Lingle does the predictable

The only surprise in Gov. Linda Lingle’s announcement that she would veto HB 444 was that there were no surprises.

She based the veto on her opinion that civil unions are same-sex marriage by another name, a view she telegraphed more than a month ago, and that the issue should be decided by voter referendum — an easy political out that shores up her standing with Republicans opponents of same-sex unions, while not bashing gay voters whose support she courted when she ran for governor.

Lingle said her decision wasn’t based on politics, but the political analysis I wrote more than two months ago stood up pretty well:

(Civil unions supporters) probably right that deep in her heart the governor has no philosophical problem with civil unions. But from the standpoint of 2010 politics, it would be a surprise if Lingle allowed HB 444 to become law.

The immediate political consequence is that it would set her at odds with her lieutenant governor, James “Duke” Aiona, the leading opponent of the measure, and undercut one of his major issues in his already uphill campaign to succeed Lingle.

Aiona has been Lingle’s loyal partner, and she wouldn’t likely do that to him unless she had strong personal feelings on the issue that surely would have surfaced before now.

Lingle also will have an eye to her own political interests.

For much of her term, her moderate views and efforts to reach accommodation with the Democratic Legislature created such tensions with GOP conservatives that many referred to her as a RINO — Republican in Name Only.

As her time as governor nears an end and she eyes a future in a Republican Party that has turned sharply to the right since losing the presidency and Congress to Barack Obama and the Democrats, Lingle has worked hard to shore up her conservative flank.

She turned jeers from the right into cheers by hedging her support for O’ahu rail transit and the Akaka bill for Native Hawaiian political recognition. She’s also won points in the party for stepping up her rhetoric against higher taxes and battling the public worker unions.

It’s difficult to imagine her undoing all the gains she’s made within the GOP by crossing the party on gay unions, one of the biggest conservative litmus tests.

What happens next on civil unions depends a lot on the outcome of the November election.

If opponents of HB 444 manage to take out a few Democratic lawmakers who voted for it, or if the issue has a measurable impact in statewide races, we won’t likely see this bill again for a few years.

But if all the legislators who voted for it easily survive any challenges, and if candidates friendly to HB 444 do well in statewide races, there’s no reason why Democratic lawmakers won’t pass it again next year — perhaps by a veto-proof majority.

Who is elected to succeed Lingle also matters, of course. Aiona would never sign a civil unions bill, while Neil Abercrombie would relish an opportunity to enact it into law. Mufi Hannemann has tap-danced around taking a stance on HB 444, apparently trying to position himself to the right of Abercrombie in the Democratic primary, but to the left of Aiona if he makes it to the general election.

The Democratic primary for lieutenant governor will also provide a read on voter sentiment on civil unions, with two prominent opponents of HB 444 — Robert Bunda and Norman Sakamoto — running against supporters Lyla Berg, Gary Hooser, Jon Riki Karamatsu and Brian Schatz.

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15 Comments on “Lingle does the predictable”

  1. Michael Says:

    “This is a decision that should not be made by one person sitting in her office or by members of the Majority Party behind closed doors in a legislative caucus, but by all the people of Hawaii behind the curtain of the voting booth.” lingle.

    Contrary to what Mary said in previous speeches about being a single decision maker. Hands washed clean.
    Let the public decide now. A surprise twist to end.
    All she did was awaken a Sleeping Giant.

  2. Alan R. Spector Says:

    This was a shameful act by Gov. Lingle. She disgraced herself by endorsing discrimination and violating the constitution she is sworn to uphold.

    Lingle’s actions on 7/6 leave thousands of law abiding and tax paying families in Hawaii without the equal legal rights required by the Hawaii Constitution.

    A very sad day. But the fight will continue. Our community had gained substantial political power and after 7/6, we will gain even more supporters.

    We are not going away. We passed this bill once and we can certainly pass it again! Looking forward to “Round 2,” our lawsuit being prepared by Lambda Legal and ACLU of Hawaii.

    We will win this, that is guaranteed.

  3. ccpp Says:

    Wow, Shapiro was right on the money regarding predicting what Lingle would do. For me, I was hoping the Governor would do the right thing and let the CU bill pass without her signature. Lingle completely contradicts herself when she say no ONE person should make the decision. By vetoing the bill she in fact made Civil Unions in Hawaii decided by a SINGLE person. The bill came up before her based on the MAJORITY of elected representatives in both the State House and Senate. Yes it was done at the last minute, but the did NOT do anything illegal.

