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Monday, December 17, 2012
Hawaii Loses One of its Three Major Industries
By Selected News Articles @ 9:35 PM :: 7986 Views :: Congressional Delegation, Economy

Related: Inouye wanted Hanabusa to succeed him in U.S. Senate



SA: His death is a huge loss for Hawaii which has come to rely on his decades of unwavering advocacy for the islands and his ability to direct billions of dollars in federal money to his home state. It was often said, only half-jokingly, that Hawaii had three major industries: tourism, the military, and Sen. Dan Inouye.

"He's long been known as a fierce protector of home-state interests," Christopher Deering, a political science professor at George Washington University in Washington, said before Inouye's death. "He's also been a highly respected inside player."

PBN: The Hawaii Democrat has been responsible for bringing billions of federal dollars to his home state as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, most recently a $1.55 billion federal grant for Honolulu’s rail transit project….

PBN: Business leaders praise Inouye as champion for Hawaii's interests “For us, federal funding has gone up the past few years. Senator and his staff have worked hard to make sure that we had a fair shot at the funding.”

PBN:  “The men and women of the Department of Defense have lost one of their most dedicated advocates, and I have lost a dear friend, with the passing of Sen. Daniel Inouye,” Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said in a statement….

Officials at the East-West Center, a think tank that Inouye helped save from the budget axe, also praised the late senator…. East-West Center President Charles Morrison said in a statement. “Sen. Inouye has always been the staunchest supporter of the East-West Center, not just in Washington, but also frequently interacting with participants and alumni. We will sorely miss him.”

Inouye Remembered for His Commitment to Hawaii’s Environment

CB: The Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Project writes: Terrible sad day for Hawaii and monk seal conservation. With the passing of Senator Inouye, monk seals and the state of Hawaii have lost a great advocate. He was a longtime supporter of monk seals. RIP sir.

…the last tweet from Inouye’s Senate account reads: “A moth will help save cattle in #Hawaii.

Civil Beat caught up with Inouye a few months ago when he came out to support Pacific Biodiesel’s new biodiesel plant on the Big Island….

read … Out of Money

Roll Call: Hawaii's Clout Will Diminish

KHON: Federal funding could be in jeopardy with Inouye death  "Senator Stevens, from Alaska, a very similar situation, our 49th state we're the 50th. He was Senator for a long time, when he was no longer in the Senate Alaska lost 75% of their federal monies. We might be facing that."

SA: Congressional sway funneled billions of dollars to isle projects  Ino­uye sponsored $392.4 million in earmarks in fiscal year 2010, according to In comparison, the senator with the fewest earmarks was Minnesota Demo­crat Al Franken, whose total was $8.6 million.

The Almanac of American Politics estimated that from 1998 to 2003 Ino­uye steered $1.4 billion to military projects in Hawaii. In addition, Hawaii ranked third on the list of states with the highest per-capita federal government spending at $19,001 in fiscal year 2009, behind only Alaska at $20,351 and Virginia at $19,734, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

However, Inouye's influence on the Hawaii economy goes beyond earmarks and military spending, said Hawaii Pacific University economics professor Leroy Laney. He cited Ino­uye's work to get a fleet of NCL America cruise ships based in Hawaii and his efforts to get the U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration to fund programs here, such as the Kauai Technology Center.

Mattie Yoshioka, president of the Kauai Economic Development Board, credited Ino­uye with helping prevent the closure of the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands during various rounds of military base closures. The missile range employs about 800 people, 90 percent of whom are civilians, she said….

ILind: Notes on the end of the Inouye era

Rep Jerry Chang: “He was just a wealth of knowledge, a wealth of power.”

AP: Hawaii loses economic engine with Inouye's passing

Hawaii is now facing an "economic storm," said state Sen. Glenn Wakai.

He helped the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard — Hawaii's biggest industrial employer with 4,200 civilian workers — fight the threat of closure in 2005.

He steered federal contracts to Hawaii-based companies, encouraging multinational defense contractors like BAE Systems to establish a presence in the islands.

Inouye supported research in the sciences that have become Hawaii's biggest hopes for diversifying the state's economy beyond the mainstay of tourism.

Jay Fidell, the founder of Think Tech, a Honolulu-based company dedicated to raising awareness about technology, energy and globalism, said Hawaii will need to become more friendly to business and its new congressional delegation will need to work fast to help the state weather the change.

Inouye's successor — who will be appointed by Hawaii's governor — and Senator-elect Mazie Hirono, who is succeeding Akaka, will need to connect with Inouye's funding sources, Fidell said. So will Hawaii's two representatives in the House, Rep. Colleen Hanabusa and representative-elect Tulsi Gabbard, he said.

"In absence of that, Hawaii is a very distant speck to Washington and we had better get on it right away," Fidell said.

Earmark Ban Helped Inouye Drive More Money to Hawaii

SA: …once Congress stopped using earmarks, Inouye's ability to secure appropriations relative to other members of Congress actually may have increased, according to Jock Friedly, president and founder of LegiStorm, another Washington-based watchdog group.

Earmarks essentially went underground, and projects sought by congressional members were funded by persuading the executive branch to include money in its budget proposals to Congress, Friedly said.

Inouye's requests likely received priority.

"You always listen to the appropriations chairman," Friedly said. "Anybody in Washington had to take his phone call."

Getting a phone call from a new Hawaii senator without a powerful chairmanship won't have the same effect, the analysts said.

"It's possible that agencies will feel less need to send money Hawaii's way," Friedly said.

"It's not like the federal government is going to forget about Hawaii entirely," added Ellis, who was born at Tripler Army Medical Center and spent a few years on Oahu, where his Navy father was stationed. "But it will be more on the margins, where (Hawaii) probably won't do quite as well."

read … Isles face own fiscal cliff as many expect sizable drop-off in federal funds


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