stumping for Lingle
'It's time for Hawaii to join . . .By Mary Adamski
the kind of recovery that is
occurring in other states'
A poor Democratic turnout at the polls in November may be the local fallout from the investigation into presidential misconduct and potential impeachment proceedings, says a prominent Republican officeholder.
"People are discouraged by this. They are repulsed ... by the president's behavior, whatever they believe about impeachment," said New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, in Hawaii yesterday to campaign for Republican gubernatorial candidate Linda Lingle. "Where it will have an effect is, it will make it a little harder for Democrats to get some of the vote out."
But, she told reporters: "It is not something that Republican candidates are counting on to win elections. I have not seen any Republican candidate running for office on it. They are going to win on the issues."
Whitman appeared at a reception for about 150 contributors to the GOP's Team Hawaii effort, then met about 75 Lingle backers at a dinner at the Kahala Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
She was at the end of a six-state sweep in which she helped raise $1.2 million for Republican candidates, according to spokesman Keith Nahigian. Whitman, in her second term as governor, had been mentioned as a potential running mate for Bob Dole in the 1996 presidential campaign.
She told the GOP gathering that a win by Lingle would have an impact nationally.
"This is a very important election because we can send a strong message from a Democratic bastion out here in Pacific," she said. "Then we're going to start to build for the year 2000. I want to see a Republican president.
"We want to put someone in that office who respects the oath of office, who respects the integrity of the American people and who understands what it takes to make this country a government ... where policy is determined not by polls but by principles."
There are Republican governors in 32 states, and "in every state, you see thriving economies, lower taxes, safer streets, lower welfare rolls and more opportunity for people to succeed," she said.
"It's time for Hawaii to join those states. It's time for this state to take its rightful place and not be left behind in the kind of recovery that is occurring in other states."
Whitman said "it is tough at times" to be a Republican in Hawaii.
"Republicans will never believe that government has all the answers, that government knows best how to run our our lives," she said. "We have respect for the individual."
Lingle supporters relish comparing her to Whitman, who beat a Democrat incumbent and who has succeeded in lowering taxes and downsizing government by privatization of some services.
In response to questions, Whitman said that she eliminated or combined four state departments and reduced the number of state employees, making efforts to place them in other jobs.
The biggest transfer of government work to the private sector was in providing health care for prison inmates, she said.