Tuesday, February 20, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Sunday, February 13, 2011
Gaming Lobbyist describes much deeper involvement in selecting Abercrombie Cabinet
By Andrew Walden @ 6:21 PM :: 8728 Views :: Energy, Environment

by Andrew Walden

Gaming industry lobbyist John Radcliffe, who also represents tobacco companies, private prison operators, military contractors, developers, and Wall Street investment houses now acknowledges playing a much larger role in selecting Neil Abercrombie’s cabinet than previously known.

In a February 1 Star-Advertiser report, Radcliffe spills the beans defending the selection process which picked ill-fated DoH nominee Neal Palafox:   

An influential lobbyist who was involved in vetting Neal Palafox before he was nominated by Gov. Neil Abercrombie as director of the state Department of Health believes the doctor had nothing in his past that would have jeopardized his post.

"I'll tell you this: We vetted him as carefully as anybody could be vetted and looked into his background, his family, his relationships," said John Radcliffe, a lobbyist who was part of the transition team that reviewed Abercrombie's Cabinet picks. "This guy is a good guy."

Radcliffe said he also asked Palafox if he had anything potentially controversial to disclose. "Nothing," he said. "And I believed him. And I've talked to him subsequently, and I believe him now."…

"We couldn't find anything that this guy was anything but what he purported to be, which is chairman of the department of family practice at the University of Hawaii and one of life's good guys," Radcliffe said.

Palafox may have been forced out after undermining Dan Inouye cronies within the DoH upper echelons.  But regardless of whether Palafox was a good pick or not, Radcliffe’s description of the selection process shows that the lobbyist had much deeper involvement in picking Abercrombie’s cabinet than previously known. 

Hawai’i Free Press readers will remember that Radcliffe’s involvement was mentioned only in a single line of a November 23 Civil Beat article which read:

Neil Abercrombie's transition team is holding interviews with job applicants in a union hall in Kalihi.

Candidates for Cabinet-level positions are interviewed by a panel whose members have included Bill Kaneko and John Radcliffe.

Asked to comment, Abercrombie spokesman Jim McCoy said, "I am not going to confirm for you any information where we are holding personnel issues."

Spotting this slip-up in the official press, HFP published “Gaming Industry Lobbyist, Progressive activist screen Abercrombie cabinet picks.”  The information upon which we based that article has now been confirmed—although until the February 1 article, no other media outlet had seen fit to make note of it. 

Among Radcliffe’s clients is Marketing Resource Group.  Radcliffe’s lobbying on behalf of Michigan-based MRG led to the introduction of HB 2396 in the 2010 Legislative session by House Speaker Calvin Say. 

KHON January 29, 2010 reported last year’s legislative debate over gaming in Waikiki:

"If there's a license that is sold, we pick up so many millions of dollars and so forth, it's just an option on the budget side of the equation," said House Speaker, Rep. Calvin Say.

The casino would create about 4,000 jobs and generate about a half-billion dollars in revenue each year, a similar amount that leaves the state for gaming destinations like Las Vegas.

"$550 million that would be over the last 11 years that's $6 billion plus. If we could have captured just 15 or 20 percent of that we would not be in the shape that we are in the state of Hawaii," said Radcliffe.

Radcliffe says Marketing Resource Group of Michigan is interested in the project. The Ilitch family owns Little Caesar's Pizza, the Detroit Tigers and Redwings as well as several casinos.

So it should be no surprise that in 2011 gambling-related bills are again making progress in the Legislature—after all, the administration was hand picked by a gaming industry lobbyist who “looked into (their) background, (their) family, (their) relationships….”


SB602 Video Poker and Slot machines in Waikiki



TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute


Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Moms for Liberty

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui


Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii


National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today


Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii



Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii


Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu


West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii