2014 Governor: Hawaii

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2014 Governor: Hawaii

#26

Post by Whatever4 » Mon Aug 11, 2014 12:55 pm

I take it his name is pronounced "Aye-gay," yesno? Not "Ayje". Help me with this one, I like to pronounce people's names correctly.Ee-GayE-rak, E-ran, says Christiane Amanpour. E-gor says Dr. Frankenstein. It's a thing.
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#27

Post by bob » Mon Aug 11, 2014 1:34 pm

Ob. WND: [/break1]wnd.com/2014/08/major-player-in-obama-eligibility-booted-from-office/#PvJXQjTd7XqU2ry1.99]Hawaii governor booted from office:


Obama urged voters to re-elect key Democrat





In an election-year stunner, Gov. Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii was ousted from office Saturday by state Sen. David Ige, who crushed the incumbent in the Democratic primary, despite a last-minute push for Abercrombie by President Barack Obama.





[...]





As WND reported, Abercrombie came to national fame at the height of the controversy over Obama’s eligibility to be president, when he suggested a long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate for Barack Obama may not exist within the vital records maintained by the Hawaii Department of Health.
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#28

Post by Sterngard Friegen » Mon Aug 11, 2014 1:50 pm

. . . at the height of the controversy over Obama’s eligibility to be president . . .WND flatters itself. There has never been any "controversy." Just a bunch of nutz bullshitting about it and a few crappy lawyers and loony pro se filers instituting frivolous lawsuits about it.

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#29

Post by Lani » Tue Aug 12, 2014 5:19 am

I will stick strictly to the electoral aspects of this: this was a great development nationally for Democrats. Abercrombie, through little fault of his own, was chronically unpopular among some Democrats and it put the governorship at serious risk this November due to Mufi's 3rd-party run. I believe with Ige winning the primary (and winning it decisively) there is still plenty of time for the Democrats to unify to a degree where Mufi can't play spoiler and the Dems can retain the governorship.That would be a huge benefit because Hawaii had inexplicably become one of the very few pickup opportunities for the GOP this year alongside Connecticut and Arkansas. If Ige can win this race for us then we have a very strong shot of posting a net gain in the governorships in November with wins in Pennsylvania, Maine, and probably either Michigan, Florida, Wisconsin, or Kansas.Mahalo, SPen. That does clarify the situation.The state is going through a change. The older power brokers are passing on. Senator Inouye and others came back from WWII and forced Hawaii to be open to unions, equality and multiculturalism. They brought much needed federal money to a new state severely lacking in infrastructure. They had an iron grip on state politics, and that is changing. That's why Hanabusa will probably lose her Senate run despite being the chosen one by Inouye. Her likely replacement in the US House is a younger man, Mark Takai, who is not part of the old system. If the public sector unions rule, how did Gov Abercrombie manage to beat down the union contracts? And if they negotiated benefits in good faith with management, why should they agree to give them up after the fact? I hear the same kind of talk in Oregon where some folks want to find the unions guilty of something, find a way to abrogate their contracts when in fact they have done no wrong and the economic condition of the state is not due to union calumny, bad faith or excessive demands, (IMO). Look, we have a Dem governor (actually the last couple-three -- the first one is back) who have acted in a way that has cost me a good deal of my pension benefits and of other state workers. The union has agreed to some of it in lieu of worse outcomes but the Gov's talk a good game until the political pressure gets put on 'em and then it's "sorry, workers". Thus far, we've reelected the Governor(s) anyway given the alternative but this has not taught Dems anything good about breaking faith/contracts with public workers. And sister, I don't see anybody in the long run benefiting from breaking the contract, breaking faith, breaking trust with any group of workers, public or private sector.Mahalo, Plutodog! I was hired for a government position in 2010 and damn happy to get it! But no one told me about the extra costs. I nearly burst into tears when I received the first paycheck. First of all, we had furlough Fridays - shut down every other Friday, but still expected to get the work done. And at a 10% pay reduction, sadly not mentioned during my interview. We also pay 50% (for a time 60%) of our health insurance premiums, which are 100% paid in private businesses. We pay into our retirement accounts in addition to Social Security. The benefits might be better later, but paycheck to paycheck life is difficult.I don't know how it is at the state level, but at the county level we are expected to be of service and show our gratitude for our jobs. We are constantly expected to fund raise for community needs. Here's how my next two weeks shape up. Friday is a holiday - state admission day. I'll spent at least 5 hours transporting items and setting up a major rummage sale for the Alzheimer's Association. I'll get up at 5:30am on Saturday to be at the sale by 7am. It will end at noon, and then I will help clean and cart away everything until about 3pm. I'll have Sunday off. Whew! The following Saturday, rinse repeat as I get up by 5:30am and show up for the Alzheimer's walk by 7am. I'll have Sunday off. There are more charities coming up after that. There always are. And we are expected to support them.Pay is lower in the public service sector. If one gets a job early on and survives for a long time, then yes the pay and retirement benefits may be higher. But few college grads can afford to take those entrance jobs and pay their student loans. And the old step increases, etc., have vanished. There is nothing magical about a public service position any more.
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#30

