Don’t cross Abercrombie with independent thought

Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s ham-handed dismissal of Cathy Takase as acting director of the Office of Information Practices smells like the kind of petty political vindictiveness Abercrombie pledged would be absent from his administration.

Takase, who had applied for the permanent job, was dumped a month after she crossed the governor with an opinion — ignored by Abercrombie — that he must make public the lists candidates given him by the Judicial Selection Commission for appointing judges.

It’s Abercrombie’s right to bring in his own OIP director, but where it gets vindictive is that the governor’s office also filled Takase’s previous position of staff attorney for the OIP, preventing her from going back to her old job as customarily happens when an acting director is passed over for permanent appointment.

Ian Lind makes a pretty solid case that the governor overstepped his legal authority by meddling in the office to make a staff appointment below the director’s level.

Takase displayed courage by standing up for the public’s right to know against Abercrombie’s determination to return to a secretive ward healer system of judicial selection, fully aware that it would diminish her chances of permanent appointment to the job.

She didn’t deserve to be treated like trash for doing what she believed the law required of her, and it reflects poorly on the administration to stoop to petty retribution.

It also raises alarms that the governor intends to turn the office charged with assuring that the public has fair access to government information into a rubber stamp for the new administration’s penchant for secrecy.

As Abercrombie was fond of lecturing Mufi Hannemann during the campaign: “This is not how a governor acts. This is not what a governor does.”

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10 Comments on “Don’t cross Abercrombie with independent thought”

  1. Gov Rumpelstiltskin Says:

    Speaking truth to power just cost this woman her job. For a man who so freely expresses his opinion on just about everything, its now obvious that, really, theres only one opinion that really matters to him. For a man who sought to represent a New Day, he certainly just took us back a decade or two to the Old Days.

    The message has been sent out and its spooky, on multiple levels. Its also hugely disappointing.

  2. Capitol -ist/WassupDoc Says:

    David:

    What are you trying to achieve here? Do you want to create a mass protest at the Capitol? On the Fifth Floor? In the Rotunda? At the nominee’s hearing?

    Or do you want someone to file a lawsuit?

    If you feel this strongly, then why not get Clayton Hee and Gilbert Keith-Agaron to introduce a resolution condemning Abercrombie’s actions.

    Given the middle finger salute that the Legislature has flashed at Abercrombie’s tax proposals, I doubt if there will be any reluctance to call him on these actions.

    BTW – maybe there’s more to this story than what we have been told. Perhaps there are character issues which cannot be discussed in public. Or personal ones. Has Cathy Takase spoken on the record about this?

    I’ve known Neil for a very long time and can tell you that he doesn’t hide behind closed doors. There’s more to this than what we are seeing.

  3. Richard Gozinya Says:

    Hmmm….now we got innuendo,winks and nods responding to conjecture and opining. Not much light, though.

    End of day, Dave has the essential point: the Gov side stepped transparency on the matter of making public the lists candidates given him by the Judicial Selection Commission.

    L’affaire Takase follows the actions of the Gov and, suspicious as it might appear,is subordinate to the deception perpetrated on the public by Mr. Abercrombie.

  4. Michael Says:

    Captain Bligh or Lt.Commander Queeg.
    We have a Mutiny on hand.

    I agree with what Governor Abercrombie has done.
    Based on what was written, Cathy Takase mutinied.
    She gets paid to do, not think.
    In other words, don’t question the boss.

  5. Jim Loomis Says:

    I agree, too … it was her right to cross her new boss; it was his right to say, “Thanks and alooooha.”

  6. ppcc Says:

    Never mind Takase, what about the removal of Dr Neal Palafox from the position of director of the Department of Health? It was publicly rumored that he cheated on medical reimbursement claims and following that Abercrombie demanded that Palafox remove his name as the new director of health. To this day the AG has yet to file any criminal charges against Dr Palafox and Palafox has since hired an attorney to look into the matter. Are the criminal charges against Palafox valid or not? If they are when is the AG filing charges? If the charges are NOT valid, who made this story up and leaked it to the public? Also if the charges against Palafox are bogus, will Abercrombie make a public apology to Palafox and offer the position of director of health back to him?

  7. WooWoo Says:

    On the opposite side of the spectrum, there’s a blurb in today’s paper about Carlisle and Garcia putting downloadable, manipulatable budget spreadsheets online.

