Entries in Neil Abercrombie (3)


Hawaii Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz Picked to Replace Late Sen. Daniel Inouye

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(HONOLULU) -- Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced on Wednesday Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz will replace the late Sen. Daniel Inouye as the U.S. senator from Hawaii -- not Sen. Inouye's first choice.

On the day he died, the late senator wrote a letter to Abercrombie asking that he pick Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, D-Hawaii, to replace him.

Hanabusa made it to the final round of consideration, but she did not win the nomination.

"The charge of the central committee was to take all points of view into account, from Sen. Inouye and from the rank and file -- the Democratic grassroots," Abercrombie said during a news conference on Wednesday evening. "No one and nothing was preordained."

Schatz served in the Hawaii House of Representatives from 1998 to 2006. In 2006, he launched an unsuccessful bid for a seat in the U.S. Congress.

Schatz served as chairman of the Democratic Party of Hawaii from 2008 to 2010. He was sworn in as lieutenant governor in December 2010.

Schatz named two priorities for his new appointment that rarely see action on the Senate floor: native Hawaiian recognition and climate change.

"For me, personally, I believe global climate change is real, and it is the most urgent challenge of our generation," Schatz said.

Schatz planned to leave on a flight Wednesday night and be sworn in sometime Thursday afternoon. He would bring his wife, two children and both his parents to Washington.

The Hawaii Democratic Party met Wednesday morning to select three finalists to take the seat left vacant by Inouye's death.

Hawaii News Now reported the names on the short list. They included Hanabusa, Deputy State Land and Natural Resources Director Esther Kiaaina and Schatz. The HDP chastised whoever gave the names to the paper on its Facebook page shortly after the Hawaii News Now article was updated.

"Apparently, some of us DO NOT respect the process. The list was leaked to the press. tsk ... tsk ... tsk ...," the post said, linking to the HNN piece.

About half an hour earlier, the group had made a post saying it would not announce the names, leaving that responsibility to the governor.

Though she did not make the short list of replacements, more than 150 people signed an online petition urging the governor and the Democratic Party to nominate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard to take Inouye's spot.

Gabbard is a veteran and the first Hindu woman elected to the House of Representatives. She has yet to start her first term as a member of Congress.

Actor and former White House staffer Kal Penn tweeted his support for Gabbard, linking to the petition.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Same-Sex Civil Unions Now Legal in Hawaii

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(HONOLULU) -- Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed a bill legalizing same-sex civil unions in Hawaii.

The Aloha State is the seventh to authorize civil unions. The law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2012.

Democrat Abercrombie's Republican predecessor, Linda Lingle, vetoed a similar bill during her stint in office.

Other states that allow civil unions include Vermont, Illinois, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and New Jersey.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐


Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie Wants Facts to Silence 'Birthers'

Photo Courtesy - Neil Abercrombie[dot]com(HONOLULU) -- Three weeks into his first term as governor, Hawaii Democrat Neil Abercrombie says ending conspiracy theories surrounding President Obama's birthplace is a priority.

Abercrombie, a friend of Obama's late parents, has described in several recent interviews a personal and emotional interest in ending the so-called birther debate. And he has instructed the state attorney general and health department director to explore ways to let the facts of Obama's birth to speak for themselves.

"It's an emotional insult. It is disrespectful to the president; it is disrespectful to the office," Abercrombie said of the controversy to the New York Times. "There's no reason on earth to have the memory of his parents insulted by people whose motivation is solely political. ... Let's put this particular canard to rest."

But doing that could be much easier said than done.

At the center of the debate is an original, long-form birth certificate for Obama that contains the name of the hospital and the doctor, his or her signature, the baby's birth weight, and the national origin of the parents. It has not been made public.

The Obama campaign released a "certification of live birth" -- a short-form certificate that carries the same legal weight as the longer -- in 2008, but it didn't quiet skeptics who insist Obama was born in Kenya.

The birthers, who have provided no evidence to support their claims, believe the withholding of Obama's original birth document reflects a conspiracy to cover up Obama's ineligibility to hold the presidency.

State law prohibits the release of original birth records to persons without a "direct and tangible interest." ´╗┐

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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