Political File

News, notes and anecdotes
on government and politics

Monday, February 8, 1999

Legislator’s aide may
bid to unseat Akaka

Harry Friel, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, is now a legislative aide to state Rep. Bob McDermott (R, Foster Village).

After his defeat, Friel campaigned for McDermott's re-election, then worked as McDermott's full-time volunteer assistant before subsequently becoming a paid staffer.

McDermott says he doesn't see himself as Friel's mentor; he sees Friel more like a brother. He says he has advised Friel "to pay his dues" and first win a neighborhood board seat if he wants to get into politics.

But Friel still has his sights set on Capitol Hill. He says he is "very seriously considering" a bid to unseat Hawaii's junior U.S. senator, Democrat Daniel Akaka, in next year's elections.

MABUHAY GALA An estimated 500 people attended a $50-per-person "Mabuhay! Gov. Ben Cayetano Celebration Gala" Saturday night at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

The gala was not linked to Cayetano's campaign committee, and no proceeds went into the campaign coffers, said Ben Cabreros, chairman of the Friends of Ben. Rather, it was simply a celebration of a native son, the nation's first governor of Filipino ancestry, organized by the isle Filipino community, Cabreros said.

The money raised by the gala will be used to cover the event's cost, he said. "We expect to break even."

The gala featured entertainment by Anthony Castello, a popular singer from the Philippines, and local artist Lori Salvatera.

Four years ago, when Cayetano first won the governorship, Filipino organizations such as the Oahu Filipino Community Council and the Filipino Chamber of Commerce honored Cayetano with a similar gala, Cabreros said.

By Star-Bulletin staff

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