Political Radar


June 2nd, 2014

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz is out with a new campaign advertisement that focuses on alternative energy.

The senator, who is facing U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa in the Democratic primary, takes special aim at oil companies that receive tax subsidies.

17 Responses to “Cleaner”

  1. Especially Incognito:

    Hold the starch for his under where.

  2. Ella:

    But not wind companies??? or solar farm companies??? Both receive huge subsidies for a small burp of energy. Geez.

  3. nonpolitic:

    Hmm, the message always seems to be about what Mr. Schatz is GOING to do. The big question in my mind about him has always been, what has he ever DONE? After reviewing his record, I really can't find anything that he has accomplished (other than being in the right place at the right time when it comes to elections and appointments). Lately, it seems he threatens to hold hearings on subjects (e.g., United Airlines) or announces that he'll introduce legislation (see above), but so what? Where is the follow-through on getting things done? Sadly, it seems that Mr. Schatz is one of those "feel good" elected officials who likes to take credit for everything and always issues a press release to make himself look busy and important, but who never really does anything.

  4. Much ado:


    It does seem like that old joke: what is the most dangerous place in Washington/Hawaii? Between Schatz and a tv camera.

    Maybe the lack of follow through is the reason why he doesn't really engage with the public (like no reception at the Dem Convention)? Doesn't want to break the seal on the pre-packaged image by actually talking to anybody? Hmmmm.

  5. Kolea:

    You know, it is hard to tell which people on here are trash-talking Schatz for the Republicans and which are trash-talking him as operatives of the Hanabusa campaign. It must say something about the quality of Hanabusa supporters that it is difficult to differentiate them from Republicans.

    I will leave it to the Schatz campaign to argue on Brian's behalf. People can go to his website, read what they say about his accomplishments and at least have some facts to argue about. Or, you can remain at the level of Fox News or Clear Channel talk radio.


  6. Karen Chun:

    For you folks who don't know what Senator Schatz has done for us during his short time in office here are a few things:

    Helped author the "Strengthening Social Security Bill" which increases SS payments by $65/mo (which may not be a big deal to you folks who have big salaries and get the max but for people like me who are going to get 800-900/mo it does make a difference) and keeps SS in good shape for the foreseeable future by making the people earning over $117,000 per year pay their fair share.

    Chairs the Subcommittee on Tourism, Innovation, and Competitiveness which is pretty amazing for a freshman senator and helpful to us in Hawai'i.

    Chairs the Subcommittee on Water and Power which is even more amazing that a freshman would get not one but TWO committee chairmanships.

    He wrote the College Affordability Act which is helping our kids not to be saddled with a lifetime of student loan debt.

    Co-sponsored legislation to stop Big Pharma from gouging us on drug prices (BTW Hanabusa voted AGAINST this, essentially forbidding the government from getting a volume discount on drugs like Walmart does)

    Backed the American Opportunity Plan which raises the minimum wage as well as other things important to working families. (Hanabusa wanted Hawaii to only go to $9.25 instead of the $10.10 we got)

    And he got a lot of federal project money for Hawai'i

    Backed gun safety

    I could go on and on but I think this enough to debunk the Republicans and Hanabusa supporters misleading comments.

  7. itoboy:

    Let me speak as someone who voted for Hanabusa against Case and Djou in the 2010 special. I also voted for Hanabusa and against Djou in the 2010 and 2012 generals. As a resident of CD1, I feel that I've given Hanabusa several chances. I don't recall any of her accomplishments or what she has done to improve this district, except her office was caught by the Washington Post in what appeared to be illegal coordination between an independent expenditure by the pharmaceutical lobby and her office (specifically her dep. chief of staff, her top aide in DC). Here's the story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/congressional-aide-described-campaign-offer-by-drug-lobby/2013/07/27/cd1f9648-f60e-11e2-a2f1-a7acf9bd5d3a_story.html What's worse is that she's refused to apologize, accept responsibility, or provide an explanation. Hanabusa simply threw her aide under the bus. Even if she knew nothing, Hanabusa owes us an explanation as to what happened and what she is doing so it doesn't happen again. So to nonpolitic: I will say at least Schatz has not gotten caught up in this kind of questionable behavior that makes Hawaii look bad. As I get to know Hanabusa and Schatz better, there are more and more things I do not like about Hanabusa, who currently represents the district where I live in Congress.

