Political File

News, notes and anecdotes
on government and politics

Monday, July 23, 2001

Governor bullish with
bond rating up

Saying an improved economy is starting to pay off, Gov. Ben Cayetano announced that the state's bond rating has improved.

The rating given to the state by bond firms is used to set how much interest the state must pay when it borrows money for operations.

The better the bond rating, the less interest the state has to pay.

Standard and Poor's moved Hawaii's rating to AA- and changed the long-term and underlying ratings on outstanding bonds from single A+ to AA-. The actual savings that will be generated will not be known until the bonds are actually sold on Aug. 8.

"This bond rating upgrade is a great achievement for the state as Hawaii's economy continues to gain strength," Cayetano said.

"This reaffirms our efforts to put Hawaii back onto firm financial footing," he said.

McDermott hot for the flag: U.S. congressional hopeful Bob McDermott, a state representative from Aliamanu, is all huhu (upset) over the vote to protect the red, white and blue.

McDermott criticized U.S. Reps. Patsy Mink and Neil Abercrombie last week for voting against a constitutional amendment to protect the American flag from physical desecration.

The former Marine Corps officer said the July 17 vote, which passed 298-125, included two votes against the amendment by Mink and Abercrombie.

McDermott said he is disgusted but not surprised.

"I support a constitutional amendment to protect our flag, and so do most of my constituents," he said.

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