by Ted Kwong – Last night’s Hawaii News Now town hall debate showed a clear contrast between the candidates. Duke Aiona was on offense, challenging his rivals on their records of tax increases that have made Hawaii’s bad cost of living even worse. Meanwhile, Senator David Ige was unable to defend his record or offer any new policies besides the same Abercrombie-Ige policy agenda of the last four years.
Unable To Defend His Record, Senator Ige Simply Did Not Have A Good Night. “And it clearly wasn’t David Ige’s night. He actually forgot one of the questions partway through an answer. He said he didn’t know much about agriculture and he admitted he never traveled much to the neighbor islands until the last year when he started running for governor.” (Keoki Kerr, Hawaii News Now)
Senator Ige Admitted He Has The Same Failed Policies As Governor Abercrombie. “Asked what policies of the Abercrombie administration that they would reverse, both Aiona and Hannemann cited the Hawaii Health Connector, the struggling insurance exchange under the federal health care reform law. Ige, who defeated Gov. Neil Abercrombie in the primary, said that for him it is not about reversing policies, but emphasizing issues such as empowering school principals and teachers to improve public education.” (Derrick DePledge, Honolulu Star Advertiser)
Senator Ige Refused To Take Responsibility For The Problems Facing The State. “Hannemann went after Ige for taking credit for policy successes over his 29 years in the Legislature but not accepting any responsibility for the state’s problems. Ige fired back that he is the only candidate who has passed legislation that restructured public schools or allowed for public-private partnerships at public hospitals. The state senator also said he rejected calls for tax increases and cut the Abercrombie administration’s budget requests.” (Derrick DePledge, Honolulu Star Advertiser)
Duke Successfully Pointed Out His Opponents Would Represent Four More Years Of The Same Failed Policies.“Aiona said rail is a city, not a state, project, and that city and rail administrators had vowed that rail would come in on time and on budget. ‘Now they want to extend this?’ he said. ‘This is what I’m talking about. This is the kind of leadership you’re going to have if you vote the same way. You’re going to have a leadership that’s going to look to — without any second thought about it — ‘Yeah, let’s just raise the GET tax.”” (Derrick DePledge, Honolulu Star Advertiser)
Ted Kwong is the Communications Advisor for the Hawaii Republican Party