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Wednesday, April 28, 1999




Senate to Bronster: Thumbs Down

State budget director
Earl Anzai also feels
the Senate axe

By Craig Gima
Star-Bulletin

Tapa

The state Senate Wednesday rejected Margery Bronster's nomination to a second term as the state's attorney general in a 14-to-11 vote.

Bronster and supporters and opponents watched in a packed Senate gallery as the vote was taken after about 2-1/2 hours of debate. The vote on Bronster had been too close to call, with a large number of undecided senators and other senators who switched sides in the hours leading up to the vote.

"In 1999, the confirmation of Margery Bronster will define this Senate," said Sen. Randy Iwase (D, Mililani), who said he received more calls and letters on this issue than any other.

"Ms. Bronster has been a solid and often stellar attorney general," said Sen. Matt Matsunaga (D, Palolo).

He said Bronster is not perfect, but has "been fearless when it comes to advocacy for the people of Hawaii."

Sen. Jonathan Chun (D, Lihue) spoke in opposition to Bronster.

"I need to be as comfortable as the governor with her legal advice and her character," Chun said.

However, he said concerns about her management style and delays in legal opinions and what he sees as advocacy within her opinions does not give him confidence in her.

Bronster is expected to step down as attorney general. It was not clear if she would or could accept a position to continue on as a special counsel on the Bishop Estate investigation.

Despite the setback, Gov. Ben Cayetano vowed earlier in the week that the vote would not end the investigation of the estate.

"It's going to continue because the ball has started to roll and we're too far along the way," Cayetano said on Monday.

Cayetano Wednesday said Bronster has done a tremendous job as attorney general.

The debate over Bronster had overshadowed much of what was happening in the Legislature in the 12 days since her April 16 confirmation hearing. The nomination was held as Senate Judiciary Co-Chairmen Matt Matsunaga (D, Palolo) and Avery Chumbley (D, Kihei) tried to gather the necessary votes to confirm Bronster, and it was finally brought to the floor Wednesday.

Bronster and Cayetano made personal visits to senators, but that apparently did not sway many undecideds. While the concerns expressed by some senators over Bronster's management ability may have been sincere, the fight over her nomination was also about controversy and politics over the Bishop Estate and an internal reorganization struggle in the Senate.

At one point last week, the governor urged that state Sen. Marshall Ige (D, Kaneohe) recuse himself from the vote because he has been named in the Bishop Estate investigation. The attorney general alleged that the estate paid an $18,261 campaign debt for Ige in a bogus billing scheme. However, even if Ige had recused himself, Bronster would still have fallen short of the majority she needed for confirmation.


The Vote on Bronster

Yes (11):

Bullet Robert Bunda (D, Wahiawa, North Shore)
Bullet Avery B. Chumbley (D, East Maui, North Kauai)
Bullet Suzanne Chun Oakland (D, Palama, Alewa Heights)
Bullet Les Ihara Jr. (D, Kapahulu, Kaimuki, Waikiki)
Bullet Lorraine R. Inouye (D, North Hilo, Kohala)
Bullet Randy Iwase (D, Mililani, Waipio Gentry)
Bullet Andrew Levin (D, Kau, Kona)
Bullet Matt Matsunaga (D, Waialae, Palolo)
Bullet Norman Sakamoto (D, Moanalua, Salt Lake)
Bullet Sam Slom (R, Kalama Valley, Aina Haina)
Bullet Brian Taniguchi (D, Manoa, McCully).

No (14):

Bullet Whitney Anderson (R, Kailua, Waimanalo)
Bullet Jan Yagi Buen (D, North/West Maui, Molokai, Lanai)
Bullet Jonathan Chun (D, South Kauai, Niihau)
Bullet Carol Fukunaga (D, Tantalus-Makiki)
Bullet Colleen Hanabusa (D, Waianae, Maili, Makaha)
Bullet David Ige (D, Pearlridge, Pacific Palisades)
Bullet Marshall Ige (D, Kaneohe, Enchanted Lake)
Bullet Brian Kanno (D, Ewa Beach, Makakilo)
Bullet Cal Kawamoto (D, Waipahu, Pearl City)
Bullet David M. Matsuura (D, South Hilo, Puna)
Bullet Bob Nakata (D, Kaneohe, Kahuku, Heeia)
Bullet Rod Tam (D, Downtown, Nuuanu)
Bullet Joe Tanaka (D, Wailuku, Upcountry, Kahului)
Bullet Norman Mizuguchi (D, Fort Shafter, Aiea)




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Budget director Anzai
feels Senate axe

By Mike Yuen
Star-Bulletin

The Senate's rejection of state Budget Director Earl Anzai came minutes after Attorney General Margery Bronster was rejected -- but without much debate.

Fifteen senators voted against Anzai, including veteran Ways and Means Co-Chairwoman Carol Fukunaga (D, Makiki).

Only 10, including first-year Ways and Means Co-Chairman Andrew Levin, voted for Anzai.

Fukunaga criticized Anzai for not following an attorney general's opinion that the budget can't be balanced by spending restrictions imposed by the governor.

Vote on Anzai

Yes (10):

Avery B. Chumbley (D, East Maui, North Kauai)
Bullet Suzanne Chun Oakland (D, Palama, Alewa Heights)
Bullet Lorraine R. Inouye (D, North Hilo, Kohala)
Bullet Randy Iwase (D, Mililani, Waipio Gentry)
Bullet Andrew Levin (D, Kau, Kona)
Bullet Matt Matsunaga (D, Waialae, Palolo)
Bullet Bob Nakata (D, Kaneohe, Kahuku, Heeia)
Bullet Norman Sakamoto (D, Moanalua, Salt Lake)
Bullet Joe Tanaka (D, Wailuku, Upcountry, Kahului)
Bullet Brian Taniguchi (D, Manoa, McCully).

No (15):

Bullet Whitney Anderson (R, Kailua, Waimanalo)
Bullet Jan Yagi Buen (D, North/West Maui, Molokai, Lanai)
Bullet Robert Bunda (D, Wahiawa, North Shore)
Bullet Jonathan Chun (D, South Kauai, Niihau)
Bullet Carol Fukunaga (D, Tantalus-Makiki)
Bullet Colleen Hanabusa (D, Waianae, Maili, Makaha)
Bullet David Ige (D, Pearlridge, Pacific Palisades)
Bullet Marshall Ige (D, Kaneohe, Enchanted Lake)
Bullet Les Ihara Jr. (D, Kapahulu, Kaimuki, Waikiki)
Bullet Brian Kanno (D, Ewa Beach, Makakilo)
Bullet Cal Kawamoto (D, Waipahu, Pearl City)
Bullet David M. Matsuura (D, South Hilo, Puna)
Bullet Sam Slom (R, Kalama Valley, Aina Haina)
Bullet Rod Tam (D, Downtown, Nuuanu) and Norman Mizuguchi (D, Fort Shafter, Aiea).


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