— ADVERTISEMENT —
[ OUR OPINION ]
Bainum has right
It is this intellectual characteristic coupled with an ambition to arouse Honolulu's cultural, environmental and economic vitality that earns Bainum the Star-Bulletin's endorsement for mayor. He represents an opportunity for change from business as usual at City Hall.
Both Bainum and his principal opponent, Mufi Hannemann, have heard residents' frustration with deteriorating roads, sewers and parks and have pledged to refocus on the city's basic needs. But Bainum clearly understands that while managing tax dollars and picking up the trash are important, Honolulu still needs to move forward.
Bainum astutely sees that the city's troubles with traffic and urban sprawl are parts of the same problem, that development and economic growth can be accomplished without intruding on the natural beauty of the island. He recognizes that tourism, while a driving force for Oahu, can be balanced with other industries, like agriculture, to produce a livable city.
Bainum's career has connected him to a network of community and business groups while his political experience in the state Legislature and as chairman of several Council committees arm him with the knowledge of government operations.
As a doctor, he has been tagged by opponents as a rich man out of touch with ordinary people. However, Bainum is but a generation away from blue-collar beginnings. His father was a plumber, his mother, a teacher. As a child, he lived with an extended family on a farm where feeding chickens and tending horses were daily chores. His family's wealth grew from a small motel his parents built with their own hands.
Bainum has largely financed his campaign with his own money, also a point of criticism. But because of this, he has avoided the unspoken quid pro quo pitfall that has plagued other candidates and that over the years has created a culture in which businesses and individuals feel they must make campaign contributions in order to gain favor with politicians.
Bainum has promised to break this corrupting cycle. He deserves a chance to show taxpayers he can. He deserves voters' support at the polls on Saturday.
Carlisle, who has held the job since 1996, has seen the problems that can arise with campaign contributions, successfully prosecuting dozens of cases in which donors made illegal offerings to political candidates. As an officer of the court, he keeps his nose clean by accepting contributions of no more than $100, far below the legal limit.
A congenial and straightforward man, Carlisle avoids the mud-slinging that is so often part of a campaign. He would rather talk about why he's the better candidate than tear down an opponent. Even when pressed, he will only allow as how "people see things differently," resisting the temptation to make critical remarks.
More importantly, Carlisle has not turned away from prosecuting the powerful and politically connected. He has taken on business people with friends in high places and police officials, anyone who has broken the law. It is this independence that makes him effective and credible.
Carlisle, who in law school was known as "Peter the Prosecutor," stepped into the courtroom to handle the trial of Byran Uyesugi, who killed seven of his fellow Xerox employees in 1999. Winning a conviction in the largest mass murder in Hawaii's history, Carlisle said, was important to the people who lost family members and friends in the shooting as well as to the community.
Though he is a tough enforcer, he realizes that imprisonment, while necessary for public safety, can also represent a failure. Severing the circuit of drug abuse and crime, he says, is a priority not only for his office, but for educators and health officials and should be addressed when children are young.
For someone whose work life is occupied by miscreants, Carlisle retains a good sense of humor and his personable disposition invites communication.
As we've said in previous election years, he is the best man for the job by far.
David Black, Dan Case, Dennis Francis,
Larry Johnson, Duane Kurisu, Warren Luke,
Colbert Matsumoto, Jeffrey Watanabe, directors
Dennis Francis, Publisher
Frank Bridgewater, Editor, 529-4791; firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Rovner, Assistant Editor, 529-4768; email@example.com
Lucy Young-Oda, Assistant Editor, 529-4762; firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Poole, Editorial Page Editor, 529-4748; email@example.comThe Honolulu Star-Bulletin (USPS 249460) is published daily by
BACK TO TOP