  8. nonpolitic:

    For the record, I am neither a Republican nor a Democrat. Rather, I find myself measuring these candidates on their abilities, intellect, and achievements. Being involved in the political process for over four decades has allowed me to observe and interact with both Mr. Schatz and Ms. Hanabusa since each was first elected into elective office. Consequently, my opinion on this matter is not one that I came to whimsically. Regardless of how many bills Mr. Schatz introduces or pronouncements he makes, his record does not reflect achievement, merely presence. As I recall, while a state legislator, his attendance record was woeful, missing key vote after key vote. He never ascended to any real position of influence amongst his peers. What does that speak of the individual if his peers don't even acknowledge his leadership ability? For all Ms. Hanabusa's perceived faults, I see her as a person who actually takes a stand on some very critical and controversial issues. In my view, she is not very polished when it comes to saying the politically correct things, but if asked and given the time to explain her positions, she gives incredibly detailed and well thought out explanations. For those who may be wondering if I know either candidate. Yes, I actually know both of them personally and have known them since the 90s. It is through this personal experience that I have made my decision on who to support. However, I do respect all those who feel differently and hope that more people take the time to form an opinion and actually vote. I trust all those who are posting will do so (if qualified to vote), and I wish them well.

  9. Much ado:

    I can't speak for nonpolitic (who I don't know because anonymous commenting and all), but I am neither a Republican nor a Hanabusa "operative". I voted for Schatz when he was a state rep, and liked him then. (I probably wouldn't have if I'd received that letter saying he supported "traditional marriage" though.) He just hasn't felt authentic to me since he ran for Lt. Gov. (Which is why I voted for someone else.)

    Not everybody who dares to raise a concern about Schatz is the "enemy". I know that you folks are Schatz supporters and that is fine. I don't usually comment but I do read a lot, and the responses to questions or not-completely-supportive comments about Schatz (here and elsewhere) can be over the top, and do your candidate a disservice. As a progressive and a voter, this really turns me off as it seems to shut down other people who may not be the "enemy". Just letting you know.

  10. Much ado:

    And now nonpolitic is making me feel bad about not paying attention to what my state rep was doing (or wasn't doing) while in office ...

  11. Especially Incognito:

    Did he stop the raising of cain?

    Please tell us how much money he made
    on side contracts. Listed on and on.
    I already know the answer or I would not
    ask the questions.

  12. nonpolitic:

    @ Much ado. Ha ha ha! Sorry, didn't mean to make you feel bad. After all, who really has the time to pour over legislative minutia? Your comments are well said and taken. By the way, for the record, I am not a "Hanabusa operative" either, although I do support her in this current elective endeavor. I'm just a person who has a keen interest in the way local politics operates. Maybe one day I'll write a book. Then again given the state's poor voter turnout record, who would read it? 😉

  13. Karen Chun:

    Well I have to agree that Hanabusa has accomplished a lot -- for her corporate donors!

    Voted against allowing the U.S. government to get a kind of discount on volume purchases of drugs.

    Voted against reining in NSA spying on innocent American citizens

    Voted FOR getting rid of the home mortgage deduction that enables most of us working families to own a home.

    And here's one that most people won't understand how bad it is. She voted to undo some of the Dodd-Frank financial reforms and allow Wall Street Banks to go back to gambling on derivatives with tax-payer insured deposits.

    To explain how blatantly special interest this is, you need to understand that what made the banks "too big to fail" is that we taxpayers were on the hook for all the deposits (FDIC insured) that would have gone poof! if we had let the Wall Street Banks get their just desserts and go belly up.

    So we were pretty much up against a rock an a hard place: bail them out or pay $trillions to make up the lost FDIC insured deposits.

    Hanabusa voted to ALLOW the banks to go back using FDIC insured deposits to gamble on derivatives again.

    There is no possible reason for this other than doing favors for her corporate friends in the financial sector.

  14. Much ado:

    nonpolitic, no worries! I was just kidding. But you should definitely write a book. I would read it.

    I don't know either candidate personally like you do, but I've listened to them both during this campaign and have watched Hanabusa, and I have a lot of respect for her. My theory for electing people to Congress (either the Senate or House) is that you are sending the person to D.C. primarily for their vote. That means understanding and analyzing complicated and nuanced legislation that isn't necessarily one of their "special issues" or a Democratic platform issue. It's not enough that the person knows one or two issues really well -- there's a lot of other stuff that goes on over there.

