Latest Articles

  • Hawaii Public Records Agency Continues to Struggle With Slim Budget

    · By Nathan Eagle

    The state agency responsible for helping the public access government-controlled information and ensure public meetings remain as open as possible has been mired in a backlog so big its rulings are often irrelevant by the time they’re issued.

    Yet relief appears nowhere in sight for the Hawaii Office of Information Practices as Gov. David Ige’s term begins and the Legislature gets set to work on his proposed biennium budget, which despite a modest increase only gives the agency half the resources it had 20 years ago.

    Meanwhile, the public, nonprofits, government agencies, lawyers and media outlets

  • Ige Picks New State Labor, Communications Directors

    · By Nathan Eagle

    Hawaii Gov. David Ige has chosen Elizabeth Kim to head the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations and Cindy McMillan to be his communications director.

    Elizabeth Kim, Gov. David Ige’s newly appointed head of the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

    Shawn T Moore

    The two picks, which he announced in a news release Monday, are the latest to round out his Cabinet. The governor has yet to appoint an Attorney General and a handful of others, but has said he plans to by the end of January.


  • Hawaii Media Outlets, Nonprofits Ask Ige to Improve Government Transparency

    · By Nathan Eagle

    Nearly two dozen Hawaii media outlets and nonprofit organizations have come together to start a dialogue with Gov. David Ige’s administration about government transparency and accountability issues.

    Brian Black, the executive director of The Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest and the organizer of the effort, delivered a jointly signed letter to Ige’s chief of staff, Mike McCartney, on Friday.

    The letter asks Ige to speak out strongly in favor of government transparency in light of a rising public demand for openness and “increasing public

  • Governor Announces Six More Cabinet Members

    · By Nathan Eagle

    Gov. David Ige on Wednesday named six more people to his Cabinet and two deputy directors, all of whom are subject to Senate confirmation.

    Ige, who was sworn in Monday, tapped Wes Machida to serve as his budget and finance director, replacing Kalbert Young, who is expected to become the chief financial officer of the University of Hawaii system.

    Machida had served under Gov. Neil Abercrombie as the head of the Employees’ Retirement System, the state’s $14 billion pension fund.

    Wes Machida, executive director of the Employees’ Retirement System, speaks during an interview

  • David Ige Inauguration: Introducing Hawaii’s Eighth Governor

    · By Nathan Eagle

    David Ige was sworn in as Hawaii’s eighth governor on Monday following a patriotic ceremony that culminated in a 19-cannon salute reverberating through the Capitol halls.

    Standing on a stage with Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui, Ige introduced himself to the hundreds of people seated in the open-air rotunda.

    “My name is David Ige,” he said.

    “You laugh at that introduction and smile. I think because some of you may find the gesture unnecessary. But I find it quite appropriate. After all an inauguration is really an introduction of a new

  • Final Preparations Underway Before Ige’s Inauguration

    · By Nathan Eagle

    The normally empty open-air rotunda at the Capitol was quickly filling up with people Monday morning for David Ige’s swearing-in ceremony.

    The longtime state lawmaker is set to become Hawaii’s eighth elected governor at noon. 

    An estimated 2,000 chairs have been set up along with a stage where Ige and his lieutenant governor, Shan Tsutsui, will take their oaths of office.

    Chairs in the Hawaii Capitol rotunda are starting to fill up as people rehearse before the crowds arrive for David Ige’s inauguration ceremony Monday.

  • 10 Things Hawaii’s Next Governor Has Said He’ll Do

    · By Nathan Eagle

    Monday marks the beginning of David Ige’s first four-year term as governor of Hawaii.

    The long road to his inauguration at the State Capitol was historic, particularly his surprising win in the Aug. 9 primary over Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

    It was also grueling. There were almost too many candidate forums to count, not to mention all of that sign-waving and fundraising en route to Ige’s Nov. 4 victory over Republican Duke Aiona.

    David Ige, seen here at a gubernatorial candidates forum in June, promised to do a lot

  • David Ige: Engineer, Technocrat … and Ballet Dad?

    · By Eric Pape

    When David Ige visited the Civil Beat recording room during the gubernatorial election campaign, it quickly became clear that he wasn’t very comfortable talking about himself.

    His comfort zone includes demonstrating a grasp of the inner workings of the Legislature and dissecting education policy. But after some coaxing, the very discreet man who is now Hawaii’s governor-elect did open up.

    He talked about what led him to get involved in politics nearly three decades ago, his technique for remaining grounded in the political sphere and how his commitments as a father may

  • Hawaii Governor: Ige Defeats Aiona in Landslide Vote

    · By Chad Blair

    Democrat David Ige has been elected governor of Hawaii.

    Hours after the polls closed, Ige was ahead of Republican Duke Aiona by a wide margin — 49 percent of the vote compared with 37 percent for the former lieutenant governor.

    The Associated Press and other media outlets called the race for Ige about 8:30 p.m.

    Hawaii Independent Party candidate Mufi Hannemann came in third place with 12 percent, followed by Libertarian Jeff Davis with 2 percent.

    Gov.-elect David Ige speaks to supporters Tuesday night as his running mate, Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui, gives a thumb’s up.

  • Denby Fawcett: Digging Up Dirt and Opposition Research 101

    · By Denby Fawcett

    Hawaii’s candidates for governor and the 1st Congressional District may be too squeaky clean and Boy Scout-ish for any dirt to emerge about them in the upcoming election.

    It is difficult to imagine Democratic gubernatorial candidate David Ige — whose friends say the most scandalous thing he ever did was to “toilet paper” friends’ cars in college — involved in anything salacious.

    Or to imagine goodie-goodie Republican congressional candidate Charles Djou staggering down a Chinatown street after drinking too many mango margaritas at the Pig and the Lady.

    An image from

  • Aiona, Ige Largely Like-Minded on Needed Education Reform

    · By Alia Wong

    Editor’s Note: Civil Beat asked Mufi Hannemann, the Hawaii Independent Party candidate for governor, numerous times throughout September for an interview for this story but he was never available. 

    Hawaii is the only state that isn’t broken up by multiple school districts. That means Hawaii — whose population of roughly 1.4 million people makes it the 11th smallest state —  actually encompasses one of the largest school districts in the country.

    The ninth largest one, to be exact, costing taxpayers nearly $1.5 billion dollars annually for operations alone. Together, the

  • Three Candidates, Three Views on Future of Fast-Growing Kakaako

    · By Anita Hofschneider

    Discontent with Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s policies in the state redevelopment district of Kakaako may have contributed to his political demise in the Democratic primary last month.

    Abercrombie accomplished what no other Hawaii governor had done since the district was carved out in 1976 — overseeing the addition at least another 4,500 housing units that will be built or permitted by the time he leaves office.

    But many residents have criticized the governor’s influence on the state redevelopment agency in charge of Kakaako and questioned whether the area’s infrastructure is prepared for such