kivaha, 54, is a diabetic who needs a breathing machine to survive, wears leg braces and suffers from carpal tunnel syndrome. Sitani is blind in the left eye and has multiple sclerosis.

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'Hawaii is the guinea pig' (suckers)

Xtreme Power, an industry leader in battery storage for wind and solar energy products, has made Hawaii a testing ground for its technology, which it says is superior to lithium ion batteries when it comes to energy storage, efficiency, longevity and cost.

Xtreme Power has been running a demonstration project for several years at First Wind's 30-megawatt Kaheawa Wind Farm on Maui. The technology proved successful, and Xtreme has landed contracts to supply battery backups at First Wind's 30-megawatt project in Kahuku, scheduled to start generating early next year, and the Kaheawa II project, scheduled to break ground next year.

Although privately held Xtreme Power won't disclose pricing for its battery systems, the cost can be high, Jaffe said. At an estimated cost of $1,000 per kilowatt, the 10-megawatt battery system planned for the Kahuku wind farm could cost as much as $10 million, he said. The price is expected to come down as technology advances, he said, noting that automaker Nissan is targeting a battery cost of $400 per kilowatt for its electric Leaf by 2012.

Xtreme also is installing a battery at the state's largest solar farm, a 1.2-megawatt photovoltaic project developed by Castle & Cooke on Lanai capable of supplying 30 percent of the island's electricity. The system is currently running at half power because without a battery backup to smooth out the volatility of solar generation, the system would cause the grid on Lanai to crash.

REALITY: Xtreme Power: A Pig-in-a-poke For Hawaii Wind Farm

MORE REALITY: Wind Energy's Ghosts

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Ag officials: Kona coffee facing quarantine

In response to the threat posed by the coffee berry borer, state agriculture officials are preparing to establish a quarantine on the transport of green coffee beans from South Kona.
The pest's presence was confirmed Sept. 8. Hawaii was one of the few remaining coffee-producing areas in the world that had not been infested by the bug, which has been known to cut crop production up to 20 percent.

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