Friday, October 25, 2002

Republicans defend report
showing alleged state waste

By Pat Omandam

House Republicans and Gov. Ben Cayetano continue to feud over a House minority research report released this week that claimed $668.1 million in waste and mismanagement in the governor's administration.

Yesterday, state Rep. Galen Fox (R, Waikiki) bristled at Cayetano's remarks that the report was "rubbish."

The governor also questioned the timing of the report with 11 days left before the Nov. 5 general election. He called it an "incredible exhibition of dishonesty," saying it compiled misleading statistics from the past 40 years.

Fox, the House minority leader, said, "We're quite concerned that the state, in fact, treats the auditor's reports -- which make up a majority of what provides the summary of our waste and mismanagement study -- that he treats these reports as rubbish."

"It isn't rubbish," said state Rep. Mindy Jaffe (R, Diamond Head). "This is the most important work we do as a legislative branch: deal with the peoples' money in a responsible way."

Meanwhile, Republicans continued to promote the report's findings, this time citing examples of alleged favoritism in the state's procurement process.

The GOP caucus pointed to eight school repair projects for which the state allegedly paid more than double the price of the lowest bids. But Fox admitted the GOP is investigating its findings and does not have proof of any wrongdoing.

"We're posing the questions at this stage," he said.

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