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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, October 17, 2009

Clamor for state's No. 2 post bewilders

By David Shapiro

The big issue seems to be "Who's No. 2?" as we "flASHback" on the week's news that amused and confused:

• Sen. Robert Bunda joined the swarm of Democratic lawmakers running for lieutenant governor. Never have so many fought so hard for the right to contribute so little.

• Debate organizers fear the field is too big for a meaningful exchange. Bring LG candidates to the governor's debate to answer the only question that matters: Who can keep a straight face in the background while Mufi Hannemann and Neil Abercrombie talk?

• Legislators said Lingle administration layoffs in the state film office have "no defensible rationale." Interesting choice of words from folks who took 36 percent pay raises for themselves while fellow public workers faced furloughs.

• The University of Hawaii faculty is running TV ads defending its refusal to join other public unions in accepting pay cuts. If you cut through the academic jargon, the takeaway message is, "We're special."

• Lawmakers held a meeting to discuss the well-being of Hawaii's youth under the theme, "Imagine the Possibilities." The kids will have to hold that thought until after Furlough Friday.

• City management of its fleet of 1,000 passenger vehicles is woefully inefficient, says the city auditor. That inspires confidence they can manage a $5.5 billion train without running us broke, doesn't it?

• Big Island Councilwoman Emily Naeole, already cited for giving the thumbs-down motion to witnesses with whom she disagreed, got another ethics violation for throwing a pen. Sounds like she's making a transition from umpiring to pitching.

• A resolution sponsored by Naeole declared the swine flu vaccine coming into Hawaii to be unsafe. Patients should be aware that her M.D. stands for her nickname: Miss Directed.

• The Big Island Council posted a security guard outside its meetings to keep the peace between lawmakers and the public. But it's only a test, and citizens are still advised to bring personal bodyguards to guarantee their safety.

• Attorneys whose lawsuit bankrupted the Hawaii Superferry have been unable to collect $100,000 in legal fees because of the bankruptcy. All together now: Awwwwwwww.

And the quote of the week from elections chief Kevin Cronin on muddled planning for the 2010 voting: "I think we have a window of time, but it's a window of time that is closing." His door of employment appears to be closing faster.