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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, February 27, 2010

Hum along to State of the City

By David Shapiro

The race for the state's top job goes gaga as we "flASHback" on the week's news that amused and confused:

• Mayor Mufi Hannemann said in his State of the City speech that Hawai'i needs leaders who have the courage to do what's right. Well, until we get some, we'll have to make do with the ones we have who do what their campaign donors say.

• The mayor promised surprises in the budget he'll send the City Council on Monday. Nobody will be more surprised than the next mayor, who'll have to make the numbers add up after Hannemann bails to run for governor.

• Hannemann concluded his State of the City by singing "I Am Hawai'i." For his next number, he and his ego are rehearsing a duet of "We Are The World."

• It was an emotional week for U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie as he stepped down from Congress after 20 years to stump full-time for governor. He was especially choked up when he said goodbye to the federal campaign cash he can't transfer to his state account.

• Abercrombie accused Hannemann of calling and threatening business owners who contribute to his campaign. They must have misunderstood. I'm sure it's just a nervous habit to tap the "Terminator" theme while he talks on the phone.

• Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona kept visible by presiding over the annual Kick Butts Day. He had to pinch himself when he realized he wasn't the target for a change.

• The movie pirate ship Black Pearl is attracting lots of Leeward visitors to its dock at Kalaeloa. It's an easy way to get the flavor of the Capitol budget deliberations without driving into town.

• A bill in the state Senate would cut off citizens who make too many demands for public records, defining them as "vexatious requestors." I guess that makes the lawmakers "invidious suppressors."

• The Hawai'i Tourism Authority is pushing legislation to allow its directors to hold more secret meetings. Only our marketing geniuses would think they could attract visitors by turning off the sunshine.

And the quote of the week ... from Councilman Charles Djou on Hannemann's State of the City address: "The mayor's speech was like a bikini: What he said was interesting, but what he hid is what's important." First the singing, now the swimsuit competition. Throw in a congeniality score and you've got one freaky beauty pageant.