This Week in Review
WEDNESDAY, July 11
July 19, 2007
Two years. That's the prison sentence Rajdatta Patkar, 46, potentially faces for his pleading guilty to one count ofextorting $35,000 from Bob Awana, Governor Linda Lingle's
former chief of staff, in exchange for keeping a bunch of "unseemly
e-mails" allegedly involving Awana and some chick in the Philippines
under wraps. And suddenly, Lingle—who has refused all requests to
comment after she sacked Awana on June 28—has found her tongue. "I was
very glad he [Patkar] was convicted because I don't think anyone should
blackmail and extort another person," Lingle said last night, according
to today's Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
Did you hear that, boys and girls? Governor Lingle doesn't think people
should run around and blackmail people. Isn't that wonderful? But what
was really amazing was that Lingle then said that she was "especially
glad because they [they?] did
it to a friend of mine, Bob, who was the victim in this case, and I'm
glad that the guy was convicted." That sound you just heard was that of
the wheels of logic and commonsense screeching to a halt. Bob Awana—her
longtime chief of staff who she fired a couple weeks ago after his name
and the word "scandal" became interconnected—is still her friend?!
THURSDAY, July 12
So this morning, as I do every Thursday morning, I did my 10-minute appearance on Fred Guzman's eminently reasonable and informative program The Talk of Maui, which airs from 6-8 a.m. weekday mornings on the AM station Fox News 900. The station, part of the Greater Fox News Co-Prosperity Sphere, is of course ultimately run by the Fox News Don Roger Ailes. Now a few decades before he turned the innocuous words "Fair and Balanced" into a nasty partisan drumbeat, Ailes was a television consultant to President Richard Nixon, who was known in his day as much for opening China and covering up Watergate as he was for sweating profusely on camera. Anyway, today the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace in sunny, boring Yorba Linda, California released a five-page, 1970 memo from Ailes to then-Nixon Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman. Mostly concerned with technical matters—lighting, mic placement, how much beardstick
to apply to Nixon's always shiny mug—the memo contains this golden
little bit of advice that tells us more about the most disgraced
president in U.S. history than a dozen biographies: "I think it is
important for the President to show a little more concern for Mrs. Nixon
as he moves through the crowd," Ailes wrote. "At one point he walked
off in a different direction. Mrs. Nixon wasn't looking and had to run
to catch up. From time to time he should talk to her and smile at her.
Women voters are particularly sensitive to how a man treats his wife in
public. The more attention she gets, the happier they are."
FRIDAY, July 13
Oh no! Governor Lingle has just 78 friends! Virtual friends, that
is: "Several governors boast thousands of virtual friendships,"
reported Stateline.org, an online journal of state government-related
news stories, on July 10. "California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) counts more than 8,000 Facebook
friends. By contrast, Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle (R) has only 78
friends." Yes, she's been governor since 2002, and she only has 78
friends. So sad.
SATURDAY, July 14
What was that? How many virtual friends does Maui Time have? Shut up! We're working on it!
SUNDAY, July 15
Apparently encouraged by Lingle's little statement on her disgraced
ex-chief of staff, the Associated Press now has a story in today's Maui News
bashing her for going "mum" once again why she apparently sat on her
hands for so long while myriad federal investigators swirled about
Awana, forcing his resignation only after news of the scandals became
public. What a shock! What do you expect her to say? Yeah,
you got me. Bob and I, we struck a deal—a gangster's pact, really—that
I'd look the other way on all these investigations and he could go on
being my top aide, but only on the condition that you meddling kids
stayed in the dark. If one whiff of these scandals should ever reach
the public, I promised to throw him overboard like last night's garbage.
But since she hasn't said anything like that, the AP has gone and done
something really nasty: dig up some of Lingle's old 2002 campaign
promises that her administration would always be above board. "[I will]
hold myself and those who serve in government to the people of Hawaii
for our official actions, our personal behavior, our campaign
promises," Lingle pledged in a 2002 campaign pamphlet, according to the
story. What's more, the AP then quotes one of Lingle's
allies—Republican state Senator Sam Slom of
Diamond Head—as saying "There have been rumors and allegations for
years" about Awana, whom he called her "bestest buddy." Now that's
MONDAY, July 16
Now the AP is reporting that the Maui County Salary Commission wants to give the Maui County Council a
pay hike. The reason given, according to the AP, is that the council is
having a hard time attracting good people at the current pay rate.
"We're all looking for who is going to be there in the future and how
are we going to get them to run," Salary Commissioner Jason Williams
said in the story. Now this is fantastic, but not because Williams just
implied that only hard-luck cases will run for the council now. And not
because Maui County Councilmembers already make more money each year
than their Honolulu counterparts, either. No, this is fantastic
because, as everyone who takes a Civics 101 class in college knows, people don't run for public office to make gobs of cash—they run to get gobs of power.
If all they wanted was money, there are plenty of powerful development
firms around the island that I'm sure would snap them up in a second.
TUESDAY, July 17
Anthony Pignataro does generally discuss ongoing investigations. MTW
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