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Wednesday, November 3, 2010
November 3, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:58 PM :: 10232 Views

Democrats: Hawaii is different, suckers

Everything you need to know about Abercrombie and Hanabusa

Full State by State results: Republicans win control of House

Final Read: Hawaii General Election Results -- Abercrombie, Hanabusa win

UH Manoa Anti-Americans place E-W Center funding at risk

Voters want, and due, action (What they want)

Despite still-strong pipelines with D.C., Hawaii should not count on federal generosity to rebuild our economy -- but must work to be ever more self-reliant. Abercrombie ran and won on the message of "change" -- and he must now parlay his decades of public service and public-private connections to lead wisely.  (Reality: Will he be more like Cayetano or Waihee?) From budgetary shortfalls, to education reform, to social services, to land-use development, to energy efficiency, Gov.-elect Abercrombie must balance to bring his campaign promises to fruition.  (The only promise he will keep is gay marriage.)

Today, a new governor-elect faces some of the greatest challenges in the state's history. (And unfortunately we are saddled with the most ineffectual bigmouth politician in Hawaii.)

Change is indeed needed. Citizens are hungry for it, from the U.S. Capitol, to the state Capitol. Unfettered tax-and-spend won't fly; austerity and innovation will.  (And all Abercrombie campaigned on was more federal money.)

The true test, going forward, is to avoid government as usual. Hawaii, and the nation, cannot afford it.  (And Abercrombie, like Obama, knows this.  Hence their emphasis on spending more.)

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A clear path on gay unions (What they get)

Shapiro: The only reasonable way to read the results is that Hawai‘i voters by a solid majority are OK with giving gay couples the same legal rights as heterosexuals and it’s time to finally get past this issue that has divided us for more than a decade. (No.  Voters just didn’t make this the deciding issue in their voting decisions.)

The Legislature should pass a clean version of the civil unions bill early in the 2011 session and Abercrombie should sign it without delay so we can move on to other problems. (They won’t.  Instead you can expect them to enact full gay marriage and skip the civil unions fig leaf.)

(A closer read of the results shows that Bertram is out.  Lee is almost out and Oshiro didn’t win by much against  GOPer who really didn’t campaign.)

(The challenge for gay marriage opponents is to rekindle the protests for the upcoming session.  Protest politics works.)

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Voters favor appointed BOE

Board Chairman Garrett Toguchi said that without an independent, elected board, there would have been far more furlough days, as originally proposed by the governor.

"I definitely think that if it weren't for the half a million dollars spent on advertising, most of which came from one person, the vote would have been overwhelmingly against an appointed board," Toguchi said.

Hawaii's Children First, a ballot question committee, spent $504,000 through Oct. 18 to promote an appointed board, with $362,000 coming from investment banker Bill Reeves, according to state campaign filings. The Hawaii State Teachers Association estimated it spent $80,000 to oppose the measure, but said it looked forward to working with Gov.-elect Neil Abercrombie and the new board.

"It's fortunate that we have a pro-education governor," said HSTA President Wil Okabe.

It is not clear when the appointed board will take over because Gov. Linda Lingle vetoed a bill detailing the appointment process, and lawmakers will take up that question in January.

HR: Hawaii’s Constitutional Amendments, Charters Statewide, Get Voters’ Support

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Voter turnout remains low

Voter turnout in the general election appeared to be at about the same low level as the last gubernatorial election four years ago.

Votes counted as of about 11 p.m. showed turnout at 52 percent -- about the same as the 52.7 percent turnout in 2006.

A few thousand votes likely still to be added to the final prinout.

Turnout will fall short of the 2008 presidential election when native son Barack Obama was elected president. Voter turnout was 66 percent in 2008.

Absentee turnout accounted for about 39 percent of Election Day's vote tally, pending final returns. That's less than the 44 percent absentee turnout in this year's primary election, but higher than the 38 percent absentee voter turnout in the 2008 general election.

As of the third printout, which was issued at about 11:10 p.m., 359,093 of 690,748 registered voters had been counted, including 139,101 absentee ballots and 219,992 walk-in ballots.

CB: Big Election Year, but Small Turnout

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Big election, big puzzle: What’s wrong with the polls?

ILind: Here are the recent poll results as listed out by TMP PollTracker.


Shapiro: Inouye comes up smiling

NYT: Rasmussen’s Poll showing Inouye at 53% nailed as worst poll of cycle:

I haven’t checked this in detail yet, but it appears as though the worst poll of the political cycle will be the Rasmussen Reports survey of Hawaii, which had the incumbent Daniel Inouye defeating Cam Cavasso by just 13 points. Mr. Inouye is ahead by 55 points right now. If Mr. Inouye’s margin holds, the 42-point error would be by far the worst general election poll in FiveThirtyEight’s database, which includes all polls since 1998; the previous record was 29 points.

