Local Connection: Life after Sen. Dan Inouye

Local Connection: Life after Sen. Dan Inouye

By: Rick Blangiardi

For decades, Hawaii relied on the power and political connections of senior Senator Dan Inouye to keep our military well financed and strong.

But in the year since he passed on, several influential business and labor groups have recognized that if we are going to keep that sector of our industry going, we need better internal organization and support.

A new poll sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, Pacific Resource Partnership and Hawaii business roundtable shows that three out of four registered voters consider the military very important to the state's economy.

Nearly 80 percent strongly support or somewhat support military training in our islands.

The chamber said it would be more aggressive in restructuring its military affairs council to get more military spending in Hawaii. Military construction peaked at 4.53 billion dollars in 2007 and fell to less than 3 billion dollars in 2012.

Military construction also made up nearly 40 percent of total industry jobs between 2007 and 2009.

A strong military, all four branches, can do nothing but help Hawaii.

Although Senator Inouye his gone, the congressional delegation now in place along with federal, state and local leaders, must join with business and labor interests to keep our military in place.

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