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Wednesday, October 31, 2012
October 31, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:15 PM :: 5034 Views

Honolulu Council: Aiona, Fukunaga Tied at 29% Each

Audio: Djou Launches New Radio Commercial

Hirono Voted Against Funding Tsunami Warning System

State Seeks Public Comment: New Rules for HRS 343 Environmental Review

UHERO Confab: Taxes, Clean Energy and Local Food

Find Your Polling Place: Walk-In Absentee Voting Open

Djou hits nail on the head

MN: Djou points out in the commercial that when he was serving in the military in Afghanistan there were no Republican or Democrat soldiers - just American soldiers.

He pledged that if he is elected to Congress, he will bring that same mindset to Washington - not a Democrat or Republican approach to our problems, but an American one….

The bipartisanship shown in this commercial is exactly what this country needs. The structural problems of the federal budget are certainly every bit as challenging and threatening as a war. Our legislators need to view themselves as warriors fighting a common enemy - out of control deficits.

read … Maui News 

National Republicans Contribute $257K to Hawaii GOP

PR: The National Republican Congressional Committee, which helps elect Republicans to the House, has sent over $81,000, according to the state GOP’s most recent federal campaign-finance report.

Target State Victory Fund, a joint fundraising group, contributed another $62,800, for more than $126,650 overall.

And the Republican National Committee chipped in $29,500, for $49,500 overall….

The Democratic National Committee, meanwhile, has sent more than $107, 800 to Hawaii Democrats for the election.

read … Financial Support

Poll With 55% Democrats finds 55% Support for Hirono

CB: The Civil Beat Poll shows Hirono, the Democrat and a three-term congresswoman, with a 55 percent to 40 percent lead over the two-term Republican Hawaii governor. The survey of 1,218 likely general election voters was conducted between Oct. 24 and Oct. 26.1 The poll's margin of error is 2.8 percent. Five percent said they were undecided.

Hirono's advantage is nearly identical to the 55-39 split The Civil Beat Poll found a month earlier in the first independent survey of the race since the two became their parties respective nominees in August.

KITV: Dueling polls paint different picture of mayor’s race

read … Its all about the polling Sample

Tsunami Exposes Advertiser’s Political Agenda

SBH News: Advertiser Agenda. Did you notice that the Honolulu Star Advertiser on Sunday, the day after the major Tsunami warning, had not one word on the front page, or anywhere in the paper, about the earthquake or tsunami? Page one was exclusively about the Advertiser's agenda in support of the rail project and Kirk Caldwell for Mayor. Not a word about news. (The paper did write about the tsunami in Monday's paper). Cynics say the Sunday paper was actually put to bed on Friday and didn't need any Saturday news. It's like the paper's Voters Guide a week (last Sunday) before where only 2 questions were asked of all candidates: why are you running for office, and, another Advertiser major agenda item, what is your position on same sex marriage for Hawaii? Nothing about jobs, the economy, taxes, transportation or anything else. Only same sex. Thank goodness for electronic competitive news sources here.

read … SBH

Nago Hires Election Saboteurs to Run Hawaii County Vote?

SA: The state Office of Elections has assembled a staff of nine in Hilo to administer Tuesday’s general election in Hawaii County, state chief election officer Scott Nago said today.

Nago had announced on Oct. 2 that the state was taking control of most general election operations in Hawaii County because he felt County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi had not prepared an adequate plan to prevent a repeat of mistakes that happened during the Aug. 11 primary.

Nago said today that Lori Tomczyk of his office will head a staff of eight Hawaii island residents hired for the general election. Nago said those hired have experience with elections and that some are former county clerk’s employees. Tomczyk is head of the state’s ballot operations section and was a monitor in Hawaii County for the primary.

The state will operate out of the State Office Building in Hilo. Nago said. State staff will run the control center and counting center, and manage operations at polling places, including getting registered-voter logs, ballots and other materials there.

read … Nago Reaps the Benefits of his Sabotage

HSTA Bombards Abercrombie With Videos, Open Letters

HNN: Negotiations between the State and the Hawaii teachers union has stalled again and some teachers are talking strike. Teachers have started recording "open letters" to the Governor Neil Abercrombie and putting them online.

