Political Radar

`Shameful attacks'

October 23rd, 2013

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa's campaign is using the harshly critical memo released last week by U.S. Brian Schatz's campaign as a fundraising incentive.

In an email to supporters titled "Shameful Attacks," Peter Boylan, the communications director for the Hanabusa campaign, described the Schatz memo as "narrow minded and disrespectful."

The Schatz memo claimed that his Democratic primary rival's campaign was "badly foundering" and not up to the rigors of a U.S. Senate race.

From Boylan:

Our opponent, Brian Schatz, just sent around an insulting memo, attacking our campaign and arguing that his support from Washington D.C. insiders makes this race a done deal.

He also offered divisive theories about Hawaii voters, arguing that the ideology of a single group of voters will trump the broad coalition of interests that has made Hawaii the warm, inclusive place we all love.

We need to respond by demonstrating that our supporters are committed to taking on Schatz and his Washington D.C. political backers.

Please contribute $5 to show Brian Schatz's campaign that arrogance and divisiveness won't work in Hawaii.

This kind of crass, cynical political calculation is narrow minded and disrespectful. It is the very reason why we want to offer Hawaii voters a real choice: an experienced, proven legislator who will listen and deliver for all of Hawaii's communities.

If the latest round of Capitol Hill crises taught us anything, it is that Hawaii and our nation need strong leaders who will unite us, not divide us.

Let's show that Hawaii’s future belongs to all of its voters. Please, join me in helping to elect a humble, proven leader who understands Hawaii and will work hard to represent us all.

22 Responses to “`Shameful attacks'”

  1. Eric Ryan:

    It's fun watching Inouye's test-tube baby Hanabusa freak out. Boylan sure had no trouble transitioning from a newspaper reporter to a shameless paid hack . . . or is it shill ?? I think that it's high time for Inouye's young widow to weigh in on this memogate scandal; perhaps even racheting up the feigned horror while invoking racism as Schatz's motive.

  2. Especially Incognito:

    Next thing schatz will be asking hannabusa for her birth certificate.

  3. Auto de Fe:

    Its all there, waiting for the Schatz campaign to pick up ....

  4. ohiaforest3400:

    They asked me for a hel! of a lot more than $5. I guess that's the desperation factor.

  5. Johnson:

    Thanks. This inspires me to send a contribution to the Hanabusa campaign.

  6. Hawaii voter:

    All this mudslinging discourages me to vote for either party. Instead of throwing dirt at each other, I'd like to hear their platform and what issues are dearest to their heart. Then I'll compare them to my own priorities and based on that I would vote. First they must clean up their act and stop this shameful mudslinging - both of them!

  7. hossana:

    Hanabutta is a Dunce. Did anyone see her on Hanratty's show as Hanabatta made a fool of herself?? Go on YouTube and if you're a Hanabatta supporter, so be it, but I'm sure as hell not going to vote for this narrow minded idiot called Hanabatta........

  8. hossana:

    oops, my bad and apology....Hanabutta was on Bill O'Reilly's show in January, 2013 not Hanratty........

  9. Andy Parx:

    Wah, wah, wah. She and Peter had better hope the voters like the cry-baby approach. Too bad for her that he doesn't have his dad's savvy.

  10. Especially Incognito:

    Equality. One should be able to hit
    those that are "special".

    They are both from the same party. ?
    Imagine the winner facing off with lingle or Djou.

  11. Eric Ryan:

    Democrats are masterful at the post-primary "unity" game. Now that Hawaii's primaries have been moved up one full month, from mid-September to mid-August, Democrats have a whole lot longer to fool the people of Hawaii into believing those smiles of unity. Personally, I can't wait for the post-primary TV commercial and press conference featuring Hanabusa endorsing Schatz. I would pre-pay for multiple copies of that now on Blu-Ray, just to give away to friends. As for Lingle, Djou, and Aiona, neither of them stand a chance. Washed up RINO's with zero enthusiasm left among supporters (except for paid consultants and eternal sychophants, of course).

