Latest Articles

  • Roll Call: Hawaii’s DC Delegation Packs the Least Punch

    · By Rui Kaneya

    Hawaii’s congressional delegation ranked dead last in the country for its political influence, according to the latest Clout Index released by Roll Call last week.

    Roll Call’s ranking, based on the delegation’s “total size, longevity, majority party representation and formal positions of power,” shows that Hawaii’s clout has plummeted since 2013, when the state claimed 19th spot.

    Hawaii’s congressional delegation ranked dead last in the national ranking of political influence.

    Roll Call

    The plunge, no doubt, reflects the consequence of a generational turnover. In 2012, the delegation lost the considerable political influence of the late Sen. Daniel Inouye, a 40-year congressional veteran who chaired the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee.

    Three of the four current members of delegation — Sens. Brian Schatz and Mazie Horono, and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard — settled into their posts in January 2013, while Rep. Mark Takai assumed his post only this January.

    The ranking typically benefits the most populated states, because they “generally amass the most seniority, have strength in numbers from the party in power (whichever one it is), claim the biggest shares of the powerful panel assignments and promote their own for leadership posts.”

    California topped the ranking, followed by Texas, New York and Florida.

    But Hawaii was outperformed by Alaska, whose population — at about 740,000 — is almost half that of Hawaii. Alaska was 47th in population but 32nd in the ranking.


  • Did Sen. Dan Inouye Sexually Harass Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand?

    · By Chad Blair

    Old accusations that the late U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye forced his Hawaii hairdresser to have sex have with him received new life, thanks to a blog in the New York Times Monday.

    In its inaugural edition of First Draft, a “morning briefing for politics,” the Times reports that the late senator squeezed the waist of fellow Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, and told her, “Don’t lose too much weight now. I like my girls chubby!”

    No source is cited other than “people with knowledge of the incident.”

    The item stems from Gillibrand’s revelations in a memoir published last month how her male colleagues “felt free to comment rather vividly on her weight,” the blogs explains.

    A spokesman for Gillibrand “would neither confirm nor deny that Mr. Inouye was the unnamed senator in the incident,” the Times reports. “Ms. Gillibrand in her book described the senator only as ‘one of my favorite older members of the Senate.’”

    Sen. Dan Inouye during a visit to Civil Beat’s offices in 2010.

    Civil Beat

    The Times mentions the “all but forgotten chapter” in Inouye’s career, something Civil Beat revisited in an article in April 2010. That story focused on how Inouye that year was expected to be easily re-elected (he was) even as many of his veteran colleagues faced serious electoral challenges.

    It was in Inouye’s 1992 race, however, that his Republican opponent, Rick Reed, secretly taped a conversation with Inouye’s hair dresser “alleging she had been sexually abused by the senator” and used it in an

  • Why Hasn’t Hanabusa Raised More Money For Hawaii Senate Campaign?

    · By Chad Blair

    Backing of national Democrats helps Brian Schatz build 3-to-1 cash advantage in 2014 race.

  • A House Divided — Which Way Will Democrats in Hawaii Go?

    · By Nick Grube

    Sen. Inouye’s last political wish, and Gov. Abercrombie’s choice to ignore it, are leading to intra-party conflict.

  • Can Inouye’s Ghost Take Down Sen. Brian Schatz?

    · By Nick Grube and Chad Blair

    UPDATED The late Hawaii senator’s top aides throw their weight behind his chosen successor, U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa.

  • Off The Beat: A Memorable Memorial Suggestion

    · By The Civil Beat Staff

    Forget that three-day weekend: Colleen Hanabusa wants Memorial Day observed on May 30, just like Dan Inouye.

  • Schatz Carries On Inouye Dream For Native American Memorial

    · By Kery Murakami

    Native Hawaiians, Alaska Natives would also be honored by proposed memorial on National Mall.

  • Senate Race Just Begun, But It’s All About Inouye

    · By Chad Blair

    Questions about Hawaii’s late U.S. senator dominate Hanabusa’s announcement to challenge Schatz.

  • Former Hawaii Gov. Cayetano Says He’ll Appeal Rail Ruling

    · By Nick Grube

    Cayetano also questions authenticity of Inouye’s last letter to Abercrombie.

  • Dan Inouye’s Leftover Campaign Cash: Now Where Will It Go?

    · By Patti Epler

    Account treasurer says it’s too early to say for sure but charity and candidates are a safe bet.

  • The Way Forward After Inouye

    · By Stan Fichtman

    The new reality post-Dan and how Hawaii will be affected, at least in the medium term.

  • SLIDESHOW: Hawaii Says ‘Aloha’ to Sen. Daniel Inouye

    · By Brian Tseng

    See highlights from both Hawaii memorial services for Inouye — at the state Capitol and Punchbowl cemetery.

  • Abercrombie to Inouye: ‘You Are Home With Us in Paradise’

    · By Chad Blair

    The late senator is honored at the Hawaii Capitol Rotunda.

  • Inouye’s Last Wish Is Abercrombie’s Biggest Burden

    · By Nick Grube and Chad Blair

    The senior Hawaii senator made a deathbed wish to Gov. Neil Abercrombie about his successor. But will it be granted?

  • Obama: ‘Danny, You Were More Than OK, You Were Extraordinary’

    · By The Civil Beat Staff

    Read the president’s eulogy of Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye.