Linda Lingle (Photo by Dave Livingston)
Linda Lingle announces candidacy for U.S. Senate (Photo by Dave Livingston)

Lingle: Women Voters Care About Finances, Jobs, Families – Not Just Contraception

Lingle: Linda Lingle authored an exclusive report in Hawaii Reporter today.

The former GOP governor turned U.S. Senate candidate details her position on abortion and contraception.

Saying she has always been an ardent supporter of women’s rights, Lingle said it pains her deeply to see members of her own party attempting to legislate women’s health and contraception choices.

She said these discussions are too important to be subject to election-year jabs slung by both political parties.

Electing pro-choice Republican women can help foster a discussion that reflects the full spectrum of views, she said, and can lead to a more balanced and responsible public dialogue.

See the full oped here.

Rail Authority Promotes Planned Honolulu Rail at Auto Show Courtesy of Taxpayers

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation secured a booth – by far the largest and most well placed- at the recent Hawaii Auto Show.

The semi-autonomous agency, established to oversee the rail, finances such promotions with taxpayer dollars originally collected for construction, operation and maintenance for the 20-mile elevated steel on steel rail project.

Between four and six people manned the booth, handing out coloring books that promote the rail project. They also asked passersby to participate in a survey about how they will use the rail when it is built – and if they completed the form, they were able to choose a “gift” from a table lined with promotional items that advertise the rail project, such as a T-Shirt or bag. In the process, the agency was able to collect key contact information from these residents.

The coloring books and other items recently came under fire when Honolulu City Council Member Tom Berg questioned the interim executive director of HART over the cost of the coloring books and other items being distributed to the public. Berg called the coloring books “propaganda.”

Former Gov. Ben Cayetano, who is running for Honolulu Mayor, also mentioned the promotional items during a press conference last week. He said in his 28 years in public office, he “has never seen anything like it” and said this kind of promotion is “unprecedented.”

“Why is no one trying to put a stop to this abuse of taxpayers money? This is an indication of how reckless the city is spending taxpayer money – spending for them is not a problem,” Cayetano asked last week. He said the agency, which also has rented prime office space in Downtown Honolulu at a cost of what will soon be $2 million a year, appears to have a “fountain of money” and is spending it “Willy Nilly.”

HART’s interim director Toru Hamayasu called the items “educational.”

HART’s chairman, Don Horner, is the CEO of First Hawaiian Bank, the primary sponsor of the annual auto show.

Senate Guts and Replaces Contents of House Bill to Move Priority Construction Bill Forward

The House and Senate Democratic majority are locked in battle over a number of bills, including Senate Bill 2012. That is the Senate’s top legislation this session – “The Invest in Hawaii Act of 2012.”

Senators say the bill will create 5,000 jobs and help fix Hawaii’s public schools, libraries, university campuses and state office buildings through a $500 million construction plan funded by bonds.

Because the House has not heard the bill, and time to the end of session is ticking away, the Senate gutted House Bill 2145, and replaced the language into Senate Bill 2012.

The Senate Committees on Economic Development and Technology and Ways and Means will hear that bill today.

Senators also planned a media tour of a school that would benefit from the legislation.