Personally, I like and respect former governor Ben Cayetano for his great career and many years of service as both lieutenant governor and the his becoming the fifth governor of the State of Hawaii from 1994-2002.
That said, the former governor is one of the few high-profile people who hates the rail project so much, he has said it is already obsolete and in ten years we might have to completely bulldoze it.
His decision to write a letter to the President of the United States which converted into an ad in the Washington Post citing all of the established complaints about the rail project, and urging the president to withhold federal support for the project is a position we cannot support.
Yes, the project is overdue and well over budget. However, it is also a key to a modern transportation system and to rational redevelopment for expanding our urban core. Killing the project and knocking it down would be a huge black eye for the reputation of Hawaii as a modern city, and we have already stumbled badly on projects like the Superferry and TMT to name but a couple
In his letter, the governor adds the accusation that the late Senator Inouye basically bullied the federal government into supporting the project. So with that said – let's recall another overdue and over budget project Senator Inouye championed – the H-3 Freeway. The senator took a lot of flack for that at the time, but decades later, it is a tribute to his vision for the future. Many supporters believe one day rail will be regarded the same way.