"I'm angry and I'm tired of you," said Doug Robertson, Kaleiopuu Elementary School Fourth Grade Teacher, in a video he posted on YouTube. "Don't make this about how much teachers care about their students. You obviously have no idea what it means to care about the people you're supposed to be helping."

"Why are you not working with us? Why are you allowing your bravado to stop progression of a contract? I don't want to hear that we are asking too much because it doesn't take much to give respect," said Kellee Kelly, Third Grade Teacher, in a video she posted on YouTube.

Those are two videos of Hawaii teachers expressing their frustration with Governor Abercrombie blaming him for the contract stalemate.

"Now we have the deep water horizon of contract negotiations. You continue to offer less and less, worse and worse and more insulting deals. Your poison spilling out onto the education and negotiation environment polluting it," said Robertson, in the video.

The videos are part of a grassroots effort to raise awareness and momentum for Hawaii Teachers. Others have picketed the Governor's events and got Senate Candidate Mazie Hirono to pose with their signs.

Related: Hirono Joins HSTA Protest Against Abercrombie

read … Strike Warm-up

Cayetano Puts TV Stations on Notice Over Attack Ads

SA: Ben Cayetano wants Honolulu’s local TV stations to stop airing certain ads by the Pacific Resource Partnership, otherwise he might include them as defendants in a defamation lawsuit he lodged last week.

On Monday, Cayetano’s attorney, Jim Bickerton, sent letters to the general managers of Hawaii News Now, KHON and KITV saying they could be culpable for damaging his client’s reputation by knowingly running PRP attack ads that include misleading and possibly inaccurate information….

Specifically, Bickerton said the allegations that must be confirmed are that Cayetano “broke campaign spending laws, engaged in quid pro quo bribery and kept six figure sums of illegal contributions for his own personal use.”

Link: Cease and desist letter

read … On Notice

Roberts Hawaii, Environet Big Cayetano Super PAC Contributors

CB: Recognizing this, former appellate court judge Walter Heen resigned as the co-chair of Cayetano’s campaign and started his own independent expenditure committee called SaveOurHonolulu.com. Also involved with the group are Cliff Slater and Randy Roth, who along with Heen and Cayetano are plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit trying to block the rail project.

SaveOurHonolulu.com has raised around $163,000, with nearly all of it being spent on advertising attacking Caldwell for his involvement in pushing the rail project forward. Caldwell was former Mayor Mufi Hannemann’s managing director before taking over as acting mayor when Hannemann resigned to run for governor.

Unlike PRP, however, SaveOurHonolulu.com has more than one donor listed on its campaign spending reports.

Most of SaveOurHonolulu.com’s money comes from Robert Iwamoto Jr., the CEO of Roberts Hawaii, which is the state’s largest school bus contractor and owner of a fleet of ubiquitous island tour buses. Iwamoto, who lists his home address as Las Vegas, gave SaveOurHonolulu.com $100,000.

His sizable donation is followed by those of local entrepreneur Kimberley Dey and Elizabeth Grossman, a retired managing director of a Wall Street investment firm. Dey and Grossman each gave $25,000 to SaveOurHonolulu.com. Both women live in Kailua, which will not be served by rail.

The group also received a $2,000 contribution from Paul Kosasa, the president and CEO of ABC Stores. Kosasa also gave to Caldwell’s campaign.

A second independent expenditure committee, Defend Truth, also formed after the primary with the intention of backing Cayetano.

The group, headed by Milton Hirohata, raised and spent about $81,000, with about half of it coming from Joseph Pickard, president of Environet Inc.

read … Cayetano Money

PRP Campaign Reinforces Anti-Union Stereotypes

ILind: The PRP ad campaign comes across as a form of digital bullying aimed at intimidating voters rather than educating them, spreading misplaced fears rather an understanding of issues.

It has had all the subtlety of a group of brawny men in pro-development T-shirts bused in to pack a public hearing and shout down opponents, unfortunately not an unknown event in island politics.

And that’s where I see a problem.

The carpenters union had only 6,500 members last year, including retirees, but its high-profile spending spree will now define the image of organized labor for much of the general public.

And while PRP’s scorched-earth attack on Cayetano may swing enough voters to influence the outcome of this mayoral election, either by changing votes or chasing voters away from the polls, it could also lead to unintended long-term consequences by reinforcing ugly anti-labor stereotypes and further discouraging political participation.

