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Spoilers

September 30th, 2014
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Hawaii is among several states this year where independent and Libertarian Party candidates could have an influence on elections.

In the Hawaii governor's race, former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, an independent, and Jeff Davis, a Libertarian, could peel votes away from state Sen. David Ige, the Democrat, and former Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, the Republican.

The New York Times examined the states with similar scenarios in a story on Sunday:

In an election year shaped by voter anger toward the political establishment, the outcome of an unusually large number of close Senate and governor’s races could be determined by the outsize role of third-party candidates.

The potential spoilers include a quixotic former three-term senator, a pizza delivery man and an Alaskan whose name, Fish, summons a favored native food. They represent independents, Libertarians and other parties that have suddenly become relevant — and could affect the balance of power in Congress and decide who runs the governor’s offices in several states.

Taxing

September 30th, 2014
By



The super PAC aligned with the Republican Governors Association has dropped a new television advertisement in Hawaii targeting state Sen. David Ige, this time hitting the Democratic candidate for governor on taxes.

The American Comeback Committee's ad highlights Ige's support for a general-excise tax increase to help the state get through the recession. Ige's colleagues on the Senate Ways and Means Committee refused to advance the bill, however.

Ige has since ruled out a GET increase and other tax hikes and has said that state government needs to live within its means.

The super PAC's independent spending is meant to help former Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, the Republican.

`Side-by-side'

September 30th, 2014
By



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.

Fore!

September 29th, 2014
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The state Ethics Commission announced on Monday that it has fined 21 state employees for accepting free rounds of golf from several firms with business interests with the state.

The state's gifts law prohibits state employees from accepting gifts that could be reasonably inferred to influence official duties or actions. The fair treatment law prohibits employees from using their positions to gain unwarranted benefits.

But the Ethics Commission emphasized that none of the state employees involved had actually misused their positions by favoring any of the firms.

The state employees, who were issued administrative penalties of $250, $500 and $1,500, were not publicly identified. But most work for the state Department of Transportation, the state Department of Accounting and General Services, and the University of Hawaii.

Here are the firms involved:

Ameron Hawaii
Bowers + Kubota Consulting, Inc.
Central Construction, Inc.
Graybar Electric Company, Inc.
Hawaiian Telcom
HDR Engineering, Inc.
Hirata & Associates, Inc.
KAI Hawaii, Inc.
Mitsunaga & Associates, Inc.
Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc.
PBR Hawaii & Associates, Inc.
R. M. Towill Corporation
Ronald N. S. Ho & Associates, Inc.
SSFM International, Inc.

1994

September 29th, 2014
By



We took a look at Jeff Davis, the Libertarian Party candidate for governor, in the newspaper on Monday.

Minor party candidates usually do not factor into statewide campaigns, but Davis, a solar contractor and talk radio host, has forced his way into the conversation this year.

With three major candidates -- state Sen. David Ige, a Democrat, former Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, a Republican, and former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, an independent -- the winner could prevail with a plurality, and the vote could be close enough that Davis could serve as a spoiler.

This scenario almost played out the last time there were three major candidates for governor -- in 1994 -- and Kioni Dudley ran as a Green Party candidate.

Here was the breakdown in the 1994 race:

Ben Cayetano (D): 134,978/36%
Frank Fasi (B): 113,158/30%
Pat Saiki (R): 107,908/28%
Kioni Dudley (G): 12,969/3.4%