Political Tittle-tattle: News and Entertainment from Hawaii's Political Arena – Jan. 30, 2004-The Hamamoto Pageant; Education Hearing on Governor's Education Reform Bill Expected to Draw Big Crowd; Lingle's State of the State Expands State Government Focus; Mayor Acts as Own Cheerleader in His Address – Too Bad Most 'Accomplishments' Will Cause Havoc for Generations; Kawamoto Rides Rail Into Fantasy Land; Chamber Submits Shocking Testimony Against Interest of Business; Senator Should Just Give Up Party Card – Change Out Elephant for Ass; Visitors Up; More Judges; Visiting Outer Space

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”The Hamamoto Pageant”


The whole event was real, real strange. School Superintendent Pat Hamamoto was asked Wednesday to make an unprecedented speech to state lawmakers to share her views and plans for Hawaii’s public education system. Republicans maintain an elected official, such as the chair of the Board of Education, should have been the person to address lawmakers and that Hamamoto, an appointee, was not the proper person. The audience also was unusual. Hamamoto jam packed the audience with department bureaucrats, teachers and principals who were supposed to be at work (they were on the clock at taxpayers expense) and helping to improve the education system. Instead they came to act as cheerleaders along with leaders of the public sector unions. These bureaucrats almost seemed robotic. Like a scene out of the movie Shrek, they clapped frantically and leaped to their feet on cue, most obviously when Hamamoto called for more power, more money and more autonomy. She said she wanted more, more, more — more than the $1.9 billion she already gets to play with a year — to solve the serious and long standing problems with Hawaii’s education system.

Also unusual was Hamamoto’s appearance. She is normally nicely dressed with no makeup and simple, neat hair. But on Wednesday, she looked like the guys from the Queer Eye for the Straight Guy got a hold of her and gave her a complete makeover — makeup, hair, clothes — she was ready for primetime.

Strangest of all however was the line-up behind her — all former players in the Democrat unity videos from the days when people actually took that term “Democrat unity” seriously and thought it was a good concept. There sat former Gov. George Ariyoshi, Gov. John Waihee and Ben Cayetano (without a mustache) — they looked bored and like they didn’t appreciate being dusted off and dragged out of retirement for the theater production (except Ariyoshi — he always looks the same). Congressman Neil Abercrombie, D-1st District, a raging liberal whose shrieking voice is burned in the minds of anyone who has ever heard him speak, seemed happy to be on stage, but looked as if he’d love to shove Hamamoto aside and start shouting about the sins of Republicans and conservatives. Other Democrat operatives flanked Hamamoto as if they were sitting behind their next gubernatorial candidate. One Republican Senator reportedly called the event “Pat’s Pageant.”

The buzzword in her speech was “delinking.” Hamamoto said she wants the Department of Education “delinked” from all other government agencies, with no oversight, and plenty more money. It seems the Democrats, who can no longer rule the state by controlling the House, Senate, Judiciary and governor’s administration as they have for the last 40 years, want to set up their own village and experiment with the 180,000 children in the public school system. There they probably believe that with no oversight and plenty of taxpayers’ money, they can mold the minds of future generations and hope to turn them all into socialists who rely on the government and grow up to become bureaucrats who support public unions and pay their dues.

But despite this ambitious and obvious goal