Linda Lingle

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Linda Lingle is a former two-term Hawaii governor and most recently was the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in 2012.

She lost the 2012 general election to Democrat Mazie Hirono 37 percent to 62 percent.

In the August primary, she garnered 90 percent of the vote securing the nomination from the Hawaii Republican Party.

Linda Lingle came into the governorship in 2002 as Hawaii’s first female governor, the first Hawaii mayor elected governor and the first Republican in 40 years.

Born Linda Cutter on June 4, 1953, in St. Louis, Mo., Lingle moved with her family to Southern California when she was 12. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from California State University, Northridge.

Lingle moved to Honolulu in 1975, where she worked as a public information officer for a hotel workers union. A year later she moved to Molokai, where she started a community newspaper called the Molokai Free Press.

In 1980 Lingle was elected to the Maui County Council, where she served for 10 years. In 1990, she ran to succeed Maui Mayor Hannibal Tavares, who was limited to two terms. In the election, Lingle upset her Democratic opponent, Elmer Cravalho, who was a former Maui mayor and a former speaker of the Hawaii State House of Representatives. Only 37, Lingle was the youngest person elected Maui mayor, and the first female. She was re-elected in 1994.

Limited to two terms, Lingle challenged Democratic Gov. Ben Cayetano in 1998 and nearly won. Lingle then served as chair of the Hawaii Republican Party, building its membership and visibility. At one point Republicans held 19 of the 51 seats in the state House and five of the 25 seats in the state Senate. By 2010, however, the House had only six Republicans and the Senate just two.

When Lingle became governor in 2002, she promised a “new beginning” for Hawaii government, including establishing fiscal responsibility and reforming public education. She was re-elected in 2006 in a landslide.

But Lingle made little headway in education, failing repeatedly to break up the Hawaii Department of Educationinto separate districts, a move she argued would result in stronger local control of schools and greater accountability.

Her decision to campaign for President Bush’s re-election in 2004 and presidential candidate John McCain in 2008 was criticized at home by Democrats, and a downturn in the state’s economy beginning in 2008 shrunk tax revenues and forced budget cuts. Her last year in office was distinguished by her handling of Furlough Fridaysand her veto of the 2010 civil unions bill.

Lingle’s popularity declined, and the number of Republicans in elected office in the islands is lower than when she came to power. Her lieutenant governor, James “Duke” Aiona, was soundly defeated by Democrat Neil Abercrombie.

Lingle’s accomplishments in office include building ties between Hawaii and Asia, promoting clean-energy initiatives, pushing the Hawaii Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to award more lands to beneficiaries and coordinating major upgrades of the state’s harbors, highways and airports.

The state Senate in August 2010 voted 14-8 to reject Lingle’s nominee to replace Ronald Moon as chief justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court. Katherine Leonard would have been the first woman chief justice and the first graduate of the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii to sit on the court. The Legislature accepted her second nomination, Associate Supreme Court Justice Mark Recktenwald.

After years of debate on gay rights and months of discussion on the merits of one proposal, Lingle on July 6, 2010, vetoed HB 444. The bill would have extended to same-sex and opposite-sex couples the same legal rightsand obligations as marriage.

Lingle said the process by which the bill was approved by the House on the last day of the legislative session was “flawed.” She called for a vote by all the people of Hawaii as the best way to deal with the question of whether civil unions should become law.

On May 25, 2010, Lingle announced a solution to end Furlough Fridays, which gave Hawaii a national black eye. Students missed 17 school days in the 2009-2010 school year, giving the state the lowest number of school days in the nation, at 163. In mid-April a small group of parents, their children, and supporters occupied Lingle’s fifth floor office at the state Capitol over an eight-day period. Some protestors were cited and arrested, and Lingle was criticized for not defusing the situation by meeting personally with the ad-hoc group, called Save Our Schools.

Lingle countered that Save Our Schools had “misguided and misdirected” demands and should instead have directed its frustration at the Hawaii State Teachers Association, which Lingle believed was asking for too much state money to end the furlough standoff. In the end, she used $57 million from the state’s hurricane relief fund and a $10 million, interest-free line of credit from local banks to bring teachers and other education employees back to work on 17 planned furlough fridays in the 2010-2011 school year.

Lingle left office in December 2010. Her profile among national Republicans has grown over the years, especially during the administration of President George W. Bush.

