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Wednesday, October 22, 2014
VIDEO: Tsutsui on Ige's Lack of Interest in Neighbor Islands
By Video @ 8:32 PM :: 4471 Views :: Politicians

VIDEO: Tsutsui Unable To Defend Ige's Lack Of Neighbor Island Attention

News release from Hawaii Republican Party October 22, 2014

In an interview with Hawaii News Now this morning, Senator Ige's running mate and Governor Abercrombie's Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui couldn't offer a defense of Ige barely visiting the neighbor islands until he ran for Governor.

Tsutsui only pointed to routine Legislative business Ige apparently rarely attended to during his 29 year career, and explained he was Abercrombie's point person for neighbor island policy over the last four years:

Grace Lee: Now we also wanted to talk -- you were at the debate that Hawaii News Now had for the gubernatorial candidates last week. What struck me during the -- you're running with David Ige, and he said that he hadn't traveled much to the neighbor islands except to campaign recently. And I wanted to ask you about it because I know you're from Maui. Did it bother you at all that he said that?

Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui: Well, you know, I think one of the most important things that we do in the Legislature when we're there was, you know, we do a lot of site visits during the interims. And so, I think it's important because, you know, many of the issues that are happening on the neighbor islands may not be front and center. They don't get picked up often times by mainstream media. And so, you know, I think David having that opportunity to go county by county, island by island, I think provided him with a better insight as to what some of those issues are on the neighbor islands. And so I'm really glad he's continued to focus on making the neighbor islands really part of his administration should he be elected in November and I look forward to being part of that team as well.Lee: So you don't think he's maybe behind some other candidates who have spent more time on the other islands?

Lt. Gov. Tsutsui: I think when you look at us as a team. I think, you know, Governor Abercrombie has, you know, appointed me as kind of a point person for some of the neighbor island issues. (Hawaii News Now, 10/22/14)

During the Hawaii News Now debate last week, Senator Ige admitted he rarely visited the neighbor islands before he decided to run for Governor, despite being in the Legislature for 29 years:

Sen. David Ige: Thank you very much for that question, and I too have been traveling a lot to the neighbor islands, and I feel your pain. You know, before I decided to run for Governor, I really hadn't made a whole lot of trips out to neighbor islands. (Hawaii News Now Debate, 10/15/14)

This remark, among others, made for a rather poor performance according to analysts:

Keoki Kerr: And it clearly wasn't David Ige's night. He actually forgot one of the questions partway through an answer. He said he didn't know much about agriculture and he admitted he never traveled much to the neighbor islands until the last year when he started running for governor. (Hawaii News Now, 10/15/14)

"It's no surprise Senator Ige has no new solutions for the neighbor islands when he didn't bother visiting them until it was necessary to campaign after 29 years in the Legislature. With Senator Ige's state hospital crisis spiraling out of control and the cost of living soaring, it's clear families on the neighbor islands can't afford four more years like the last." --Hawaii Republican Party Communications Advisor Ted Kwong

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