Former Gov. Ben Cayetano
Former Gov. Ben Cayetano is running for Honolulu Mayor

Mayoral Candidate Ben Cayetano Sends ‘Truth Squad’ After Mayor Carlisle

Former Gov. Ben Cayetano’s entry into the Honolulu mayoral race has turned a rather dull race with two similar candidates – Mayor Peter Carlisle and former Managing Director Kirk Caldwell – into one of the most exciting local political races to watch this year.

On Tuesday, Cayetano plans to step it up a notch, letting loose his “truth squad”, which includes administrators and experts from the last four city administrations.

Two of the nine truth squad members will tackle the city budget first.

“Just as we feared, Mayor Peter Carlisle’s CIP budget reveals dramatic reduction in spending levels for Fire and Police, Road Rehabilitation and Sewer Repair and Maintenance to accommodate the anticipated debt for rail construction,” said Cayetano.

Toy Arre, former director of finance under Mayor Frank Fasi, and Malcolm Tom, former deputy managing director under Mayor Jeremy Harris, will provide more specific information on how the Carlisle Administration have given rail construction priority over services that are important for public health and safety and infrastructure rehabilitation, Cayetano’s campaign said in a statement on Monday.

Federal funding for Rail Becoming Even More Doubtful

The Transportation Daily’s weekly briefing shows the $1.55 billion the city is hoping to get for its planned $5.3 billion elevated steel on steel rail is becoming even more in doubtful.

The report said: “As you learned from our last issue, Congress last week turned its (transportation) attention to drafting an extension of federal transportation programs instead of passing a multi-year bill. We were also in the ballpark with our prediction of a two- or three-month extension

“Congress is expected to pass a three month extension of SAFETEA-LU [T-LU] this week, before breaking for a two-week Easter break for members to work in their state/district. T-LU is scheduled to expire at midnight on March 31. See our story “Federal Transportation Programs, Funding to be Extended This Week.”

“This Week in Congress: The House will take up and should pass the T-LU extension early in the week. The Senate is expected to pass the bill later in the week.

“The House will debate and pass its 2013 budget resolution, which is the blueprint for the appropriations committees to craft the year’s spending bills. FY 2013 begins on October 1, 2012. See our story, “House GOP Proposes 36 Percent Cut to Transportation Funding.”

U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye, D-HI, pledged to support the project and said he believed he could bring in the $1.55 billion for the project. There is $250 million in the New Starts Funding budget request for next year, but that also could be in jeopardy along with many other transportation projects should the House and Senate not be able to agree on a federal transit funding plan.

All Rail Documents Now on Line

The city and Federal Transit Administration turned over 155,000 pages of record to attorneys for seven plaintiffs who filed a lawsuit last may in federal court to stop the city’s $5.3 billion elevated steel on steel rail project.

In an effort to be transparent, and get the information to the public, the plaintiffs, not the government, put all of the record on line.

HonoluluTraffic.com‘s Cliff Slater, one of the 7 plaintiffs, said: “We have had comments that the quotes used from the Administrative Record were taken out of context. In order to show that this has not been the case, we are putting the complete Administrative Record on line so that you may find the actual document by using its Document number, which starts with AR followed by eight digits. Once you have the number, go to our Guide to Administrative Record and follow the steps as prescribed. This is a somewhat unusual procedure made necessary by the sheer volume of documents — 43.5 gigabytes. For those not accustomed to such size it is the equivalent of 40 hours of regular recorded TV. It is also 155,000 pages, we think, maybe more. Once you understand the process you can link directly to the site by using the Administrative Record link under the RESEARCH tab in the column to the left.”

See the document at HonoluluTraffic.com

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