BY LINDA SMITH – Earlier this week, Democrat political operatives on the mainland released inaccurate and patently false statements attacking former Governor Linda Lingle.

Although Governor Lingle has not made a decision to run for the open Hawaii Senate seat in 2012, the vitriolic statements made by the Democrat Senate Campaign Committee are smearing her record of results for all the people of Hawaii.

During her 30-years of public service, Governor Lingle has always run issue-oriented campaigns.  Should there be a future campaign, it too would be run on the issues, rather than based on personal attacks.

There is no place in Hawaii for these deplorable tactics by national partisan political staffers.  The voters of Hawaii deserve better.

As the people of Hawaii know, Governor Lingle is a practical moderate who has focused on bipartisan initiatives.  She has always said, “The people of Hawaii will always take precedent over Party.”

The following examples in the areas of education, the economy, and public safety highlight Governor Lingle’s balanced approach to good government:

Education

1.  Worked with the Obama Administration in 2010 to commit $35 million in discretionary federal stimulus (ARRA Part B) funds to improve public education in Hawaii, including investments in STEM programs, Science Olympiad, international baccalaureate programs, and intensive summer school opportunities for over 17,000 students.

2.  With the Federal and State Departments of Education, worked cooperatively to successfully win $75 million in Race to the Top funds in 2010 that will boost Hawaii’s graduation diploma requirements, allow restructuring of poor performing schools, and implement merit pay evaluations for teachers.

Economy

1.  Worked with Democrat-controlled Hawaii Tourism Authority to boost visitor industry, helping Hawaii recover from 2008 economic down turn more quickly than other states.  Led bilateral trade missions with political leaders from both parties to China, Taiwan, Japan, Philippines and South Korea.

2.  Led a cooperative effort among state officials, the Congressional delegation, the Legislature, counties, East-West Center and business community to secure the selection by President Obama of Hawaii to host the 2011 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation  (APEC) leaders meetings.

3.  Worked with the State Legislature to close a $3 billion State general fund budget gap in fiscal years 2009, 2010, and 2011.

 

Public Safety

1.  In 2004 and 2005 worked with Legislature and law enforcement community to enact Megan’s Amendment and enabling legislation to create comprehensive on-line access to information on sex offenders.

2. In 2005 successfully passed bi-partisan supported legislation to establish a DNA registry for convicted felons—a program that helps solve “cold” murder and rape cases.

3.  Worked with State Legislature to enact laws to protect Hawaii consumers against identity theft, including social security number protection, personal records destruction, credit reporting agency security freezes, and increased ID theft penalties.

Hawaii residents are experiencing very difficult circumstances during these tough economic times.  At a minimum, those running for elected office should respect voters by stating what they will do to make their lives better instead of attacking others.  The people of Hawaii deserve a campaign based on issues and values, not negative campaign attacks.

 

Linda Smith is Governor Lingle’s former senior policy officer.

 

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