LG Candidate Marissa Kerns Urges President Trump to Cancel All Remaining Federal Dollars for Honolulu Rail Project

Editor’s Note:  I know this weblog has not been recently updated. This is the first in what I hope to be a new series of posts as we get closer to the November 6 general election day. Most of this post is from LG candidate Marissa Kerns‘ press release. I have long been an opponent of the rail, so it is good that we restart the blog with this costly issue. Enjoy!


September 24, 2018

Media Contact: Marissa Kerns
Marissa Kerns for Lieutenant Governor
Cell: (808) 778-9985
Email: campaign@electmarissa.com

Honolulu, Hawaii — Republican lieutenant governor candidate Marissa Dipasupil Kerns called upon the Trump administration to cancel all remaining federal dollars for the first 20 miles of HART’s 34-mile rail construction project in Honolulu.

In a sternly-worded letter to President Donald Trump, Kerns urged Trump to “direct your administration to cancel all federal funding of the Honolulu rail transit project as set forth in the Full Funding Grant Agreement for this disastrous project between the FTA and the City & County of Honolulu. This is easily the biggest financial scam in Hawaii history. It’s bad enough that it affects Hawaii taxpayers. But I hate to see the nation’s taxpayers get suckered along with us in the Aloha State.”

Citing a steady stream of lies about cost, traffic relief, taxes, affordable housing and even the fare to be charged for riding rail, Kerns says that voters and taxpayers in Hawaii and across the nation have been defrauded by rail proponents.

Kerns zeroed in on the rapidly emerging likelihood that tens of millions or more in property taxes will need to be immediately diverted to the rail construction project in order for the City and HART to satisfy the Federal Transit Administration’s time-sensitive demand for a viable financial plan: “To date, there have been three tax increases for this project, when we were assured that the first tax hike in 2006 would be all the politicians needed from us. Most Hawaii residents are bracing themselves for even more tax hikes to pursue this greedy agenda built on a steady stream of lies. Indeed, even the FTA appears to be helping City leaders to increase the likelihood of grabbing property taxes to fund construction of this useless, make-work rail project.”

Kerns urged President Trump, Transportation Secretary Chao, and FTA Administrator Williams to disbelieve any plan which is received from HART: “And with the most complex parts of the project yet to be built — such as prep work with underground utilities, land acquisition, and the massive construction of miles and miles of rail guideways and rail stations in the most dense parts of the City & County of Honolulu — everyone knows that the costs will continue to skyrocket, long after our city leaders send you and the FTA their newest “plan”. In fact, the federal subsidy of this project used to amount to one-third the total construction cost. Now that one-third is down to a mere 17% of the quickly rising total. By the time this nightmare is over, I feel confident that the $1.55 billion federal subsidy for construction will probably only represent 9% or 10% of the total cost due to the crippling effects of incompetence, gross negligence and corruption at HART.”

In calling for a forensic audit, Kerns predicted that corruption and incompetence revealed through such an audit might warrant prosecution: “All taxpayers deserve to know why the price has tripled and who, if anyone, should go to jail for fraud and other related crimes.”

For Kern’s full letter to President Trump, here is a link: https://goo.gl/Q5Ho9a


The Election Season is Here

Happy Belated New Year. I hope 2018 has started off well.

You know it is an election year. I got my first election year email by getting this announcement from East Honolulu resident Natalie Iwasa, who is a community activist, mom and accountant with strong opinions on a number of local issues. Once again like in 2014, Ms. Iwasa is running for Honolulu City Council. She made that announcement with an email I received today. It reads as follows:

Aloha Friends,

Natalie Iwasa

Natalie Iwasa

If you are receiving this email, you supported me in my 2014 campaign and I wanted you to have this news before it goes public. Today, I am officially announcing that I am going to run again for City Council in 2018!

Our campaign will humbly begin with a plant sale/fundraiser and then build from there. I really hope that you, your family, and friends will drop by and say hello. Maybe pick up a new plant or two?

We are going to run different type of campaign in 2018, one that revolves around a community service instead of sign waving. That is why we are calling it “Community Changing.” Please watch for the announcements on email or Facebook and help us make Hawaii an even better place to live. While we doing that, I look forward to hearing what your issues and concerns are.

Mahalo nui loa for your continued support.

Natalie Iwasa
Friends of Natalie Iwasa for City Council

I’ve been acquainted with Natalie Iwasa from my days being connected to Small (Smart) Business Hawaii in the 1990s and 2000s. She is good with numbers and is passionate about the things she believes in. She was at one time opposed to the City’s $10 billion rail project but has since softened her approach by calling rail “a done deal”. I have trouble with that as well as her advocacy in legislating people out of their personal, motorized vehicles (cars, trucks, SUVs, etc).

In her latest run for City Council, she is not a candidate in a district in which I reside. If she is still in East Honolulu, then her opponent will be incumbent councilman Trevor Ozawa.

Good luck Natalie. If elected we’ll see how things go. I think you will be fairly responsive to the people in keeping on the straight and narrow while in government service.

Candidates can apply to run for elective office starting this coming Thursday, February 1. It will be an interesting election year (as it usually is) with major seats such as Governor, several State Senate positions and all House seats up for grabs in addition to City Council and other local races. The local race for U.S. Senate and Congress will be of some interest too, especially if the candidates are not the usual, predictable ones that come from the Democratic Party of Hawaii.

We’ll probably blog more about this over the coming weeks and months.