    Bottom line, like originally going along with the BOE/HSTA regarding student furloughs, the Governor made a big mistake. In the name of God, CU opponents people have lied, broke laws and did whatever it takes to convince everyone CU bill was bad and to get Lingle to veto the measure. The Round table executives LIED in their letter to Lingle that the majority of Round table businesses supported vetoing the measure. It is alleged Arakaki illegally used money obtained with a tax exempt status on lobbying which goes against IRS laws. In the end when Lingle leaves office and will look for support either on the local or national level, the people who she thinks will support in the future will turn her back on her. The local religious groups are mostly Democrats and have strong union ties and definitely don’t want Lingle to take over for the 2 Dans or for a seat in the House of Reps. On the national level, Lingle strongly supported McCain and he is old news and in the OUT. Romney could care less about Lingle and Hawaii with only 4 electoral votes that will go Democrat no matter who is running. Romney will NOT make the same mistake as McCain and go for a female like Palin or Lingle. He will most likely go with Bobby Jindal of Louisiana who has shown leadership regarding the Gulf oil disaster. The national Republican party is also in disarray with Michael Steele at the helm. I don’t want to sound racist but I am sure it is an issue that right now Steele is messing up the Republican party with his mouth in the eve of the 2010 & 2012 elections yet the Republican party does not want to fire an African American and replace him with a Caucasian person. Also that is why Glenn Beck right now is focusing on history of African American heroes before Martin Luther King. Also that is why many top Republicans have spoken out against Steele but are NOT calling for him to resign. Had Lingle allowed the CU bill to come into law without her signature, she would have the support of local moderate Repubs and Demos and business organizations such as Starwood, HMSA, Oceanic Time Warner, etc who basically supported the CU bill. Now many people, including myself and completely disappointed in Lingle and with Aiona as well. Her veto bothers the heck out of me and I am not even gay. I and others have said this CU will not become a major distraction instead of focusing on Hawaii’s economy and addressing out of control spending that will put Hawaii in the same situation as California or Greece. All of the people against the CU bill would NOT be affected by CU. It would not affect their income, their lifestyle, their child’s education, their health insurance, etc. No matter what BS arguments they tried to give, their opposition was based on PREJUDICE pure and simple and that is why the CU bill should have become law in Hawaii.

    One last thing in terms of $$$$, Hawaii’s anti-CU groups have extremely limited financial resources and are NOT the movers and shakers in the State of Hawaii. Just in the news many religious private schools had to be closed for lack of money and students. People who make money and/or lead others in a Democratic and Capitalistic society need to think independently and get others to think for themselves as well. To believe that civil unions are wrong purely because it contradicts passages of a document written thousands of years ago by some monk or scribe requires giving up almost all independent thinking, and instead blind acceptance of someone in touch with a “higher power” telling you what you should think and believe.

  4. ccpp Says:


    I and others have said this CU will BECOME a major distraction instead of focusing on Hawaii’s economy and addressing out of control spending that will put Hawaii in the same situation as California or Greece.

  5. Capitol -ist/WassupDoc Says:

    Out of control spending on what? Prisons? The Department of Education? Social services for the elderly? Protecting & preserving the environment? Supporting renewable energy R & D and mitigating the impacts of climate change?

    Although I agree with you about Civil Unions and the impacts the veto will have on individuals and families as well as the economy & politics, I do have to challenge your statement

    …. instead of focusing on Hawaii’s economy and addressing out of control spending that will put Hawaii in the same situation as California or Greece.

  6. ccpp Says:

    from Capitol -ist

    “Out of control spending on what? Prisons? The Department of Education? Social services for the elderly? Protecting & preserving the environment? Supporting renewable energy R & D and mitigating the impacts of climate change?