Post by June bug » Tue Aug 12, 2014 11:44 am

Off Topic
Lani, I have no idea where you got the idea that health insurance premiums are fully paid in the private sector in Hawaii but I can guarantee you that's not true. I pay for half of my health insurance premium. And you pay into your own retirement plan as well as Social Security? Harder paycheck-to-paycheck or not, I'd love that opportunity. Since we have no retirement plan, I get no employer contribution at all- for a short time I at least got the ability to contribute my own money through payroll deduction to a 403B plan but that got too expensive for my private, non-profit to administer so now I'm back to only my IRA, with its lower limits, as well as paying Social Security. Not positive about County employees, but state employees get a defined benefit retirement payout which is also untaxed by the State of Hawaii. I get only whatever the market forces (including recessions) allow for my IRA and it gets taxed. And as for salary: After no increases at all since 2007, we finally got a 3% across the board increase this year but it came with an offsetting increase in our health insurance premium. I don't know about County employees, but State employees can take their accrued personal time/sick leave at the end of their employment which often adds months of pay (that's also included in the calculation for their retirement). My employer's policy? Maximum 40 hours pay-out when you leave. So that means if you're thinking of leaving, you'd better take your vacation before you tell your boss.I also work weekends - often to promote our agency and build community support at local events, but also because we're supposed to show gratitude for the people who support us. So when the Lions Club or First Hawaiian come out to clean up one of our campuses on the weekend, I'm there too.I'm not trying to be mean here, just sayin' that things are tough all over in today's climate.

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#31

Post by Mikedunford » Tue Aug 12, 2014 3:43 pm

Ultimately, I don't think it was the public sector unions in general that lead to Abercrombie's downfall. I think it was the teachers' union in particular that did it - and even there, I think it was Abercrombie's tone and language that did the most damage. Teachers have something that most other workers don't - access to kids, and kids talk to their families. Obviously, this isn't a huge factor in elementary and middle schools, but it can be with high schools. High school teachers explain to their students, for example, what "working to rule" means, and why activities have been cancelled. Students, in turn, relay this to parents. That makes a difference. Had Abercrombie maintained a level and respectful tone through the fight with the teachers' union, I don't think he would be in as much trouble as he was. Unfortunately, things got personal pretty quickly. All government employees were being asked to take pay and benefit cuts, but once cost of living is factored in Hawaii's public school teachers have the lowest average salary in the nation. The average teacher is making $55k, and the average monthly rent in the Honolulu area is running about $1800. With 40% of salary going to rent, an 8% pay cut (which is what 5% + the shift in benefits worked out to) was going to cause a lot of teachers substantial problems. Instead of acknowledging the issue, Abercrombie painted the teachers as selfish government employees unwilling to share necessary sacrifices. He then went on to use terms like "imposing a contract" and "last, best, and final offer." I think a lot of teachers who might have been willing to forgive hard negotiations continued to carry a grudge as a result of the tone of the debate.
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#32

