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Sunday, May 2, 2010
May 2, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:02 PM :: 10634 Views

LINK>>>Abercrombie: Gay Rights Trump Will of the People

LINK>>>Djou momentum continues to build: New poll shows Djou with significant lead as voting begins

Hawaii Poll: Djou now leads Democratic rivals in congressional race by 8 points

Djou leads with 36 percent, former congressman Ed Case is chasing at 28 percent, and state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa is trailing with 22 percent. Thirteen percent were undecided.

The poll, taken for The Advertiser and Hawai'i News Now, confirms fears among Democrats that Case and Hanabusa could split the Democratic vote in the winner-take-all election and help Djou score a rare Republican upset.

The poll was conducted by Ward Research from April 23 through April 28 among 349 voters who said they were likely to mail back their ballots in the May 22 election. The margin of error was 5.2 percentage points….

(The article then continues with paragraph after paragraph outlining potential Democrat strategies followed by…)

"They are going to have some crowing rights if Djou wins," Boylan said of Republicans, "because Massachusetts and Hawai'i are two of the most liberal states in the country. 

"They are going to make a lot of hay out of this."

SB: 2 TV debates might be the key to victory

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SB: Lingle should allow civil unions to save Democrats’ election chances this fall

Gov. Linda Lingle should sign the bill or let it become law without her autograph. On a historical level, it is the right thing to do for civil rights; on a politically practical level, it assures that the economy and education will remain the primary issues in the important gubernatorial race ahead.

(In other words, if Lingle signs HB444 she is taking away a key issue from Duke Aiona.  The Democrat Bulletin is hungry for this because Democrats know they are toast this fall.)

Say said he will not want legislators to return to override a veto. If Lingle does veto the bill, gay couples' rights will become a highly emotional issue in the fall, especially in the race among candidates seeking to succeed Lingle at Washington Place:

  • Republican Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona opposes civil unions, calling them "the equivalent of same-sex marriage," which is contrary to his religious beliefs.
  • Democratic former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie supports civil unions as ensuring "equal treatment under the law" without contradicting the state's legal definition of marriage as being a heterosexual pairing.
  • Democratic Mayor Mufi Hannemann, who has yet to formally announce his candidacy for governor, has not divulged his position on the issue.

(SB editors are arrogant to believe Governor Lingle would fall for this self-defeating argument.)

RELATED: Democrats expect battle after civil unions' passage 

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Djou casts ballot, holds rally

Charles Djou was at his headquarters Saturday morning taking part in a rally with his supporters.  Djou also took the time to vote with his family, claiming an advantage over his opponents.  "We are on the cusp of a historic and exciting election, and one thing every voter should realize and understand is I, unlike my two major opponents actually live in this district, I have a ballot and I voted today and that's something neither Ed or Colleen can say", said Charles Djou.

RELATED: As ballots are mailed, Djou pushes to get out the vote

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By mail election forces new strategies

At Djou’s headquarters on Kapiolani Boulevard, which doubles as the hub for the Hawaii Republican Party, volunteers were reminding potential voters how to properly fill out their ballots.

“Because this is the very first time the state of Hawaii has done a congressional election by all mail-in, the education process is a little bit more lengthy,” said Djou. “It's a little bit more complicated.”

According to the Honolulu City Clerk’s office 317,337 residents had registered to vote in the special election as of the April 22 deadline.

Voters are required to use a blue or black pen to completely fill in the box next to the name of the candidate of their choice. There are a total of fourteen candidates on the ballot for the 1st Congressional District.

“Do not put a check mark,” said Kua. “Make sure you sign the ballot properly and make sure that your vote counts and that it's not a spoiled ballot.”

Voters who mail in their ballots are required to sign the outer envelope. The Office of Elections will then match the signature on the envelope with the one on the voter registration form. Any ballot without a signature will not be counted.

While both the Case and Hanabusa campaigns are not overly concerned about security measures employed by elections officials, Djou says his staff is closely scrutinizing the process.

“We’re having poll watchers, we're having monitors and of course we have our entire campaign crew out there watching for any allegations of fraud that might go on,” he said. “We're hopeful that everything is gonna go smoothly and that we're not gonna have any bumps.”

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Hawaii's system for conducting state elections remains in place

Though much maligned, Hawaii's system for conducting state elections survived when legislators killed two bills that would have asked voters to create a nonpartisan elections chief position.

The bills to place a constitutional amendment on the November ballot to establish an elected secretary of state to oversee the state Office of Elections died earlier this session in the House Judiciary Committee.

The measures were supported by Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, who testified that if the position is established voters then would know "they have a secretary of state that is accountable and responsive to them."

Aiona, a candidate for the Republican nomination for governor, said that the current state Office of Elections has failed to motivate voters to go to the polls.

"We've had one of the lowest turnouts in the country, and this, I believe, is all a reflection of the Office of Elections and what it has failed to do," he added.

RELATED: Constitutional Amendment: Aiona Proposes Hawaii Elect Secretary of State

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Cayetano's memoir earns top book award

So in honor of his achievement, Hawai’i Free Press would like to reprint a short excerpt where Cayetano recounts a hearing over Hanabusa’s effort to get $75M in tax credits for Jeff Stone’s Ko Olina aquarium:

“The only legislators who raised questions about the credibility of Stone's claims were Republicans Charles Djou of O’ahu and Jim Rath of Kona, Hawai’i.”

Does that count as a political endorsement?