    This should be obvious:
    Mufi’s $6++ BILLION train to nowhere. Also I question the $1.5 BILLION price tag Mufi has given to upgrade the two Oahu sewage plants from primary to secondary levels. Interesting some local Hawaii civil engineers have written that they think it is unnecessary but say the WILL get the job to upgrade the sewage system. How do they know they will get the job? Oahu is NOT the only city, State, nation or country that has had to deal with human waste and currently many third world countries have upgraded their sewage system to the secondary level WITHOUT spending a billion dollars. Why is this project already been promised to select local companies and not put out for bid to the nation, or the world for that matter? I know we need to support local construction workers but based on Mufi and how he has handled the rail project and as mayor and have no faith that the sewage upgrades, which are needed will be done in a cost efficient manner using the appropriate technology for the situation. By the way, I wrote a comment in the StarAdvertiser and it got deleted regarding the Oahu sewage upgrade. I linked an article that Hawaii has the HIGHEST rate of MRSA (methycillin resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) infections in the NATION. Is there a direct relationship between Hawaii’s rate of MRSA with primary only release of sewage? I don’t know but couple FACTS: A guy who had cuts who fell into the Ala Wai when the the 48 million gallon raw sewage was release died of flesh eating bacteria. A woman surfing off Waikiki beach got a real bad bacterial infection that required hospitalization. A Punahou(?) kid paddling in the Ala Wai also got a life/death case of a bacterial infection. Point is given all of these conditions our sewage SHOULD be upgraded to the secondary level, which basically removes the biological or at least kill the organisms in our sewage before it is release into our surrounding oceans
    StaphAseptic™ News

    Hawaii Tops the Nation’s List for Staph Infections
    March 13, 2009
    By Manolo Morales

    Nineteen thousand people in the nation die from it every year. And Hawaii has the highest rate of infection in all 50 states. Medical experts say staph infections can be deadly if overlooked.

    Besides the rail project, you are correct the DOE is another place of incredible waste, graft and corruption at taxpayer’s expense as alluded to by Higa’s audits of the DOE. Again the public and our official needlessly waste time playing politics as Lee Cataluna has tried to do with criticizing Aiona’s proposal for an independent audit of the DOE. Anyone not in complete denial or is on the DOE feeding trough knows this to be true and instead of focusing on ending the graft, waste and corruption and instead use the money to directly benefit our school children, we divert attention with the politics of the governors race. That is why Obama is such a failure as Pres of the US. He does not want to spend time making the necessary executive decisions of the Pres of the US, rather he is in perpetual campaign, special interest mode for the entire 4 years he will be in office. Sound familiar locally?

    My point is instead of our local elected leaders focusing our dealing with Oahu’s sewage problems, realistic traffic solutions, and our visitor/construction industry for realistic/beneficial projects, they are also stuck in constant campaign/ special interest mode and focus all of their, and the taxpayer resources on a completely overpriced, inappropriate choo-choo train and are wasting time for this never ending battle for civil unions in Hawaii, when Lingle could have basically ended this eternal fight once and for all by allowing the CU bill to become law without her signature. You know why the CU measure should not be put to vote? Cause half the people are NOT using logic or reason to make their decision regarding CU. Other’s used the analogy of slavery in the US or the prejudice/internment of AJA’s with the CU fight. On one level it IS similar as the correct decision will never be made since prejudice is based on a emotional level devoid of people using any logic or reason. In that case it took a strong, benevolent leader, such as Abraham Lincoln to unilaterally make the tough but right decision, without a popular vote, to go into war to end slavery. In WW2, AJA’s made the unilateral decision to fight heroically for a country that scre wed them over and let the rest of surviving AJA’s benefit from the sacrifice of their lives. Although not as dramatic or severe, Lingle could and should have done similarly to what former Governor John Burns did with abortion rights, and that was allow the CU bill to become law in Hawaii without her signature.

  7. Capitol -ist/WassupDoc Says:

    ccpp: For starters, please learn the difference between OPERATING BUDGETS and CAPITAL BUDGETS.

    Money is NOT transferable from one budget to the other. Furthermore, state funds cannot be used to fund city projects and vice versa. The only exception to this which took a specific legislative act is a half percent incrase in the GET for O`ahu residents only.

    The construction of the mass transit system is a City & County of Honolulu CAPITAL BUDGET item which will be funded by federal grants and bonds repayable over the next 30 to 40 years.

    All of STATE-funded issues I mentioned above are part of the State of Hawai`i’s OPERATING BUDGET and are funded yearly through a combination of taxes, fees, and some federal grants.

    Although I do not, will not, never have, and never will support Mufi Hannemann for any office, I DO SUPPORT mass transit. We should have started the system 30 years ago and definitely back in 1992.

