Call the caterer in the mayor’s race

I’ve already voted absentee, but I watched the last televised mayoral debate anyway to get a sense of what we’re in for. (OK, I TiVo’ed through some of it.)

I didn’t hear anything inspiring, but concluded that we’ll probably be OK with the top candidates that are most likely to win. A few impressions:

  • Acting Mayor Kirk Caldwell had the most command of the details of city government, as would be expected after his two-year stint as managing director, but he didn’t capitalize on it as much as he could have because of a tendency to fall into technical jargon like “workforce housing.” Still, he looked more confident and at ease than the last time I saw him in a similar setting. I wish he didn’t seem to feel  his campaign depends on how many times he mentions his wife Donna Tanoue.
  • Peter Carlisle knew Caldwell would ask about his pay raises as city prosecutor, but blew an opportunity to put it to rest by failing to prepare a clear answer that fit within the time limit. He blew his chance to nail Caldwell back on a juicy issue like property tax exemptions by asking him an obscure question about blank votes counting as “no” votes on state constitutional amendments. Perhaps his strongest issue is his promise to break up the pay-to-play contracting system, but he mostly buried it.
  • Panos Prevedouros promised at the start of the campaign to broaden his issues beyond opposition to rail, but everything always seems to come back to rail, rail, rail. As a result, it’s difficult to see him broadening his voter base beyond his third-place finish in 2008.
  • Rod Tam was forced to answer  questions in the most public way ever about the police investigation into his city restaurant tabs and his legislative proposal to give government workers naps and snacks. All I can say is he often didn’t use all the time allotted to him.

Caldwell said in his closing remarks that he was glad the debate was over because he was hungry. I’m feeling that way about the whole primary campaign.

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9 Comments on “Call the caterer in the mayor’s race”

  1. tommy Says:

    Caldwell does seem much more confident on-camera. I wonder, should he lose, if he will seek office again or go back to being a lawyer.

    If Carlisle wins, I hope he is ready to run this complex city of ours and has Sen. Inouye’s confidence that he can get the rail going.

    Were Panos to win, I would move to Canada. I hear they have a good rail system in Vancouver….

  2. ppcc Says:

    from tommy:
    Were Panos to win, I would move to Canada. I hear they have a good rail system in Vancouver….

    link to map of Vancouver train line

    Most Vancouver commuters must use the vancouver bus system in conjuction with their train line to get to where they need to go. Vancouver’s bus lines are pretty extensive and many are electric powered buses that connect to overhead power lines.

    Said this for the 1000th time which is that you CANNOT compare other train systems with Hawaii’s rail is that the weekday Oahu school commuting crowd is what tips Oahu traffic from bearable to gridlock and Mufi’s rail is useless to them. UH, Punahou, Iolani, St Loius, Marynoll, etc. etc. WILL NEVER move from where they currently reside so even after spending $6++ BILLION on a train from an empty field of Kapolei to Ala Moana Ctr it still will be a USELESS train. In addition Mufi has already diverted $200 MILLION(?) from The Bus to help pay for the train, so our Bus system will surely degraded and that still will not be enough to pay for the rail.

    Not hard to figure out why Carlisle is pushing rail so hard. Rail special interests has hedged their bets and put big $$$ in both Caldwell and Carlisle campaign chests and BOTH will owe these special interest groups big time.

    Also you sure you want to move to Vancouver given they have gov’t run healthcare that is rationed and if you or your family has any serious illness, unless you have lots of money to go to the United States to pay for healthcare, you will experience first hand rationed gov’t health care. Also in Gancouver employee’s unions are not that dominant so your pay will be much less than if you were to work in Hawaii where unionized blue collar workers make pretty good money. Vancouver used to be pretty safe place to live, however an increased number of people who live in Vancouver live in poverty (new immigrants, etc. ) and violent crime has recently increased in Vancouver. Even with their train AND extensive bus system, vehicular traffic in Vancouver is still BAD, especially with their bottleneck bridges that connect the various parts of Vancouver separated by waterways.

