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The $4 millin circus comes to Honolulu

by Brian Mercy, staff writer


The circus is in town! Bob the elephant is prancing around the arena, insisting on his right to run against a deceased opponent. Feel free to throw peanuts or whatever at him. Ben the lion has been leaping through hoops of fire and riding his unicycle around the supreme court roaring and wagging his tail.

Don’t miss the grand finale! Dwayne the donkey will be shot head first out of a cannon! This circus could cost us – the people of Hawai‘i, four million dollars.

No, I’m not talking about Barnum and Bailey. The untimely and unfortunate death of congresswoman Patsy Mink is wreaking havoc everywhere. Many vital issues are currently before congress, including the question of war with Iraq, and Hawai‘i Second Congressional district is left without representation. Taxpayers may have to bear the burden of $2 million for a special election on Nov. 30 to fill Mink’s position for the balance of her term (quite a fee for only five weeks). And if people decide to vote for her in the general election, despite the fact that she’s dead, another $2 million special election will be needed to replace her.

Shockingly, Governor Cayetano seems to be the only one with any lucidity. First, he asked the Hawai‘i Supreme Court to hold the Nov. 30 election concurrently with the general election on Nov. 5. That was rejected. He then asked the court to direct Chief Elections Officer Dwayne Yoshina to allow the Democratic Party to name a substitute candidate on the ballot in the general election, which was supposed to be done no later than Sept. 26, just two days before Mink’s death. Cayetano was hoping the court would make an exception. The court ruled that the decision is Yoshina’s and refused to intervene. Cayetano has now exhausted all legal possibilities.

Dwayne the donkey will leave us with a costly election bill. Maybe he should pay for it. Bob McDermott said he was pleased that the Democratic Party will not be allowed to name a substitute candidate. Of course he is. Bob the elephant knows his chances for winning the general election are better if his opponent is dead.

Mink’s daughter, a professor on sabbatical from Smith College, is angry at Hawai‘i for wanting to hold a special election to fill the remainder of her mom’s term. She doesn’t think anyone is fit to replace her mom. God forbid the people of Hawai‘i have congressional representation. That’s sooooo unreasonable. Gwendolyn Mink wants to perpetuate her mother’s memory by endangering Hawai‘i.

Voter loyalty. I’m blown away by the idea that people will vote for a dead person. Can’t say I blame them, though. They could do worse and vote for Bob the elephant. Except for Cayetano, these people, from the courts on down, have lost sight of what is best for the people of Hawai‘i: wise and cost-effective political decisions. They’ll vote for Patsy Mink anyway, and all of us will foot the $2 million bill.

The circus is in town! Get your tickets today!


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