Monday, December 29, 2008

Open arms, closed wallets

Hawaii residents may be welcoming president-
elect Barack Obama with open arms during his Oahu holiday stay, but they haven’t been opening their wallets to help pay for his inauguration.

An analysis of the $21.9 million in $200-plus donations made for inauguration festivities show $9,000 from one contributor as the only donation from Hawaii.

And that sole Hawaii contributor is actually a Chicago resident. Kehaulani Lum, who has homes in both Aiea, Hawaii, and the Loop in Chicago, is an Obama Mama who made news in the Windy City by holding a pre-election workshop for 11- to 15-year-olds called “Kid Filmmakers for Obama.”

The four days of inauguration festivities beginning Jan. 18 are expected to cost taxpayers as much as $50 million for preparations and protection for the estimated 2.5 million people expected to show up in Washington D.C. for the historic event.

The Aloha State showed more generosity during the election itself. Hawaii’s 1.3 million residents account for 4.3 percent of the United States population, but the $3.1 million in contributions to the Obama-Biden ticket was 4.7 percent of the $656.6 million the campaign raked in.

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