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2018: Abercrombie Revenge Round vs Ige?
SA: …He was largely unknown when he won, but has had almost two years as governor to introduce himself to the public.
Judging from the griping in Hawaii’s political circles, that introduction hasn’t gone all that well.
Observers agree Ige has done nothing to arouse the kind of public furor that helped eject Abercrombie from office. Ige is likable, and the voting public seems unconcerned with any shortcomings he might have as Hawaii’s chief executive.
Still, disappointed political insiders fault Ige for remaining low-key and low-profile in a job many believe requires strong, outspoken leadership. And some Democrats are aggressively casting about for a well-known candidate who is willing to challenge Ige in 2018.
That is a curious predicament for an intelligent and generally inoffensive governor in a state that rarely rejects incumbents. But Ige’s political critics contend he failed to lead the state on some pivotal issues, and grumble that they can’t get firm decisions, commitments or straight answers from his administration….
“David’s not a leader. He’s a very nice guy, I’m friendly with him, but he couldn’t lead his way out of a paper bag,” McDermott said….
the people who are out searching for a candidate to run against Ige in 2018 are mostly sour because they have lost influence.
According to the Ige camp, many or most of the malcontents are lobbyists who enjoyed political clout during the Abercrombie years, and were dismayed to discover they cannot influence Ige….
In areas that have been the focus of more public and media attention, Ige has been criticized for his approach. This is particularly true of the 2015 standoff with protesters opposed to the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea on Hawaii island.
When protesters blocked the mountain road leading to the telescope construction site, people perceived Ige’s response “as kind of a lack of leadership,” said Colin Moore, director of the Public Policy Center at the University of Hawaii at Manoa….
The NextEra purchase failed when the Public Utilities Commission rejected it, a clear victory for Ige….
Ige himself describes his “Cool the Schools” initiative as “my biggest frustration.” Ige promised last January to cool 1,000 classrooms by the end of 2016, and convinced lawmakers to appropriate $100 million to install air conditioners and other equipment to lower the temperatures in state classrooms.
Unexpectedly costly bids by contractors contributed to delays, and Ige said in an interview that so far work has been completed in only 164 classrooms. Bids have been awarded for another 207, he said….
overhauling public education has been messy. For example, even some of Ige’s supporters agree he was clumsy in his handling of the decision to replace state Superintendent of Schools Kathryn Matayoshi….
“Things like that are just accumulating, and while I don’t think that this governor is dead and buried, and I don’t believe that he’s doomed to lose a re-election bid, it is causing people in some quarters to look for an alternative,” said Randy Perreira, executive director of the Hawaii Government Employees Association.
That includes people in the building trades unions who hope to convince U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa to run for governor in 2018. (Yes—Get Hanabusa back out of Congress!) Observers agree that if a prominent candidate such as Hanabusa enters the race, the contest would likely be competitive.
(Neil Abercrombie 2018—He’s Tanned, Rested, Ready! Or Billy Kenoi—Just imagine what a Kenoi governorship would do for Hawaii’s depressed hostess bar industry!)
ILind: Just who is Gov. Ige listening to?
Click here to see the list of all donors to the governor in 2015-2016.
read … Quiet leadership draws criticism
Ige ‘Tone Deaf’ on Sister Isles
HTH: …Applications for candidates to fill one of the two Hawaii County seats on the University of Hawaii Board of Regents were due Sept. 30. The seat was vacated by the early September resignation of Barry Mizuno, who died Nov. 26.
But a lack of a quorum on the Regents Candidate Advisory Council has left the applications still to be evaluated. The board, which at capacity has seven voting and one nonvoting member, is short four voting members.
That means Gov. David Ige must appoint at least one new member to the advisory council, have the council review candidates for the Regents post and send names of three candidates to him. Ige will then pick a candidate, who must then be confirmed by the state Senate.
Ige also must appoint someone to fill the House District 2 seat vacated by the Nov. 15 death of Rep. Clift Tsuji. The governor is required to choose, within 60 calendar days from the vacancy, from a list of three selected by the political party of the official leaving the seat. Friday marked the 45th day.
Some fear the long delays could indicate Ige is tone deaf to the special challenges of serving on the Legislature from the neighbor islands, and the pressure neighbor island institutions such as universities feel competing for state dollars with facilities closer to the center of power on Oahu.
With the state poised to settle its biennial budget and looming issues for the University of Hawaii at Hilo such as the Thirty Meter Telescope, there’s no time to waste getting the posts filled, they said.
“You lose that voice at the table,” said state Sen. Kai Kahele, a Democrat representing the Hilo area.
“It’s a major concern for us,” said Jerry Chang, director of UHH university relations….
read … Tone Deaf
2017: Honolulu still has no plan for needed affordable housing while rail could increase rents and traffic
DN: …as we enter 2017, Governor Ige’s emergency declaration of emergency over homelessness has been allowed to lapse without the creation of any plan for the needed 20,000, 22,000, 60,000 or 64,000 new housing units (depending on the time span and which news article you are reading)….
read … 2017: Honolulu still has no plan for needed affordable housing while rail could increase rents and traffic
Homeless Refuse Shelter, Commit Home Invasions
SA: …Some homeless are invisible, many are not. I have been harassed while entering our only remaining supermarket. Many private and public areas have become toilets for their use. The risk of wildfire is a real threat to residents.
Crime including auto thefts, vandalism and home invasions have increased.
The city and state have done little to address this continuing problem. The homeless were chased out of Waikiki for the sake of tourism. Why, then, should law-abiding, taxpaying residents be held hostage to this increasing growth of the homeless in residential areas? ….
read … Residents suffer as homeless increase