Although labor in Hawaii still has more clout than in most states, union members made up only 21.5 percent of island workers last year, down from 29.9 percent as recently as 1989. The decline in union membership, coupled with the high visibility of unionized public worker contract negotiations, combine to make unions a visible and potentially politically vulnerable minority.

read … Hawaii Monitor

Hawaii High Rate of Multiple Job Holders Keeps Unemployment Low, Recovery Slow

PBN: “Hawaii’s jobless rate shot up from record low levels as the so-called Great Recession hit and it has been very slow to come down,” he said, adding that it has consistently been about 2 percentage points below the national unemployment rate. “But not much comfort can be taken from that when we consider the fact Hawaii’s service economy has an unusually high number of multiple job holders, and if you lose one of your several jobs, you are still employed,” he said.

read … Multiple job holders

Kenoi spending betters Kim nearly 10 to 1

WHT: Mayor Billy Kenoi pumped almost $90,000 into his re-election machine between the primary election and Oct. 22, as challenger and former Mayor Harry Kim sprinkled his grass-roots campaign with a tenth of that, according to reports filed Monday with the state Campaign Spending Commission.

Kenoi’s latest report shows his total spending nearing the $600,000 mark. After spending $597,795 on his campaign to date, Kenoi still had $19,880 left — more than Kim has raised his entire campaign….

Kim’s self-imposed rule to accept no contribution over $10 has kept his contribution levels low, forcing him to dip into his own money to keep pace. The latest spending report shows he put another $4,000 into his campaign on top of the $5,000 he’d previously invested. That brought his total receipts for the post-primary reporting period to $9,301 and total receipts to $18,666.

“I truly understand the meaning of ‘grass roots,’ now,” Kim said of his band of loyal followers, who seem to be promoting his cause with little coordination or supervision from the campaign.

read … Bye Bye Billy?

Court says Kauai Mayor can Retaliate Against police chief

KGI: The 5th Circuit Court on Tuesday ruled that the mayor has the power to suspend or discipline the chief of police.

Chief Judge Randal Valenciano ruled that the mayor is the chief executive officer of the county, and has the authority over all departments unless the charter provides language in the alternative.

The decision concludes a matter between the county Police Commission in its civil suit against Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho Jr. The plaintiffs had sought a declaratory judgment from the court to rule that the charter grants the sole authority to suspend or discipline the police chief to the Police Commission.

read … Politicized Judiciary

Obamacare Officials Lie to Big Island Seniors About Kaiser Plan

HTH: Some 1,525 Medicare Advantage beneficiaries on Hawaii Island who are relying on insurance from Kaiser Permanente need to re-enroll in a new Medicare plan by the end of the year.

This new plan that Kaiser is offering features the same benefits and premiums as one that is being discontinued.

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, informed beneficiaries of the change earlier in October, with a notice that beneficiaries are losing their current health plans as of Dec. 31.

What the notice didn’t say, however, is that Kaiser is offering a new plan for Hawaii Island residents that will offer the same benefits as their old plan, but beneficiaries will have to re-enroll.

read … Following Orders

Tourism Red Hot

PBN: Total spending by visitors to Hawaii rose 16 percent in September to $1.1 billion, and was nearly 20 percent higher for the first nine months of the year compared to the same period in 2011, the Hawaii Tourism Authority said Tuesday.

Hawaii visitors spent a total of $10.7 billion from January through September, compared to $8.9 billion during the same period in 2011, an increase of 19.5 percent, the HTA said.

Arrivals to the Islands totaled 595,019 in September, which was 6.1 percent higher than the 560,830 arrivals in September 2011.

Year-to-date, arrivals for the first nine months of the year totaled 5.97 million, which was 9.6 percent more than the 5.45 million who came to Hawaii during the first nine months of 2011. Total visitor days, which measures the number of visitors and how long they stay, rose 6.1 percent in September, and was 9.6 percent higher during the first nine months of the year compared to 2011.

MN: Visitor Spending on Maui Reaches $2.7B for Year-to-Date

read .. On Fire

Advertiser is #25 Newspaper in USA

UT: 25. Honolulu Star-Advertiser — 224,973 weekday (includes 29,932 digital and 69,319 branded editions); 170,298 Sunday (includes 29,781 digital editions).

read … USA Today

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