by Andrew Walden
In a bizarre email message to her supporters December 18, Senate President Colleen Hanabusa (D-Koolina) says there is "real concern" about ... "bankrolling a special election we cannot afford...." She suggests the other option would be "doing without representation in Congress for a year."
Hanabusa's sudden parsimony stands in sharp contrast to her attitude earlier this summer. The Advertiser July 2 reports:
State Senate President Colleen Hanabusa has urged Gov. Linda Lingle to consider alternatives to her furlough plans, including a 5 percent across-the-board pay cut for state workers or one furlough day a month for the next two years, instead of three days.... Hanabusa's suggestions would save the state less money than Lingle's furlough plans, but are based on an alternative estimate of the budget deficit that is lower than what the governor projects.
When union jobs and pay rates are on the line, Hanabusa says money will fall from the skies; she and her buddy Jeff Stone will direct the Ko`olina groundskeepers to pick it up and deposit it into the general fund. But when the State needs an estimated $2 million to conduct a Special Election suddenly Hawaii should consider "doing without representation in Congress for a year."
The Election Commission and the Lingle Administration have come up with $7.5M in federal funds which will more than pay for the Special Election. It is Hanabusa who cannot afford the election.
Hanabusa's duties as Senate President are likely to keep her tied down while fundraising leader Charles Djou and second place fundraiser Ed Case are campaigning. She apparently isn't willing to put it all on the line--as Abercrombie has--by resigning to run.
State law requires that a Special Election be held no sooner than 60 days after the vacancy occurs but does not set an outer limit by which the vote must be held. Abercrombie has announced his intention to resign, but not announced the date of his departure from Congress.
Advertiser columnist David Shapiro today called talk of not holding a Special Election "Disgrace, hypocrisy in local politics." The Advertiser's Derrick DePledge noted Hanabusa's email in his December 18 blog but Shapiro did not mention Hanabusa's role, instead taking aim at the easy target, outgoing State Chief Election Officer Kevin Cronin who will be gone December 31.
Just as Hanabusa's email message went out, Ed Case December 18 told The Hill that Hawaii Democrats have forgiven him for implying Senator Dan Akaka was feeble-minded, ineffectual, and too liberal during his failed 2006 Senate Primary campaign. Case also told The Hill he would be on the look out for another opportunity to run for US Senate.
This means that Honolulu Councilman Charles Djou is the only candidate in the Special Election for CD1 who wants both to run in the election and to represent Hawaii in the US House.
RELATED: Cayetano: Hanabusa's Broken Trust connections lead to Ko Olina , Ed Case announces candidacy -- for SENATE: Calls Hanabusa clueless
Full text of Hanabusa's Dec. 18 email message:
Hanabusa for Hawai`i
A message to all members of Hanabusa for Hawai`i
Aloha and thank you for your support,
We have a full plate before us at the legislature. As you may have read, we are cancelling our usual opening ceremonies in order to get down to business right away.
As I write this, the talks have broken down again between the Governor's office and the HSTA. It's still my highest hope that the first act of the legislature will be to pass legislation to end furlough Fridays.
For the moment, there is real concern that we must make the choice between bankrolling a special election we cannot afford and doing without representation in Congress for a year. I know that Hawai'`i's concerns are here, and they are the most important to me.
Hawai`i is a special place.
We have a lot that we can teach the rest of America about preserving our environment, about caring for others, about maintaining our core values. First and foremost, it is important that we preserve these values at home. Undoubtedly, there will be a lot of change in the coming months. I will do my best to keep you informed, and I appreciate your continued support.
President, State Senate