By Wendy Osher
Newly announced US Senate candidate, and former governor Linda Lingle met up with senior citizens at the Wailuku Community Center on Maui today.
During this morning’s talk story session, Lingle discussed frauds and scams that target the elderly.
Lingle shared her experience growing up as a teenager with her grandparents saying, “It gave me a very soft heart toward the senior citizens.”
She warned those in attendance about affinity scams in which criminals target personal acquaintances, or befriend victims in order to obtain personal information.
Lingle, who’s own father is 86, said, “I’m sad that we have to live like that, and we can’t trust everybody when they call us up. You just can’t let people you don’t know get access to your information; and even people you do know, you just have to be very suspicious.”
Lingle also informed the seniors of her recent announcement to seek the Senate seat being vacated by the retirement of Sen. Daniel Akaka in 2012, saying she would fight to ensure promises made to seniors on Social Security and Medicare would be kept.
“It’s a wonderful thing to have such a wonderful, long life,” but she said, people in America live longer now, “so the money we used to collect was enough (before); now, it’s not enough and we need it for a longer time period,” said Lingle.
She said that while it’s true that Social Security will have to be changed in the future, she said, “I can tell you, I’m never going to support changing it for the people now getting social security. The government made a promise and I’d have to keep that promise,” she said.
Lingle is among a list of several high profile candidates seeking the US Senate seat. Others include Democrats Rep. Mazie Hirono and former congressman Ed Case; and fellow Republican and former state lawmaker John Carroll.
The morning visit was among a list of gatherings and speaking engagements Lingle has planned today on the Valley Isle.
This afternoon, she will speak at a luncheon with the Maui Chamber of Commerce in Kahului (check back for coverage) on topics of job creation, the economy, helping businesses, increasing the US’s Asia-Pacific presence, and supporting the military. A final stop is planned in South Maui to the Kihei Charter School.
*** Check back for coverage of Lingle’s address to the Maui Chamber of Commerce.