Gov. Abercrombie has come up with a novel approach to perpetuating the state mindset while currying political favor: appoint retired state workers with solid union creds — and a job at the Lege — to key state panels.
Or more specifically, nominate Tommy Oi to represent Kauai on the Board of Land and Natural Resources.
Oi retired as Kauai state land division manager to work in westside Kauai Rep. Dee Morikawa's office.
He's also snug with the Democratic Party and the government workers' union, HGEA. Oi served as Kauai island co-coordinator during Mazie Hirono's Senatorial campaign. As the Mazie for Hawaii website noted:
He was part of the HGEA PAC that interviewed and endorsed Mazie for her lieutenant governor race in 1994 and has supported her since then. Tommy is vice president of the Lihue Honwanji Mission on Kauai and is a member of Kiwanis and the HGEA Retirees Unit.
Gee. It's all so very cozy and cliquish — precisely what you'd expect in an election year.
But, um, what about the community?
Oi is up for a two-year term, with a nomination hearing on Monday before the Senate Committee on Water and Land, which is headed, inauspiciously, by Malama Solomon and Brickwood Galuteria.