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Saturday, October 8, 2011
Spin Doctors try to blame Staff for Abercrombie being Abercrombie
By Andrew Walden @ 4:11 PM :: 7285 Views :: Energy, Environment

by Andrew Walden

According to senior Democrats, Abercrombie has been getting almost every single thing wrong—”batting 1.000”—but can get his act together by firing his staff and placing the Fifth Floor under the control of old-boy political operator Bruce Coppa.

For his entire Congressional career, Abercrombie’s political instability was covered up by a fawning Hawaii media.

Hawaii media worked in lockstep with the Abercrombie campaign to ensure his election in the Primary and the General elections.

For your reading pleasure, we have included links to the Abercrombie stores which the media covered up.

Now, with Abercrombie at the top, the reality is inescapable and their last, desperate hope is that Coppa will be able to whip Abercrombie into line.

Here is the coverage spoon-fed to the Star-Advertiser and Civil Beat. The “adult” names Bill Kaneko, Charlie Toguchi and Randy Iwase are mentioned by Civil Beat. Ben Cayetano is not mentioned.

Look who the “adults” are. Kaneko=Legislators should be able to accept bribes up to $200. Toguchi=The BoE he chaired was so reviled that voters abolished it out from under him. Iwase=Worst Gubernatorial Defeat for Democrats in Hawaii history.

The involvement of Charlie Toguchi points back to the HSTA and raises the alarming possibility that the reshuffle will lead to a contract negotiations capitulation resulting in raises for not only HSTA but HGEA and UPW as well.

And Bill Kaneko personally hand-picked the Abercrombie administration officials he is now kicking out. Of course none of the media accounts mention this.


SA: Abercrombie staff shift can be opportunity

The official reason was that they wanted to spend more time with their families -- the universally cited cause of innumerable political departures through the years.

Star-Advertiser writer Derrick DePledge tapped various sources, (Kaneko, Toguchi, Iwase, Cayetano) who declined to be named publicly but told him that the reasons went far deeper. There were longtime allies of the governor who feared he didn't have the people in place to advance his legislative agenda or communicate more broadly with the public, according to those sources.

The unfolding of events over the past 10 months have proven them correct. (WRONG. Most of Abercrombie’s problems have been created by his own mouth—not by staffers’ failings.) There were several failings that were counterproductive for his policy goals or left a bitter public-relations aftertaste.

read … Abercrombie staff shift can be opportunity

CB: Senior Dems Pushed Gov To Shake Up Staff

From early in his administration, longtime associates of Gov. Neil Abercrombie were alarmed at their friend's performance….

By this summer, these associates (Kaneko, Toguchi, Iwase, Cayetano) were already talking with the governor about the need to make a change in staff, starting at the top with Chief of Staff Amy Asselbaye….

The story they have to tell is this: That almost from day one the young administration made mistake after mistake, but wouldn't listen to those who were raising red flags….

"They just didn't know what they were doing — you could see what was coming," said another, referring to the resignations of Asselbaye and Aoki. "He was batting 1,000 percent getting almost every major thing wrong and not doing much right at all, it seems. So they needed to change it around."….

Abercrombie has always been sui generis — outspoken, aggressive, charming, intelligent, ambitious, argumentative. Many local folks of us in the media fell for the loud-mouthed, long-haired, balding haole in Hawaii Neil who drove a yellow Checker cab with his visage painted on the side.

When he ran for governor, longtime associates marveled at Abercrombie's (media image) demeanor during the campaign: a wise father figure patiently listening to what the people had to say; a man with a plan to lead the state forward.

Once in office, however, "Neil was Neil," said one associate. (Yep. That’s the whole problem. Neil is Neil.)

The job of controlling Abercrombie fell to Asselbaye. But she had never run an executive office before, and her skills did not lend themselves to the kind of back-room back-slapping required to govern. (She had been Abercrombie’s Congressional Chief of Staff for years)

What's more, her reluctance to engage people created a sense that the administration felt themselves superior, even a little cocky — as if they knew better than anyone else how to fix the state's myriad problems. (And we are supposed to believe that has nothing to do with Abercrombie?)

But these associates — folks like Bill Kaneko, Charlie Toguchi and Randy Iwase — did manage to break through to their friend the governor. They succeeded in getting him to hire Kate Stanley, another associate concerned about the direction of the administration, as senior adviser.

Stanley, a former legislator and party veteran, started Sept. 1 and helped bring a well-connected grown-up to Abercrombie's relatively young staff.

read … Senior Dems Pushed Gov To Shake Up Staff



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