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Political File

News, notes and anecdotes
on government and politics

Monday, November 6, 2000

Isle congressional group
rated 19th in power

Just how powerful are Hawaii's congressional quartet: U.S. Sens. Daniel Akaka and Dan Inouye, and U.S. Reps. Neil Abercrombie and Patsy Mink.

According to a new survey taken by, a Washington, D.C., Internet firm, Hawaii ranks 19th out of the 50 states in power, adjusted for the size of the state.

The ranking is based on the committee and subcommittee assignments of each representative and senator, and which committees have real power in Congress.

Also calculated are committee assignments and elected leadership positions.

All the details can be found at the Web site http://www. by clicking on Election Resource Center.

HONORED: Gov. Ben Cayetano ordered the state flag flown at half-staff in honor of former state Rep. Velma Santos, whose funeral services were held yesterday.

The former Maui County Council member died last Monday.

She served in the legislature as a Republican for one term in 1974. Later, she was appointed to the Democratic administration of former Maui Mayor Elmer Cravalho, and served on the Council from 1983 to 1990.

She was former chairman of the Democratic Party on Maui.

"Velma Santos was a courageous and dedicated public servant," Cayetano said.

COALITION: A coalition of citizens interest groups led by Sen. Les Ihara are urging voters to vote yes on a constitutional amendment question regarding senatorial staggered terms.

The amendment fixes a mistake that gives senators in 12 districts four-year terms if incumbents win, but two-year terms if challengers win the 2002 election, Ihara said.

The amendment is backed by the League of Women Voters, Common Cause, Hawaii Clean Elections, Hawaii Elections Project and the Alliance for Consumer Rights.

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