Capitol View

By Richard Borreca

Wednesday, July 24, 1996


Cayetano should say no
to freebies

IMAGINE the one-time Kalihi kid looking up as the lumbering 747 roars overhead. It is as if the engines are shaking him, pounding into him again and again the knowledge that he is left behind.

He sits on the stoop of his old house, Washington Place, on the border to Hell's Half Acre, knowing the planes are taking off day after day, knowing the planes are zooming over him.

They don't know he's down here. They don't know how bad he wants to be aboard. They just don't care.

If this kid from Kalihi could just go and fly with them. He could be somebody, he could be in the know, he could be making the deals and he could bring back all the good stuff.

Today he's nothing, but tomorrow he could a contender.

Left to his own devices, the kid from Kalihi is forced to rely on the uncertain generosity of each passing business.

Our hero only wants to do good, but he doesn't have the bucks to get into the game. So he takes what he can in handouts. Whoever has car fare is able to take him. Sadly, he's learned that when you can't pay, you can't say no.

Well, I care and I want to help.

Today I am launching the Benjamin Jerome Cayetano Summer Fresh Air Camp fund.

No longer will we have to suffer the embarrassment of a governor taking any old freebie, just to save money. If he wants to go to camp, we should send him and not force him to rely on handouts.

As I write this, our governor is in Atlanta. Hoping just to get the time of day with the movers and shakers in the worlds of sports and communications, our governor is forced to fly to Atlanta, forced to stay in a plush hotel and forced to actually attend the Olympics to get his chance to buttonhole the big shots.

Cayetano, however, is not joy-riding in Atlanta. He's going for the gold of new economic opportunity for Hawaii.

In a written statement passed out as he was leaving town last week, Cayetano said he was on a business trip because he would be attending telecommunications conferences, viewing the technology AT&T is showcasing, and meeting business and government leaders from around the world.

How it must grate on him to smile at those AT&T bigwigs, how he must feel inside knowing he's chomping down their boiled shrimp and toasting at cocktail parties with their scotch just so he can get in a few nice words about Hawaii.

How long will these indignities be heaped upon our governor?

LAST year Cayetano was forced to board a private jet to go to Rochester, Minn., to ask the Mayo Clinic to set up a branch operation in Hawaii. David Murdock, chairman and chief executive of Dole Food Co., provided his plane to ferry Cayetano there.

Unless we do something now, our governor is easy prey for every fast-talking, suede-shoed, out-of-town fat cat. In the name of helping Hawaii, there is no telling on whose arm he will find himself next.

Let's get him some walking around money now. His self-respect is worth a little folding green. Just send in your suggestions on how we can finance the Cayetano Summer Camp, so we don't have the embarrassment of having a governor who lets everyone else pick up the check.

Remember if you don't dig deep, the lobbyists will.



Richard Borreca reports on Hawaii's politics on Wednesday.
Write him at the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, P.O. Box 3080,
Honolulu, 96802 or send e-mail to rborreca@pixi.com.




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