Political File

News, notes and anecdotes
on government and politics

Monday, June 4, 2001

Building trades council,
Carpenters Union
endorse Harris’ bid

Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris has picked up his first two endorsements in his quest to be governor.

The Hawaii Building and Construction Trades Council, consisting of 16 affiliated labor organizations representing 26,000 laborers, was the first organization to make a public endorsement in the 2002 governor's race.

"Jeremy Harris has always been an outspoken and vigorous supporter of the working men and women, and we wanted to let our members know early on that he is our candidate for governor of Hawaii in 2002," said council President Harold Lewis.

The council previously endorsed Harris in his three successful mayoral runs.

Joining the trades union is the Hawaii Carpenters Union, which endorsed Harris this morning. Harris was praised for his help to the construction industry.

"There's no doubt in our minds that Mayor Harris has been doing a great job for this union, its members, the construction industry and our entire community," said Ronald Taketa, Carpenters Union Financial Secretary.

The 5,800-member union previously endorsed Harris in his campaigns for mayor.

GOP Chairwoman Linda Lingle and Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono are also expected to vie for governor next year.

Birthday bucks: Saying he picked up a total of $250,000, U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie got an advance celebration on his June 26 birthday last week with a $250-a-ticket fund-raiser in Waikiki.

Abercrombie, who will be 63, said more than 900 people helped in the pre-birthday bash. He picked up support from organized labor, education, government, business and financial leaders, Abercrombie said. Ann Kobayashi, a former state senator, is co-chairwoman of his campaign.

Grant guru: HILO >> Lorraine Pualani Shin has been named statewide director of the Rural Development, Hawaii State Office, of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Francis Blanco, the former state head, left the post about a year ago. Shin is president of Polynesian Management Corp. and Polynesian Hooponopono Corp., as well as vice president of Waiakea Center shopping center. She is also active in the Republican Party.

Rural Development provides loans and grants for housing, businesses and utilities.

UH pay: Gov. Ben Cayetano has signed into law the bill that appropriates funds to pay faculty in the University of Hawaii system the raises approved after a 13-day strike.

The governor signed Act 190 Wednesday, implementing the funding for the two-year contract covering more than 3,200 faculty members. It goes into effect July 1. The bill also provides salary increases and other cost adjustments for state officers and employees excluded from collective bargaining.

The agreement reached between the state and the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly provides a flat $2,325 across-the-board raise for professors, followed by a 6 percent wage hike in the second year. Lecturers will receive 3 percent raises each year. Merit pay of 1 percent in each year of the contract was also provided in the settlement reached April 17.

Dr. Dan: U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye received an honorary doctorate from Trinity College at the college's 175th commencement exercises May 20.

During the proceedings, Inouye was cited by Trinity College Board Chairman Thomas S. Johnson and college President Evan S. Dobelle for his service to his country in World War II and as a leader in the U.S. Senate.

"With steadfast commitment to human rights, Inouye has always responded in ways that refute and disarm prejudice," said Dobelle, who will assume the presidency of the University of Hawaii on July 2.

During World War II, Inouye fought in France and Italy. He won a battlefield promotion to lieutenant and earned the Medal of Honor.

Johnson said, "Sen. Inouye is widely and deservedly celebrated for his even-handed quest for justice on the Senate committees investigating Watergate and the Iran-Contra scandal."

Legislature Directory
Legislature Bills & Hawaii Revised Statutes

E-mail to City Desk

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2001 Honolulu Star-Bulletin