DJOU OFFERS BALANCE IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
Isn't it time for a little balance in Washington, D.C.? Are we in Hawaii obliged to send another big-government, big-spending representative to the nation's capital to march in lock-step with the agenda set forth by Obama, Pelosi and Reid?
Charles Djou would give voice to the majority of us here in Hawaii who think that this administration's push for an ever larger, ever more regulating and confiscatory central government is becoming frighteningly oppressive.
Hawai'i needs a principled, intelligent leader in Congress who understands that a huge centralized government can never provide the services and quality of life offered by a dynamic free market system that requires its citizens to have some measure of personal responsibility. A leader who knows that huge deficits are unsustainable and put our domestic and national security at great risk.
I believe Charles Djou would be that sort of leader, not representing the special interests of Hawaii but the best interests of its citizens.Cynthia Waters
DEL CASTILLO ALSO A SERIOUS CONTENDER
Now I see that Rafael del Castillo has been featured, quite favorably, in the Hono-lulu Weekly. Additionally, according to many opinions, he has come out on top in two of the candidate forums so far. I think your paper would do him, and the people of Hawai'i, a grave disservice by not considering him a serious contender for Neil Abercrombie's vacated seat, along with Hanabusa, Case, and Djou.Richard Morse
MAINLAND INTEREST IN ELECTION UNWANTED
I left Hawai'i about 12 years ago and have continued to observe Hawai'i politics from a distance.
But now, because of the special congressional election, many more people are observing Hawai'i politics.
In fact, I've never before seen people on the Mainland care so much about a race in Hawai'i. People from out of state are funneling money into Djou's coffers, hoping to push him toward victory.
These are people who have never lived in Hawai'i, who only understand our state as a vacation destination and a political football. They don't care about the issues, culture or people of Hawai'i — they only care about their national agenda.
This needs to stop. If one of the Democrats would stand down, the race would no longer be close and this unwanted national interference would end.
For the good of the state, either Hanabusa or Case must concede.Ramon Arjona
HANABUSA STAND ON HB 1212 CRITICIZED
Regarding House Bill 1212, it's not hard to believe our legislators would pass such a bill.
What concerns me most is why would anyone want to vote for Colleen Hanabusa, who heads our state Senate, to a position in the U.S. Congress. She claims in her speeches that she will make Congress more open with no deals made behind closed doors like they have been doing for many years.
This bill, HB 1212, takes away important information from the public. This bill was negotiated behind closed doors, in secrecy, with no public hearing this session, and yet it was passed by both houses. Sen. Hanabusa is responsible for what happens in the Senate, so I question whether she has the integrity to represent us in Congress.Lyn K. Turner
VOLUNTEER IDEA WAS NOT OUT OF BOUNDS
My reaction to Linda Smith's commentary, "Governor's furlough offer is realistic," (April 29) is that three days of Friday instruction in this school year would be a very modest gesture on the part of HSTA in consideration of the larger community's acceding to the use of $67 million from the Hurricane Relief Fund to restore union members' pay and benefits in the next school year.
This is especially true in consideration of the fact that this same union breached its collective bargaining agreement to permit drug testing after taking the pay raises the hurricane money will fund.
Most astonishing to me was the condescending vitriol directed by union leaders and Board of Education members toward those who sincerely believed the governor's request was a reasonable way to bring closure to the embarrassing impasse.
Wow, I must have really been naive for suggesting to a group of like-minded business colleagues and professionals that we develop a schedule to fill some of the furlough days by volunteering to go into the classroom and provide instruction and tutoring.
From HSTA's comments, I realize now that such a suggestion would not have been well received.Jonathan S. Durrett
AVOID CONFLICT; GET APPOINTED BOARD
I have voted in every primary and general election since I was able, and I have never had a clear understanding as to whom I should vote for on the Board of Education.
I am presented a list of candidates. Some names are recognizable, but not what they represent. I'm sure the HSTA studies this matter closely and has a list of preferred candidates to recommend to their union members, but the rest of us, especially those without kids in school, don't have a clue.
Negotiations between labor (HSTA) and management (governor/Legislature) becomes complicated when you have the BOE deciding the terms. Unlike the governor, the BOE has no incentive to contain labor costs. There might also be a conflict-of-interest issue if former HSTA members or their relatives on the BOE are deciding on a contract that could impact their retirement or benefits.
Making the BOE chairperson a cabinet-level position, and having an appointed board will insure the board and the Department of Education have a clear understanding as to what terms will or will not be acceptable prior to entering negotiations or announcing contract agreements with the HSTA.Peter Chisteckoff
MONEY SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN BUDGETED
In reporting on the $67 million the Legislature wants to cull from the Hurricane Relief Fund, Derrick DePledge writes: "Lawmakers described the bill as their contribution to ending the furlough stalemate."
Lawmakers, it's not your money to contribute. It's ours, we property owners who put up the cash expecting to need it when the next big, bad hurricane comes to blow our houses down.
By electing you, we give you the power to tax us but not the power to steal from us. By not at least promising to restore the funds (with interest) you betray our trust.Victor Meyers