Dan Inouye joins Mayoral Candidate Kirk Caldwell and Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle at a rally for the rail with Kiewit workers

BY JIM DOOLEY – United States Sen. Daniel Inouye, Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle and mayoral candidate Kirk Caldwell made a joint pro-rail appearance this afternoon before construction workers on the project.

Dan Inouye, Kirk Caldwell with Kiewit workers

Absent from the event was the third major candidate in this year’s mayoral election, former Gov. Ben Cayetano, who is adamantly opposed to the Honolulu elevated railway rapid transit project.

In remarks to employees of Kiewit Pacific, the general contractor hired to build multiple sections of the rail line, Carlisle called Cayetano the source of misinformation which has caused “a backlash” against the project.

Carlisle urged the workers to vote and to promote the rail project to their friends, relatives, neighbors and acquaintances.

“We need you not only to be the army that builds this project, we need you to be the army that sells this project to everybody you know,” the Mayor said.

“If we have that kind of army, that will defeat the enemy in a heartbeat,” he said.

Inouye expresses his whole-hearted supported for the $5.2 billion rail project, which is to be 33% funded with federal dollars.

“It’s on track,” he said. “The only thing that will stop it would be World War III.”

Caldwell, former City Managing Director, limited his remarks to praise of Inouye, saying the senator has been steadfast in his support of rail for decades.

“He is the past of rail. He is the future of rail,” Caldwell said.

Inouye was asked if he will endorse one of the two in the upcoming mayoral election.

“It’s a secret ballot,” the senator said.

“I won’t support someone who opposes rail,” he added.

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Jim Dooley joined the Hawaii Reporter staff as an investigative reporter in October 2010. Before that, he has worked as a print and television reporter in Hawaii since 1973, beginning as a wire service reporter with United Press International. He joined Honolulu Advertiser in 1974, working as general assignment and City Hall reporter until 1978. In 1978, he moved to full-time investigative reporting in for The Advertiser; he joined KITV news in 1996 as investigative reporter. Jim returned to Advertiser 2001, working as investigative reporter and court reporter until 2010. Reach him at Jim@hawaiireporter.com