Plus 7

October 24th, 2014

A new poll by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee shows Mark Takai with an edge over Republican Charles Djou in their race for Hawaii's 1st Congressional District.

The DCCC poll, was reported Friday by Washington, D.C.-based Roll Call and shows Takai ahead 49 percent to 42 percent. The poll, conducted by the Global Strategy Group, surveyed 400 likely voters via live telephone calls on Oct. 20-21 and has a margin of error of 4.9 percent.

Also Friday, the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call changed its rating on the race to "Leans Democratic" from "Favor Democratic."

The new poll is in line with other polls indicating a close race, including the Hawaii Poll conducted for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and Hawaii News Now, which showed the race tied at 47 percent with 7 percent undecided.



October 24th, 2014

The American Action Network, a conservative political action group chaired by former U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota, has entered Hawaii with an ad buy against Democrat Mark Takai in the race for Hawaii's 1st Congressional District.

The ad, entitled "Important," hits Takai on past votes to raise taxes. Takai is running against Republican and former congressman Charles Djou. The latest Hawaii Poll showed the race at dead even.

The ad buy cost AAN about $21,000, according to the Federal Elections Commission. Last week, AAN said it planned to spend about $300,000 on the Hawaii race.

The Democratic Party of Hawaii's coordinated campaign says the ad shows Republicans are "clearly worried."

Coordinated campaign spokeswoman Carolyn Tanaka, in a news release, said:

“Clearly, Djou’s special interest allies know that he cannot stand on his own record. This is Djou’s fourth time trying to pull the wool over our eyes and now it is not surprising that his allies are swooping in to distract from the real choice in this election: a choice for a progressive like Mark Takai or a Tea Party Republican like Charles Djou.”

The party has put together its own YouTube video trying to paint Djou's values as out of touch with traditionally Democratic Hawaii.

The American Action Network follows a $144,000 ad buy by the group Working Families for Hawaii, a progressive organization that previously supported the U.S. Senate campaign of Democrat Brian Schatz.


Both candidates are likely to get more outside help as the race draws to a close.

Under state law, such third-party money is classified as an independent expenditure. The so-called super PACs (political action committees) are allowed to spend an unlimited amount in independent expenditures to advocate election or defeat "of a clearly identified candidate" as long as there are no direct candidate contributions and there is no coordination between the super PAC and any candidate or party.



October 23rd, 2014

Jeff Davis, the Libertarian candidate for governor, has filed a federal lawsuit against Hawaii News Now, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and others, claiming his free speech rights were violated by his treatment outside a governor's debate at the University of Hawaii cancer center earlier this month.

The suit, which also names UH and the state, alleges that Davis went to UH with some supporters to "demonstrate corporate media's chokehold on the public's access to political candidates and for `open media.'"

Davis said he did not intend to disrupt the debate, but was confronted by security guards who had copies of his photograph. Davis claims that one guard threatened him with arrest if he came on the property, but he remained outside the debate and was not arrested.

Davis also described a conversation with Mark Platte, the news director of Hawaii News Now, who shared concerns that Davis might disrupt the debate.

In his lawsuit, Davis argues that the defendants conspired to disrupt and chill his right to free speech in a public forum. He says he has been fearful and anxious since the incident, which he claims has disrupted his sleep, appetite and the ability to do his job. He said he fears there are "people are out there looking for him with his photograph."

Davis, who is being represented by the firm Fujiwara and Rosenbaum, has asked the federal court to find that the defendants violated his rights and to award Davis damages.

Davis has been invited to appear at several forums in the governor's race, including debates aired by Hawaii Public Radio and PBS Hawaii's "Insights." But Davis was not invited to any of the debates sponsored by the commercial television stations and media and advocacy partners.

Davis said he is not complaining about not being invited to the Hawaii News Now-Honolulu Star-Advertiser debate, but about his treatment outside the forum.


October 23rd, 2014

The Tarrance Group, a Virginia-based firm that has done polling on the Hawaii governor's race on behalf of the Republican Governors Association, has the campaign between state Sen. David Ige and former Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona closer than a new Hawaii Poll.

According to a polling memo released by the RGA, Ige, the Democrat, holds a small but consistent lead over Aiona, the Republican. The weekly telephone surveys were taken among 800 likely voters statewide. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

From the Tarrance Group:

Our polling continues to indicate a very close election in Hawaii, despite the overwhelming registration advantage of Democrats. Notice that Ige seems topped out at 39% of the vote. Turnout projections suggest that the difference between the candidates could be as little as a single digit were the election held today.  The difference between the two candidates is within the margin of error of the survey and there are plenty of voters yet to make up their minds.

The horse race:

                      10/09 10/16 10/22

Aiona (R)    33%      37         36
Ige (D)        39%      39         39
Mufi Hannemann (I) 12%  10  12
Jeff Davis (L)  2%    3          3
Undecided 14%       11          11


October 22nd, 2014

Students are getting the chance to help resolve a question state lawmakers could not: what should be the state instrument?

In one of the strangest debates at the Legislature, state lawmakers could not decide whether to make the ukulele or the steel guitar the state instrument.

In an attempt at a politically correct compromise, lawmakers considered designating an "ancient" instrument and a "modern" instrument. But that, too, left lawmakers out of tune.

So now the students taking part in We Vote Hawaii, an affiliate of Kids Voting USA, will get the question on their ballots. Students had helped pick the humuhumunukunukuapuaa as the state fish.

What should be the official ʿauana (modern) instrument of the state?

_____    Slack Key Guitar  _____    Steel Guitar    _____    ʿUkulele

What should be the official kahiko (traditional) instrument of the state?

___       Ipu Heke (gourd drum)

____ ʿOhe Hano Ihu (nose flute)

____     Pahu (drum)

____     Pūʿili (split bamboo rattle)

____ ʿUlīʿulī (feather gourd rattle)

Online voting opened on Oct. 20 and closes on Nov. 4 -- Election Day.

"Our children’s choices will surface in a bill and likely affect the outcome of lawmakers’ decisions in 2015," state Sen. Glenn Wakai said in an email.