State Sen. David Ige said Monday that he would vote against the confirmation of Brian Tamamoto, Gov. Neil Abercrombie's choice for the small business seat on the Hawaii Community Development Authority.
Tamamoto works for Royal Holdings, an affiliate of the Kobayashi Group, a major developer with interests in the Kakaako region overseen by the HCDA. Sen. Laura Thielen has objected to Tamamoto's confirmation, arguing that the Kobayashi Group is not a small business.
Ige is challenging Abercrombie in the Democratic primary for governor. From the senator:
This is not about an individual or company. It is the principle as this position is designated for a small-business representative and I question if a holding company of the Kobayashi Group fits the definition. Citizens are concerned already about the make-up of the HCDA and the pace at which it is approving projects.
*Update: The Senate voted 20 to 5 on Tuesday to confirm Tamamoto.