    The irony of your statement is that if Panos wins and stops rail, the MAJORITY of Oahu residents, visitors and the military will be BETTER off without the Mufi’s Aloha train to nowhere. Mufi’s rail will be an utter failure and the ONLY people to benefit are some constructions workers for a little while, OUTSIDE companies like Parsons, Bombardier and a small select group of developers, landowners, architects, etc.

  3. ppcc Says:

    Only saw parts of the debate but its good that Panos focus only on the rail. In order for Panos to win he has to make this mayoral race a referendum on rail. Rail IS the issue. It will be so expensive, so disruptive, so negative to the MAJORITY of Hawaii residents that Panos is wise to hammer this point to all Oahu voters till election day.

    I only saw a snippet of the debate but the part I saw was when Carlisle snorted to Panos that the public voted on rail. I only wish in the few seconds Panos had to respond he would have said:

    “Yes, the public voted on rail however that was BEFORE the recent Fanny, Freddie and stock market meltdown and gov’t enacted student, City & State worker furloughs and layoffs. Also that was before Mufi has estimated the cost of rail from 2 billion to close to 6 BILLION dollars and it STILL does go from Ewa Beach to UH”

  4. Michael Says:

    caldwell spoke like a muppet, since hanneman has a hand in this.

    carlisle debates like a lawyer with drama. Did he say he was due free? I guess not being in a Party gives him a “Few Dollars More” a month. Background music by Ennio Morricone. I think at the end, carlisle miscounted.

    panos, cries Da Rail, Da Rail like Tatu. panos Speaking as an engineer, what he said was all “Greek” to me.

    tam, by his posture acted as if he didn’t care about any issue. Catch 22. Tam if I do, Tam if I don’t.
    If elected Mayor, let me bring back Shark Fin Soup.

    All done, I can now watch NCIS next Tuesday as scheduled. Hawaii 5-0 on Monday.

  5. Richard Gozinya Says:

    Pete Townshed had it right:

    “Meet the new boss; same as the old boss.”

    (I can’t believe I’m quoting sings from 1971. Aiyah.)

  6. Capitol -ist/WassupDoc Says:

    Ah…NOTA for me on the mayoral race.

    Fortunately, the rail system will remain alive no matter whether it’s Kirk or Peter.

    What I want to know about is what will the new mayor do about the following issues: Solid waste management, housing, parks & recreation, sewers, water, planning & zoning, police & fire departments, roaadway repairs, stream maintenance – in other words, what it takes to run a city.

    My concerns are that Kirk is Mufi Lite on these critical issues and that Peter has zippo de nada background in dealing with them except when it comes to some sort of criminal violation.

  7. ppcc Says:


    “…Also that was before Mufi has estimated the cost of rail from 2 billion to close to 6 BILLION dollars and it STILL does NOT go from Ewa Beach to UH”

    from Capitolist:
    “Fortunately, the rail system will remain alive no matter whether it’s Kirk or Peter. ”

    I would only agree with your statement if we lived in a dictatorship like N Korea, Cuba, Venezuala, etc. Last time I looked online, Hawaii is part of the United States which is a Democracy where no man or group in charge can claim unlimited power to bully, intimidate, mislead, confuse, threaten, etc. and force the population into a government works project that might have been obliquely voted on by the population, but as the economic and others situations has drastically changed and the people are becoming of aware of the half-truths, misrepresentations, fabrications and outright lies regarding the project, the PEOPLE have the opportunity to change the course of such a government project.

  8. shaftalley Says:

    i don’t own a wife sold hers over 11 years ago. we ride bicycles to do our errands ,shopping etc.and we useTheBus for long distances.i think the train is a terrible idea.i’m thinking of all the thousands of over head crosswalks that can be built with the money taxed from us to build the downtown ,for example,if pedistrians used overhead crosswalks (elevated crosswalks) at all the main intersections,we could ease alot of congestion.not to mention pedistrian safety.and as much as we like TheBus,if the city would allow private mass transit like jitneys for passengers,that would help commuters.

  9. shaftalley Says:

    well, my wife reminded me that alot of pedistrians would wait for the light rather than climb a lot of steps,which would be require for elevated crosswalk.not to mention the needs of wheelchair bound people,the blind etc.

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