    As someone who works with both solid waste and sewer systems, I cannot and will not hold any current elected official responsible for sewer line breaks or staph infections. Sewer lines will eventually crack open – the determining factor is what they are made from, not how old they are.

    People blame Jeremy Harris as well as Mufi Hannemann for not replacing broken sewer lines before they actually broke. No one can predict that in precisely in advance.

    There are sewer lines less than a mile away in one direction from where I’m sitting which date back to 1948 and are in fine shape whereas other lines a mile away in another direction were put in 30 years later and have had to be replaced in the past six years because of the difference in piping materials.

    When the sewer lines were replaced along Ward Avenue in the early 1990s, they were over 75 years old and still solidly intact; however, they were way too small to transmit the quantity of sewage produced every day. That’s why they were replaced.

    As for the Department of Education, I strongly support a state-wide system; however, I believe that there are some inefficiencies which could be addressed, but that won’t be achieved by dismantling the public school system.

    I think it was WowWoo who wanted to provide choice for schools using a voucher system. Unfortunately, as demonstrated in community after community in southern states who started voucher systems as a way to avoid integrated schools, low- & moderate-ncome families with school-aged children were left behind in ways that no one could have foreseen.

    In fact, Hawai`i residents and business owners are NOT over-taxed if you combine all of the taxes together: GET, property taxes,state & federal income taxes, unemployment, Social Security, etc.

    In closing, I want public services including fire protection, libraries, life guards, elder care, and dozens of other county & state programs – most of which I’ll never use – and am willing to pay my share for them because they make my community, my city & my state a better place to live, work & play.

  8. ccpp Says:

    Capitol -ist:

    I know you are just trying to divert attention away from the merit or lack of merit of these ridiculous, overpriced, inappropriate projects but the bottom line, whether City or State initiative OR operating vs capital budget; all of these projects will still have to be paid for or funded by the SAME DISTRESSED TAXPAYER.

    I will not post what I have already written on Shapiro’s previous threads but I have already clearly stated that I do NOT blame Mufi or his wastewater staff for the Ala Wai force main break that resulted in 48 MILLION gallons of raw sewage that was emptied in our ocean. However I think it is completely appropriate to hold Mufi responsible for his inability for him and his wastewater staff to not handle a spill response in a TIMELY manner. ONE year prior to the Ala Wai force main break, the action plan that Mufi presented to the EPA in San Francisco and Oahu residents was, besides the physical upgrades of the aging force mains on Oahu he would address “spill response”. Obviously he and his wastewater staff did NOT do what they said they would do in his wastewater action plan and the result was instead of a multi-thousand gallon sewage spill he had a multi-MILLION gallon sewage spill. In fact I mentioned that to Bongo and so far Bongo has not responded to me.

    You say you work with solid waste & sewer systems, tell me has an in depth analysis of upgrading Oahu’s 2 sewage plants from primary to secondary in the most efficient and COST effective manner INDEPENDENT of the current expertise and/or wastewater experience of our local wastewater contractors? Recently we all just read in the news about local paint contractors trying to force the State to hire them for the Aloha stadium job when they were NOT qualified to handle the painting of key steel support structures. Don’t get me wrong, we need to hire our local workers first but this has also be balanced with their abilities to perform the work or job in a cost effective and appropriate manner that does not end up rip off the taxpayers in the process for 2nd rate work.

    Regarding mass transit, I agree with you that mass transit is critical for Oahu, however what Mufi has proposed with his rail system will do more harm than good in the long run for the entire State of Hawaii. Again, I will not post why, just read my previous comments throughout Shapiro’s threads. The key point that I will continuously repeat is that Mufi’s rail does NOT address the school commuting crowd which is what tips, barring a major freeway accident/stall, Oahu traffic from bearable to gridlock. So after spending $10 BILLION of taxpayers monies, massive delays & inconveniences during construction of the in-town portion of the rail, most likely disturbing ancient Hawaiian remains, you still will have the same type of commuters on Oahu’s roads and only a small percentage of The Bus riders will actually use the train. Also don’t you and Parson with their rosy financial figures try to convince me and others that Mufi/Parsons’ train will be financially “affordable” with bonds or whatever. Just look at the Las Vegas’ elevated rail that is only 4 miles long built by the same Parsons/Bombardier team and is now bankrupt to the tune of 1/2 to 1 BILLION dollars.

