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Wednesday, September 29, 2004
[ OUR OPINION ]
Bainum can do well
THE ISSUEFormer Mayor Frank Fasi has endorsed Mufi Hannemann's candidacy for Honolulu mayor.
In 1994, Fasi, who had been a Democrat, played the spoiler by creating the Best Party, finishing a distant third in the gubernatorial race won by Ben Cayetano and seeming to delight in Republican Pat Saiki's loss. Two years later, he finished third in the nonpartisan mayoral election, supporting Arnold Morgado in the runoff that would be won by Jeremy Harris. Remember that Harris had been city managing director under Mayor Fasi and the mayor had never forgiven Harris for failing to endorse him for governor.
Fasi was at it again in 1998, registering as a Republican and losing in the gubernatorial primary against Linda Lingle. He had promised to endorse the GOP nominee during the primary but proceeded to support Cayetano. He apparently had developed a disdain toward female candidates since his 1980 mayoral defeat by Eileen Anderson, the former state budget director.
In 2000, Fasi ran for mayor, finishing third again, then racing over to Hannemann's campaign headquarters on primary election night to give his blessing in a runoff; he was too late, Harris had won the race outright by getting more than 50 percent of the vote in that September election.
Fasi planned to run for mayor if Harris had run for governor two years ago. Amazingly, Harris' decision to back out of the race left Hawaii with its first Fasi-free ballot in nearly a decade.
Fasi had many accomplishments during his 22 years as mayor, beginning in 1968 and ending in 1994, interrupted by the Anderson term. Along with those achievements, less lofty events still resonate with many residents. They remember Kukui Plaza, the $50 million urban renewal project built by a developer who later paid more than $70,000 to Fasi's campaign. A bribery indictment of Fasi and his campaign treasurer was dropped only after the star witness refused to testify. They recall Fasi being caught ordering city employees to contribute to his campaign fund in 1993.
Those were the bad old days, which began to die when the City Council overrode Fasi's veto of an ordinance that prohibits political coercion of city employees. In this month's primary election defeat of incumbent Sens. Cal Kawamoto and Melodie Aduja, both of whom had been fined for campaign finance violations, voters let it be known that those days should be buried in the past.
Bainum is running against unseemly political practices, promising to bring honesty and integrity to city government and end the exchange of campaign contributions for city contracts. An endorsement by the 84-year-old political relic would have been awkward for him to accept.
David Black, Dan Case, Dennis Francis,
Larry Johnson, Duane Kurisu, Warren Luke,
Colbert Matsumoto, Jeffrey Watanabe, directors
Dennis Francis, Publisher
Frank Bridgewater, Editor, 529-4791; firstname.lastname@example.org
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Mary Poole, Editorial Page Editor, 529-4748; email@example.comThe Honolulu Star-Bulletin (USPS 249460) is published daily by
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