Walter Dods, the retired banker and longtime confidant to the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, took exception on Tuesday night to what he described as suggestions by the news media that Inouye has attempted to control politics from the grave.
Dods and Jeffrey Watanabe, an attorney and Inouye ally, had hand-delivered Inouye's letter to Gov. Neil Abercrombie in December in which Inouye urged Abercrombie to appoint U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa to succeed him. Abercrombie instead appointed Brian Schatz, his lieutenant governor.
At a campaign event for Hanabusa Tuesday night at Bishop Museum, Dods said he was bothered by speculation that "someone who has left this earth still wants to control politics.
"How sick is that? It just makes me disgusted to see that's the level of the kind of conversation we have going on in the community."
Dods said that Inouye had the opportunity to measure potential talent for the Senate and recommended Hanabusa, not for himself or his legacy, but because he thought it would help Hawaii.
Hanabusa is challenging Schatz in the Democratic primary.