  12. innocent observer:

    hosanna, if hanabusa is a dunce than you are a dufus. you just made a fool of yourself quoting the wrong show.

  13. Eric Ryan:

    Anybody who corrects him/herself as quickly as hosanna did in this case is FAR from 'making a fool of him/herself'. Gosh, it took you, innocent observer, hours to even notice the already corrected mistake . . . and then pile on. Bad form for an 'innocent' observer.

  14. Especially Incognito:

    O'Really? Crying with exclamation.

  15. itoboy:

    Whine, complain, cry, and beg. Is this all Hanabusa’s camp can do now that Uncle Dan is no longer around to hand the old boy votes on a silver platter? Instead of asking for sympathy donations, why doesn’t Hanabusa give some examples of her “superior” leadership? Like when she was state senate president (as she often reminds us) when she displayed masterful leadership by refusing to support civil unions or emergency contraception, neither of which became law in Hawai'i until after Hanabusa had left the legislature in 2011. In January 2009, during the height of the Great Recession, when people were losing their jobs, businesses were shutting down, DOE teachers and state/city employees were being furloughed, and students were forced to stay home from school because of the state budget crisis, Hanabusa’s “leadership” championed a 36% pay increase that became effective in January 2009. Only after public outrage did she agree to take a token 5 percent pay cut after the 36 percent raise was safely in her pocket. She later claims in her 2010 campaign that she “cut legislative salaries.” She also botched the Superferry by exempting it pending completion of an EIS, which the supreme court struck down that as violating the Hawaii constitutional prohibition against legislative special treatment for special interests. Donate to her campaign so she can continue this "effective" leadership for Hawaii? Just say no.

  16. Bart Dame:

    When I got this email from the Hanabusa campaign, I was alarmed to see how much they are trying to milk this leaked memo and try to turn it into a "scandal." So where IS the "scandal"?

    I see now they are trying to say Schatz only cares about the haole votes. Here is the text meant to convey that message without making it explicit:

    [The Schatz campaign is ]"...arguing that the ideology of a single group of voters will trump the broad coalition of interests that has made Hawaii the warm, inclusive place we all love."

    The "ideology" alluded to here is "progressive" ideology. It might be helpful if Hanabusa would say she has given up on progressive voters. I HAD been arguing both candidates have arguments they can make to win progressive voters and neither yet has a lock on this group. But if Peter Boylan wants to fan hostility towards progressives as people outside of the "coalition of interests" which are part of the Hawaii we love, he can say so directly. It would make the election more easy for a lot of us.

    But the Hanabusa campaign is deliberately misreading the original Schatz campaign memo. The reference to progressives in the memo was in the context of a demographic analysis of who votes in the Democratic primary. Everyone knows Hawaii's voters are overwhelmingly Democratic in outlook. Almost everyone also knows the "Democratic Revolution" of 1954 was animated by a very PROGRESSIVE social vision and agenda.

    But, as the Democrats became the Party of Governance, a kind of corruption and bureaucratization of that social vision occurred. We can read about some of the processes responsible in the well-known book, "Land and Power." Prominent Democrats, their family members and cronies began to take advantage of their insider connections to enrich themselves and their allies. IN part, this explains the rift between the Burns and Gill factions which expressed themselves in the 1960s and early 70s. The rise of the environmental, sovereignty and community anti-eviction struggles in the 1970s, the Protect Kahoolawe movement, were a struggle AGAINST the crony, establishment wing of the Democratic "Machine." Bishop Estate trustees, appointed because of their political connections, were given a license to enrich themselves with over-the-top lucrative salaries and TOO MANY Democrats were fine with that.

    Senator Inouye tried to keep the peace between these factions. Some might say he tried to coopt community rebels. Others, would say he was seeking compromise, through concessions. But he was unashamed about his role in bringing pork to Hawaii, much of which went to well-connected contractors. And those who benefited became his supporters.

