Letters to the editor: 08-07-18

Letters to the editor: 08-07-18
Tuesday, August 7, 2018, 12:05 a.m.

Evans endorsement sounds shallow

Your Sunday endorsement of Rep. Cindy Evans for re-election over challenger David Tarnas (District 7) was one of the most interesting I’ve ever read. It’s as if, reading between the lines, you knew you didn’t mean it.

The biggest issue affecting the neighbor islands last year arose in the special session during which the Legislature voted to raise the transient accommodations tax (TAT) by 1 percent statewide to bail out the floundering Honolulu rail project with almost $2.4 billion.

Why would neighbor island voters want to pay more taxes in support of Oahu rail? Answer: They sure don’t.

Evans made her position pretty clear to WHT in an Aug. 15, 2017, story: She “believes spreading the rail cost over the state is appropriate,” adding that “it’s important to look at the big picture.”

“Rail may appear to be an Oahu issue,” Evans told WHT. “But it will end up helping determine the health of the whole state.”

Evans, wrote WHT (Aug. 31, 2017), “is the House majority leader who’s charged with, among other things, helping House leadership corral votes on the House position.” Your reporting and others clearly indicate her support for the bill — before she changed her mind.

She resigned her leadership position after voting against the measure, I’d guess after realizing the sentiments of her constituents.

In a news article about the race, Tarnas is quoted as saying: “We here in the district actually lost twice. We got a bad bill that increases our taxes and pays for Honolulu rail, and our representative lost her leadership position.”

You liked that quote so much you put it in an oversize quote box to make sure readers didn’t miss it. And then you endorsed Evans, weirdly suggesting that her “battle-tested experience” might earn her some “payback” in the next session.

And then retreating a little farther, you write “Tarnas is politically experienced and would represent the area just as well.”

Better, I’d say.