Akaka's ability to build relationships a key strength

By Richard Borreca

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Mar 06, 2011

Daniel K. Akaka’s retirement means Hawaii loses Akaka’s more than 20 years of seniority, but next year the nation will lose the unique value of a Hawaiian voice in the U.S. Senate.

It may be a subtle perception to the mainland, but Akaka’s skills and talent reverberate in the many people he has brought into government to help.

Charles Freedman, the former communications director for Gov. John Waihee, who went on to be a Hawaiian Electric Co. vice president, says he was working in an antipoverty program in Hilo when he met Akaka.

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