Monday, May 12, 2003


Longtime lobbyist
mastered Legislature’s
intricate ropes

In his early radio days, he
re-created baseball games using teletype

More obituaries

Hardy Hutchinson, a longtime lobbyist, reporter and former TV and radio personality, died Tuesday at the Life Care Center in Hilo. He was 74.

"Hardy was absolutely the best lobbyist in the state," said Walsh Hanley, longtime friend and former president of the Hawaii Automobile Dealers Association.

Hutchinson served as a lobbyist and executive director of the Hawaii Automobile Dealers Association. He also lobbied at the state Legislature for the Hawaii Farm Bureau, Hawaii Cable Television Association and the Hawaii Fresh Milk Industry.

Key to Hutchinson's effectiveness at the Legislature was his ability to keep track of bills, his knowledge of the committees and how they would handle bills, Hanley said.

"He knew all the players and what they were playing," Hanley said.

Hutchinson's lobbying expertise extended to Congress, where he showed Hanley the ropes when he began work for the National Automobile Dealers Association.

Born May 4, 1929, in Oakland, Calif., Hutchinson moved with his family to Hilo when he was 3. He attended Hilo High School, the University of Oregon and the University of Hawaii.

Over the years, he moved back and forth between Oahu and the Big Island.

Hutchinson worked at KGMB radio and KGMB-TV, and was a stringer for the Star-Bulletin's sports department. He also worked for a Big Island newspaper and radio stations.

Along with Frank Valenti, he "re-created" baseball games in the days before live broadcasts.

"They would do things like hit pencils against the microphone and have reel-to-reel tape with background sounds," said former wife Shirley Hutchinson. "It was up to the broadcasters to elaborate. When things were slow coming over the teletype, they would have continuous foul balls."

Hutchinson also worked for Kamehameha Schools in public relations and was active in the community and in civic clubs. Among other things, he helped get Kalaheo High School established in Kailua, said Shirley Hutchinson.

He also served as former president of the Hawaiian Civic Club of Kailua, Oahu.

Hutchinson is survived by wife Ellie; sons Hardy IV, John and Kihei Hutchinson and Gustav Beckert; daughters Kilani Hutchinson, Napua Froman, Daphne Fabisiac and Peni Bechert-Wong; grandchildren; and great-grandchildren.

Services are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Borthwick Mortuary. Call after 9 a.m. Inurnment at Valley of the Temples Mortuary 1 p.m. No flowers.


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