    With the death of Inouye, a group of people who gained power as part of his inner circle faced a serious loss of power. They had backed Mufi Hanneman, first for Mayor and then for Governor, but his defeat and political ruination weakened their prospects. They glommed on to Colleen Hanabusa and ran her for Congress. And successfully transitioned from Hanneman to Caldwell, who they supported for Mayor as his replacement, against Ben Cayetano. Neil Abercrombie, for all his faults--and we can make a list--is not controlled by the dark side remnants of Team Inouye.

    Let me make clear, I think Inouye himself was a balancing act between a liberal social vision and a kind of "Real Politick" which engaged in special interest politics. With the passage of Inouye, the remaining network is mostly an expression of cronyism and special interest politics, stripped of Inouye's social vision. It was leading members of this group, Walter Dods and Jeff Watanabe, who hand-carried and apparently leaked Inouye's PRIVATE letter to Governor Abercrombie in an effort by them to embarass Abercrombie if he failed to "honor" the Senator's dying wish. I think the Senator had every right to make his preferences known about his possible replacement. I also think the Governor, having listened to the Senator's views, had every right to apply his own judgment in making the decision. The only ones who acted offensively, in my view, were those who leaked the private letter and those who have overplayed its significance to create the impression we should all vote for Hanabusa, not based upon our assessment of her, but based upon a "respect" for the Senator's dying wishes. To me, that is a crude and insulting appeal, unworthy of those presuming to represent the Senator's best interests. I have never considered him to be "an Emperor" nor a "political boss," which is how Dods and Watanabe would have us treat him.

    The Schatz memo is based upon an analysis which recognizes the dual nature of the Inouye legacy and the replacement of idealism by cronyism and special interest Real Politick in Democratic circles. It recognizes the Democratic base is pulled in different directions and that the tensions between these poles often expresses itself within the Democratic primary.

    The political effect of an increased number of mainlanders settling in Hawaii has been a puzzle confronting political analysts for a long time. In the 1990s, for a period, it was assumed by most observers, as well as strategists for both parties, that most of these newcomers would tend to vote Republican. And, as if to show proof of this, for a brief period, the mayors of Hawaii County, Maui, Honolulu and Kauai were ALL Republicans. Meanwhile, the traditional base of the Democratic Party, those with ties to the plantation economy and the struggle against hte Big Five oligarchy, were getting older and dying off. Particularly the solidly Democratic older AJA voters. The GOP was seen as the beneficiary of a shifting demographic tide. Lingle was elected Governor. What could go wrong?

    A close observation of actual voting patterns revealed some interesting things. The areas settled by these newcomers tended to vote Democratic in national elections. While many of them were able to move to Hawaii because they were more affluent, many of hem had fairly liberal views, especially on social issues and matters of foreign policy. They were NOT voting Republican as the conventional "wisdom" had predicted. And if they were tending Democratic on national issues, perhaps they could also be won over to Democrats on local issues, on the basis of the right issues.

    These are the people referred to in the Schatz campaign memo as the ""influx of progressive leaning voters who migrated to Hawaii in the 1990s." Nowhere in the memo does the Schatz campaign declare ONLY these newcomers are progressive. The argument is that these newcomers are helping tip the scale in Democratic primaries by adding even more progressive votes to those which existed here before their arrival.

    To its credit, the memo says the "ideological" dimension appears to carry more weight that the sort of ethnic voting bloc analysis favored by some "political analysts" in predicting elections. The Hanabusa campaign is stuck in a bind, as they WANT ethnic considerations to be strong within the AJA community, so she can hold onto that bloc of voters who had come through for Senator Inouye. But she does not want to send too crude a message, as that would be counter-productive. Hence the message that Schatz only cares about the votes of newcomer haole progressives and not about our multi-ethnic "coalition of interests" which defines us as local people. Not as crude as Mufi's "I look like you" remarks.

