Acting Governor talks about high level resignations

Published: Oct. 10, 2011 at 10:55 PM HST|Updated: Oct. 11, 2011 at 2:53 AM HST
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Lt. Governor Brian Schatz
Lt. Governor Brian Schatz
Governor Neil Abercrombie
Governor Neil Abercrombie

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Governor Neil Abercrombie is in Asia right for the next two weeks. He left town right after four staffers announced their resignations.  So today we ask Acting Governor Brian Schatz what's going on inside the administration.

The chief of staff, deputy chief of staff, communications director and deputy communication director all stepped down within days of each other for personal reasons or to spend time with family.

"You have young children are you going to step down and spend time with your family?"

"No. No," responded Lt. Governor Brian Schatz.

In all seriousness what's with all the departures?

"There's no doubt this is a big change and what we're going to do is not focus on all of that we're going to focus like a laser on economic development," said Lt. Governor Schatz.  "We're not going to get in to the intrigue of what people say about people's departures and all that kind of stuff. I know that is interesting to some people but we're not going to focus on that because we have too much work to do."

Part of that work is deflecting the questions about the resignations because at this point many don't believe the four advisors just realized they had families.

"I don't think anyone bought that or believed that and I think that was precedent setting because even with different administrations, people leave, people have genuine disagreements and all that but they don't use that as an excuse," said State Senator Sam Slom, (R), East Oahu.

The question is whether the staffers were pushed out or if they don't want to work for the governor anymore.

"Anybody that knows Governor Abercrombie, I've known him for 50 years, shouldn't be surprised he would be very difficult to work for and you have a lot of young people with new ideas and what we're seeing is a battle between new young ideas and old boy politics and old boy politics always wins out," said Sen. Slom.

"If you didn't know that he was sharp tongued or that he could rant a bit than you really hadn't paid much attention over the years," said Dan Boylan, Political Analyst, referring to Governor Abercrombie.

So how do the resignations and they way it's been handled make Governor Abercrombie look in the eyes of public opinion?

"Like a poor administrator. It makes him look like a poor administrator of course," said Boylan.   "I think he recognizes his own failures in this."

"I think you measure someone's effectiveness by the results, what they can do, what they promise to do and I think you have to give the governor a low score," said Sen. Slom.

Will there be more resignations?  Lt. Governor Schatz says there is always turnover although he says he's focused on economic development.

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