Post by Lani » Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:17 am

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Lani, I have no idea where you got the idea that health insurance premiums are fully paid in the private sector in Hawaii but I can guarantee you that's not true. I pay for half of my health insurance premium. And you pay into your own retirement plan as well as Social Security? Harder paycheck-to-paycheck or not, I'd love that opportunity. Since we have no retirement plan, I get no employer contribution at all- for a short time I at least got the ability to contribute my own money through payroll deduction to a 403B plan but that got too expensive for my private, non-profit to administer so now I'm back to only my IRA, with its lower limits, as well as paying Social Security. Not positive about County employees, but state employees get a defined benefit retirement payout which is also untaxed by the State of Hawaii. I get only whatever the market forces (including recessions) allow for my IRA and it gets taxed. And as for salary: After no increases at all since 2007, we finally got a 3% across the board increase this year but it came with an offsetting increase in our health insurance premium.





I don't know about County employees, but State employees can take their accrued personal time/sick leave at the end of their employment which often adds months of pay (that's also included in the calculation for their retirement). My employer's policy? Maximum 40 hours pay-out when you leave. So that means if you're thinking of leaving, you'd better take your vacation before you tell your boss.





I also work weekends - often to promote our agency and build community support at local events, but also because we're supposed to show gratitude for the people who support us. So when the Lions Club or First Hawaiian come out to clean up one of our campuses on the weekend, I'm there too.





I'm not trying to be mean here, just sayin' that things are tough all over in today's climate.
Off Topic
So it sounds like it's pretty much the same wherever one works.





I do think some things have changed over the recession years with the union. There are limits on personal leave before retirement, and no sick leave pay out. Employees don't get a check, at least at the county level. The leave must be used before retiring. Pick a retirement date, mostly go on vacation until then, but show up & work every certain number of days (I forget how often). There is a limit on how much can be accrued, and we are put mandatory personal leave each year to stay within that limit. With private employers, I often had the opportunity to use up sick leave for 3 day weekend vacations and get excess personal leave paid out to me each year.





Your raise is 1% above what my grade received for that time period, btw.





Community volunteering is great, but with private employers I volunteered in my areas of interest and paid what I could to organizations I supported. I didn't have to sign up with my employer for what amounts to mandatory contributions of time and money in particular areas not of my chosing. Plus promoting the employer at the many employer evening and weekend events.





I'm sorry you've had to pay for health insurance, especially given your line of work. Every employer except my current one paid in full for my policy and for my family. When I had employer retirement plans, I could set my contributions according to what I could afford, which wasn't much as a single parent. So yes, a government job was a big financial hit for me (as well as severely cutting into my weekends and holidays which I'm old enough to really need!), and I learned quickly why so many county employees are part time cashiers at the mall.





I didn't post out of lack of gratitude for a job. I posted because government workers are routinely accused of being incompetent, lazy, and having it good on the backs of the (other) taxpayers. I know it's hard all over - I've been in a far worse place - not asking for sympathy. Just sayin' government union jobs aren't what they used to be. (Full disclosure: I had a union position. I was promoted - HURRAY - but lost union representation and protection. I can be terminated at any moment, and I would lose any retirement benefits if that happened within the next few years :( )




Back to Abercrombie's loss, I never heard much anti talk, but on my island we try not to talk stink. Ige did visit quite a bit and was very personable. Abercrombie disappointed a lot of people with his talk of great changes, but they mostly failed to happen or he failed to articulate them. He did wonders with our economy, but couldn't tell his story without sounding defensive and angry. I stayed with him to the end, even though I thought Ige would win due to Abercrombie's inability to connect.
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#33

