Think About It: Race For The Top - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News, Weather and Sports

January 26, 2012

Think About It: Race For The Top

It was going to be a wild year in local politics anyway, with a rare U.S. Senate seat open and a vacated U.S. House seat up for grabs, but things just got a little more interesting and convoluted as former two-time Hawaii governor, Ben Cayetano, threw his hat into the Honolulu mayoral race. Alongside incumbent mayor Peter Carlisle and former acting mayor and city Managing Director Kirk Caldwell, this race pits three local veterans and will most assuredly cut a huge swath through the electorate, many of whom have shown loyalty to two or all three of these combatants.

To rail or not to rail, that is the question, but it's really not the only question, as the city has many other major issues related to an aging infrastructure, sagging revenues, and increased expenses that will obviously need to be considered when people line up to vote in mid-August. In one of the strangest twists in recent years in voting strategy, age old Democrats or Republicans will have to decide just how big a deal the rail project is when they line up behind one candidate or another, since the three players have rarely-seen-in-politics absolute stands one way or the other related to the rolling transportation system.

Some people say that voters on the windward side or in East Oahu don't care about what happens with rail. That would be like assuming people whose kids attend private schools don't care about what happens with public education. It's naïve and myopic thinking, as fundamental changes to our systems- be they transportation or education- affect everybody on O'ahu one way or another. It's never just about money; it's about people. So start doing your homework, as we have lots of interesting races on the local and federal level to keep you entertained or flustered for the next nine months. One thing for sure, you'll be begging for holiday music to rise above the raucous din come next November. Think about it…

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