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Sunday, October 24, 2004
Dems squirm under eye of watchdog groupI enjoyed your editorial on the Clean Campaigns Project ("Bipartisan watchdog group is welcome," Oct. 20). It is sad that the head of the Democratic Party in Hawaii feels comfortable with the type of negative campaigning that was condemned by the members of the Clean Campaigns Project.
How is it that when a Republican ad seems questionable, the Democrats stand behind the banner of racism or bigotry, but when the Democrats themselves do it, then it is justified politics? Democratic Party chairman Brickwood Galuteria and his party need to get out their stinking-thinking and give us substance on the issues. This goes for both parties. People want to hear solutions, not who's the problem.
Paper provides space for all opinionsWhom is letter writer Nancy Bey Little trying to kid when she says that the Star-Bulletin is very unfair because it printed a George F. Will column that is favorable to the president (Letters, Oct. 21)? Maybe she doesn't read the favorable columns that Maureen Dowd, Molly Ivins and Tom Friedman write about John Kerry; and the trash that Maureen and Molly write about Bush. I guess that's quite all right with Nancy.
As far as I'm concerned, the Star-Bulletin and MidWeek are the only publications in Hawaii that give their readers a fair and balanced op-ed page; and I hope that they keep it going.
News media are unfair to candidate TanonakaDespite the politically timed complaints filed over Dalton Tanonaka's campaign finances (Star-Bulletin, Oct. 19), our team is energized, wanting to focus instead on the issues and on the incumbent's poor and out-of-touch record in Congress.
We just wish we could get more balance in the news coverage of our effort to present our side of the story. When partisan Democrats in Washington filed a complaint questioning Dalton's income, that negative tactic was given considerable newspaper space and TV news time. When the next day we produced Dalton's consultant contract verifying his income and showing the complaint to be baseless, there was scant mention. Is that fair?
When the state Campaign Spending Commission all but pronounced Dalton guilty over allegations of illegal loans, did the public hear that he never had the chance to speak with the commission or director Bob Watada? And that we're eager to cooperate with the city prosecutor's office, but it hasn't received the complaint yet from the commission, leaving the issue in legal limbo? Is that fair?
We understand that an opponent will use any means possible to keep from losing. But playing fair is something all of us appreciate and value in Hawaii. We're now more convinced than ever that we need a new representative in Congress, and those of us who believe in Dalton will work even harder to accomplish that.
Tanonaka for Congress
Midkiff would be valuable asset to BOEHawaii is very fortunate to have a highly qualified candidate in Bob Midkiff running for the Board of Education. As president of the Atherton Foundation, Bob has been responsible for awarding millions of dollars in grants to hundreds of nonprofit organizations for the benefit of Hawaii's people.
His discerning judgment and financial acumen in his fiduciary responsibilities for the foundation would be a tremendous asset to public education.
Voters should take great comfort in knowing that Bob is not only a dedicated community servant, but also very akamai about education. Bob was instrumental in starting the Good Beginnings Alliance, an organization that emphasizes the importance of early childhood education. The board would be lucky to have someone of his wisdom and caliber as a resource.
I was going to "plunk" only for respected and knowledgeable member Garrett Toguchi to ensure his re-election, but I think now I will "double-plunk" and add Midkiff to my ballot!
Bush is a flip-flopper in his own rightPresident George W. Bush is resolute? A man of integrity? Stays the course?
» FOR No Child Left Behind, then underfunded it by $27 billion.Flippity, floppity, flop!
» AGAINST 9/11 Commission, then FOR it.
» YES to al-Qaida/Saddam link, then NO.
» YES WMD in Iraq, then NO.
» AGAINST WMD Commission, then FOR it.
» FOR mandatory carbon dioxide caps, then AGAINST.
» AGAINST using Social Security trust fund, then DID -- $153 billion.
» Gay marriage is STATE issue, then FEDERAL constitutional amendment on marriage.
» Osama bin Laden -- DEAD or ALIVE, then "not truly concerned about him."
» Majority of tax cuts to BOTTOM 60 percent of taxpayers, then most tax cuts to TOP 1 percent.
» FOR Conservation Security Program, then reduced funding.
Canada gets caught in Bush's spin cycleLet me see if I have this straight. George W. Bush says I should trust him with my security from biological terrorism, but he can't procure enough flu vaccine?
Wait, not to worry. He has obtained additional vaccine from a Canadian company.
Does this mean that senior citizens can get their flu shots even though they are prohibited from obtaining less expensive Canadian medication under the Medicare Prescription Drug plan?
I think Bush should use the rinse cycle before the spin, because his policies are soaked in irony.
Bainum values efforts of city employeesAt the recent Filcom Center mayoral debate, Mufi Hannemann stated that when Duke Bainum talks about "sweeping up City Hall," he's not just talking about Jeremy Harris, but also about hard-working Filipino employees, whether appointees or civil service.
Those comments are not true and were designed to fuel false rumors and scare tactics that are targeting city employees.
Let me set the record straight. Duke has clearly stated that he is forming his own team of appointees. It is unlikely that he will retain any current appointee, and he will not bring in appointees from the mainland. Duke will appoint the best-qualified applicants to run city departments; they will not be patronage positions.
Duke has said that he has the greatest respect for city workers, who he sees as hard-working and dedicated. Duke believes that city employees deserve the help and resources they need to deliver the quality of service our community expects and deserves. Duke also acknowledges the need to work closely with city workers to retool the city's organization for greater efficiency and effectiveness.
In the six years since the 1998 reorganization of the city, it's been clearly demonstrated that those changes have produced inefficiencies, rather than resulting in "doing more with less," as was promised. Duke wants to fix this, and recognizes that improvement can be achieved only with the input, knowledge and expertise of city workers.
I strongly protested the 1998 reorganization, which Duke also opposed. Despite this opposition, the City Council, with the support of Mufi Hannemann, approved that change. As a former city worker, I suffered through its implementation, so I understand the frustration of my fellow workers who were not included or consulted in that effort and who now have to work within this inefficient new organization.
Like most city employees, I want a mayor who appreciates our city workers as valuable resources. I look forward to a mayor who will partner with city workers in building a stronger city team.
That's why I strongly support Duke Bainum for mayor.
Gary H. Okino
Editor's note: Gary Okino is a Honolulu City Councilman writing in his private capacity.
Renters deserve same rights as ownersI have voted in Hawaii elections for more than 30 years and have heard some offbeat statements during those years. However, when Mufi Hannemann implied (Oct. 21 on KITV 4 News) that Duke Bainum is unfit to be mayor because he rents rather than owns, I believe I have heard the most absurd statement ever uttered in a local campaign.
Apparently Mufi would disenfranchise the majority of island citizens from running for office simply because they rent.
Rent vs. own is a personal decision that in no way attests to a person's fitness to hold an office. I vote for candidates based on their ideas and goals, their honesty and integrity, not whether they have a mortgage or a lease.
Kerry A. Krenzke
Saddam Hussein was a unique WMDI'm more than a little perplexed by your Oct. 9 editorial, "Iraq's 'unique' threat did not justify attack." In 2003, the New York Times reported that during his reign of terror, Saddam Hussein was responsible for the murder of 1.1 million of his own people; that's equivalent to the entire population of Hawaii. Saddam himself was certainly a weapon of mass destruction. How many more Iraqi Muslims would have to have been murdered before you felt an invasion would finally be justified? It seems awfully racist of you that you think so little of the Iraqi people.
I imagine those 1.1 million souls would disagree with your opinion.
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