Friday, December 6, 2002

State of Hawaii

Parked under the Capitol yesterday, the Lincoln Navigator used by former Gov. Ben Cayetano is not favored by Gov. Linda Lingle.

Lingle simplifying
official transportation

She does not want the leased SUV
that Cayetano used

By Richard Borreca

The hulking black, fully loaded 1999 Lincoln Navigator sits ignored next to the bicycle racks in the basement of the state Capitol. It once was the personal chariot of former Gov. Ben Cayetano.

Gov. Linda Lingle took one look at the 2-ton behemoth and said, "No."

Hawaii's new governor, says Lenny Klompus, communications director, has a simpler taste.

The state provides transportation, driver and bodyguard for both the governor and lieutenant governor, apparently whether they want it or not.

Lingle's supporters say that when she visited friends on the Windward side for Thanksgiving last week, she and another friend drove, upsetting the security detail.

The daughter of a car dealer, Lingle also does not like the eight-passenger Navigator, leased from Lincoln Mercury for $697 a month, according to Klompus.

The car was part of a national promotion to offer new Lincolns to all 50 governors. Cayetano was one of 17 governors who opted for the Navigator instead of the Town Car. Cayetano was criticized by environmentalists and the president of the Hawaii Sierra Club for getting the SUV because it got only 12 miles to the gallon.

Lingle drives her own white four-door Chrysler and, according to Klompus, would prefer to have a state van.

"She is simple in her tastes, not flashy. The material things just don't interest her. I would call her low-maintenance," Klompus said.

Although, at first resisting the security detail, Lingle has agreed to the bodyguards, she still would not mind driving herself, Klompus added.

Parked under the Capitol yesterday, the Chevrolet van used by former Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono will be put into service for Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona.

Lingle, who is single, also does not need the state-leased Chevrolet Blazer that former first lady Vicky Cayetano had at her disposal. Also not needed is the state driver for the governor's spouse. Lingle aides were checking on what the state can do with the vehicles.

Earlier this year, Cayetano had purchased a Mercedes-Benz coupe.

Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona said through David Patterson, who handled his campaign public relations, that Aiona would accept the brown Chevrolet Astrovan that was leased for former Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono.

"Before having use of the car, Duke actually carpooled to the Capitol. I guess you could still say he's continuing to carpool, but now with his security guards," Patterson said.

State of Hawaii

E-mail to City Desk


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2002 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --