Election 2002
Democratic hopefuls
vague in economic
plans, gov says

Hirono and Anderson have few
specifics, an analysis says

By B.J. Reyes
Associated Press

Economic proposals by Democratic gubernatorial candidates Mazie Hirono and D.G. "Andy" Anderson lack the necessary information needed to provide detailed financial analyses, Gov. Ben Cayetano said yesterday.

The analyses of their plans are the latest offered by Cayetano, who had promised that his administration would evaluate the financial impact of any economic proposals put forth by gubernatorial candidates.

His first such analysis, a detailed critique of Republican Linda Lingle's platform, prompted the GOP to file a complaint with the state Ethics Commission accusing the governor of misusing state resources for political purposes. The matter is pending.

State GOP Chairman Micah Kane did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment yesterday. Officials from the Hirono and Anderson campaigns also did not immediately respond.

"From a cost perspective, the plans proposed by Lt. Gov. Hirono and Andy Anderson contained few specifics," Cayetano said in a news release.

The analyses were performed by state Tax Director Marie Okamura and state Budget and Finance Director Stan Shiraki.

Hirono's plan mentions only one specific tax incentive related to farmers, and her proposals relating to general encouragement of the high-technology and tourism sectors are not subject to a fiscal review, the analysis said.

Other proposals, such as universal preschool for children ages 3 to 4, contain no specific information.

Anderson's plan also does not address specific financial issues, though his proposals relating to education and economic development could result in additional operating costs, the administration's review said.

One of Anderson's key proposals -- a state lottery that aims to generate up to $40 million a year for schools -- doesn't cite gross sales needed to generate the amount, prize payouts or the costs of a new state office to administer the game.

"We estimate that, at a conservative 16 percent return, Hawaii would have to sell $250 million in lottery tickets to generate $40 million for the schools," Shiraki said.

Anderson said the state wouldn't need to set up a new office but could instead outsource the job of running the lottery.

"It can be privatization at its best," he said.

The administration now has analyzed plans put forth by Democrats Hirono, Anderson and Ed Case, though none has been as detailed as that of Lingle's "Agenda for a New Beginning."

Cayetano has said that's because Lingle is the only candidate who has offered hard figures subject to such analysis.

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