This Week in Review
September 21, 2006
WEDNESDAY, Sept. 13
I think this is going to be a quiet week. I don't see much of anything happening.
THURSDAY, Sept. 14
Governor Linda Lingle raises $6 million with more than two months to go before the general election! The Honolulu Star-Bulletin endorses Ed Case for U.S. Senate! Bounty hunter Duane "Dog" Chapman gets arrested and will be carted off to Mexico! There's too much news! Deep breaths… Deep breaths… Okay, I've calmed down now. So, Lingle's broken Hawai`i's record for campaign fundraising, the previous holder being… Linda Lingle! Lingle says she needs all this money because she's "not taking anything for granted," but come on: she's not facing a primary challenger of note and her two Democratic adversaries—former state Senator Randall Iwase and current Waianae harbormaster William Aila, Jr.—have between them raised less than $300,000. Right now, Lingle has more than $2 million in the bank, and you can bet she'll have a good chunk of money still there when the race is over and she's free to start thinking about her next campaign… As for Case, he's trailing in the polls and in campaign fundraising. The Star-Bulletin nod—"It is time for a younger person to begin building seniority in the Senate"—is a helpful boost, but unlikely to do much for the congressman who still feels the best for the country is to keep U.S. troops in Iraq for the foreseeable future. Anyway, if he's elected, maybe he can do something about Dog Chapman.
FRIDAY, Sept. 15
It's a strange way to run a reelection campaign, but hell, she knows best. Anyway, according to today's Maui News, yesterday Her Majesty Linda Lingle got onstage at the Maui Hotel & Lodging Association's annual membership meeting and said that Maui's roads and sewers and such are failing to keep up with growth. Yes, failing. This comes as no surprise to anyone who's spent more than 30 seconds on any of Maui's lovely highways, but it's odd for the state's top elected official to say—namely because she's the state's top elected official, and has been for the last three and a half years. As governor, it's her job to articulate her vision for Hawai`i, set the agenda and generally poke and prod the often unwieldy state Legislature into action. She's done so, by her account, on the matters of homelessness, affordable housing, crime prevention, education, health care access and environmental preservation. But where state highway improvement was concerned, evil "bureaucracy" stymied the mighty Lingle Administration. Oh yes, my friends, we're all screwed.
SATURDAY, Sept. 16
Looks like the whole Hamakuapoko Wells issue is over finally… and was never really an issue to begin with. The Maui News is reporting that yesterday the Maui County Council voted 6-2 to ban use of the controversial wells for drinking water purposes even as it discovered a 2000 consent decree between the county and the state Department of Health meant the water would still be available for emergencies. Councilman Dain Kane even used the revelation to jab at Mayor Alan Arakawa—his primary opponent—saying it showed the incumbent "doesn't have a clue." Now I can't tell if this means everyone wins or everyone loses. In fact, the two dissenting votes, Jo Anne Johnson and Mike Molina, said they did so because they want more information. But with the election just around the corner and two of Arakawa's opponents sitting on the council, I doubt there will be time for that.
SUNDAY, Sept. 17
Dog, now that you've made bail, you know what you have to do: Run!
MONDAY, Sept. 18
With the primary election this Saturday, two new polls show U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka strongly leading upstart challenger Case. I mean, with numbers like these, the election could be a real blowout. In the first poll of likely Democratic voters statewide and conducted by Ward Research, Inc., Akaka leads Case by 13 points, 51 percent to 38 percent. The second poll, by SMS Research and Marketing Services, surveys Big Island voters. Those numbers have Akaka leading Case by 14 points, 42 percent to 28 percent. What's fascinating about these polls is that they haven't really changed during the campaign—there's never been a point in the race when Case led Akaka, mostly because there hasn't really been a race. From the beginning, incumbent Akaka had the firm backing of the Democratic Party. It's hard for a guy like Case, who holds views on wedge issues like the Iraq War that differ substantially from the party platform, to gain any kind of ground in that kind of race. Ironically, Case's view that it's time for younger representation in the Senate is right on: Akaka, though very progressive, hasn't been particularly effective. But Case, who is far too supportive of the Bush Administration's war in Iraq, just isn't the guy to replace him. That means another term for the 81-year-old Akaka—not a particularly exciting prospect, but we've survived far worse.
TUESDAY, Sept. 19
First Dog Chapman and now this: CNN has reported that Sprecklesville resident and country music legend Willie Nelson was busted today in Lafayette, Louisiana for possession of marijuana and narcotic mushrooms. His tour bus was rolling through town when the fuzz pulled it over during a traffic stop. Searching the bus, the cops found one and a half pounds of MJ and another two-tenths of a pound of shrooms. Shocking, just shocking.
Anthony Pignataro voted early and voted often. MTW
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