LETHEM ATTACKS GALUTERIA AS “TOOL OF THE SPECIAL INTERESTS”
News Release from Lethem Campaign
Honolulu, September 10, 2014: At a Waikiki Neighborhood Board Forum Tuesday evening, District 12 state senate candidate Chris Lethem directly attacked incumbent Brickwood Galuteria as an acolyte of just-beaten Governor Neil Abercrombie. Lethem said Galuteria pushed legislation helping large developers at the community’s expense while doing little to advance affordable housing, moving homeless from the district, or help the community’s Kupuna age in place.
Galuteria, caught off guard, limited his response to repeatedly asserting that “He (Lethem) doesn’t know what he is talking about,” and promising a fight if that’s what Lethem wanted. The forum’s format did not permit direct questioning between candidates, but observers speculated that the early exchange’s intensity will likely generate further confrontations in the 55 days remaining until November 4th’s election.
Following is the as-prepared text of Lethem’s opening statement:
Chris Lethem – “Three Minute” Statement for Waikiki Forum, September 9, 2014
Aloha. My name is Chris Lethem and I am running for the State Senate seat for Waikiki.
I am running to replace the incumbent Senator, who serves the special interests and has done too little to help the residents of Waikiki. I will represent you, and the community, and I will be accessible. As we say in the Marines, I will not be Missing In Action.
My platform has three parts:
1. Build affordable housing for us, not luxury housing for tourists. Developers should build what residents need--homes we can afford--not high-rise condo hotels for visitors.
2. Move the homeless into Housing First units. After years of talk, it’s time for action.
3. Help our Kupuna age in place, with support services that ease the burdens of family caregivers.
Now, we have just been through an historic election. A man of the community--someone with no special interest stacks of money--overwhelmed the special interest incumbent backed by tons of money.
What happened in the governor's race can also happen in the race for Waikiki's State Senator. My opponent does the bidding of special interests. He has fought the community's desire to keep residential towers off Kaka’ako’s ocean-front parks. He increased the state's power to build massive luxury projects instead of affordable housing. He legalized non-bid contracts and facilitated land swaps for big landowners, all the while raising taxes on small businesses.
Then there’s what he didn't do. He allowed the homeless to inundate our area, he doesn’t help the elderly age in place, and he watches condo hotel towers go up in Waikiki and King's Village go down.
Our community deserves a different State Senator, different from Abercrombie’s friend Galuteria. Waikiki’s senator should represent you, the people who live here.
As Waikiki Senator, I promise I would fight for you and be available to you, here in a Waikiki public place, every month, same place, same time, year after year, to meet with any who want to share concerns with me. You, me, a team -- my promise.
With me, it's about community, NOT "pay to play" special interests. That’s why I humbly ask for your vote.