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Saturday, May 6, 2000

By Dennis Oda, Star-Bulletin
At a Republican convention get-together last night at
the Hilton Hawaiian Village, Marcia and Lenny Klompus,
left, mingle with Linda Lingle and Darwin Ching. Officials
say this is the largest state convention in GOP history.
More than 600 delegates had registered yesterday.

Lingle, GOP spotlight
new candidates

The annual convention
kicks off by tossing barbs
at the Legislature

By Richard Borreca


Hawaii's Republicans started their annual convention this morning in Waikiki, showing off their new candidates, attacking the majority Democrats and readying Linda Lingle's expected campaign for governor in 2002.

New candidates surfacing at the GOP convention included John Carroll, a former GOP state senator, who is planning a campaign against U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka.

In morning speeches, the GOP House leader, Rep. Barbara Marumoto, attacked the Democratic Legislature, saying the civil service reforms "failed to modernize our antiquated system."

Referring to the plans for a new private prison, but with the expected participation of the United Public Workers union, Marumoto said they should call it the "Gary Rodrigues Correctional Facility."

Politics was the main tone of the morning session, as each speaker aimed at the fall elections.

This year, the party is having what officials are calling the largest state convention in GOP history at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. More than 600 delegates had registered yesterday.

The GOP, Lingle stressed, is not expected to win all races but is expected to increase its numbers in the state House, where it now controls only 12 of the 51 seats. It has only two of the 25 Senate slots.

Republicans -- long divided on abortion, the death penalty and other controversial issues -- are poised to approve a centrist platform designed after months of committee hearings.

The platform calls for:

Bullet Initiative, referendum and recall;
Bullet Increased penalties for voter fraud;
Bullet A constitutional convention;
Bullet Legislative term limits;
Bullet Civil service reform;
Bullet Increased voter registration;
Bullet More use of alternative energy;
Bullet An elected attorney general;
Bullet No new gun laws;
Bullet A state apology for the "failure to properly administer the Hawaiian Homes Commission."

The statement on abortion expands the perimeters but doesn't endorse all forms of abortion.

"We respect the right, as determined by the courts, of every woman to make her own decision regarding abortion, but we oppose partial-birth abortion," the platform states.

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