Political File

News, notes and anecdotes
on government and politics

Monday, July 2, 2001

Vote Smart tracks records
of Congressmen

Hawaii's congressional delegation may be 5,000 miles away, but with a click of your computer mouse, you can track their votes and ratings.

Project Vote Smart, a nonpartisan national research bureau that provides information on federal, state and local candidates and elected officials, has released a new report on all members of Congress.

The report lists how each member of Hawaii's delegation voted on a wide range of issues during the past two years.

More than 100 different organizations rate members of Congress on their votes on different issues.

So if you are interested in how the Christian Coalition or the AFL-CIO rates Sens. Daniel Akaka and Daniel Inouye and Reps. Patsy Mink and Neil Abercrombie, the Vote Smart Internet Web page has the information.

"These results are the most comprehensive ratings on elected officials available," says Holli Hoerschelman, Vote Smart director of legislative research.

The information is available at

Determining self: A panel of Hawaiian activists will discuss self-determination on July 19 at the Center for Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

The discussion, "Who is the 'Self' in Self-determination, and How Does That Relate to Sovereignty?" will be moderated by Noenoe Silva, a political science assistant professor.

The panelists are Poka Laenui, also known as Hayden Burgess, of the Institute for the Advancement of Hawaiian Affairs; Jon Osorio of the Center for Hawaiian Studies; Keanu Sai, an agent for the acting Hawaiian Kingdom; and Kekuni Blaisdell of Ka Pakaukau. The talk will be from 6 to 9 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

It is sponsored by American Friends Service Committee, Ahupua'a Action Alliance and the center. Call 988-6266 or 738-0084.

Sewer windfall: An Aiea company has received a $21.7 million contract from the Navy for a new sewer outfall at Fort Kamehameha in Kakaako.

The military construction contract -- which requires the installation of 3,901 meters (2.4 miles) of effluent ocean pipelines -- is expected to be completed by October 2003.

U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie said the project represents a sizable federal investment in Hawaii's economy that will provide jobs and revenue for the state's construction industry.

"I'm especially pleased that the contract went to an island company," Abercrombie said. "It shows our Hawaii firms can compete successfully against highly sophisticated and aggressive mainland contractors."

Abercrombie is the ranking Democrat on the House Military Installations and Facilities Subcommittee.

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