Neil Puzzles With Some Staff Picks

They get elected Hawaii governor, they come into office with a lot of public support, then they poop out.

They can, perhaps rightfully, claim that they are misunderstood or that events happen that are beyond their control, but that does not change the public perception that they’ve failed us.


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Christine Hirasa. Photos from Bob Jones

Neil Abercrombie came in with his New Day claim. But in the past two years we’ve seen a growing body of Neil naysayers. Abercrombie brought his troubles on himself. He was an excellent legislator but an inexperienced administrator. He brought in his youthful Washington corps, who clashed with his old-line party backers John Radcliffe, Charles Toguchi, etc.

He appointed neophyte-at-high-level Donalyn Dela Cruz as press secretary – who became a head-banger with old-boy-appointee Jim Boersema named as her boss. I suspect Boersema quit rather than bang heads. Many others either quit or were pushed. Working in Neil’s office has become a messy, burnout job without rewards or results.

Neil has turned to ex-journalist and mayoral spokeswoman Louise Kim McCoy as his new communications director – an OK journalist without any political policy background. Now he’s added Kendra Oishi, who was a legislative analyst and a clerk in the state driver’s license revocation office, as director of policy. And Christine Hirasa, a DOE publicist and former local TV news producer (one step up from an intern), as deputy communications director.

They may be nice people, but is the best talent available?

Abercrombie is a puzzle. Always has been. Making people unhappy on many community fronts right now. Saying basically, “Trust me, I know best.”

I’ve written that Linda Lingle was our worst governor. Abercrombie seems determined to try to out-worst her.

Thank you very much Harry Miller! Harry saw my Nov. 21 column-photo of three 25th Infantry Division sergeants in Vietnam and has identified platoon Sgt. Digno Abella, a onetime JROTC instructor at McKinley, who died in 1981.

Harry says Abella is survived by his wife, Martha Keliikuakailiahi Mikalemi Segovia Abella, of Honolulu; daughters Lyllis Perez, Danny-Jean Abella and Dacy Lambert, and son Ethan Ross Abella, all of Texas.

Still seeking identities on the other two.

MidWeek does not permit columnists to write letters to the editor, but if I could, this is the letter I’d pen:

“I’d like to commend Steve Murray for his Nov. 28 Newsmaker feature on Airman Brian Kolfage. I hate to second-guess my editor, but I think that should have been the cover story. Thank you, Steve. Well told. Thank you, Brian. Never give up. I’m an ex-Air Force three-striper, and Brian makes