    My closing statement is that the REAL underlying problem is that our society no longer has people wanting to serve our government for the purpose of community service or to better our society. Politics now attracts self-centered, greedy individuals with hidden agendas that often center on the attainment of power and/or money. Glenn Beck and some other conservatives hypothesize that at the national level it is people who decades ago where “anti-establishment”, who were driven by a social agenda, have now been able to creep into the highest levels of government and are able to enact their own social agenda given the are now the “establishment” in power. On the local level, I don’t think that is the issue. With our local politicians, I think it just comes down to getting elected and maintaining that status to acquire power and $$$$.

  9. Michael Says:

    One plays cards with lingle
    should check if the cards are marked.
    she played her hand well.

    Next governor?

  10. Scott Goold Says:

    Aloha ccpp ~
    Mahalo for your closing statement … WHEW, glad we all got through that!

    You’re hilarious. Did you graduate from Glenn Beck University? You claim Professor Beck “hypothesizes” that at the national level:

    1. people who were “anti-establishment”
    2. driven by a social agenda
    3. now have crept in the highest levels of government
    4. are able to enact their own social agenda now that they are the “establishment” in power

    Well, darn you, goodness gracious, sakes alive … I’m sure Dr. Beck would agree these seven people fit his/your description:

    Benjamin Franklin
    George Washington
    John Adams
    Thomas Jefferson
    John Jay
    James Madison
    Alexander Hamilton

    All were (1) anti-establishment; (2) driven by a social agenda; (3) crept into the highest levels of government; (4) enacted their own social agendas once in power.

    These seven men are considered the Founding Fathers of America.

    Apparently those you now criticize in Washington are part of a long and outstanding line of Revolutionaries – destined to shape our future.

    Cudos to Professor Beck for his insightful political discourse. Amazing stuff! Some network ought to give him his own show. I can just imagine how dazzling he would be in front of a black board.


  11. Scott Goold Says:

    Aloha ccpp (or is it cccp?) ~
    Your pen name confused me … did you make a typo?

    It is well-reported on Fox news that people working in academia are anti-American and communist sympathizers. It is also clear Professor Glenn Beck falls into this disreputable category.

    CCCP is another way to write USSR, accounting for translation from Russian to English.

    CCCP can also mean Central Committee of the Communist Party

    Is this what you really meant? Are you part of the secret Russian spy ring recently uncovered in our nation? Is this why you hide your name from us? Should we refer to you from now on as Igor?

    Tell us please! Are you a communist sympathizer? Or, more generally, an anti-American SOCIALIST?

    Is this your secret agenda and reason why you are diverting us from the primary discussion on this page, which was Lingle and her cowardly veto of the civil union legislation?

    Just wondering …


  12. Michael Says:

    Yes, lingle did as predicted.
    Passed the buck again.

    hanneman already 2 billion dollars in debt and still mayor. The city problem is not even fixed at a cost unknown yet. Sewage treatment plant and the cement dumped in river.

  13. Shaloha Says:

    I always suspected that Capitol-ist was working with sewage – that is where he found the mind of Scott Goold!

    Scott CCCP stands foor Soyuz Sovetstskih Sotsialisticheskih Respubliks. I did not get your humor and Glen Beck tirade at all: you took an offense at being defined as Marxist in one post but then engaged in the Commie bating in your above post. What gives, bro?

    And now on the topic: As a Gay American (I am always jolly!) I oppose the gay marriage and it’s clones such as CU.

    LL is right CU, as defined by the law, was waaaay too close to the Marriage.

    I would support more narrowly drafted legislation that will allow Gays to form a legal unions odf some kind but since the real objection of the Legg and the Democrats in general was to attack the traditional marriage – this will never happen.

    The sad part is that monogamous Gay people would like to have a modicum of legitinmacy afforded to their relationships but the Left is standing in the way.

    I started to belive that “the gay community” as I know it, was not represented by the angry loudmouths and violent demented extremists such as Golojuch family and the rest of the Democrat party detritus.

    Why are there no moderate voices on the Left?

  14. Alan R. Spector Says:

    @ shaloha. I cannot further debate how civil unions are not marriage since I would just be running in circles. Everyone know my views. So let me then ask you:

    1. Do you support providing equal rights and responsibilities under the law for gay couples?

    2. If you support a more narrow form of the law as you say above, exactly what would that look like and what rights would you leave out?

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