Political Radar

Early nod

March 21st, 2013

The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly has endorsed U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz in next year's Senate race.

The early endorsement from a prominent labor group is important for Schatz, particularly if U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, D-Hawaii, opts to challenge him in the primary. Hanabusa, a former labor attorney with strong support in the labor community, is considering primary campaigns against Schatz or Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

UHPA, which represents nearly 4,000 faculty members, has shown an independent streak. UHPA was the only union to endorse former congressman Ed Case over U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono in the Democratic primary for Senate in 2012. The faculty union also backed former Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican, for governor.

UHPA's board of directors said in a statement that the early endorsement "was the result of unprecedented changes in Congress with the retirement of Sen. Daniel Akaka and the passing of Sen. Daniel Inouye, and the need for a fresh perspective and new insights on key issues affecting UH faculty, students, and the local economy."

From Adrienne Valdez, the UHPA board president:

From his first day as Senator, Brian Schatz immediately reached out to UHPA and our members to ask how he could help address the university’s budgetary concerns. In his relatively brief time in Congress, Sen. Schatz has proven he can make headway on federal legislation that affects us in Hawaii.

We believe he will continue that momentum as he looks after the best interests of Hawaii, now and in the long term. We’ve been able to count on him to provide pragmatic, realistic solutions, and he has earned the respect and confidence of faculty.

9 Responses to “Early nod”

  1. On the line:

    Ed Case, Linda Lingle, and now Brian Schatz. Looks like UHPA is not a very big backer of racial and cultural diversity. Is that what "an independent streak" means?

  2. hipoli:

    On the line: Thats a ridiculously racist comment, in and of itself. Given the diversity of our UH Professors (unless you didnt go to UH - so you somehow think they are a bunch of mainland haoles??), Im pretty sure that they dont sit around and say 'hey, lets only endorse the white-folk.' Gimme a break. Lets discuss the merits of the endorsement, not the color of the guys frickin skin, shall we? Hows about Brian's a smart dude who, through his federal maximization efforts as LG established a lot of positive, productive working relationships within UH?

  3. Especially Incognito:

    It seems one without breath got their
    nerves pinched. Bring on the trade winds.

  4. TKeiko:

    Really? After less than three months in office and without knowing for sure who will run against him, UHPA is ready to say that they support Schatz? All he's really shown is an ability to do a lot of softball interviews and talk about safe issues, showing neither brains nor courage. To me, this takes away the last of whatever credibility UHPA had left.

  5. Auto de Fe:

    "He looks like us" -- UHPA explaining Schatz endorsement

  6. ohiaforest3400:

    Curious to know how UHPA arrives at their endorsements (I may have known, once, but have forgotten). I don't draw much of an inference from the three endorsements noted by "on the line" but I don't think the reference by "Hipoli" to a diverse UH faculty counts for much if that faculty was not consulted/polled before making the endorsement.

    More relevant are the observations that the endorsement was mde so soon after he took office and with no opponents to which a comparison can be made. I realize it's only one quote in a short extract but what, exatly, is the basis for the statement that "Sen. Schatz has proven he can make headway on federal legislation that affects us in Hawaii"? What "pragmatic, realistic solutions" has he provided for the benefit of faculty?

    Guess I'll have to go look for the answer meself.

  7. Especially Incognito:

    Check out their posterior motives.

  8. Sayer:

    Schatz is definitely weak - uncertain whether this endorsement will help much. Likely his future hinges on whether Colleen decides to run or not. If she does, I don't think he'll make it.

  9. Goober:

    hipoli must be one without breath. See how defensive and using the word racist.

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