By Derrick DePledge
Former Gov. Linda Lingle has sent out a fundraising appeal on behalf of former Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, saying they worked "side-by-side" for eight years to improve the quality of life in Hawaii.
Some people have told me that Duke is not an "experienced politician." I tell them that's one of his strengths.
Duke Aiona is the only candidate who understands the challenges that everyday people face in Hawaii. David Ige is a career politician who has held elected office for decades. His narrow perspective cannot compare to Duke's varied experiences as a father, judge, Lieutenant Governor, small-business owner, and mentor to youth.
Worse still, David Ige's long record as a legislator shows that he represents the failed policies and empty promises of the Abercrombie Administration. The same failed policies that have led to the high cost of living, one of the highest tax burdens in the nation, and a lack of high-quality jobs.
Lingle left out the fact that Ige, a state senator and the Democratic candidate for governor, is an electrical engineer who has more than three decades in the private sector to match with his legislative career. He and his wife have also raised three children.
Aiona has sought to distance himself from some of the unpopular memories of the Lingle administration, like teacher furloughs and the Hawaii Superferry, in his Republican campaign. He has explained that being Lingle's No. 2 gave him valuable experience in how to run the state, but has insisted that the final word on policy rested with the governor.
Democrats, however, have eagerly sought to tie Aiona to Lingle, who left office after two terms with low job approval ratings and lost badly to U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, in 2012.