Post by Plutodog » Thu Aug 14, 2014 3:06 am

I do, indeed feel badly for those employees who have signed up for state work years after I did. My retirement is Tier 1, we have Tiers 2 3 and 4 now, (I believe), and those folks don't have near what I have. Of course my Tier 1 doesn't continue at that rate anymore. I get to keep what I accumulated (and the 8% interest it makes) but anything else since then is on a much smaller scale. To be sure, there were professional employees (engineers, etc.) before my time who got out with much fatter retirements than I will make but they also put their money at risk in the market, rather than taking a guaranteed amount and the market performed like a big dog. So those fat retirements are not off the citizens back, they're out of the risk those employees took in the market. (As is my 8% as far as that goes but I don't take bad years, it's always leveled out at 8%.) We are doing relatively well in health care although we're now paying deductibles we didn't used to (and better than Lani or Magdalen77, it sounds like). But we bargained for these things, often in lieu of higher pay raises, which the state found was cheaper for them in the long run. Yeah, we've had 4 years of furloughs, but not as deep as you all. All our pensions are available on line by name due to a FOIA suit but of course, folks just look at the big numbers and pay no attention whatsoever to how the money made money in the market (and of course there are those football coaches that are paid like they produce actual gold for the state rather than presumably big money through coaching the football and other teams). But I am not getting anywhere near rich, see no further promotions on the horizon for my last five years given that I've reached the extent of my educational and social skills and OJT opportunities are near nil if you don't have the degree. So with that and financial setbacks in the years since Reagan started fixing things for all us workers, I don't expect to have a grand retirement. I do expect to forever hear from the public about how I'm one of those public servant hogs at the trough. And I'm damned sure we have nothing to gain for us or the rest of workers (private sector, union and mostly otherwise) by letting the governor get away with once again making an example of his frugality on us after seeking our support to get elected). With the sinking of public sector on top of the sinking of private sector, all boats get lower. NO, they don't give you the savings from screwing us.
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#34

Post by Lani » Thu Aug 14, 2014 3:24 am

With the sinking of public sector on top of the sinking of private sector, all boats get lower. NO, they don't give you the savings from screwing us.Mahalo, Plutodog. I wasn't kidding about wanting to cry when I got my first government paycheck. I hadn't seen that net amount since the Reagan Administration. Yet I still have people sneering at me for ripping them off, in their minds.
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#35

Post by SueDB » Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:10 am

With the sinking of public sector on top of the sinking of private sector, all boats get lower. NO, they don't give you the savings from screwing us.Mahalo, Plutodog. I wasn't kidding about wanting to cry when I got my first government paycheck. I hadn't seen that net amount since the Reagan Administration. Yet I still have people sneering at me for ripping them off, in their minds.Yet, state and local governments are really where the rubber meets the road. I see many more local/state folks than federal in my daily life.
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#36

Post by TollandRCR » Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:27 am

Connecticut has a political situation somewhat like that of Hawaii and Governor Abercrombie. Our Gov. Malloy started off being confrontational with state unions, although the biggest problem that the state has with its employees is not the fault of the unions. It is the fault of several administrations, Republican and Democratic, that failed to fund state employee pensions. Gov. Malloy has particular problems with K-12 teachers' unions. He is trying to change the tenure, teacher evaluation, and pension systems. Resistance is high, as is resentment. It might be that many teachers choose to sit out the 2014 election, which would ensure a victory for Foley, the Republican. Some briefly considered an attempt by a critical journalist, Daniel Pelto, to form his own party. (CT has done this before; not only was Joe LIEberman elected out of his private party after losing the Democratic primary, but also Lowell Weicker, once a Republican, formed "A Connecticut Party" in his successful run for Governor. He defeated the budding felon, John Rowland.) It would help if Malloy were better able to make a case for voting for him. To me, he is unpersuasive, although I will vote for him. I am betting on a Foley victory.
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#37

Post by magdalen77 » Thu Aug 14, 2014 1:02 pm

Connecticut has a political situation somewhat like that of Hawaii and Governor Abercrombie. Our Gov. Malloy started off being confrontational with state unions, although the biggest problem that the state has with its employees is not the fault of the unions. It is the fault of several administrations, Republican and Democratic, that failed to fund state employee pensions.That's exactly the problem with our pension plan and the public school employees' plan (which dwarfs ours). The dimbulb who is our governor actually suggested changing all of the newer employees to 401K plans. Yessirree, that's a great idea. Way to kill the pension fund even faster. He had to be told by actuaries, why it wasn't a good idea.BTW we have to pay 1.5% of our gross towards the cost of our health care benefits. For me, that 1.5% pays 10% of the monthly cost. We've always had to pay co-pays though they aren't too high ($15 for primary care, $25 for specialists ad $50 for ER).

