Author Archive


December 10th, 2014

Gov. David Ige was one of 10 candidates for governor across the country to win this year with a plurality of the vote.

Eric Ostermeier, a research associate at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs who writes the Smart Politics blog, found that it was only the third time in the past century that governors elected with a plurality hit double digits. All of those occasions have been since 2002.

Ostermeier cites competitive independent and third-party campaigns as one of the reasons.

In Hawaii, former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, who ran for governor under the fledgling Hawaii Independent Party banner, finished third with a disappointing 12 percent of the vote. Without the former Democrat in the race, however, Ige would likely have broken 50 percent against former Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, the Republican.

Here are the other governors elected this year with a plurality, according to Smart Politics:

Independent Bill Walker of Alaska (48.1 percent), Democrats John Hickenlooper of Colorado (49.3 percent), David Ige of Hawaii (49.5 percent), John Kitzhaber of Oregon (48.9 percent), Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island (40.7 percent), and Peter Shumlin of Vermont (46.4 percent), and Republicans Rick Scott of Florida (48.1 percent), Sam Brownback of Kansas (49.9 percent), Paul LePage of Maine (48.2 percent), and Charlie Baker of Massachusetts (48.4 percent).

`Our Commitment'

December 9th, 2014

Gov. David Ige is making the transition from campaigning to governing, and his team has taken the opportunity to post a mission statement on the governor's state website that outlines the Democrat's approach.

The statement echoes the central themes of Ige's campaign, and includes language, such as the promise of "no hidden agendas," that is more political in nature than a typical official state site.

From "Our Commitment:"

The Ige administration will address the many issues facing our state in a direct and forthright manner. We will collaborate with our federal and county partners and with the Legislature to serve all of the people of Hawaii. We will spend public funds thoughtfully and without waste to avoid raising taxes. We will make state government more efficient, especially in the procurement of goods and services and the hiring of personnel. We will conduct government affairs openly and be visible to the public.

The Ige administration will not only strive to do the right thing, but do it the right way. This administration will be honest, transparent, accountable, and responsive to you. We will serve the public interest and not special interests. We will hold regular news conferences. We will have no hidden agendas.


December 8th, 2014

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz and U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono have urged the Senate Appropriations Committee to extend a federal provision that enables the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to increase the maximum home loan guaranty amount for veterans who live in states with high costs of living, such as Hawaii.

The provision, granted by Congress in 2008, is set to expire at the end of the year.

Median home prices on Oahu have hit a record $719,500.

The Hawaii Democrats were joined by U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.

From their letter to the committee:

We cannot ask the men and women who have honorably served in our Armed Forces, and their families who have stood with them, to shoulder more of the burden of balancing the budget on top of the sacrifices they have already made in their service to the nation. We urge members of the Senate and House Appropriations Committees to take action to extend this provision in law through December 31, 2015.

Maximum Ige

December 5th, 2014

Gov. David Ige spent $2 million on his historic campaign -- or roughly $11.25 a vote.

The Democrat raised $2.4 million overall, according to his final state campaign-finance report for the November election, and had a $435,029 surplus. Here are the donors who gave the maximum $6,000 to his campaign in the days before the vote:

Kendall Law Group, LLP
3232 McKinney Ave. Ste. 700
Dallas TX 75204

Rae, David
Aina Nui
92-4998 Limukele St.
Kapolei HI 96707

Shin, Nan C.
3170 Noela St.
Honolulu HI 96815

Demattei, Anthony
Demattei Wong Associates
2129 Queens Ln
San Mateo CA 94402

Wong, Wesley
Demattei Wong Associates
3522 Gillon Ave.
Dallas TX 75205

Okimoto, Nancy
98-1748 Kupukupu St.
Aiea HI 96701

Shin, Mariko K.
3170 Noela St.
Honolulu HI 96815

Mitsunaga, Dennis
Mitsunaga and Associates
747 Amana Street, #216
Honolulu HI 96814

Fujii, Aaron
Mitsunaga and Associates
2724A Kaaipu Avenue
Honolulu HI 96822

Mitsunaga, Chan Ok
Mitsunaga and Associates
747 Amana Street, #216
Honolulu HI 96814

Wuh, Hank
Skai Ventures, LLC
650 Iwilei Rd, #218
Honolulu HI 96817

Nohara, Rodney H.
Jayar Construction, Inc
2656 Kaaipu Avenue
Honolulu HI 96822

Hyun, Sam Kyu
MCE International, Inc.
1360 S, Beretania St., Suite 400
Honolulu HI 96814

Fukumoto, Neal S.
Wesley R Segawa & Associates
3345 Hoolulu Street
Honolulu HI 96815

McCully, James
40 Kamehameha
Hilo HI 96720

Yamamoto, James H.
R.M. Towill
3528 Kepuhi Street
Honolulu HI 96815

Iwamoto, Arlene
680 Iwilei Road, Suite 700
Honolulu HI 96817

Iwamoto, Robert Jr.
Roberts Hawaii
680 Iwilei Road, Suite 700
Honolulu HI 96817

Iwamoto, Tiffany S.
621 Ulili Street
Honolulu HI 96816

Okino, Glenn M.
Mitsunaga Construction Inc
2251 A Aulii Street
Honolulu HI 96817

Iwamoto, Chad
Roberts Hawaii
621 Ulili Street
Honolulu HI 96816

IBEW PAC Educational Fund
900 Seventh Street, NW
Washington DC 20001

Banister, Scott
PO Box 997
Half Moon Bay CA 94019

International Association of Fire Fighters
1750 New York Avenue NW
Washington DC 20006

Unite Here Local 5
1050 Queen Street, Suite 100
Honolulu HI 96814

2305 S. Beretania Street, #206
Honolulu HI 96826-1432

Pacific Renal Care Foundation
2226 Liliha Street, Ste 226
Honolulu HI 96817

Parsons Brinckerhoff Inc Group PAC
One Penn Plaza
New York NY 10119


November 21st, 2014

Memo to Hawaii's news media: Civil Beat thinks you are lazy!

The online news site, financed by eBay billionaire Pierre Omidyar, is hiring an investigative reporter. An ad posted on Nov. 6 on the Investigative Reporters and Editors website described the job opportunity and offered the following assessment:

Hawaii has many problems that are ripe for reporting. The islands have too long suffered from a lazy media effort and Civil Beat is leading the way to change that.

Curiously, that line has since been deleted from the ad.

Patti Epler, the news site's editor, did not respond to an email asking why the line had been removed.