Governor Abercrombie signed two bills that would authorize up to $140 million in special purpose revenue bonds (see 11:26 am) for two companies in which Democrat Party Chairman, Dante Carpenter, has major interests. $100 million was allocated to assist BioEnergy Hawaii, and an additional $40 million for Carbon Bio-Engineers.
In 2010, Linda Lingle vetoed an earlier bond authorization that had been shepherded through the legislature by Carpenter. Then, Governor Lingle had cited unresolved “issues associated with the patent and licensing of the technology.” This year, with Carpenter’s good friend Neil Abercrombie now Governor, things went a lot smoother.
Ironically, the bills were signed into law within days of the Governor’s blasting the $4 million paid to the NFL for staging the Pro Bowl in Hawaii. The Pro Bowl generates millions in national television coverage for Hawaii’s visitor industry. Even though $3 million of the $4 million was rebated in taxes to the State, and the event stimulated $28 million in new local business last year, the Governor called the event “stupid.”
Abercrombie declared that it was time for Hawaii to “get its priorities straight.”
It was not explained exactly how the $140 million to the Governor’s political ally and friend would be used.