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#38

Post by No Pilikia » Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:29 pm

I was a union member for 16 of the 35 years of my working life. My son is a union rep. I have my dad, mom, 3 brothers & other family who were union members. Mom & dad have done well with benefits but the younger ones got totally screwed by the airline unions. The name "Frank Lorenzo" was a topic at the dinner table a lot of years ago & they hated the guy. Actually, I feel that the death of one my brothers might have been partially due to stress relating to his anxiety over his pension. It is absolutely immoral for companies to promise workers something for decades, then jerk the rug out from under them when they retire. Still, our kids will be having a tougher life financially than we did & it is just mathematically impossible for the status quo to go on. So, sorry if I offended some w/ my rant but I will spare you my longer rant about what it is like to work in the private/ non-profit sector. As Foggy says...do "I do it for the Keiki?" Or am I a dumb schmuck who got too idealistic about saving the world? Either way, I made the choices I did & will be losing a lot of financial security when I retire because I left a government job. I had to do so because of family issues & can't say I regret it but I will feel bad if I end up asking my kids if I can live in their garage. I was surprised to hear my AFSCME friend's reaction to the elctionwhen we had dinner. Something like, "Wow, I knew we hated him but I didn't know THAT many people hated him." Foggy & others have commented about Neil's confrontational style & that seems to have been a key issue. Yes, he made hard choices, but he should have tried to soften them with a humble demeanor. I was surprised that my friend thinks Aiona is more of a threat than Mufi. The voters here, for cultural reasons, have shown how personality, humility, demeanor, are such important traits. Aiona is a Repub but he is a really nice guy so some who don't follow the issues might vote for him just for that reason. I laughed when I heard Mufi's first radio commercial ...he is now SOOO!!! humble & uses that word a lot. :lol: 8K voters on the Big Island, hit by Tropical Storm Iselle, are now deciding who will be the next HI senator in a unique/special election . Stay tuned. As far as Birthers go, :roll: . they remain as uninformed & delusional as ever. Including Miki Booth She is no more of a kama'aina than the child of a diplomat who happens to be born here. AND...her son was purpotedly delivered by Dr David Sinclair!! That automatically makes her son a commie spy with no legitimate "papers!" She knows absolutely nothing about life here & is repudiated by her family. All she has to show for her credentials is a HI BC, &, of course EVERYONE knows that all of them are fake!! :lol: FU you Miki & please don't come "home" for a visit.
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#39

Post by Lani » Sun Sep 14, 2014 6:42 am

It's not looking good for Dems, despite the removal of Neil. Ige continues to lack name recognition, up against the very well know Aiona and Hanneman. Trailing in the polls. No one can articulate what his platform is, other than he's not Neil. Just this past week opened campaign offices on Maui and the Big Island. Ige also sucks at raising money. Aiona has raised millions. I really worry about him. When he was Lt. Gov., he visited my island for official events, then lingered to visit churches and church schools. He's all into Armageddon. He was urging students to enlist in the military to fight in Iran to bring back Jeebus. Flyers of his appearances in churches to speak about the end times were copied and distributed in state offices. He's acting rational in public now, but that's his mindset.
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#40

Post by SPen » Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:12 pm

Those are some pretty huge overreactions. Ige has actually staked out a lead in recent polling (the new Civil Beat poll has him up +4, with Mufi only taking 8%) despite the fact that Hawaii polling often undersells Democratic support and because he's still not very well known. Aiona only had $200k as of the final reporting period on primary day and Ige had about $95k himself at that point. Ige will surpass Aiona's COH fairly easily (and quickly) because his fundraising activities have picked up. The DGA has also hit the airwaves here, helping out Ige with the following spot:

