I’m so excited!

I got invited to Neil’s birthday party, did you?

This was a happy surprise, since a) I pretty much burned my bridge to Neil by yelling at him for dissing Native Hawaiians and lying to the neighbor islands; and 2) I didn’t get invited last year.

But there it was last week, sitting in my in-box. Maybe Neil decided to let bygones be forgotten? I checked all my news sources, but I couldn’t find an apology for his crass insult to our host culture. And I checked with my friends on Molokai, and they hadn’t gotten an explanation for why he confused restoring them to be the state’s “bread basket” with turning them into an industrial wasteland.

But no matter, what a party this will be! Dinner and cocktails! At the Hilton Hawaiian Village Coral Ballroom! Since tables are going for $3,000 to $12,000 I can’t wait to see the menu! Do you think Neil will offer us only locally-grown food? Everyone knows Neil’s a big fan of “sustainability” and “food security.” Ho’opili notwithstanding.

And just think what luminaries are likely to show up! Do you think I could get to sit next to HEI’s Connie Lau? According to Forbes Magazine, she made just over $6.5 million in 2010 so I think she can afford a table. And what about my Castle and Cooke friends, David Murdock and Harry Saunders? I’m sure they would invite me to sit at their table. I read that David gave himself a hefty salary increase last year, $3.2 million up from $2.1 in 2009.

I bet Bio-logical Capital and Pattern Energy, the outfits sniffing around Molokai to profit from building hundreds of wind turbines (and lay cables to and from … well, somewhere), have already signed up. Perhaps Bio’s CEO, Grant McCargo, great grandson of the Pittsburgh “grease magnate” who made a fortune selling out to Standard Oil in 1929, will get a table, maybe even invite Robbie Alm and Keiki-Pua to join him? Grant #3 probably has a little trust fund money to spend on Neil’s birthday. And Riverstone Holdings, parent company of Pattern Energy, that manages something like $17 BILLION in OPM (other people’s money)? I bet they could buy the ballroom.

I’m sure Dan Inouye will fly home for this. I heard just last week that Dan’s actually making all the decisions for Neil, and he’s really the one making all those appointments to various boards and commissions and what not. I didn’t believe it for a nanosecond, but Dan’s a nice guy, he’ll show. He could actually justify the trip by issuing some more “World War III” threats, to keep the rail going.

And wouldn’t it be fun to spend some more quality “listening” time with Mike Gabbard? I’m certain he’ll find a way to buy at least a small table, he went to SO much trouble to move the undersea cable bill straight to Neil’s desk so all those private equity people (Pattern/Biological/Riverstone, see above) can start finding ways to get richer by saddling us ratepayers with all the bills. Maybe Neil will even let Mike in for free?

Wow. I almost forgot the UNIONS! Especially the ILWU, they’ll want to send someone. I know some think they’ve lost their way lately, having strayed so far from the likes of Pedro Dela Cruz, who almost single-handedly made working for the plantations honest, well-paying work, but how about Bill Kennison? A division director who occasionally shows up on Lanai to whip up the few workers left who haven’t been laid off? His compensation only went up to $88,601 in 2010, from $71,432 in in 2003. I know this may come as quite a shock to the rank and file, that he is so underpaid, but maybe they can lend him the money to send their regards to Neil.

But wait. At the top, the invite says that this party is to say Happy Birthday to Neil, but down at the bottom, it says that it’s to “ensure that (Neil’s) policies are implemented,” and that it’s not too early to begin saving money to buy him a second term! So that he can continue to make “bold and decisive decisions” for all of us!

What with all the “bold and decisive” attempts Neil made this past legislative session to dismantle decades of environmental review and safeguards, I’m re-thinking whether I want to spend the $300 it would take just to walk in the door (assuming my above-mentioned friends don’t ask me to sit with them). While I would LOVE to see who will attend this event for what it is, a pay-to-play moment, I’d still have to buy a dress, pay for airfare, and find a place to stay. Living on Lanai is so difficult, it’s so far away from where the REAL action is.

Maybe I’ll just send a card instead.


Read a copy of the email from Abercrombie:



About the author: Sally Kaye, a full time resident of Lana`i, is an editor and former prosecutor.