Lingle blastsBy Richard Borreca
Linda Lingle, former Maui mayor and unsuccessful Republican candidate for governor, blasted the governor, the state office of elections and the Campaign Spending Commission in her first major speech since losing to Gov. Ben Cayetano by about 5,000 votes.
In a speech to the Bishop Street Exchange Club yesterday, Lingle said she is disturbed about Cayetano's projections for the state's finances and thinks the state elections office is "not very competent."
She was equally harsh with the Campaign Spending Commission, saying that before it suggests changes to rules governoring political candidates, "it needs to get its own house in order."
During her one-hour talk, Lingle repeatedly declined to say what she would do now, although she said she wanted to remain active in public policy.
"I plan to stay involved in politics, and my supporters plan to stay involved. We have come too far together, and we care too much about our state to stop now," she said.
Since losing, Lingle has returned to Maui to finish her term as mayor. She also sponsored a series of thank-you parties for volunteers in her campaign.
She added that she will get involved with the state Republican Party, saying it should be more moderate.
She now plans to move to Honolulu and work to keep herself before the public, but has yet to explain her specific interests.
She asked the Legislature to investigate the problems, delays and foul-ups during the latest election.
For instance, in three state House districts, elections officials mailed either the wrong ballots or two identical ballots to persons requesting absentee ballots.
In another House race, the Democratic Party is challenging the results, saying the number of invalid ballots was statistically impossible.
Dwayne Yoshina, state elections head, was unavailable for comment.
Lingle also said Cayetano is spending too much by proposing a budget that will have an ending balance at the end of four years of only $20.4 million.
"That is irresponsible; that is a disgrace," she said.