January 11, 2009

Oh, those pesky details

Filed under: Hawaii State Politics — Doug @ 9:57 am

The concluding paragraphs of a Star-Bulletin article have these surprising admissions from the Lingle administration:

Linda Smith, Lingle’s senior policy adviser, said the governor’s planned legislation would call only for the suspension of future pay raises and not include any retroactive cuts.

Hanabusa said Lingle is “privately admitting that calling on the Legislature to give up the recent raise was a mistake” because state executives had two pay raises before the legislators got their January increase.

“She has left the public with the unfair and inaccurate impression that accepting the pay adjustment was somehow self-serving,” Hanabusa said.

Lenny Klompus, Lingle’s senior communications adviser, said that in private meetings with legislators, Lingle said she had not realized that that their pay increase was coming in January.

“She told them she understood it and respected it and would not say anything else about it,” Klompus said.

You can almost picture the gnashing of teeth this detente is causing for Mr. Borreca, who begins the article by writing, “Calls for state legislators, judges and executives to cancel $4 million worth of pay raises appear to be going unanswered.” After a discussion of the legal and constituional issues, there is a resigned lament that, when pressed by Boreca, “Both [Sentoar] Kim and [Senator] Hanabusa say they know the public isn’t interested in the fine points of the legal argument, but they still have to obey the law.”

So, if the Governor is truly not going to press the issue of pay cuts, and the Democrats are not picking up the torch, and the Republican legislators (as ever) don’t matter, then it looks as if the pay raises will stick. For now, at least. Unless continued tub-thumping will drum up a champion for the cause, instead of only martyrs.

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