Former Hawaii Governor Calls Promos "Abuse of Taxpayers Money"
The promotional products industry has come under fire again, this time by the former governor of Hawaii. According to Hawaii Reporter, former Gov. Ben Cayetano characterized the use of promotional products as a wasteful and unnecessary expense.
"Why is no one trying to put a stop to this abuse of taxpayers money?" Cayetano said, referring to promotional hats, lanyards, shirts and coloring books being used to promote the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit Administration's (HART) construction of a city-wide rail system.
"This is an indication of how reckless the city is spending taxpayer money—spending for them is not a problem," he said.
Cayetano, who was governor of Hawaii from 1994 to 2002, is currently running for mayor of Honolulu and has been critical of HART's $5.3 billion project. In a press conference Tuesday, Cayetano made the HART funding central to his campaign, repeatedly attacking the program for spending too much and drawing resources from other government departments.
The former governor described the volume of promotional products used by HART as "unprecedented," and made a point of saying all of the items were paid for with tax-derived funds.
One of the products highlighted, a children's activity book educating the city's youth about the rail system, was reported as costing $2,633. Another Honolulu politician, council member Tom Berg, referred to the promotional product as "propaganda."
For more information, read the full story at Hawaii Reporter.