by Jacob Shafer
Hirono She Did
More than a month after tossing his hat in the ring, Ed Case—who must have been feeling downright lonely in the race to replace outgoing Sen. Dan Akaka—finally has some company. Rep. Mazie Hirono, a rumored candidate from the moment Akaka announced he wouldn’t seek a fifth term, made it official this week, promising in an e-mail to “keep fighting for Hawaii” and imploring supporters to “help spread the word.”
Hirono’s announcement comes on the heels of a widely reported poll that placed her and Case atop a field of potential Democratic contenders that includes Rep. Colleen Hanabusa and former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann.
Meanwhile, former Governor Linda Lingle—considered the Republican frontrunner —told the Star-Advertiser she won’t make her intentions known until August. Interestingly, Lingle and Hirono have history: in 2002 they squared off in a tight gubernatorial contest—with Lingle coming out on top.
While many subscribe to the old “politicians are like diapers” philosophy (you know: both should be changed frequently, especially when they’re full of, uh, it), Hawaii legislators face no term limits, and can serve as long as their constituents keep reelecting them.
That fact is the backdrop for an interesting entry posted this week on the Hawaii House Blog (which is run by the Democratic majority), calculating the number of House members who have been replaced during the last three elections. Out of 53 members, the analysis found, 27 have gotten the boot since 2005. That’s more than a 50 percent turnover rate.
The insinuation, presumably, is that the dead wood gets cleared out regardless. Then again, for every lawmaker who is forced back into the private sector there’s one whose name recognition and connections keep him in the job until he’s wearing diapers.
If talking story with a bunch of politicians and county officials is your idea of a good time (and actually, if you care about Maui, it sort of should be) make plans to swing by the Lahaina Cannery Mall this Saturday, May 28.
Mayor Alana Arakawa will be on hand from 2-4pm, along with West Maui Councilmember Elle Cochran, Public Works Director David Goode, Economic Development Coordinator Teena Rasmussen, Environmental Coordinator Rob Parsons and Mayoral assistant Zeke Kalua, to answer questions and discuss issues, part of Arakawa’s “County on Your Corner” series.
It’s still months away, but one hot topic for Lahaina folks should be the annual Front Street Halloween celebration, which withered on the vine like a sickly gourd during the Tavares administration (during the campaign, both Cochran and Arakawa promised to revive the event). Showing up in costume to ask the question is, of course, optional. ■
Tags: Alan Arakawa, Charmaine Tavares, Coconut Wireles, Colleen Hanabusa, County on Your Corner, Dan Akaka, Daniel Akaka, David Goode, Ed Case, Elle Cochran, Hawaii House Blog, Lahaina Cannery Mall, linda lingle, Mazie Hirono, Mufi Hannemann, Rob Parsons, TTeena Rasmussen, Zeke Kalua