Hawaii’s two U.S. Senators present for Hele-On dedication, nicknaming
Hilo, Hawaii – Video by David Corrigan
Starting off a whirlwind tour of Hawaii Island to see some of the “stimulated” results of ARRA, Senator Daniel Inouye and Senator Daniel Akaka visit Hilo’s county building for a look at the some of the new Hele-On buses, brought to the island courtesy federal funding.
Mayor Billy Kenoi touted the benefits of the buses to the Big Island, which have remained a free service to residents and a point of pride for an administration currently wrestling with severe budgetary challenges.
The crowd burst into laughter when the elder statesmen Inouye, the self professed “Number one earmarks guy” who sits as the powerful chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, revealed the nickname that Kenoi has earned in Washington – “Billy the Bandit”. The moniker is Inouye’s light hearted reference to how Kenoi somehow managed to secure a good bulk of the federal recovery spending allocated for Hawaii for the Big Island. Kenoi wore a large smile upon hearing the nickname.
Inouye is seeking a ninth term as Hawaii’s U.S. Senator. So far, he has no big names lined up to challenge him for the seat.