Posted tagged ‘Peter Carlisle’

Don’t make city hall a Ronald McMayor House

September 23, 2010

Peter Carlisle’s tenure as Mayor-elect is certainly off to an interesting start.

He raised a few eyebrows yesterday by naming Douglas Chin, his former first deputy city prosecutor, to be managing director, responsible for running the day-to-day operations of the city.

There are concerns about having two people at the top of city government with no experience in nuts-and-bolts operations, but I believe a chief executive should have latitude in choosing his No. 2 and withhold judgment until there’s more information about Chin and the qualities he brings to the job.

I’m not withholding judgment on the bizarre joint press conference Carlisle and acting Mayor Kirk Caldwell held at Honolulu Hale; I’m totally baffled as to why they called it.

It was supposed to show that there’ll be a smooth transition until Carlisle is sworn in Oct. 8, but before the press conference ended, they argued about where Carlisle’s transition office will be, whether he can start moving his stuff into the mayor’s office before his swearing-in and the disciplining of a secretary who showed him around.

Carlisle could be seen rolling his eyes in the background as Caldwell spoke. Didn’t they talk things over before assembling the media?

In the end, Carlisle turned down Caldwell’s offer of transition office space, saying it “reeked of asbestos.” Instead, he set up camp on folding tables in the city hall courtyard and mugged for the cameras.

Carlisle’s informality and sense of humor are among his most engaging qualities, but this isn’t the time to clown around.

He was rapidly losing voter support in the weeks before the election, barely squeaking by Caldwell in the end. Now he needs to show constituents that he takes the job seriously and is capable of putting together his administration in an organized and professional manner.

Carlisle and GOP agree: He’s not a Republican

August 27, 2010

There’s a strange feud going on between the Hawaii Republican Party and mayoral candidate Peter Carlisle, a former Republican who quit the party when he began looking at the nonpartisan race for mayor.

After Carlisle made passing reference in a Midweek interview to a supposed GOP poll that showed him well ahead of Kirk Caldwell and Panos Prevedouros, Republican executive director Dylan Nonaka issued a harsh statement that there was no such poll, that Carlisle could have made up the numbers and that Prevedouros was the only Republican candidate.

(A subsequent Star-Advertiser/Hawaii News Now poll showed Carlisle with an even bigger lead than he claimed in Midweek.)

When Carlisle diminished his previous ties to the Republicans in a TV interview, it was party chairman Jonah Ka’auwai’s turn to fulminate, noting that the former prosecutor chaired two GOP conventions and emceed a major fundraiser.

Ka’auwai griped that Carlisle “never believed in the principals of our party, especially the principal of fiscal accountability.”

There’s no question that Carlisle was involved with the GOP for a couple of years and flirted with running for Congress under the party’s banner, and that there were sore feelings when he ditched the party after deciding to run for the nonpartisan office of mayor.

But you have to question the GOP’s judgment in working so hard to turn a race voters have said they want to be nonpartisan into a partisan contest — especially when its candidate is running a distant third in the polls.

You’d think the Republicans would have more important priorities, like trying to keep the governorship and congressional seat they hold or improving their pathetic numbers in the Legislature.

Carlisle gets SHOPO’ed

July 16, 2010

The police union SHOPO’s endorsement of Kirk Caldwell for mayor is a blow to city Prosecutor Peter Carlise, the assumed frontrunner in the September special election to replace Mufi Hannemann after he resigns to run for governor.

Carlisle’s main asset is his popularity as a law enforcer during his 14 years as prosecutors, and voters will naturally wonder why he didn’t get the nod from police officers.

Also expect some grousing about Carlisle’s management style to start coming out of the prosecutor’s office as soon as he steps down to enter the mayor’s race.

The apparent strategy from the Caldwell side is to keep Carlisle busy defending his record as prosecutor before he can even get started outlining what he’d do as mayor.

Carlisle has been perceived as a good friend to police and it remains to be seen how the endorsement will play with the rank and file, but the union leadership is politically close to Hannemann, who wants his managing director Caldwell to succeed him.

Carlisle’s early advantage is far greater name recognition and familiarity to voters. Caldwell is a former House majority leader, but didn’t leave much of a footprint there. As managing director, he’s mostly been seen grinning in the background at Hannemann appearances.

But he’s piling up endorsements from Hannemann allies and building a big lead in campaign donations to pay for a major media blitz — much of it coming from the same rail vendors and other city contractors who are fueling Hannemann’s campaign for governor.

Caldwell will have two months to build visibility as acting mayor after Hannemann resigns next week, and it doesn’t hurt that his wife, banker Donna Tanoue, is a longtime associate of senior Sen. Daniel Inouye.

City Councilman Donovan Dela Cruz and rail opponent Panos Prevedouros are also mounting energetic campaigns for mayor, but it’s uncertain if either has broad enough support to challenge the big two.


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