More details: Cayetano: Hanabusa's Broken Trust connections lead to Ko Olina

Gay marriage bonus:  Did Cayetano Book Chase Levinson from Bench???, Abercrombie and Hirono co-sponsor Gay Marriage Bill (The Broken Trust Connection)

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Gingrich to Maui GOP — Take advantage of ‘failures of the dominant party’

Gingrich dispensed advice for party-building, advising Republicans never to assume that any area is out of reach or owned by Democrats.

"Knock on every door, and see every person. It takes a lot of time, and it's very tiring," the Georgia resident said….

Gingrich also stumped for Republican congressional candidate and Honolulu Council Member Charles Djou, who is in a race with former U.S. Rep. Ed Case and state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa for the congressional seat vacated by former Rep. Neil Abercrombie earlier this year. Abercrombie is a candidate for governor.

"We have a real chance to win that seat in the special election for Congress," said Gingrich.

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5 unions oppose state bid by mayor, endorse Abercrombie

In a news release yesterday, Peter Ganban, business manager of the Laborers International Union of North America, Local 368, said the five unions support rail and the thousands of jobs it will bring, "but we are very concerned about rail's recent stumbles and continued delays."

"We understand political ambitions of government leaders, but we feel that the rail project is not a slam-dunk issue, and we fear this huge job source could become a victim of missing leadership," he added. "The five unions do not support Mayor Hannemann's abandonment of the rail project for his political ambitions at this time."

The other unions include the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1260, Local 1186 and Local 1357, and the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada, Local 675.

EXPLAINED: Larry Mehau supporting Neil Abercrombie

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Democrats meet on Maui, Big Isle

Take a look at the people you allow to rule:

Hawaii preparing to turn mental health services over to insurers

After a Health Department presentation on the changes yesterday, providers said they still had plenty of questions and concerns. But some were also optimistic the changes will result in less red tape for mental health clients, and could end up getting them more comprehensive health care.

Greg Payton, executive director and chief executive officer of Mental Health Kokua, said the shift in clients sounds like "an interesting experiment."

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Parents Request Documents On School Furloughs

Save Our Schools on Friday filed a public records request with the governor's office for essentially every written and electronic document concerning furloughs between the Lingle administration, state schools officials and labor unions since October 2008.

(That could be very embarrassing to the unions, BoE, and DoE)

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UH-West Oahu campus awaits green light from governor

$48 million appropriation means work on long-awaited campus could start by August.

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County suing Hokulia: Breach of contract suit latest in string of litigation over development

HILO -- Hawaii County has filed suit against Hokulia developers and called in the bonds securing the $35 million Mamalahoa Bypass.

The breach of contract lawsuit filed late Thursday is an attempt to forestall a likely sale by developer 1250 Oceanside Partners and its backer, the Bank of Scotland, of all or part of their interest in the $1 billion, 730-lot golf course community makai of Kealakekua.

"We regret that we must take these legal actions against the owners of Hokulia, but these court filings were absolutely essential to protect the interests of the taxpayers in the County of Hawaii," Mayor Billy Kenoi said Friday. "The developer and owners of Hokulia have an absolute, irrevocable obligation to complete the Mamalahoa Bypass highway, and we intend to enforce that obligation."

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Honokohau Harbor parking: Businesses claim violation on fee plan (Recreational Renaissance)

The proposal includes charging $90 a month for a business owner or employee, or a dollar a day, up to $25 a month, to park in the areas farthest from the boats, as well as 40 cents per hour for other harbor uses. That would mean about $450 a month for passes for her employees, a cost either she would pay or would have to pass on to employees. That figure would be closer to $1,300 a month for the Harbor House restaurant or several thousand for Gentry's Marina, which manages the harbor's business end, she said.

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Fidell: FWW rakes in $7M / year

I found out that Food and Water Watch earns nearly $7 million a year and that their executives are paid well. Some of that must be from public donations off their site, but you just wonder whether big money comes from somewhere else. Apropos to the column, this past Monday there was an article in the Advertiser about ahi with salmonella imported into Hawaii, proving that the seafood FWW wants us to import in lieu of local aquaculture can be downright dangerous. We’ve got to grow our local aquaculture industry. We should not be distracted from that by the likes of FWW.

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Newspaper giant leaves the islands

David Black spent more than $100 million and fought along with Star-Bulletin workers for nearly a decade to publish a 52,000-circulation paper and carve out a profitable share of the Honolulu market. But since economies of scale favored Gannett's 115,000-circulation paper, The Honolulu Advertiser, it was an uneven newspaper war.

Many (journos who want to keep their job) are quick to (write fatuous praise) compare(ing) Black to the biblical David who defeated the Philistine giant and went on to become the king of the Israelites, but it is not an analogy that he would use to describe the prelude to Gannett's exit from Hawaii….

"We beat the economy. We made the cuts. We worked hard, and we did turn the Advertiser around," said Patrick DeCosta Jr., an Advertiser district manager. "We didn't expect that this was how we would be repaid."

Tomorrow, DeCosta and the other 580 of his co-workers who accepted at-will job offers from HA Management, an interim company set up by Oahu Publications to run the Advertiser during the transition, will head to their normal work stations.

In about 30 to 60 days, the Advertiser and the Star-Bulletin will consolidate into the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, generating hundreds of job cuts at the papers.

With Gannett's exit, Black Press sees the Star-Advertiser, which will share characteristics and staff from the formerly competing dailies, well positioned for the future.

"We expect it to be a viable paper within a few months of operation," Francis said.

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