Watching and reporting about Hawaii politics and government.

5 p.m. State Tax Revenues Up

The Department of Taxation released this statement today:

Three months into the current 2012 fiscal year, general fund deposits are up by 32.4 percent compared with the 2011 fiscal year. If the $187.4 million accrued refunds that were released in July 2010 are factored out, general fund deposits would increase by 9.8 percent.

General excise and use taxes, the largest single category of collections, were $211.5 million in September. For the 2012 fiscal year, general excise and use taxes have increased by 7.1 percent over the previous year.

Transient accommodations tax (TAT) collections were $25.0 million for the month. Compared to the 2011 fiscal year, TAT collections are up by 13.9 percent.

4:20 p.m. ‘Being Out At Work’ Event

The full title is “Being Out in Hawaii: A Workers’ Coming Out Day Event,” and it takes place at 6:30 p.m. at the ILWU Local 142 hall (451 Atkinson Drive in Honolulu).

The event, part of the national “coming out” week to raise LGBT awareness, will feature a showing of the documentary “Out At Work,” followed by a panel discussion with local LGBT workersClick here for more.

Co-sponsors include the ILWU, Pride Alliance Hawaii, UNITE HERE Local 5 and the UHPA.

3:48 p.m. $17.9M for Kau FEMA Shelter

The Abercrombie administration has released $17.9 million to Hawaii County for design and construction of the first Federal Emergency Management Agency-certified shelter in Kau.

The project will double as a new gym for Kau High and Elementary School and include “a specially designed air filtration system to provide relief and shelter to vulnerable residents when emissions from Kilauea volcano reach high levels,” according to a press release.

The facility had been advocated by Bob Herkes, Russell Kokubun, Gil Kahele and other Big Isle kine officials.

3:05 p.m. Mufi Gets SHOPO Nod

Mufi Hannemann has tweeted out (@MufiHannemann, 560,383 followers) that SHOPO, the union representing Hawaii’s 2,900 cops, has endorsed his run for the U.S. Congress.

12:10 p.m. Cook: Hawaii Senate Race a ‘Toss Up’

The Cook Political Report today calls Hawaii’s race for an open U.S. Senate seat a “toss up.”

Cook’s definition of toss up: “These are the most competitive races; either party has a good chance of winning.”

The fresh rating comes two days after Linda Lingle jumped in, of course.

Back on May 26, a week after Mazie Hirono entered the race and Ed Case had been running for a couple of months, Cook said the seat was a “Solid D” for Democrat, i.e., “These races are not considered competitive and are not likely to become closely contested.”

The Senate has 51 Democrats, 47 Republicans and two independents who usually vote with Dems. Cook’s most current projection for 2012 has Democrats keeping 45 seats (30 are not up for re-election), Republicans 46 (37 not up for re-election) and nine a toss up, including ours.

So, yes, our Senate race is indeed a national contest, and the GOP has the edge.

Lingle’s Team Emerging

As you probably heard, Lenny Klompus and Bob Lee are heading up Linda Lingle‘s U.S. Senate campaign.

Corrie Heck, who worked for the former governor while she was in office, is the candidate’s deputy communications director.

On hand for Lingle’s formal announcement Tuesday at the Pacific Club were some other familiar faces, too, such as Lingle’s DBEDT guy, Ted Liu, and Lloyd Yonenaka, who has worked for various government agencies and knows the political ropes.

Both say they’ll be helping the campaign in one fashion or another.

Abercrombie’s Man in Asia

Some fifth floor observers raised eyebrows when they learned that Tim McBroom would be the sole staff member accompanying Neil Abercrombie on his Asia trip.

McBroom, after all, had been placed on probation following his arrest in late September after allegedly refusing to leave a Waikiki bar.

Responding to Civil Beat’s inquiry about McBroom’s probation, communications director Jim Boersema had this to share:

Tim must report in to the Chief of Staff weekly and review his work and actions — if at any time he does something again that is as disruptive to the Office of the Governor as before, he “could” lose his job. That does not mean he would automatically lose his job; it would probably depend on the severity of whatever he did — on the other hand, so long as his goes about doing his job in a proper manner and behaves as a responsible citizen he will come off the probation period after 90 days.

The trip to Asia was planned prior to the Waikiki incident and Tim was the logical person to accompany the Governor because he was prepped for the task … by our communications he is doing a job good assisting the Governor on the trip.

Honolulu Drug Summit

The Associated Press has this report on an international drug-trafficking summit to be held in Waikiki later this month.

Excerpt:

The Hawaii International Drug Trafficking Summit will bring together top drug prosecutors from Guatemala, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand with district attorneys from 10 U.S. jurisdictions in Arizona, California, Kansas, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and Washington state. Attendees also include federal and Hawaii law enforcement officials, along with county prosecutors from neighbor islands.

Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro is organizing the event, planned for Oct. 27 and Oct. 28 at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa.

Rail on PBS ‘Insights’

Dan Boylan and guests tonight will discuss and debate Oahu’s 20-mile, $5 billion elevated rail project.

Scheduled to appear are Drew Astolfi, Ben Cayetano, Gary Okino and Cliff Slater.

Meeting: Reapportionment

It ain’t over yet.

The 2011 Reapportionment Commission is scheduled to meet this afternoon at the state Capitol.

The agenda includes housekeeping and technical corrections to maps and going into executive session to talk about legal liabilities.

Harry Kim Mayoral Run In 2012?

Check out the latest in Neighbor Island government-related news:

Decisive vote next week in Hanalei boatyard dispute

Coqui frogs endangered species — in native Puerto Rico

Harry Kim for mayor in 2012?

Maui Council members may face 12-year limit

Kenoi nominee Freire raises questions

DLNR hears Molokai concerns


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