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Linda Lingle

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August 2015

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November 2012

Monday, November 5

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October 2012

Monday, October 29

Civil Beat Poll – Hirono’s Double-Digit Lead Over Lingle Holding

Wednesday, October 24

Lingle’s Record Does Speak For Itself

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Friday, October 19

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Wednesday, October 17

Lingle, Hirono: We Play Well With Others, Just Not Each Other

Friday, October 5

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September 2012

Sunday, September 30

Civil Beat Poll – Hirono Up Big On Lingle

Thursday, September 27

Inouye Wants Active Role In Hirono Campaign

Monday, September 17

Hirono: Lingle TV Spot Misleads Voters

Lingle: Hirono ‘Flip Flops’ On Budget Cuts

Tuesday, September 11

Hirono: Paul Ryan Passed Only Two Bills In Congress

Friday, September 7

U.S. Senate Foes Reveal Tactics, Debate Facts

August 2012

Tuesday, August 28

Pacific Islands Lose an Advocate in Akaka

Saturday, August 18

Political Analysts Say Make Way for Sen. Hirono

Tuesday, August 14

Hirono: ‘Strongly Supported’ Budget Control Act

Monday, August 13

Lingle: Hirono Missed 127 Votes In Congress This Year

Sunday, August 12

Where The Hawaii Senate Race Goes From Here

Thursday, August 9

Hirono Trounces Case, Sets Sights On Lingle

July 2012

Tuesday, July 31

Hirono: I Stood Up Against Democrats to Restore Native Hawaiian Funding

Monday, July 30

Hirono and Lingle Already Focusing on Each Other

Tuesday, July 24

Hawaii Candidates Banking on ‘Like’-Ability

Monday, July 23

Linda Lingle: U.S. Chamber Made?

Friday, July 13

Linda Lingle Answers U.S. Senate Candidate Survey

Thursday, July 12

Three Versions of One Reaction: A Study in Political Messaging

Monday, July 2

Is Mazie Hirono Getting Nervous?

Sunday, July 1

The Misguided and Harmful Myth of Bi-Partisanship

June 2012

Saturday, June 16

National Political Analysts Predict Hirono Will Win Hawaii Senate Race

Friday, June 15

Lingle: My Channel Is First of its Kind in U.S. History

Monday, June 11

Civil Beat Poll – Case, Hirono Tied In Hawaii U.S. Senate Race

Sunday, June 10

Mazie Hirono: Notes from the Campaign Trail

May 2012

Thursday, May 17

Does Lingle Support U.S. Chamber of Commerce?

Wednesday, May 16

Who’s Making Big Bucks Working for Hawaii’s U.S. Senate Candidates?

April 2012

Thursday, April 12

Linda Lingle’s Role Model: Susan Collins of Maine

March 2012

Thursday, March 8

Hawaii Candidates Play Chicken on Disclosing Their Tax Returns

Lingle Ads Cost U.S. Chamber Big Bucks

February 2012

Wednesday, February 29

U.S. Energy Secretary Touts Lasers for Hawaii Geothermal Development

Monday, February 13

Lingle: Ed Board Promised No Furloughs on School Days

Monday, February 6

Why the Emphasis on Local Financial Support in U.S. Senate Race?

Sunday, February 5

At Least 55% of Individual Donations to Lingle Came From Outside Hawaii

January 2012

Tuesday, January 31

Lingle Campaign Spends Big Money on Consultants, Travel

Lingle Rakes in Cash From Mainland PACs

Monday, January 30

Lingle: Federal Debt Exceeds GDP For First Time

Thursday, January 26

Lingle, Flush With Cash And On Message

December 2011

Wednesday, December 28

Big Changes in Store for Hawaii’s Congressional Delegation

Friday, December 9

Gloves Come Off As Hawaii Senate Race Gets Going

Tuesday, December 6

How Hawaii U.S. Senate Candidates Would Save $1.2 Trillion

Friday, December 2

Abercrombie’s Wrong, Lingle Isn’t to Blame

November 2011

Monday, November 21

Swag of Our Governors

Wednesday, November 2

Hawaii Gov’s Security Costs Taxpayers $1.2M

October 2011

Sunday, October 30

Was Lingle ‘False’ When She Said ‘Nothing Was Done Wrong with Superferry’?

Tuesday, October 25

Is Medicare A Chink In Lingle’s Political Armor?

Saturday, October 22

Lingle: ‘Nothing Was Done Wrong with Superferry’

Wednesday, October 19

Lingle’s Official Website As Hawaii Gov Hard To Find

When Mazie Met Linda … and Ed

Tuesday, October 18

Could Lingle Do What Akaka Couldn’t?