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#41

Post by Lani » Tue Sep 23, 2014 3:21 am

I was happy to hear today about the new poll. My info came from the Dem HQ. Lots of worry about getting campaign offices opened as well as Ige's lack of big donors and name recognition. Mahalo for the ad. I haven't seen it on tv here yet.
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#42

Post by June bug » Thu Sep 25, 2014 10:03 pm

I may have seen it once, but both Aiona and Hanneman are all over the tube with ads. Like you, Lani, I worry...especially because Richard Borreca (Star Advertiser and has a conservative bent) says Ige's campaign folks say he doesn't need money. Borreca quotes them as saying Ige will win with a grass roots, person-to-person campaign. Off topic (can't find the magic off-topic tool): I'm also more than a bit worried about Mark Takei in his race against Charles Djou. Djou talks a good game of moderation, like his support for corporate tax reform - both lowering the rate and getting rid of loopholes. Whatever his personal views, Repubs are not gonna' cut the loopholes, but it might sound good to people, along with the argument that Hawaii should have at least one Republican in our Congressional delegation.

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#43

Post by Lani » Fri Sep 26, 2014 4:14 am

As much as SPen's post encouraged me, I'm just not seeing it. Aiona's efforts are more public, more obvious, than Ige's. i haven't seen a single ad on tv by Ige. I didn't see all of the recent debate, but I've heard that Aiona mopped the floor with Ige after he totally failed. And that's the report from Dems.



Edited for confuzzled werdz.
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#44

Post by SPen » Tue Oct 28, 2014 5:12 pm

Here are the final fundraising numbers from August 9th, after the primary, to October 20th:



Ige raised $1.25 million, spent $830k, and had $509k still in the bank. (Entire campaign: $1.92 mil raised, $1.42 mil spent)

Aione raised $729k, spent $780k, and had $146k still in the bank. (Entire campaign: $1.36 mil raised, $1.21 mil spent)

Mufi raised $111k, spent $195k, and had $91k still in the bank. (Entire campaign: $335k raised, $244k spent)



Remember that in 2010 Aiona raised about $3.6 million over the whole cycle, meaning he only raised about 1/3 of that this year. You can probably stop worrying, Ige is most likely going to win this by high single-digits.

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#45

Post by Lani » Wed Oct 29, 2014 3:17 am

Good news.



I've tried to watch the debates, but it's painful. Ige has certainly improved, but still comes in 3rd for debate ability. He is very good in a small group, but needs major training with large groups and being on tv. I went to a luncheon rally with his wife, who did great! She was warm, personable, and direct on the issues. The open joke at the rally was that she was the communicator in the family.



Unlike other states, Ige's advertising from PACs has emphasized that he is pro-choice and attacked Aiona for seeking to take away a woman's right to make decisions about her body.



Mufi seems to be a no show despite early concerns that he would suck voters away from the Dems. :)



Hopefully, Takai will win the race for the US House. We are a Dem state, so he should. The young progressives are excited about him and a new era for the Dems in Hawaii.



Locally, county governments on neighbor islands (i.e., not Oahu) will probably turn to the right. We've been inundated with money from lefty anti-genetic science mainland groups to halt the use of genetically enhanced crops. Since modern biotech saved the papaya industry here and is now working on a banana bunchy top virus, some of us are not happy about this.



Unfortunately, the appearance of mainland anti groups and their money in our local politics is causing a racial divide as well as a pro and anti modern technology divide. On my island, it's likely that the haoles (Northern European heritage) in county government will be voted out because of their support for banning the big ag companies that restored jobs lost when the sugar industry died. The county council passed a very flawed law that attempted to usurp state and federal control and is now paying to defend it while our unfortunate situation is being used to generate lies about mass poisoning for page clicks and funding of anti-science mainland organizations.



There is a nastiness here along a racial divide that I haven't felt in a long, long time.



On a happier note, good to hear about Ige!
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#46

Post by SueDB » Wed Oct 29, 2014 8:52 am

White folks with money...
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