Lingle combines the best of both partiesI never, ever expected the 50th state to give up the Democratic ghost and elect a Republican governor.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Linda Lingle for a trade publication when she was Maui's mayor, and came away impressed by her understanding of the politics and business of government, without ever straying from her bottom line of helping people.
Some people get confused as to whether she leans toward the left or right, but it's simple to me. She uses the Republican Party's financial sensibility in order to enact the Democratic Party's social good will; shaping up a government with a strong business sense so that no money is wasted and every penny goes to give people a leg up without the handouts.
She's a fine leader.
Carol Banks Weber
Part-time Hawaii resident
'Loan' of UH professor to Lingle inappropriateI wish Gov.-elect Linda Lingle had waited longer before making her end run around the legislative process to reward her supporter, Randy Roth, who the University of Hawaii is "loaning" to Lingle to be her chief policy adviser.
Roth was an early and strong Lingle supporter, so some reward might seem due. Yet this method seems most inappropriate.
The legitimate role of a governor is the proper administration of our state, while our Constitution empowers an elected Legislature to levy taxes and decide how the taxes are spent.
With those thoughts in mind, I am angry that money appropriated by the Legislature to maintain the university has been diverted, without legislative approval, to fund this political reward for Roth. How can it be legal for UH to take public funds authorized for its maintenance and development, and unilaterally spend them on an unrelated political activity?
Is this not a case of taxation without representation? Tax dollars have been diverted from the purpose authorized by the Legislature to a purpose that I am sure they wouldn't approve.
George L. Berish
Cutting governor's staff is dirty politicsOdd that the Democratic-controlled Legislature funded 60 employees for Governor Cayetano's administration, but cut all but six for the incoming governor. Now, if this wasn't about partisan politics, the legislators also would have cut their own staffs by 90 percent, but that didn't happen. In fact, they didn't cut their staffs at all.
If Mazie Hirono had won, wanna bet that the Legislature would have swiftly enacted an emergency appropriation to restore the governor's employees? Think that will happen now that Lingle won?
Isles need a Republican serving in CongressFor 40 years, Republicans in Hawaii have been on the outside looking in. Now, after the Nov. 5 election, that is how Hawaii is in Washington -- outside looking in. We need to send a Republican to Congress on Nov. 30, and again on Jan. 4, otherwise we're going to be the Territory of Hawaii all over again, small forgotten islands with no real voice in Republican Washington.
I suggest everyone vote for John Carroll. He's a true 2nd District Republican with the experience and stature to get things done. We need that now, more than ever.
Elect new delegate from level playing fieldHaving lived in Patsy Mink's district, visited her offices as a volunteer for civic groups and been a student in her University of Hawaii class on environmental politics in the 1970s, I now see the best way to carry on her incredible work for Hawaii. Her perennial campaign manager and soul mate, John Mink, will be the best caretaker of her vision and our future.
Because he is running only to fill the seat on an interim basis, he will not misuse the power of incumbency to fill our mailboxes with taxpayer-funded, self-promotional campaign pitches dressed up as newsletters and holiday cards from federal offices saying, "Congress is still out of session and I've hit the wall running in place trying to get sworn in as a freshman with seniority."
In January, it will be important to be able to choose among candidates standing on a level playing field.
Steven Lee Montgomery
Union is being stolen from its membersSeveral United Public Workers members are circulating a petition calling for the UPW's parent organization to place the local union under trusteeship, saying convicted former state director Gary Rodrigues continues to hold undue influence over the union.
I can't believe an illegally constituted union board can authorize criminal activities. Those who try, should all be in jail. Where is law enforcement in this unbelievable ripoff of the union members?
Robert G. Devine
Ocean View, Hawaii
Will activist be Grinch about Christmas tree?Oh, no! Now that the Christmas tree is up at the Kaimuki fire station, I'm sure Mitch Kahle is gonna get all upset about it and we'll lose another island tradition pretty soon.
It's just a matter of time. OK, Mitch, go for it!
Fans yell for blood, howl when it's spilledI love football. That said, I'm flabbergasted at the responses to last Saturday's fight between Hawaii and Cincinnati football players ("Scuffle mars end of tough game," Star-Bulletin, Nov. 24). Scathing letters to the editor detail how our players acted inappropriately, saying that they should have ignored the taunts and punches from the other team.
Football is an organized and refereed game, but ultimately it is a highly orchestrated fight. We cheer on our team to pummel opposing teams by screaming for blood throughout the game. We hope that our chants inspire our team to emerge the victors. Then, when the clock runs down to zero, we expect our team to flip the aggression switch off, and go have tea and crumpets with the same people we were telling them to crush moments earlier.
I have to give football players credit. Most of the time they abide by these rules and gingerly shake hands with the opposing team after the last play. But when taunts, unsportsmanlike plays and punches fly, the line between the game and defending your team becomes gray. It was just a game. It was just a fight. Get a grip, Hawaii -- tune in reality and watch some football.
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