Aiona Just Wants Something To Do

Dan Boylan
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Wednesday - June 20, 2007

Have you ever had a cushy job? I mean one of those where you had nothing - I mean, nothing - to do.

At the end of the first day on this cruise job, you go home to Mom, Dad, wife, lover, whatever stage of life you stumbled into this get-paid-for-doing-nothing position, and say: “Mom (Dad, wife or lover), you’re not gonna’ believe what I’ve lucked into. I clock in, read the paper, move a few papers around, then it’s time for break. So I go to the coffee room, talk up the secretaries.

“Then there’s some &*+%$#@, boring meeting - and it’s time for lunch. After lunch -well, I stare at the computer, check the ball scores on ESPN, go to the can. Gets a little long, between 3 and 5, but then I’m outta there. What a cruise job. A cruise.”

That’s the first day. By the end of the first week on the cruise job, you figure out that you’re cruisin’ on the River Styxx and that stream circles hell nine times. It isn’t the depth of human misery, but it’s awfully close.

Reading the paper in the morning is the best part of your day. From then on, you’re watching the clock, paring you nails, standing at the water cooler, wondering why oh why did you ever think that a job without work was a cruise.

That, dear reader, is why Duke Aiona has registered an Aiona for Governor committee with the State Campaign Spending Commission. He’s only six months into his second term as lieutenant governor, and he’s bored to death.

“Trust me,” says this blue-eyed columnist born on the continent, “Aiona is bored to death.”

Just as Lt. Gov. Jimmy Kealoha (1959-1962) was as Bill Quinn’s, and Tom Gill (was as Jack Burns’ (1966-1970). Both couldn’t tolerate the mind-numbing boredom of all office, no work; both - after only one term - ran futile campaigns against their former running mates to unseat Quinn and Burns, in 1966 and 1970, respectively, as did LG Jean King against incumbent George Ariyoshi in 1982.

I know. I know. Gov. Linda Lingle talks about Aiona as her partner in the governorship, her strong right arm, yada, yada, yada. All balderdash, poppycock and piffle.

Ariyoshi talked that way about Jean King. John Waihee talked partnership and strong right arm about his LG, Ben Cayetano. By the middle of their second term together on the Capitol’s fifth floor, Cayetano was using that strong right arm to stiff Waihee as Cayetano launched his candidacy for governor.

Then, of course, Cayetano talked partnership with Mazie Hirono. Ho! Ho! Ho! By the time she ran for governor herself they were hardly talking to each other at all.

No, Aiona can’t wait to get out of that godforsaken office. He has nothing to do, and he’s bored. Remember, Aiona’s a jock. He played football for St. Louis; he played football very well for St. Louis, basketball too. He was a pioneering drug court judge, a job in which he did something every day of his working life.

Lieutenant governors do nothing. In a state as small as ours, they do less than nothing. Come to think of it, governors don’t do a lot in a state our size; the lieutenant governor does even less.

Constitutionally we’ve consigned the poor devils to watching the clock in the high-ceilinged lieutenant governor’s office on the fifth floor with absolutely nothing to do - nothing. The lieutenant governor presides over nothing.

The lieutenant governor runs nothing. A decade or so ago, the LG was responsible for running elections. Folks complained - mostly Republican folks because they kept losing elections run by Democratic lieutenant governors - so now the Elections Office has been separated from the lieutenant governor’s office, leaving first Hirono and now Aiona without even that to do.

It’s a nothin’ job. Duke Aiona might as well start running for governor. It’ll beat watching the hands on his office clock move ohso slowly.

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