At Headquarter Opening, Honolulu Mayoral Candidate Ben Cayetano Promises Focus on Oahu’s Budget, Infrastructure Needs

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Former Gov. Ben Cayetano, a candidate for Honolulu mayor, is introduced by his long time friend, Judge Rey Graulty, at his campaign headquarters opening. Graulty is one of three co-chairs of Cayetano's campaign.

BY MALIA ZIMMERMAN – At least 300 people crammed into Ben Cayetano’s new campaign headquarters on Sunday, February 12, to give their support for his Honolulu mayoral bid.

As Cayetano noted in brief remarks, his support comes from all parties and political philosophies. Democrats including Rep. Della Au Belatti, Sen. Clayton Hee and Council Budget Chair Ann Kobayashi; Republicans such as Sen. Sam Slom and many members of his party, and former Libertarian Party Head Tracy Ryan were among the people to lend their support. Gov. Neil Abercrombie, a long time friend of Cayetano, did not show, but Abercrombie’s wife, Dr. Nancie Caraway, did attend.


Many well-known opponents of the city’s Honolulu rail system, including Dr. Panos Prevedouros, University of Hawaii Professor Randall Roth, Dr. Michael Uechi, Dennis Callan and’s Cliff Slater also came to endorse the only candidate opposed to the city’s plan to construct a $5.3 billion elevated steel on steel rail project from Kapolei to Honolulu.

Cayetano thanked his three campaign chairs, which included former Senator and State Judge Rey Graulty, former City Council Chair and retired State Judge Walter Heen, and Designer Charlyn Honda Masini.

Cayetano introduced several people from the last three former mayoral cabinets who agreed to advise him on key city issues, such as infrastructure and financial management.

Lively and enthusiastic, Cayetano said he is running for Honolulu mayor to stop the rail from being built and to fix Honolulu’s dilapidated infrastructure.

He was thrilled a new Honolulu Star Advertiser poll documents public support for the rail project dropped dramatically since last year, and another released today shows him in the lead for Honolulu mayor.

Cayetano is running against former city managing director Kirk Caldwell and Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle.

“Ten years I’ve been retired, and I’m coming back because the city has some problems and I want to do something about it,” Cayetano said.

Kobayashi, city budget chair, said she likes Cayetano because he is “honest.” She said she served with Cayetano in the State Senate, and agrees with his campaign focus on the city budget and transportation and infrastructure issues.

Uechi, a medical doctor who co-chaired the Stop Rail Campaign in 2008, said Cayetano has “the power, the charisma and the impact to wipe out the other lightweights” in the mayor’s race.

Rep. Belatti, an independent House Democrat, said “I am supporting Gov. Ben for the future of the City & County of Honolulu. I want to see a better future, and I think he can deliver on that.”

Prevedouros, who unsuccessfully ran for mayor in 2008 and 2010, but brought considerable attention to Oahu’s failing infrastructure, budget problems and the issues surrounding rail, is now an advisor to Cayetano on transportation and rail. Prevedouros said Cayetano, who served in office for 28 years and has never lost an election, has a very good chance of winning.

“Cayetano has the political experience that can put him on top,” Prevedouros said. “Cayetano is very fiscally responsible and has proven that in the past” and “is clearly anti rail and that is a project we don’t need.”

Prevedouros and Kobayashi said the city must spend at least $6 billion to fix Oahu’s aging infrastructure and cannot afford the $5.3 billion the current city administration plans to spend on rail.






  1. We need Ben Cayetano. We need his abilities to see that larger picture, and know-how to get things done in a way the City and County lightweights refuse to do! Many people see the City and County corrupt practices occurring, for the simple reason, to empower the corrupt! Our current Mayor is being called on for his ethical practices, and if he plans on staying in the City long enuf, he may pay back the money he is told to pay back! The City and County taxpayers need no manager to manage a sorry situation without stoppage, and that is all caldwell offers, another well of grief! All is horrible that ends in this calderail without an end! Caldwell is not that end, represents another vying to get at the money empowerment. Such a hullaballoo with a fine answer too, from a man that has proven his honesty, integrity, and loyalty to the people of the STATE! Cayetano is the slate from which the voter may finally be heard. Let the sunshine into politics of the City and County of Honolulu and vote Cayetano for Mayor!


    As a commuter locked in traffic I really need the rail solution Cayetano intends to kill. l calculated the impact of no mass transit in Hawaii on my life and those in the majority who voted for rail. Cayetano has no mass transit relief plan other than just to kill rail.

