By Derrick DePledge
U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa asked the state Office of Elections on Tuesday to delay Friday's vote in Puna to settle the Democratic primary for Senate between her and U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz.
The congresswoman wants to give voters in Puna more time to recover from Tropical Storm Iselle, and the request to election officials could be a precursor to a court challenge.
Hanabusa also asked elections officials to seek independent legal counsel instead of relying on advice from state Attorney General David Louie. Why?
From Hanabusa's letter to Scott Nago, the state's chief election officer:
Finally, to avoid the appearance of any conflict of interest, I request that the Office of Elections seek independent legal counsel apart from Attorney General David Louie, who was witnessed in person on election night at the campaign headquarters of U.S. Senator Brian Schatz. To ensure unbiased counsel through the remainder of this election, the Office of Elections should not continue to receive legal advice from Mr. Louie who may have the appearance of conflicting roles in advocating for a candidate on one hand, yet attempting to offer independent counsel to your agency on the other hand. If Mr. Louie was involved or consulted for the decision to schedule the election on Friday August 15, 2014, I request that the Office of Elections revisit this decision along with independent counsel.