Welcome to Capitol Watch. Governor-Elect Neil Abercrombie is already in transition mode, there’s new leadership at the Legislature and other government branches, and Civil Beat is reporting on it all.
3:09 p.m. Office Space
It seems every 10 minutes or so someone new shows up at Neil Abercrombie headquarters at Ward Warehouse carrying a manilla envelope. Résumé, references and cover letter inside, perhaps? The new administration has advertised they’d like job applications in by Monday.
Staff is gradually transitioning out of the Ward space into a room on the 12th floor of the Leiopapa a Kamehameha Building — the State Office Tower at 235 S. Beretania St. The transition office (587-4002) is on the same floor as the Office of Collective Bargaining and the Department of Human Resources Development. Brian Schatz will continue to work out of his own Ward headquarters space until next month.
Sightings: Colleen Hanabusa interviewed by KITV’s Denby Fawcett at Abercrombie’s HQ before she jets off to D.C. for freshman orientation. Maybe getting a few pointers from her predecessor, too. And Sens. Norman Sakamoto and Dwight Takamine paid visits.
1:24 p.m. Speakership In Limbo As Other Top Jobs Change
State House members will likely go into the weekend with little consensus on who will lead the chamber for the next two legislative sessions.
If Calvin Say survives the latest challenge to his leadership, he will be one of the very few Hawaii political leaders to retain their job in 2010.
The year has seen a near complete swapping out of all top government positions at the federal, state and county level: governor and lieutenant governor, 1st Congressional District representative, Hawaii Supreme Court chief justice, state Senate president, state Senate minority leader, state House minority leader, Honolulu mayor, Honolulu City Council chair, Honolulu prosecutor, Maui mayor and county council chairs.
The Washington-insider website Politico has namedColleen Hanabusa one of 10 “crushworthy new reps” — i.e., “inspiring” and “intriguing.”
“The daughter of gas-station owners and granddaughter of sugar plantation workers, Hanabusa is truly a selfmade woman,” writes Karin Tanabe. “She spearheaded Hillary Clinton‘s Hawaii campaign in 2008, and was the first Asian-American woman to serve as president of the Hawaii state Senate.”
For large public events, an advance team can be expected to check things out ahead of time.
Discussions are underway for Brian Schatz to get his security detail soon.
8:47 a.m. Schatz Names Top LG Aides
Brian Schatz has picked Kimberley Wong Yoshimoto as chief of staff and Malia Oshima Paul as deputy chief of staff.
Yoshimoto, an attorney and former real estate asset manager, was co-chair and campaign coordinator for Schatz’s campaign. Paul, who was an attorney at the Santa Clara County Superior Court and a law clerk at the State of Hawaii Circuit Court, also worked on the Schatz campaign.
Both women are 37 and represent something of a youth brigade with the new administration (Neil Abercrombie‘s top aides are in their early 40s).
“Take it from me — they’re terrific,” Schatz, 38, told Civil Beat.