    I spend 27 hours per month, stuck in traffic over what I would spend using Rail.. The lost value at only $20 per hour extra wasted inside my car when I could be my sons soccer coach makes me angry. I also spend $125 per week in an extra car needed with Rail. . Cayetano’s kill rail would cost me nearly $900 each month in impact and real dollars that should be going to my family.
    Over my work life (30 Yrs,) the Cayetano plan would cost me over $330,000 dollars assuming gas prices don’t go up for next 30 years (sad smile). I will be making the oil companies rich,
    The real cost times some 200,000 commuters at growth rate, makes losses to Honolulu commuter residents alone $54 billion from our pockets after all cost of rail is deducted.
    We can’t afford Cayetano who should enjoy retirement riding our rail..
    written by Tony Lochriccio and co signed by Dave Moskowitz


    As one with memory that internet records confirmed, I was shocked by a 2/9 letter to Editor from Donna Wong and Friends, that was a not so hidden Cayetano endorsement.
    My Internet search showed Cayetano in charge of Elections issuing a disastrous ruling allowing State/local election campaigns to take foreign money . The flood of Japanese yen flowed, resulting in massive law altering that greatly benefited the foreign campaign donors in what is still seen as the largest Election Fraud ever in Hawaii.. Cayetano earned the title as “Father of Hawaii Foreign Campaign Contributions”.
    A successful Complaint against Cayetano’s ruling was filed with the Federal Election Commission in D.C, resulting in a ruling that “no USA election for any Federal State or Local office could ever receive foreign money”. FEC largest fine ever was issued. 100 politicians including Cayetano were ordered to return over 2 million dollars plus fines against the foreign contributors.
    My shock yesterday was that Donna Wong had with Attorney Anthony Locricchio and Victoria Creed filed the FEC complaint against the Cayetano originated greatest election scandal. What has happened to so drastically change Donna Wong’s opinion of Cayetano’s lasting damage to our State laws?
    Sign me, very worried,

  4. davemoskowitz,

    You talk of your time and cost for your commute from the westside, but was it your choice to live out there? You could just as well move into town or closer to your workplace.

    Yes, it may be more costly, but it’ll save you $330,000, which you could apply to your more costly abode. It’s a balance that’s necessary in a more crowded world.

  5. as I said before, this guy for lack of a better term is a fake. Cayetano’s ulterior motive is to become mayor. He’s just using the rail issue to get him elected. “Came to do good, to do himself well.” Cayetano porgets that without the construction union’s vital support in ’98, he wouldn’t have been elected governor winning over Lingle by the slimest of margins 1 percent.

  6. The obvious is being missed by those who “think” we need the rail. The vote in 2008 was in favor by a very small margin, perhaps that margin represented the voters in Salt Lake who believed the rail was going through their area. However, within the same week they had the carpet pulled from under them. That was political dishonesty and corruption at best. We need a revote but the city council knows they will lose. Second, blame your politicians for runaway development in your area, they keep building to feed the traffic problem they claim they want to fix, dah?! Bottomline is this, the rail will benefit only the develpers, wealthy investors, and a few greedy politicians at the cost of you and me. By the way, Kiewit “mobilized” their workers, that sure sounds like they brought in their own…if so, so much for the local jobs our guys were promised!

  7. Is Cayetano perfect? Absolutely not. Who is? But at least he’s got a shot at stopping the insanity of this rail project. It has Big Puka written all over it. Do the math people. The rail will cost $5,000,000,000 divided by the feet it will travel (100,320) equals $49,850 PER FOOT. Come on now. That’s a mind bongling waste of money. For what? Do you really think people are going to give up the convenience of their cars to ride the rail from Ewa Beach to downtown? Are there any jobs downtown? More likely, they will need to go to Costco already in Kapolei and they could already ride the bus for that. Plus who wants to carry groceries on a rail. It’s stupid. The smartest alternative is an elevated toll-freeway. That would alleviate traffic and pay for itself. The rail project is so expensive and serves such a limited area it is a failure already and hasn’t even been built. Only ONE man with a chance of becoming mayor is stepping up and making sense. Shame on Carlisle and Inouye and his ilk. It makes me physically ill just thinking about what a critical waste of resources this project is. Is Cayetano perfect? No. But he is sure better than the pork barrel politicians we have right now.

  8. can not believe Cayetano lost the mayor race. I think the people who voted in the primary
    thought he would win and did not vote in the general because he was ahead in the primary.
    to bad we can not get a revote. he would win for sure. well, after the rail is built, i am positive
    the people who voted for Caldwell will be crying and it is going to be expensive to ride, so not
    to many are going to take the rail. MARK MY WORDS………………………………………..

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