    From what I've seen, Hanabusa is definitely capable of that. Schatz, I don't know. His "special issue" is climate change. I don't see the breadth or depth in other areas, and the jumping in front of the tv looking for instant-gratification publicity is just distracting. It just looks like bandwagoning from the outside.

    It would have been helpful to talk to him off-script for a few minutes at the Dem Convention, but the lack of reception suggests that maybe there is no "off-script."

    Maybe Karen or Kolea can address why that didn't happen?

  15. Karen Chun:

    I wasn't at the Dem convention and cannot read the senator's mind but you really need to look at their votes. That is how I judge who to support.

    As I said above, Hanabusa has made some bad votes that are very corporate-friendly.

    She's saying one thing in DC re Social Security and another in Hawai'i. Which should we believe? If you analyze what she says here in Hawai'i, it's kind of weaselly since she never rules out raising the age of retirement nor does she rule out what she's supported in D.C.: lowering cost of living increases for SS. So she can say she's not CUTTING it -- she's just letting it stay the same while prices go up and makes us work longer before we can get full SS amount.

    People a little older than I am got to retire with full benefits at 62. Then they raised it to 65. But I have to wait until 66 if I want full benefits. You see how sneakily raising the age works but...hey...it isn't exactly CUTTING Social Security.

    I think these people like Hanabusa who has always worked at a desk job and probably has choke money in her retirement account don't understand that people like house cleaners and construction workers flat out can't keep working until 70. I'm only 64 and I already cannot make it through an entire day of work.

    And a lot of us are going to retire on $800 or $900 per month. Sen Schatz has sponsored a bill that A) Puts more money into the system by making people earning over $117,000/year pay their fair share and B) raises SS by $65/mo.

    Now that may seem like a small amount to the rich like Hanabusa but it is no small amount to me.

    Hanabusa keeps saying we don't have the money to do that but she is ignoring what Mazie Hirono has been saying for YEARS: lift the cap on FICA taxes.

    Right now FICA is a tax on the working poor and middle class. We all pay the FULL 6.5% on every penny we earn.

    However someone who makes a $million/year only has to pay on about a TENTH of what they make. That means that while the poor and middle class pay 6.5% on their income these guys making a $million/year are paying LESS THAN 1%!

  16. itoboy:

    nonpolitic and muchado: Both of you offer insightful comments, but I don't think they give the full story. Nonpolitic - I am not a member of either party, and I agree that abilities, intellect, and achievements are important, but I also look to the future and each candidate's potential. After supporting and voting for Hanabusa multiple times in the past, the challenge I have with Hanabusa is not with her achievements, intellect, or ability. My concerns over Hanabusa include the positions she has taken and various unscrupulous activity she and/or her office has engaged in the past. Since 2010, there hasn't been much choice of candidates in CD1 that aligned with my political views, which may not be the same as yours, which is fine. So I've voted for Hanabusa over Djou and Case consistently, notwithstanding the stuff I knew about her (sweetheart deals with Jeff Stone, how she took a 36% pay raise while state workers were being furloughed and then campaigns on how she cut legislative salaries by reducing the 36% raise by 5%, and how she was a key player in the botched Superferry project). It's different this time. Schatz was definitely in the right place at the right time, but he's done a fine job in the U.S. Senate in the year and a half he's been there. He's been on the right side of the issues (that I consider important), secured federal funding for Hawaii programs, and has gained the respect of his colleagues, which has earned him two subcommittee chairmanships - not easy as a freshman. What has Hanabusa done since 2010? Introduced a bill to move the date of Memorial Day, voted against the first budget deal in years that would provide relief from sequestration, and given lackluster support of Social Security - (not to mention the trouble her office got in when her top aide got caught coordinating an independent expenditure from the big pharmaceutical lobbying group). Schatz has done more in the last 18 mos. than Hanabusa has in the last 4 years. As far as Schatz supporters being dismissive of Hanabusa supporters, I would also disagree. Both candidates have been subjected to name-calling, and both have had supporters here that have made "over-the-top" comments favorable to their candidates of choice.

  17. Especially Incognito:

    All this I can google search.
    Don't need second hand smoke.

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