Mrs. Heftel to Djou: No thanks

U.S. Rep. Charles Djou has gotten a “return to sender” on his proposal to name the Makiki Post Office after one of his predecessors, the late U.S. Rep. Cec Heftel.

Heftel’s widow, Rebecca Glass Heftel, objected to the idea in a sharply worded letter to Djou:

News of your initiative to name the Makiki Post Office building after my late husband, Congressman Cecil Heftel, came as a complete surprise, inasmuch as you have never communicated with me.

It would seem to be common courtesy to consult a widow on issues pertaining to her husband, and since you have chosen not to do so, I must ask you to refrain from any additional efforts in this matter.

Mrs. Heftel is said to be puzzled as to why Djou chose the Makiki Post Office, located under H-1 at Pensacola and Lunalilo, as the late congressman had no particular ties to the area; he lived mostly in Kahala and along Kalanianaole Highway in East O’ahu.

She also feels her Democratic husband and the Republican Djou are polar opposites politically and doesn’t care for any suggestion of an affinity between the two.

In a story in the Star-Advertiser Sunday, Djou said he chose Makiki because some of Heftel’s family still live in the area and that Heftel lived in the neighborhood while serving in Congress.

He said there’s a tradition of naming post offices after former members of Congress, and that the resolution is usually offered by a successor in the same district.

For instance, Djou said former U.S. Rep. Ed Case introduced a resolution to rename the Paia, Maui, post office after Patsy Mink, and Democratic U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka introduced the measure naming the Kapalama post office for Republican Hiram Fong.

Mrs. Heftel copied her letter to Hawai’i’s senior U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, who is expected to be sure House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is made aware of it. Don’t expect to buy stamps anytime soon at the Cecil L. Heftel Post Office Building.

Meantime, a day after the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee ripped Djou for trying to raise funds off of a little attention he’s gotten from the national media, his Democratic opponent Colleen Hanabusa is in Washington trying to do the same thing.

In a communication to supporters, she said she’s met with the Huffington Post and is trying to line up interviews with other media to counter Djou’s views on the Jones Act and other issues.

All tied to a solicitation for donations, of course.

Update: Word is that Djou’s office had contacted the Heftel children regarding his resolution and received their approval for naming the Makiki Post Office after their father and their thanks for the honor.

Mrs. Heftel issued a further statement to the effect that a wife knows her husband’s wishes best, but these appear to be family issues that need to be resolved there.

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4 Comments on “Mrs. Heftel to Djou: No thanks”

  1. Michael Says:

    It seems Mrs. Heftel wanted a bigger and more outstanding building rather than a Post Office Building.
    Maybe she wanted Hawaii News Now building in honor of her late husband to be named the Cec Heftel Building.

    Djou may be new but I think he had good intentions of naming the Post Office. Being new he has a lot to learn on deamenor.

  2. Scott Goold Says:

    Aloha ~
    I’ve been working in policy development for many years now … too many! Auwe!

    I have had the fortunate opportunity to be part of actions to honor people (generally deceased) due to their past work. I have NEVER been involved in a project to name a public structure after someone without consulting the family.

    Djou is clearly grandstanding. Team Djou is working overtime to embellish his resume – as was pointed out in David’s previous post:

    “Few members of Congress, let alone a freshman, have had as much impact on the national policies of our country.”

    Not only was Djou posing for headlines – this fiasco shows his lack of judgment and compassion. What a creep! Failing to discuss this with Rebecca Glass Heftel, the widow of the late U.S. Rep. Cec Heftel.

    Me thinks (and hopes) Mr. Djou will have a short ride in Washington …


  3. hipoli Says:

    Just Dont Djou It!


  4. 1954 Says:

    It is good to see Hawaii Democrats using the old “bereaved widow” trick. I am so proud to be a Democrat. Nobody digs into the muck like we do! We will round up all the Scott Goolds of the District and get 10 votes for Hanabusa!

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