Thursday, September 19, 2002

Bronster joins
Senate campaign fray

Her failed confirmation
as attorney general forms
a common thread

By Rod Thompson

HILO >> Former state Attorney General Margery Bronster said last night that state Sen. David Matsuura did not listen to her nor to Big Islanders when he voted against her reappointment in 1999.

Election 2002
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"Do not re-elect someone just because they have been there (in the Legislature). Re-elect them because you know during their term of office they have served you well," she said in a speech to about 200 supporters of Matsuura's Democratic primary opponent, Sen. Lorraine Inouye.

Inouye voted for Bronster's reappointment in 1999. Because of redistricting last year, Matsuura and Inouye, both incumbent Democrats, were thrown into a race against each other.

Bronster's reappointment failed in a 14-11 Senate vote, which was widely interpreted as retribution for her investigations into the Bishop Estate trustees, who were ousted from office.

Bronster, now a private attorney, praised Inouye as "a really wonderful elected official."

Matsuura could not be reached for comment following the speech at Inouye's downtown Hilo headquarters.

Bronster avoided criticizing Matsuura by name in her speech on public service. In the question session that followed, she said, "I did not come here tonight to specifically talk about Sen. Matsuura."

But she gave a direct answer to a question about Matsuura.

In her speech, she described trying to contact senators in 1999 about her reappointment.

"I did call each and every one of them, but each and every one of them did not talk to me," she said.

She was asked if Matsuura talked to her. "Sen. Matsuura was not one of the open senators," she answered. He did not meet with her.

On Tuesday night, Bronster endorsed Senate District 23 Democrat Melodie Aduja in her campaign against incumbent Democrat Bob Nakata, who also voted against Bronster in 1999.

Bronster said she is not working against all senators who voted against her and is only moderately knowledgeable about other races.

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