Picking on campaign fliers is too easy. Also, it’s not very interesting. Aside from the occasional Souki sponge, candidates rarely get creative with their self-promotion, opting instead for the usual mix of bullet-pointed accomplishments (or “accomplishments”), platitude-laden promises and grip-and-grin photos, featuring some combination of children, old people and/or hard hats. But I can’t let this one pass. A couple weeks ago, while discussing Sol Kaho’ohalahala’s Mayoral candidacy, I wrote: “others, including former Planning Director Chris Hart, have entered the race, but none seem likely to make a significant splash.” It wasn’t intended as a personal knock against Hart, just an observation that so far he doesn’t appear to be a legitimate contender. Of course, it’s early; things could change. Then I got a campaign flier from the Hart camp that features, prominently, a Maui News quote calling him “highly respected” and noting his “professional approach.” So what’s wrong with that? Nothing, except that the quote is from 1990. Which leaves only two possibilities, neither of them good: no one has said anything nice about Hart since the first Bush Administration, or his campaign team looked at a mildly laudatory, 20-year-old quote and thought, “Bingo!”…
Last month, Spin Cycle reviewed the troubling history of Aloha Tower Development Corp. (ATDC), a public corporation formed in 1981 to oversee construction in the area around the historic Aloha Tower lighthouse on Oahu. Since then, ATDC has pretty much defined failure. On April 8, State Auditor Marion Higa blasted the corporation, calling it “flawed, obsolete and mismanaged.” Four days later, Gov. Lingle released $900,000 in state funds to settle a lawsuit brought by a Texas developer (one of several lawsuits filed against ATDC). Ah, but then there was SB2942, a bill that would have dismantled ATDC and transferred its duties to other, existing agencies. Later, the bill was amended (read: had its teeth ripped out), with the new goal to “[establish] a task force to determine the feasibility and economic effects of”…well, you get the picture. Even that de-fanged version didn’t gain traction, and SB2942 died a quiet death in committee, meaning ATDC has at least one more year to become even more flawed and obsolete…. Hats off to the Honolulu Weekly for putting Rafael del Castillo on the cover. Who’s Rafael del Castillo, you ask? Exactly. “Despite the fact that Honolulu’s special congressional election has largely been reported as a race between three familiar, highly polarizing politicians, the ballots that will begin to appear in Honolulu voters’ mailboxes next week will feature the names of 14 candidates,” reads the story, written by Weekly Managing Editor Adrienne LaFrance. Del Castillo is one of those 14 candidates, and his resume is impressive. Though Mauians don’t get to vote in this election, it obviously holds significance for all of Hawaii. For the complete story, go to honoluluweekly.com…. Speaking of those three polarizing politicians, Republican Charles Djou is gaining momentum; a recent Honolulu Advertiser poll puts him ahead of both Ed Case and Colleen Hanabusa, his Democratic rivals. Fearing a Scott Brown redux—and in his home state no less—President Obama is apparently planning to work the phones (in pre-recorded form). “Aloha, this is President Barack Obama on behalf of the Democratic Party,” reads the text of a message that will start going out to Honolulu voters, according to a KITV report. “As you know, there is an election for Congress taking place and your support for a Democrat is crucial for us in pushing forward our agenda for change.” Seriously guys: if you elect Djou, how is Obama going to meet his goal of turning us into a socialist dictatorship by Christmas?… The long-term viability of Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar may be in doubt, but its parent company is doing fine. In the first quarter of 2009, Alexander & Baldwin made a $3 million profit. In the first quarter of 2010, according to a company statement released earlier this week, that figure rose to $17.3 million. The spike is due mostly to A&B’s real estate and shipping arms, though, according to CEO Stanley Kuriyama, the “expectation for significant improvement in agribusiness performance in 2010 is unchanged.” Of course, it wouldn’t be an A&B release without this, also from Kuriyama: “although market prices for sugar have fallen recently…we continue to focus our efforts on restoring profitability and maintaining access to water” (emphasis added, unnecessarily for the discerning reader)….
Hey, you know whose opinion about the BP oil spill I don’t want to hear? Brownie’s. You remember Brownie, aka Michael Brown, the only man ever to head up both FEMA and the International Arabian Horse Association, and the dude who was in charge of managing disasters when we kind of mismanaged that little disaster down in the Gulf. During a recent sit-down with FOX News (They Interview Incompetent Former Bureaucrats, You Decide), Brownie suggested that Obama allowed the spill to spread to forward his anti-Big Oil agenda. “This is exactly what they want, because now he can pander to the environmentalists and say, ‘I’m gonna shut it down because it’s too dangerous,’” said Brownie. “This president has never supported Big Oil, he’s never supported offshore drilling, and now he has an excuse to shut it back down.” You know those environmentalists: destroy one ecosystem and you’ll never hear the end