Friday, October 14

Capitol Watch: Oct. 14

Thursday, October 13

Capitol Watch: Oct. 13

Wednesday, October 12

Capitol Watch: Oct. 12

Tuesday, October 11

Observations on Lingle’s U.S. Senate Candidacy From An Almost-Candidate

Slick Rollout For Lingle’s Senate Campaign

Lingle Makes Hawaii Senate Race a Must-Watch

It’s Official: Lingle Running for U.S. Senate

September 2011

Wednesday, September 21

GOP Hierarchy Demands Kaauwai’s Resignation

Tuesday, September 20

Lingle Predicts More Women Leaders

Sunday, September 18

Capitol Watch: Sept. 19

August 2011

Friday, August 5

Lingle, Women and Leadership

July 2011

Saturday, July 30

Lingle: D.C. Dysfunction ‘Encourages’ Senate Run

Sunday, July 17

Capitol Watch: July 18

May 2011

Monday, May 23

Capitol Watch: May 24

Thursday, May 19

Word’s Out: Hirono To Run For U.S. Senate

Monday, May 16

If She Runs, Lingle Wants ‘Strategy for Victory’

Sunday, May 15

Hawaii GOP: Show Us the Money

April 2011

Saturday, April 16

Lingle Appointees: Who Donated What?

Friday, April 15

My Candidate, My Boss: The Prequel

Thursday, April 7

Hawaii Appeals Court Rejects Obama Birther Suit

March 2011

Thursday, March 3

Akaka Retirement Triggers Political Free-For-All

December 2010

Wednesday, December 22

Capitol Watch: Dec. 23

Monday, December 6

Lingle: Welfare Rolls Decreased 40 Percent Under My Watch

Friday, December 3

Lingle Rail Consultant: ‘Bus Is Good. Rail Is Bad.’

November 2010

Tuesday, November 30

Abercrombie Inherits Pile of Lawsuits

Monday, November 29

Capitol Watch: Nov. 29

Tuesday, November 23

Capitol Watch: Nov. 23

Portrait of a Governor

Tuesday, November 9

Capitol Watch: Nov. 9, 2010

Saturday, November 6

Gov Watch: Nov. 8, 2010

October 2010

Friday, October 29

Where’s Lingle?

Saturday, October 16

Long Time No See: Governor Drops By Honolulu Hale

Saturday, October 2

Lingle to OIP: Judge Hopefuls Have Privacy Too

September 2010

Thursday, September 30

Lingle: Abercrombie Too Old and Set in His Ways

Saturday, September 11

OIP to Lingle: Why Are Judge Applications Secret?

August 2010

Wednesday, August 25

Fifth Floor Diplomacy From Duke, Mufi ‘n’ Neil

Tuesday, August 24

Notes Between Lingle, Judge Selectors Stay Secret

Friday, August 6

State Senate Shoots Down Leonard Nomination

Tuesday, August 3

Hawaii Bar Association’s Secrecy Under Fire

July 2010

Monday, July 12

Hawaii Links for Monday, July 12

Wednesday, July 7

National Pundits Pile On Civil Unions Debate

Hawaii Reacts to Civil Unions Veto

Lingle Dodges Civil Unions Issue

Lingle Vetoes 32 Bills on Final Day

Civil Union Proponents Promise Lawsuit

Tuesday, July 6

Lingle Invites Justice Levinson to HB 444 Decision

Friday, July 2

The Civil Unions Decision: What’s At Stake

June 2010

Wednesday, June 30

Where’s the Beef? No Reason to Oppose Civil Unions

Monday, June 28

Hawaii Links for Monday, June 28

May 2010

Wednesday, May 26

UPDATE: How They Ended Furlough Fridays With No Compromise

UPDATE: Gov. Lingle: Furlough Fridays Are Over

Tuesday, May 25

UPDATE: Gov. Lingle To Speak On Attempts To End Furlough Fridays

Saturday, May 22

Frozen Investments Could Have Helped Solve State Budget Crisis

Thursday, May 20

Study: Civil Unions Could Bring Millions To State

Tuesday, May 18

UPDATE: The Hawaii GOP Platform On Civil Unions

UPDATE: Abercrombie Opens Second Big Isle Campaign Office

Thursday, May 6

Feds: Union Wrong, Teachers Can Work Legally For Free

April 2010

Tuesday, April 27

Teachers Can’t Legally Work on Furlough Days, Union Says

Monday, April 26

Lingle Asks Teachers to Return to Work Without Pay