Gov. Neil Abercrombie plans to visit with seniors on Kauai this week. He will also visit Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, greet kupuna and meet with high school seniors on Maui.

On Sunday, Abercrombie will celebrate “linking generations” with Japanese-American women, attend the United Filipino Council of Hawaii’s annual convention and make remarks at the Moiliili Senior Center.

Next Wednesday, the governor plans to go to a Hawaiian home lands groundbreaking in Kapolei and proclaim a “Pedestrian Safety Month.”

Kupuna. Students. Military. Women. Filipinos. Japanese. Hawaiians. Kauai. Maui.

Abercrombie at Japanese CC July 22, 2014

Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce 10th annual Generational Awards Luncheon and Board Installation, July 22, 2014.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie

All happen to represent important voter blocs, and Abercrombie, in a tougher-than-expected re-election campaign, is right to reach out to them.

There’s just one thing: The schedule above is not part of his campaign. It’s his official office agenda.

Does anyone really think our governor is not using the taxpayers’ hard-earned cash to give himself a leg up in his bid for re-election?

Abercrombie Maui bill signings July 5, 2014

Maui bill-signing ceremony for measures regarding open farm dwellings, child care programs and liquor license classes, July 5, 2014.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie

Earlier this month we wrote about a rash of bill-signing ceremonies the governor’s office held — including five in one day and several on Maui and the Big Island.

The ceremonies allowed the governor to pose for hundreds of photos with lots of happy constituents — also known as voters.

The bill signings and the official visits essentially amount to campaigning: an elected official eagerly glad-handling and engaging in retail politics.

Hawaii Island Bill Signing and Kulani Reopening July 9, 2014

Hawaii Island bill-signing ceremony and reopening of Kulani prison, July 9, 2014.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie

Besides the bill-signing ceremonies and official visits, there are the press releases, which are coming fast and furious these days. Especially the ones where Abercrombie is handing out money. Here are a few from just the last month:

  • June 21: Governor Releases $450,000 for the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii
  • June 26: Governor Releases $30.4 Million for Natural Resource Protection, Defense Facility Upgrades
  • June 27: Governor Releases $22.6 Million for Construction Projects at Hawaii’s Airports
  • July 3: Governor Releases $2 Million for Oahu Veterans Center Improvements
  • July 15: Governor Releases $1 Million for Kakaako Community Resource Center
  • July 22: Governor Releases $500,000 for New Lanai Community Health Center Facility
Hula's Bar and Lei Stand 40th Anniversary July 9, 2014

Hula’s Bar and Lei Stand 40th anniversary, July 9, 2014.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie

Lanai. Veterans. Kakaako. Travelers. Japanese. Defense. The environment. Important, all of them.

Maybe it was a coincidence, but Abercrombie addressed the Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce the day after he released the half mil for the Japanese Cultural Center.

And maybe it was coincidence, but Abercrombie debated opponent David Ige at the Japanese Cultural Center just three days after releasing the $500K.

The money isn’t Abercrombie’s. The press releases always explain that the appropriations are “identified by the state Legislature.” But that’s never part of the headline or even the first paragraph.

The guy that actually deserves some credit for “identifying” the funds is the chairman of the Senate Ways and Means committee, who approves the spending. His name is David Ige.

But, somehow, Ige’s name always gets left off of the governor’s press releases. Same for Sylvia Luke, chairwoman of House Finance, who happens to be supporting — yes! — David Ige for governor.

By the way, Ige is meeting with important constituents groups this week, too. They include a luncheon with kupuna on Maui and the Japanese Women’s Society Foundation Luncheon.

In fact, they are the same two events that Abercrombie will be attending. But Ige is going as a candidate (and on his own dime) while Abercrombie is going as a governor — on our dime.