Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Abercrombie pro-business? Sure. Anti-environment? Seems so. Against Rail? Really?? Good grief…

by Larry Geller

As a web-surfing citizen of Hawaii, I have found no web address more valuable to my understanding of state politics than

Today, Ian reinforced my appreciation for both his investigative skills and insight in his article, Thinking about those environmental/planning exemptions (4/18/2012).  Snipping is not adequate, but to encourage you to click over (right now!) and read the full article:

First, isn’t the obsession with “shovel ready projects” several years late? It’s been four years since this recession began, and the economy seems to be turning around.

My point is simply that the time for what are essentially “emergency” measures has passed.

With this important U.S. Senate seat up for grabs, and a strong Republican contender in former Gov. Linda Lingle, …

I can’t do it. I can’t snip. There’s too much between the snips. Please read his article.

The blockbuster for me is Ian’s revelation that Governor Abercrombie is really anti-rail (the current rail plan, that is).

Ian has dug deeply into the Governor’s secret emergency decrees setting aside environmental protection in previous articles. In Unanswered questions remain about governor’s emergency declarations (, 9/20/2011) he reported that the ordinance-clearing decree was not necessary because the military has no trouble gaining right of entry to clear ordinance, and noted that a large amount of contractor money was involved.  This article was followed a few days later by Millions in explosives-clearing contracts go to politically connected firm (, 9/28/2012) linking the contracts to political contributions, including to Abercrombie, a good piece of research.

The Legislature has been willing to defy overwhelming negative testimony and throw environmental protections out the window this session. Not only is it too late for “shovel-ready” projects, it’s clear from testimony, including that of the Department of Transportation on SB755, that doing so won’t make any economic difference because no projects are in the queue, delayed by lack of these exemptions.

This is bad governance, the kind that we expect to see in states dominated by Republican legislators caving to craven corporate interests. Yet Hawaii is unique among states in its near-monolithic Democratic representation.

So what gives? And why has Abercrombie chosen to betray his supporters by turning out not to be the liberal we expected he was?  Oh, sorry, that’s our fault. We might have learned from our Obama experience.

Never mind. If you’ve come this far, you really need to go read Ian’s article.


Yes, indeed Ian Linds post today hits the mark. Neil to regain credibility must support Ben's NO RAIL issue now....

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