(Likely this was an effort to draw GOP national money into non-competitive races, thus depleting the resources available in races where the GOP had a chance.)

Rasmussen Reports Polls Were Biased

While waiting for the remaining results to trickle in from states like Colorado and Alaska, I did a quick check on the accuracy of polls from the firm Rasmussen Reports, which came under heavy criticism this year — including from FiveThirtyEight — because its polls showed a strong lean toward Republican candidates.

Indeed, Rasmussen polls quite consistently turned out to overstate the standing of Republicans tonight. Of the roughly 100 polls released by Rasmussen or its subsidiary Pulse Opinion Research in the final 21 days of the campaign, roughly 70 to 75 percent overestimated the performance of Republican candidates, and on average they were biased against Democrats by 3 to 4 points.

Every pollster is entitled to a bad cycle now and again — and Rasmussen has had some good cycles in the past. But their polling took a major downturn this year.

Second guessing the Republican campaign

Kaauwai said Aiona felt the brunt of a coordinated campaign by Democrats and their union allies. "It says that the unions did everything they possibly could to smear Aiona," he said. "Obviously, those things have an effect." …

Several insiders from both political parties have questioned why neither Hannemann nor Aiona made much effective use of Abercrombie's background as a war protester or some of his voluble rants in Congress.

The Republican Governors Association waited until last weekend to touch the subject with a television ad that describes Abercrombie's "extreme makeover" and showed excerpts from some of his fiery speeches.

Voters appeared to reject a turn toward the negative in the primary -- and know enough about Abercrombie to distinguish between fact and caricature -- but some believe Abercrombie was fortunate not to have more of his excesses thrown back at him during the election.

The Aiona campaign may also have relied too much on the evangelical community. Religious conservatives vowed to play a more active role this year after the civil unions debate at the state Legislature, so Aiona, a Catholic, was in a position to benefit.

The Aiona campaign's outreach to the evangelical community was mostly done behind the scenes, but when religion did surface publicly -- such as after state GOP chairman Kaauwai told pastors in August that Aiona was the only "righteous" candidate -- it may have alienated independent and moderate Democrats.

Aiona, who started raising money for his campaign three years ago, also may have made a tactical mistake by spending so much of it early. Without the $1 million invested in Hawaii by the RGA, Aiona would have struggled to compete for air time during the past three months against the combination of Abercrombie, the Democratic Party of Hawaii, the Democratic Governors Association and labor unions.

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Hanabusa: Negative campaigning worked

The Democrats said Djou voted against schoolteachers and to send jobs overseas. … Asked in an exclusive interview following her speech why voters picked her, Hanabusa said the negative campaigning worked against Djou.

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Hon Council 4 Races Decided In Election; Apo's Resignation Coming

There will be another vacancy later when Chairman Todd Apo steps down later in the month. He is leaving to take a job at the new Disney property in Ko Olina.

With a small number of ballots remaining, Stanley Chang led Richard Turbin in Djou's East Honolulu race, while Ernie Martin held a small lead over John White in District 2 and Tulsi Gabbard Tamayo led Sesnita Moepono.

Breene Harimoto was unopposed in the primary election to replace Okino.

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Hawaii County:

Killed by Steve Case? Hukilau Foods files for bankruptcy

The move comes amid a dispute between company owners -- Steve Case of AOL fame, and the moi farm's founder, former commercial fisherman Randy Cates….

Joachim Cox, a local attorney representing Cates, said Visionary decisions dramatically inflated costs for Hukilau and pushed the company into the red after years of annual profits.

Hukilau's net loss this year through September was $2.4 million, up from $2.3 million for all of last year.

Cates claimed in his lawsuit that Visionary was trying to reduce his ownership in Hukilau and might file for bankruptcy to wipe out his equity stake.

(The more politicians babble about “food security” the more local food producers bite the dust.)

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Lawyers for officers claim charges overblown

Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro, in a prepared statement, said he will not comment on the merits or specifics of any case outside of the courtroom.

"We will offer our evidence in court when and if the cases go to trial," he said.

Prosecutors say the actions of the officers resulted in the dismissal of more than 200 DUI cases.

Sgt. Aaron M. Bernal is charged with nine counts of tampering with a government record and two counts of third-degree theft. The theft counts, by definition, means between $100 and $300 was allegedly gained from each of the two theft charges.

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UH Security Breach of Personal Information Could Have Been Prevented, Expert Say

Aaron Titus, Privacy Director at Liberty Coalition, a Washington D.C., non-profit agency, said he found personal data on 40,000 students who attended UH between 1990 to 1998 and in 2001 by performing some “advanced Google searches” and “thinking like an id thief.”

The information, including birth dates and social security numbers, was stored on an unsecured UH computer server by a now-retired UH West Oahu Campus professor researching the achievements of UH students after graduation.

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