Special Session: Judicial Nominee Needs Senate Confirmation

Gov. Neil Abercrombie nominated Deputy Public Defender Karen Tooko Nakasone to fill a judicial vacancy in the First Circuit Court. The position was left by Judge Sabrina McKenna, who was confirmed to the Hawaii Supreme Court during the 2011 legislative session.

The nomination is subject to Senate confirmation, which means there likely will be a two-to three-day special confirmation session later this year.

The Senate Judiciary and Labor committee, chaired by Sen. Clayton Hee, D-Kahaluu, will hold a public hearing on the nomination and invite testimony from the public. That will be followed by a final vote in the full state Senate. No opposition is expected to Nakasone’s nomination.

Nakasone, 41, has worked as a Honolulu Deputy Public Defender since 1996.  Before that, she worked as a law clerk for the Honorable Simeon Acoba, Jr. in the Intermediate Court of Appeals.  Her law degree is from Boston University School of Law. She also attended the University of Ryukyus in Okinawa, Japan, and the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

“I believe that being able to serve the broader community one belongs to, is not only an obligation, but is a privilege to be embraced,” Nakasone said.

If confirmed, she will be appointed to a 10-year term.

Nakasone was selected from a list of nominees submitted to him by the Judicial Selection commission. The governor has refused to release the names of other nominees.

Gary Hooser: Candidate for Congress?

Gary Hooser may add his name to politicians running for Hawaii’s second congressional district seat.

The seat was left open when Rep. Mazie Hirono, D-HI, announced plans to run for the U.S. Senate that will be left open when U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka, D-HI, retires in 2012.

Hooser, a Democrat who is a former state senator and Kauai council member, lost his bid for lieutentant governor in 2010 primary.

Hooser was offered a job in Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s administration for $84,996 a year beginning in February 2011. He is working in the Department of Health as the Director of the Office of Environmental Quality Control.

City Council member Tulsi Gabbard has already announced her intention to run for this seat. Gabbard is a former legislator and serves in the Hawaii National Guard. She also has worked for Akaka in Washington DC.

Other politicians who may run for this seat include former Mayor Mufi Hannemann, a Democrat, and former Congressman Charles Djou, a Republican.

GOP Hosts Country Singer Lee Greenwood Tonight

Country singer Lee Greenwood, most famous for his song “God Bless the USA”, will perform tonight at a fundraiser for the Hawaii Republican Party.

The event, which will raise money to pay off the GOP headquarters in Honolulu, will be held at the Koolau Ballrooms in Kaneohe from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Tickets are $150 and include dinner and a concert.

Greenwood said that he wrote his hit, “God Bless the USA”, on a tour bus in 1983. Since the song has made the top five on the country singles charts three times, “giving it the distinction of being the only song in any genre of music to achieve that feat.” The song also reached number one on the pop charts after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on American.

Greenwood says; “USA is the song I always felt the need to write”. “I wanted to have something that would unite Americans from coast to coast. I wanted to instill pride back in the United States. The song represents my family, my community and those men & women who have paid the price for the freedoms we all love and enjoy.”

The concert tonight is themed “Proud to be an American.” For more information and to RSVP, visit this link: https://secure.piryx.com/donate/eQ78KRQw/Hawaii-Republican-Party-Capital-Campaign/green 

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