"Candidates for governor pitch economic plans"
MARK NIESSE, Associated Press Writer
Monday, July 26, 2010, 10:09 p.m.
HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii's Democratic candidates for governor proposed competing economic plans Monday, with Mufi Hannemann's ideas focused on construction and Neil Abercrombie's pitch centered on energy and agricultural sustainability.
Hannemann wants roads upgraded, Honolulu's rail project built and the Hawaii Superferry revived. He also would seek an audit of state spending and a commitment for the NFL's Pro Bowl to be hosted in the islands...
Abercrombie countered that the former Honolulu mayor's ideas emphasize projects instead of long-term policies to improve the business climate.
The former congressman is aiming for the state to use more renewable energy, produce more of its own food and remove governmental red tape.
"I propose that we save the state of Hawaii and immediately invest in our survival by having a long-term plan," said Abercrombie. "What we need to have is not just projects ... What we need to have is economic plans."
Hannemann's 10-point economic plan first calls for an audit of state government to help eliminate waste.
Abercrombie responded that a study of the government would delay needed changes.
Hannemann said an interisland ferry could be successful if it were tried again and followed environmental guidelines this time. He hopes to partner with a private company to bring back the same ferries previously operated by the bankrupt Hawaii Superferry.
"If it had been done properly, we wouldn't have experience the kind of difficulties that it had," Hannemann said. "It's just too good of an idea to let it go by the wayside."
But Abercrombie said a new ferry system would need to be more financially sound than the Superferry was.
"The only way the Superferry is going to be able to come back, except in a fantasy, is if there is a partnership with the United States military," he said. Abercrombie said he would seek a public-private partnership for a ferry system.
The Associated Press reported last week that the Hawaii Superferry had fallen short on its required payments to the state nine months before the Hawaii Supreme Court decision widely blamed for the ferry's closure came in March 2009.
The leading Republican candidate for governor, Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, has an economic platform based on easing government barriers to business and encouraging technology development... >>>Full Article>>>