Friday, July 03, 2020
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Monday, February 14, 2011
Pensions, Rail, Earmarks: Abercrombie and Obama wage war on Inouye
By Andrew Walden @ 12:30 AM :: 8280 Views :: Maui County, Education K-12, Energy, Environment

by Andrew Walden

Just two months into his term, Neil Abercrombie has led Hawaii politics into chaos.  From the White House to Honolulu Hale, progressive Democrats are duking it out with the old boys. 

Pushing his pension tax scheme, last week Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie argued that some retirees do not “make positive contributions in our community”.   This week the retirees—many from unions which backed old-boy Democrat Mufi Hannemann in the Primary—had their chance to return the favor.

At a raucous hearing before the Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee Committee January 11, Abercrombie pitched his plan to eliminate State subsidies for Medicare Part B for government retirees and stop using overtime to calculate pension amounts.  Abercrombie told the Committee that the State has a choice between "Looking for villains, or looking for solutions."  But the standing room only crowd didn’t hold back.  One pointed out that Abercrombie is “an idiot.”   As audience members from SHOPO, HGEA, UHPA, HFFA, UPW, and HSTA jeered, snickered and hissed, Abercrombie tried to make the case that the State Employees Retirement System and Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund are both on the verge of bankruptcy, but when he finished he was greeted with stony silence punctuated by two disgruntled audience members who read out the verdict: “What a jerk.  He’s full of shit.” 

Shaken by his reception, Abercrombie told reporters outside the hearing, “I am the governor. I’m not your pal. I’m not your counselor. I am the governor. And I am determined to be truthful with everybody about what we have to do together to survive.”

The outrage is not limited to old-boy unions in the hearing rooms, as one letter-writer explained Feb 4: “With Linda Lingle, I thought things couldn't get any worse. With Neil Abercrombie, the worst is yet to come.  His proposals have insulted me. If one more politician tells me I have to share the sacrifice for their incompetence mismanaging government, I will vomit.”

After pulling a fast one on all those voters, Abercrombie is not the only hypersensitive progressive Democrat having difficulty being himself.  After DLNR Director William Aila faced opposition from the old-boy Hawaiian Civic Clubs at his January 12 confirmation hearing, he told Civil Beat:

"You see how fickle the Native Hawaiian community can be.  I'm held to a higher standard because I'm Native Hawaiian. I can agree with these folks on a personal level ... but I'm not William Aila now, I'm the chair. ... That office has a different set of responsibilities."

Asked if juggling personal and professional responsibilities was difficult, Aila said: "At its simplest level, it's tricky. At its deepest level, it causes me a great deal of internal conflict."

While Abercrombie and Aila suffer from multiple personality disorder, Senator Dan Inouye has Progressive pains of his own.  After Progressive Democrat President Barack Obama teamed up with Congressional Republicans in a squeeze play against the old boys and the earmarks which sustain them, Star-Advertiser columnist Richard Borreca—in a February 6 column obviously dictated from Inouye's office—pointed out that the attack on earmarks by the Manoa-Liberal-in-Chief was “politically opportunistic.”  Borreca correctly portrayed the moratorium on earmarks as an Obama power-play against Inouye:

“…while Hawaii's senior Sen. Daniel K. Inouye battled to preserve earmarks, President Barack Obama announced he would veto any bill with earmarks.  Inouye was forced to fold.

“Across the country the GOP gloated: "It's getting lonely at the pork trough." It is also getting a lot stupider.

“The federal money not spent on earmarks is not saved, the money is already appropriated -- if Inouye and crew don't spend it, then Obama will. That is why Obama was so willing to side with the symbols.”

The $321M per year in lost Inouye pork is nothing compared to the other old-boy pork project suddenly being attacked by Abercrombie’s progressive Democrats—Honolulu’s $5B Mufi Rail project.

First, Abercrombie and progressive Democrat Senate President Shan Tsutsui teamed up behind Senate Bill 1426 — which would raid…errr ‘borrow’ $200M from the rail fund to patch up Abercrombie’s budget.  Abercrombie called the proposal a “win-win.”  Tsutsui, fresh off his big victory over the Christians, told Civil Beat Feb 4, "We know (former Honolulu Mayor) Mufi Hannemann didn't like the idea, but we thought a different administration may have a different view. From what I've heard, they're not too excited about this.…"

Then progressive Democrat Ben Cayetano—seen by Mufi supporters as the grey eminence behind Abercrombie’s gubernatorial campaign—held a January 31 news conference launching a new anti-rail lawsuit challenging the City’s procurement practices.

And finally the Native Hawaiian Legal Corp and progressive Democrat lawyer David Frankel—who as Sierra Club Chair hired Jack Kelly to assault Hokulia—filed a lawsuit challenging the handling of native Hawaiian burials and cultural sites.  The NHLC suit led Borreca to compare rail to the decades-long battle over the H-3 and write “Don't count on riding Honolulu rail any time soon.”

Don’t count on seeing peace any time soon either.



TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940


ACA Signups Hawaii



Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii



Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust 

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube


Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes


Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii


National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Hawaiian

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii