Inouye comes up smiling

General election 2010 was a very good night for Hawai‘i’s senior U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye.

After a dubious poll circulated by Republicans showed their candidate Cam Cavasso closing to within 13 points of him, Inouye ended up pulling 72 percent of the vote and beating Cavasso by more than 50 points.

While Republicans routed his party nationally in House and Senate races, the Democrats managed to retain control of the Senate, meaning that Inouye will stay on as chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee for at least two more years.

He’ll also continue as the Senate’s president pro tempore, a position that puts him third in line for the presidency.

Inouye averted a major political embarrassment when his favored candidate in the 1st Congressional District, Colleen Hanabusa, took the seat back from Republican U.S. Rep. Charles Djou.

Inouye was criticized for handing the seat to the Republicans in the special election to replace Neil Abercrombie, when he created a Democratic split by encouraging Hanabusa to run against Ed Case.

Inouye is on track to make history in his ninth term by passing the late Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia as the longest-serving U.S. senator ever.

***

My column in today’s Star-Advertiser: “Obnoxious TV political ads can feel like a home invasion.”

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19 Comments on “Inouye comes up smiling”

  1. ppcc Says:

    Dave:
    These elections should NOT be about what is best for Inouye but what is best for HAWAII. Now that the Republicans have taken over the House and Baynor will replace Pelosi to become speaker of the House, Hanabusa will become a NOTHING freshman House representative. Had Djou won, Baynor pledged Djou a position of leadership and that would have given Hawaii a voice and say in the decision making process in the House of Congress.

    Yes, Inouye retains his power in the Senate but that is tenuous at best as Democrats barely hold control of the Senate and the rest of the Demo’s in Congress who want to survive will NOT blindly support tax and spend policies that Obama was pushing. Which means the Akaka bill and the proposed $1.5 billion for Hawaii rail will NEVER pass. Obama will be fighting for his life in his re-election bid in 2012 if he is to have any sliver of a chance for re-election he will NOT support Akaka or a$1.5 BIL Hawaii train to nowhere. Yes, Obama will throw Hawaii a bone by provided $30-40 million for the train in 2011, but that is it. If by chance Obama is re-elected in 2012 he might fully support Inouye and these initiatives, however they would never pass the Repub controlled House.

    This all goes back to the issue that the American people have spoken and they want fiscal responsibility in DC. Therefore cuts will be made and it would have been BETTER for Hawaii if Djou was in Congress advocating for Hawaii in a leadership role. With Hanabusa, Hawaii will have NOT have a voice in the House. Yes, Reid of Nevada was re-elected and Inouye will remain in power, however both their powers have been severely diminished and after last night, the most Obama will do for Hawaii is to vacation in Hawaii to put Hawaii in the spotlight for a few days, but will NOT advocate or support Akaka or provide $1.5 BIL for Hawaii’s rail.

    With less Fed money coming into Hawaii, unless Abercrombie and Carlisle cut State and City gov’t costs respectively, they will HAVE to raise taxes to pay for rail, sewage upgrades, more money to the DOE, etc. and that will NOT be good for most Hawaii residents in the long run. Despite what Abercrombie and the rest of the Hawaii Demo’s say that they are for the ‘little guy’, the irony is that in Hawaii, the middle class, who obviously supported a full Democratic sweep in Hawaii, will get taxed to oblvion and the only ones who will benefit are the well-connected rich and the poor who live off of gov’t entitlement programs.

  2. ppcc Says:

    correction:
    (need an edit button in this forum)

    oblvion -> oblivion

  3. WooWoo Says:

    I’m an optimist, so hopefully one day we can look back and say that this is the day that the ocean’s rise began to slow and that the earth began to heal.

    Seriously, Abercrombie may be a much better person to confront the impending, inevitable pension crisis, in a Nixon-to-China kind of way. The unions can only demonize their long time friend so much when he has to report to them that there is no money in the kitty.

  4. Richard Gozinya Says:

    My guess is that the election results pretty much put a stake through the heart of Federal funding for the Train to Nowhere.

    As Martha Stewart says,”it’s a good thing.”

    Others may disagree.

  5. hipoli Says:

    ppcc…you lost. Be gracious.

  6. Michael Says:

    We lost Senator Akaka.

  7. Michael Says:

    I meant to say, Senator Akaka did not run again.
    I hope he gets better in Health.

  8. Capitol -ist/WassupDoc Says:

    Dan Akaka’s term of office is not up until 2012.

  9. ppcc Says:

    Hipoli:
    I personally did not lose, I will survive regardless of who was elected into office. However the issue is that union controlled Democratic party States such as Hawaii and California will suffer big time now that the freely flowing financial pork flowing from the Feds will start drying up. California will start looking more and more like Greece and France and things will get a whole lot worse in California before it gets better. In Hawaii our economy is a lot stronger however once money needs to be siphoned to pay for legally mandated sewage upgrades, supposed rail project, government employee retirement benefits, pay for government employees to end furloughs, more money for DOE, UH (ie UH West Oahu), etc. etc., both Carlisle and Abercrombie will have no choice but to raise taxes such as the GET to cover all of these costs. Only way Aber or Carlisle can hold the line on taxes is if they are going to reduce size of Hawaii State and City gov’t (ie fire warm bodies) and given both are pretty beholden to the unions, doubt this will happen. EVEN if City and State hold the line on taxes, HMSA, HECO, etc are raising the cost of health insurance, electricity through the roof so no matter what, the majority of middle class residents will be financially squeezed big time.

    Hawaii is like Lindsey Lohan, who despite is on probation for drugs, other charges and is affecting her ability to work in the entertainment industry, cannot stop getting high on drugs. Only until she hits rock bottom, assuming she does not kill herself in a drug overdose will she be able to kick her addition to drugs. Until the Hawaii middle class really starts feeling the hit of the loss of Federal pork money from Inouye, tax increases, constant increases in cost for food, health insurance, water, electricity, sewage, private education, etc. etc will they stop re-electing the same old, same old to elected office.

  10. Michael Says:

    lingle hovers waiting.

    Will not run again.

  11. Michael Says:

    I stand corrected on his not running this year.
    I do find Senator Akaka has health issues and not
    doing 100%.

    I admit being wrong.

  12. Kolea Says:

    I was too busy last night to keep my eyes glued to the television coverage. I only looked at it now and then. Mostly, I was poring over the various “printouts” of the results on my iPhone.

    I missed the Aiona and Djou concession speeches. Although I opposed both men, I am sure they rose to the occasion and made gracious speeches, congratulating the victors and asking us all to set aside the partisan passions of the election season and come together to help the leaders chosen by the voters resolve the problems facing us.

    Anyone care to share highlights?

  13. Earl of Sandwich Says:

    ppcc,

    It’s “Boehner” not “Baynor.”

  14. ppcc Says:

    thanks for the correction:

    It is spelled “Boehnor” but pronounced “BAY-ner”. Either way you write it or pronounce it, it is clear that he will not give newly elected Hawaii House representative Hanabusa the time of day and turn her invisible when he becomes the new Speaker of the House. I am not trying to be negative, just facing REALITY which is what will happen when the power shifted from Demo to Repub in the House.

  15. Kolea Says:

    ppcc,

    Your “analysis” is data free. Congratulations!

    As a general rule (Hawaii being an exception, due to Inouye’s influence AND the major military presence here), RED STATES get more federal spending per capita than Blue states. Ooops.

    Red States also have higher divorce rates, higher teen pregnancy and purchase more porn on pay-per-view, which shows they are well-rounded hypocrites!

  16. ppcc Says:

    Kolea:

    Obviously you know a lot about politics and I guess your goal was to divert attention from the FACT that had Djou won he would have given Hawaii a voice in the decision making process where Hanabusa AND Hirono will both be outcasts with ZERO decision making authority in the new Repub. controlled House. However if you want to bring up other issues then at least get the facts straight.

    Democratic state “blue” Hawaii has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the nation, including high rates of sexually transmitted diseases:

    Hawaii’s Youth: Focus on Sexual and Reproductive Health
    http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=636&Itemid=177
    …”Hawaii’s teen pregnancy rate is higher than the national average, and young minority women living in the state have disproportionately high birth rates, while sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are a serious problem, especially among young women.”

