Political File

News, notes and anecdotes
on government and politics

Monday, December 20, 1999

Gov nears decision
on replacement
for representative

Gov. Ben Cayetano says he is on the verge of picking a replacement for state Rep. Paul Oshiro (D, Ewa Beach), who officially left his seat last week to become a lobbyist.

Cayetano said he recently interviewed five candidates for the job.

"There are some who have applied but don't live in the district, so I rejected those," he said.

"But there are a couple of good ones. It's going to be a very, very difficult decision."

There is only a month left before the 2000 legislative session convenes on Jan. 20.

Meanwhile, Cayetano credited Mayor Jeremy Harris for having the vision to come up with his proposed $1 billion mass transit system.

But he cautioned the mayor that the state still has not fully reviewed the plan, which must be done before it can support the project.

"The mayor has to realize that if you want to build a tunnel across the harbor, which is a state harbor, and run a transit system through state property, you need to talk to the state, especially since the state is expected to kick in some money," Cayetano said.

The former Bishop Estate trustees who were embroiled in controversy over the last three years made the right move when they resigned, said Cayetano -- even though it hurt former colleagues Henry Peters and Richard "Dickie" Wong.

"They were friends of mine at one time, and I feel very sorry for both of them and what's happened to them," Cayetano said.

"I think that what they did was the right thing," he said.

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