Abercrombie Never Promised Transparency

John Hook

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has caught a lot of flak lately for his stubborn decision not to release the names of judicial candidates.

Critics say that he should release the names because former Gov. Linda Lingle did so and because former Gov. Ben Cayetano released the names after making his appointments.

It's about a transparent government, they argue, perhaps assuming that a liberal Democrat like Abercrombie would share their views.

(Nonsense, says the governor. He says it's about protecting the identities of candidates who might not otherwise seek a judicial position.)

Similar gripes about lack of transparency have been made about Abercrombie's refusal to explain what exactly happened with his first nominees to run the Health Department and the 2nd Circuit Court, both of whom withdrew, and the way he hired his Cabinet.

His administration has also thus far declined to honor Civil Beat's request for the applications of his nine Board of Education appointments.

"We want to make sure this confirmation process goes through," administration spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz told Civil Beat reporter Katherine Poythress Tuesday. "There's nothing there to hide, but we don't want to put any more information out that hasn't already been put out."

But just how much of an advocate for transparency should voters have expected Neil Abercrombie to be? Based on Civil Beat's research of his key public pronouncements while running for governor and since his election, not much.

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