By Derrick DePledge
Honolulu City Councilman Ikaika Anderson's campaign for Congress has made a second request to the Democratic Party of Hawaii for speaking time at the state convention in May.
The party announced Tuesday that state Sen. David Ige, who is challenging Gov. Neil Abercrombie in the primary, would be given five minutes at the convention podium after initially being left out.
Anderson wants the Democrats in the primary for urban Honolulu's 1st Congressional District to also get speaking time.
The party has said that eight elected officials -- and now Ige -- would be allowed to speak about progress toward the party's platform at the convention at the Sheraton Waikiki. Candidates have been offered a separate meet-and-greet event at the Royal Hawaiian.
From Brooke Wilson, Anderson's campaign manager, to the party:
Now that the decision has been made to let Candidate Ige speak at Convention, I write again to respectfully ask that the party take a closer look at allowing CD1 candidates to speak from the podium. As it stands now the Senate President, a declared candidate in the CD1 race, has been afforded an opportunity to address delegates at the convention. We are requesting that in the spirit of equal time and fairness that the party be consistent with the decision it made regarding the governors race, and allow for congressional candidates to address delegates from the podium.
We propose that each candidate be given no more than 5 minutes to address the delegates. We are certain that based on this format that all voices could be heard in less than 1 hour. We do understand that the convention schedule is tight, but surely adjustments can be made with more than 1 month left before the convention.
Since our campaign sent a formal request last week regarding speech time, we have heard from democrats in the community who are supportive of the equal time request. As one democrat put it, "The party is stronger when we can deal with divergent views, and that should be painfully evident when viewing the situation in the U.S. House of Representatives."
Adding the CD1 race to the program would only help to encourage more to attendance at the convention and show the people of Hawaii and our GOP opponents that the Democratic Party is not an exclusive club, but one big ohana where all voices are welcome.