Congratulations and Criticism Surface Upon Schatz Appointment

December 26, 2012, 4:12 PM HST · Updated December 26, 4:53 PM
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Brian Schatz. File photo courtesy Maui Democratic Party.

By Wendy Osher

A series of statements were released in the moments following the appointment of Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz to fill the vacancy of the late US Senator Daniel Inouye. Most of the remarks were congratulatory in nature, but at least one, coming from the Hawaii Republican Party, was critical of the governor’s choice.

Below is a list of statements released today from key party officials, government leaders, and those affected by the selection.

Hawaii Republican Party Chairman David Chang:

“The Hawaii Republican Party would like to wish Brian Schatz well in his new role as Hawaii’s Senator, even though he lacks the legitimacy of an election and was selected counter to the final dying wish of Senator Inouye. The Democrat Party of Hawaii’s State Central Committee narrowed down the field of fourteen applicants and nominated Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa, Deputy Director of the State Department of Land and Natural Resources Esther Kiaaina,and Lieutenant Governor Brian Schatz. The Hawaii Republican Party wants to remind recently appointed Senator that he must always act in the best interest of all of Hawaii’s citizens.

“While the appointment of Congresswoman Collen Hanabusa would have required special election to fill her congressional seat, HRP was well prepared to field a candidate that would be a capable leader, and strong advocate for Hawaii. The extreme partisan politics of Hawaii Democrat Party serves as a reminder that a balanced two-party system is sorely needed. Governor Abercrombie has once again put partisan politics and power ahead of Hawaii’s people. This appointment reinforces Governor Abercrombie’s sporadic and inconsistent leadership.”

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Maui County Democrats:

“US Senator Brian Schatz was a strong leader as Chair of the Hawaii Democratic Party and as Lieutenant Governor for the State of Hawai‘i. We are excited to see him take his collaborative style and sense of aloha to the United States Senate. The members of the Maui County Democratic Party send our congratulations and best wishes to Senator Schatz. We know he will make the right decisions for the people of Hawai‘i, especially in the fiscal cliff negotiations that lie ahead. We standby ready to assist him and know he will make us proud,” said Troy Hashimoto, Maui County Democratic Party Corresponding Secretary.

“We also appreciate the work of the Hawaii Democratic Party’s State Central Committee and our Maui County representatives for their work in helping to select the three names who were sent to the Governor. Many members had to drop what they were doing, especially during this holiday season, but we thank them for their dedication to our democratic process,” said Hashimoto.

US Senator-elect Hirono:

“I look forward to partnering with Senator-appointee Brian Schatz, Representative Colleen Hanabusa and Representative-elect Tulsi Gabbard as Hawaii’s federal delegation. With the important issues facing our nation and state, including taking responsible action to avoid the fiscal cliff, it is imperative that Hawaii’s voice be represented in the United States Senate.

“As a delegation and as a state, we will pull together to build upon the foundation laid by Senators Inouye and Akaka, to ensure that our values and priorities continue to be reflected in our nation’s capitol.”

Senate President Shan Tsutsui:

“Congratulations to the Lieutenant Governor on his appointment to fill Senator Inouye’s vacant seat in the United States Senate. I am confident that he will ably serve the State of Hawaii and honor the legacy that Senator Inouye has left behind. I understand that by law, as Senate President, I would be next in line to succeed Lieutenant Governor Schatz. I plan to discuss this prospect with the Governor and my family before making a decision.”

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Former US Rep. Ed Case:

“I congratulate U. S. Senator-designate Schatz on his appointment. I join all Hawai’i in wishing him only the very best, and will do whatever I can to ensure his success and that of our delegation in the challenging times ahead.”

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