by Sam Slom, President, Smart Business Hawaii http://www.smartbusinesshawaii.com/
The election showed us once again that the Democrat/union machine is alive and well in Hawaii, and President Obama has clout here despite the tsunami that swamped the U.S. House, numerous state houses, and state legislatures on the Mainland. There were more local Republican challengers than in a decade, and they were well informed, well qualified and had charisma, yet one by one they went down in the traditional local way.
Neil Abercrombie easily (too easily) trounced Duke Aiona for Governor. Senate President Colleen Hanabusa whipped 6-month incumbent Congressman Charles Djou by 10,000 votes, with a whopping 13,000 blank ballots in that premiere race. In the State House, Republicans did increase a net 2, to 8 out of 51, but in the Senate, there is only one (yours truly) Republican from 2, out of 25. Local Democrats explain it this way: WE are smarter and more diversified than those hicks on the Mainland who didn't stay in lock step with the tax and spending crowd. Maybe Hawaii hasn't suffered enough economically to finally get residents mad at the majority regime.
Hawaii, which always talks about our beloved keiki, also noted that the keiki Kid's Vote, supported Aiona and Djou overwhelmingly. Maybe there is hope in the future but for the present, it will be a rougher ride for local small businesses. Expect more spending, more debt and even higher taxes when the Legislature reconvenes in January.
An appointed school board constitutional amendment passed yesterday and now it is up to the Legislature to pass the rules on the transition from an elected board.
Kiss your tax refund goodbye: Hawaii voters approved another Con Con amendment to end any tax rebates to taxpayers. The spendthrift legislature will keep the money and decide how to spend it for you.
All six County Charter amendments passed, including a new transit authority which will further mask actual rail costs and keep the taxpayers from direct changes, and a new City housing department.
The good news is that this election is finally over and your mailbox will not be as full with non-recyclable printed mailing pieces. Your TV will not have constant, never-ending hit piece political commercials. The bad news is that the 2012 political campaign just began today.
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