    Divorce rates by State:
    http://www.statemaster.com/graph/lif_div_rat-lifestyle-divorce-rate
    “Blue” Nevada with the re-election of Reid, and one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation also had the highest rate of divorce in the nation while blue Hawaii is #29, which is in the middle.

    You are correct that red Utah has the highest po rn rate in the nation.

  17. Hannah Miyamoto Says:

    Although the Republican victory in Congress probably changes the prospects for federal funding, it doesn’t change the need for the project, nor the local funding source. Funding plans can be changed, the project scheduling can be altered. The creation of the Transit Authority is the perfect vehicle (no pun intended) for fostering creative thinking by knowledgeable people with the power to implement their decisions. The TA may actually become a citizen committee of experts assisting the City Council and the Mayor.

  18. Hon96813 Says:

    Inouye good friend the rail proponent Oberstar lost his seat. What would this change do to the rail funding for Hawaii?

  19. Kolea Says:

    ppcc,

    THANK YOU for trying to provide actual data for your arguments. The “statemaster” site is useful. Thanks.

    But let’s look at that evidence.

    I said Red States, in general, get more federal dollars per capita than Blue States. You did not dispute that. Good. Saves me a Google search.

    I also wrote:
    “Red States also have higher divorce rates, higher teen pregnancy and purchase more porn on pay-per-view, which shows they are well-rounded hypocrites!”

    In response, you provide Nevada as a counter-example? I may be dating myself, but I suspect the Nevada figures are distorted by the “Reno divorce” industry. Aren’t divorces easier to get in Nevada for out-of-toeners than in many folks’ home states? Just a hunch.

    Or, if you wanna play that game, why don’t we compare the divorce rate in Nevada to the number of marriages performed there? That would certainly allow my argument to benefit from skewed statistics.

    But setting Nevada aside, look at the rest of the list, which supports my contention that Red States, in general, have higher divorce rates and teen pregnancy rates than liberal ones.

    Why you undermined the integrity of your presentation by saying “Hawaii has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the nation” escapes me. The best numbers I could find showed Hawaii had the 17th highest teen pregnancy rate. Which is actually pretty amazing if you factor in our weather. (Seriously, a quick glance at the data suggests to me a STRONG correlation between latitude and attitude, with northern states tending to have lower teen pregnancy rates than southern ones. Alaska, as always, is the odd-ball state, with high pregnancy rates. But a climate-determinist might suggest those long winters give ’em nothing else to do).

    There is a clear correlation between alleged “social conservatism” and “sinful” behavior generally. It may just be that people in liberal states are less wild than people in conservative states. From my bar-hopping days, it was certainly my experience that conservative, jock-type guys tended to be heavier drinkers, more likely to frequent strip clubs, cheat on their wives, etc., than more liberal guys. Let’s be honest about this.

    “Traditional Marriage” in the USA of our youth (well, not sure of YOUR age, but of the 50s, 60s, “Golden Years”) generally meant the men snuck around, had secret collections of Playboy hidden somewhere in the house and went to strip clubs on the sly. The wealthy ones had mistresses or flings and their buddies covered for them. Wives who cheated were denounced as “wh0res” and often beaten by the angry husband, with the understanding (or averted eyes) of anyone in the know. And gays and lesbians were pressured to get married anyways, leading to more misery, but NOT to strong marriages.

    Hypocrisy has SOME value. I admit it. Let’s all pretend to honor the “virtues,” if only to maintain the semblance or order. And for the sake of the kids.

    But not only do conservatives fail to live up to the values they profess so loudly, there is some clear evidence they are WORSE at living up to those values than the liberals who do not bother with the pretense. We are all flawed beings. So let’s drop the pretense. A wise man once said (or had attributed to him), “Judge not lest ye be judged.”

    In the political realm, this can translate into a clear admonition to conservatives: “Stop inflaming popular passions over the sins you are yourselves MOST GUILTY of engaging in. Just to get votes!”

    But if the GOP stopped railing against Muslims, gays, immigrants or (earlier) hippies, how would they ever win the votes of working people? This is just a variant of the longtime “Southern Strategy” and just as distasteful.


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