Why Lingle Deserves Four More

Rick Hamada
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Wednesday - July 19, 2006

Gov. Linda Lingle deserves another four-year term.

She has proven to be an excellent representative of the state, advanced an overall policy of common sense and has accomplished more than other governors in half the time.

Yes, there are differences you and I may have with Lingle, and I’ve expressed some, but I challenge you to name one other person who will do the job as well as she has and will.

Consider the delivery of Hawaiian Homestead lands to Native Hawaiians. For years, the awarding of these lands had languished under Democrat control. Whatever the reason for the delay, the irrefutable fact is more Hawaiian families have been placed on lands since 2002 than in recent memory. The recent award to hundreds of families underscores the effectiveness and commitment of her administration.

State roads were neglected and had fallen into disrepair under previous Democrat administrations. Remember how bad the conditions were on the Moanalua Freeway? It wasn’t that long ago it was like navigating a minefield. How about that big dip at the entrance of the Airport Viaduct off of Nimitz Highway? Think back to Nimitz Highway itself. It was risky to drive near the hairpin turn all the way to Kalihi Street. The roads were pitted and torn apart. The Lingle administration, with Rod Haraga as director of the Department of Transportation, has done an excellent job of not only taking on difficult projects, like the widening of H-1 by Pearl City, but completing them as promised. We have also seen the development of the Super Ferry under Lingle’s watch and the development of plans to renovate the Honolulu International Airport.

Attorney General Mark Bennett has done a fantastic job as an advocate for the victims of crime and for the protection of law-abiding citizens. His work to ensure we have an effective sex offender registry, advance information charging and redefining the ability of young victims of sexual crime to provide testimony against their attackers is crucial in our constant battle against criminals. There are many more accomplishments by the state Attorney General, but the overriding sentiment is he is a true defender of the people and it shows in the work he performs.

The Lingle Administration is fraught with good, hardworking and talented professionals. Mark Recktenwald, Kurt Kawafuchi, Lillian Koller and Marsha Wienert are other key administration officials who are doing an excellent job in serving the community. One would hope these folks would return when the governor is elected to her second term.

As noted earlier, there are some issues I have with the administration. I am still smarting from HB 1309. I firmly believe the rail project and the associated billions to fund it will ultimately be a financial liability of biblical proportion. This was a project that needed to be stopped, and I believe if the governor had vetoed HB 1309, the Legislature would not have had the votes to override. It would have been the death knell for rail.

But that was then and this is now.

I do not believe it is healthy to be a one-issue voter. It is necessary to consider any candidate with a broad view. I believe the state will be best in the hands of Gov. Lingle. She has the vision to guide Hawaii forward while demonstrating excellent leadership during the past three-plus years.

This is just my opinion. You have yours. If there is another candidate whom you feel compelled to support, let me know and I may include your comments in a later column.

Nevertheless, as I said last week, the most important thing is that you participate and vote. Regardless of your candidate, it is the key to making our system of government a success.

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