    Contrary to the Hanabusa campaign's caricature of the memo, it does NOT suggest a strategy which is only concerned about "progressive newcomers." The memo also points out the overwhelming support by organized labor for the Schatz campaign. This is a sore point for the Team Hanabusa. She had counted on the support of many of hese unions. Just as she feels entitled to being Inouye's replacement, so too does she feel entitled to the support of unions, many of whom HAD supported her in the past, but now prefer Schatz for the Senate race. (Some of these unions had apparently explicitly told Hanabusa they would have supported her for re-election to the House, but not for the Senate).

    Ironically, this effort by Peter Boylan and the Hanabusa campaign to tunr the leaked Schatz campaign memo into a mini-scandal, reinforces a key point of the memo: the Hanabusa campaign has had difficulty articulating a positive message explaining why people should vote for her for the Senate seat rather than re-elect her to Congress. As a result, they have overplayed the "Inouye wanted me" card by leaking the Senator's private letter and using his widow as a surrogate, and are now trying to use this inartfully drafted internal memo, again LEAKED, to try to misrepresent the views of the Schatz campaign. If this is the example of Hanabusa's vaunted "leadership skills," I suggest most Hawaii voters are looking for a move away from negative, resentment and innuendo-based politics and will see the reform, "progressive" views and style of Brian Schatz as a refreshing change from the Old Boy cronyism at the heart of the Hanabusa campaign.

  17. itoboy:

    More examples of Hanabusa’s “superior” leadership: She sees nothing wrong with having personal business “dealings” with benefactors of controversial legislation she champions like the controversial $75 million tax-credit program benefiting Ko Olina resort developer Jeffrey Stone. See http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Mar/04/ln/ln03a.html Since becoming a U.S. Congresswoman she has voted to make drugs more expensive, voted in favor of the odious CISPA corporate spying on us, and voted against EPA coal rules. Finally, a few months ago Hanabusa’s office got caught by the Washington Post in what may be an illegal coordination between her #2 person in her Congressional office and the Pharmaceutical lobbyists. Apparently, Big Pharmaceutical companies were (or still are) going to bankroll anti-Schatz ads in exchange for "support" from Hanabusa's office. When this scheme was exposed by WaPo as a violation of federal election laws, Hanabusa's deputy chief of staff resigned because it was clearly improper and maybe illegal. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/congressional-aide-described-campaign-offer-by-drug-lobby/2013/07/27/cd1f9648-f60e-11e2-a2f1-a7acf9bd5d3a_story.html

  18. Eric Ryan:

    Well explained, Mr. Dame. Very thoughtful and factual. Quick recommendation to Hanabusa: Start running commercials and sending mailiers claiming that, if elected, Brian Schatz wants to put local Japanese folks back into internment camps. That's should really crystallize the still-too-subtle point Mr. Boylan wants to make while generously helping voters expedite their primary decision long before next August. It's not too late for Hanabusa to say put and stop acting out her pouty little girl entitlement complex. Plus, it will save both campaigns (and their donors) a lot of money.

  19. zzzzzz:

    "the Governor, having listened to the Senator's views, had every right to apply his own judgment in making the decision'

    Wasn't that his obligation?

  20. ohiaforest3400:

    Thanx the always thoughtful analysis, Bart. Whether Schatz is equating "progressive" with "haole" in the memo or Hanabusa is only imagining that connection, I sure know a lot of non-haole progressives who aren't sold on either candidate.

  21. Especially Incognito:

    As a tax payer, even if one is a Democrat or Republican, the tax payer pays for both parties wages but is only represented by those they vote for and State they live in. Other states can make another state's bill pass or fail.

  22. Especially Incognito:

    Schatz could not fit into Senator Inouye's shoes.
    Governor Abercrombie put Schatz in Senator Inouye's
    place to get rid of "competition". A game of chess played
    and the expendables are the pawns.

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