  8. ppcc Says:

    PS:
    Once in a while I listen to Perry & Price and by chance Perry was playing a recording of Abercrombie publicly berating representative Barbara Matsumoto, claiming she didn’t know what the hell she was talking about regarding his OWN proposal to tax retirees who make at least $37,500 in retirement benefits. Abercrombie kept talking over Matsumoto raising his voice and scolding her to get her facts straight before asking him questions regarding his proposal to tax retirees. Perry pointed out that it was Abercrombie who was WRONG and that Aber’s own financial person validated Marumoto’s points. Of course the legislature has now changed the amount to start taxing retirees at something like >$100K put the point is Aber is treating a quite a number of people like “trash” such as Takase, Neal Palafox, Barbara Marumoto, etc. and they all CANNOT be “bad” people who are all troublemakers and have personal grudges against the governor.

    Of course all of these people that Neil is antagonizing and throwing under the bus at this point in time are just “biting their lips” and keeping quiet cause the Demo’s are trying so hard to keep the perception as “one big happy family” and do not want ANY public confrontations between Demo’s to help minimize the public from becoming disenfranchised with the controlling Democratic party in Hawaii and allow any Republicans or Independents to make inroads in the upcoming 2012 elections.

    I’ve said this before, what will be interesting is how the leadership of the big gov’t employee unions will handle the upcoming 2012 elections. The thought they were so clever and “covered all bases” by fully supporting Mufi over Neil in the primary and if Mufi should lose, which he did, they would switch all of their support to Neil over Duke and everything would be fine and dandy. Neil gladly took all of the union money and bodies for his in the general election, however once he won the election, he protected and/or provided major amounts of funding (ie Hurricane & rainy day fund to the DOE) ONLY to the two unions, UHPA & DOE, that supported Neil from day one. Now that AUW, and HGEA, etc. union leaders are asking why Neil is trying to solve the budget deficit by cutting out non DOE/UHPA govt workers and retirees, Neil basically said to them “I ain’t your pal” and now they are stuck. These gov’t union leaders know realize Neil is not supportive of the rank and file employees, yet because of pure PREJUDICE, these union leaders will NEVER support a Republican or Independent candidates who might actually be a whole lot fairer to rank and file gov’t employee workers in the long run. If any Republican or Independent candidate refuses to be a rubber stamp to the rail project and refuses to protect the status quo of the money continously dumped into UH and DOE without first demanding a full independent audit to eliminate the waste, graft and corruption that is occuring in the DOE (& UH: ie UH President’s $60K/yr housing allowing, hiring Lynn Waters wife of Clayton Hee at a $140K for public relations, etc) that would take a whole lot of budgetary pressure off of current gov’t employee and gov’t services that have already gone through a couple rounds of budget cuts, layoff, furloughs, etc.

  9. ppcc Says:

    correction:
    Barbara Marumoto

  10. ppcc Says:

    followup:
    StarAdvertiser article:
    http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/Governors_aide_tied_to_big_donor.html

    This article only validates the point regarding the DOE: Insider hired by State Legislatures and the Governor make massive campaign and other donations on behalf of companies they run or represent, obtain hundreds of millions of dollars in gov’t contracts with the State, INCLUDING multi-million dollar DOE contracts. Governor rejects any potential DOE audit AND Democratic controlled State legislatures early in the process kill any bills that would require an independent DOE audit, despite a recent audit by Marion Higa who outlined and concluded that DOE building and construction contracts are infested with rampant waste, graft and corruption (ie double/triple dipping). With a massive decline in Japanese visitors because of recent events with their major earthquake, tsunami and nuclear reactor problems, the Hawaii visitor industry will take a big negative hit that will greatly decrease State revenue and in combination with increased gov’t spending, including the DOE and the rail project, and State tax/fee increases, will accelerate the State of Hawaii into a downward spiral of bankruptcy. At that point, City and State gov’t will have no choice but to lay off gov’t workers en masses resulting in further degradation of gov’t services, roads, water, sewage, etc. and increasingly tarnish Hawaii as a “world class” visitor destination further decreasing visitors to Hawaii. Hundreds of millions paid by HTA for “rosy” advertising of Hawaii won’t change this outcome in the day of camera phones and the Internet.


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