Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


September 22nd, 2014

Hawaii Forward, an independent group backed by the Democratic Governors Association, has a new television spot out touting state Sen. David Ige's experience and leadership ability.

Ige is facing former Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, a Republican, and former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, an independent, in the governor's race.

Last week, a super PAC backed by the Republican Governors Association released its first spot on behalf of Aiona.

Weight watcher

September 22nd, 2014

First Draft, a new politics blog at the New York Times that debuted on Monday, shares an unflattering anecdote about the behavior of the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye.

The Times, citing "people with knowledge of the incident," claims Inouye once squeezed the waist of U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and made a comment about her weight.

Gillibrand described the incident in a memoir, but she did not identify the Hawaii Democrat as the senator involved.

Inouye's 1992 re-election campaign was marred by claims that he sexually harassed his longtime hairdresser, Lenore Kwock. Nine other women also told Annelle Amaral, then a state representative, that they were sexually harassed by the senator. Inouye denied the allegations, and the Senate Ethics Committee declined to pursue an investigation after the women would not participate.

From First Draft:

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, caused a commotion this month when she revealed in a memoir how her male colleagues felt free to comment rather vividly on her weight. The senator came under pressure to reveal the names of the perpetrators, but declined, setting off a guessing game in Washington.

Probably the most egregious incident was when a senior senator squeezed her waist and told her: “Don’t lose too much weight now. I like my girls chubby!”

It turns out the senator was the late Daniel K. Inouye, Democrat of Hawaii, the decorated veteran and civil rights hero, according to people with knowledge of the incident.

With his deep baritone and courtly manner, Mr. Inouye was revered by his colleagues and was a powerhouse in both Hawaii and the Senate, where he was a reliable supporter of women’s rights.

But in an all but forgotten chapter of his career, the senator had been accused of sexual misconduct: In 1992, his hairdresser said that Mr. Inouye had forced her to have sex with him.

Her accusations exploded into a campaign issue that year, and one Hawaii state senator announced that she had heard from nine other women who said they had been sexually harassed by Mr. Inouye. But the women did not want to go forward with their claims.

A spokesman for Ms. Gillibrand would neither confirm nor deny that Mr. Inouye was the unnamed senator in the incident. Ms. Gillibrand in her book described the senator only as “one of my favorite older members of the Senate.”



September 19th, 2014

For voters looking at the shorthand for how Republicans will come after state Sen. David Ige and Democrats will go at former Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona in the governor's race, we have a few words:


Furlough Fridays

The Republican Governors Association television spot this week linked Ige to Gov. Neil Abercrombie, as have several email blasts from the Hawaii Republican Party.

On Friday, local Republicans will release an infographic meant to help make their case that Ige is really no different than the unpopular governor he upset in the primary.

Democrats are preparing to hang the teacher furloughs Republican Gov. Linda Lingle supported to help the state get through the recession on Aiona.

Ige mentioned "Furlough Fridays" in a statement to Hawaii News Now this week on the RGA's ad.

Hawaii's primary election voters overwhelmingly agreed with me that we need a new direction for the next four years. The Ige administration will chart a fresh future and not go backwards to the failed 'Furlough Friday' policies of the Aiona-Lingle years.

`A person who listens to all sides'

September 18th, 2014

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union has endorsed state Sen. David Ige, the Democratic candidate for governor.

The state's largest private-sector labor union, which represents about 18,000 workers in the islands, had endorsed Gov. Neil Abercrcombie over Ige in the primary.

The ILWU is one of several labor unions who have shifted toward Ige after the primary. Ige is facing former Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, a Republican, and former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, an independent, in November.

From Donna Domingo, the president of ILWU Local 142:

He is a person who listens to all sides, makes good decisions, and gets work done. David often says that he will ‘do the right thing, the right way,’ and that is very important for the ILWU. We need government that not only does the right things, but also does them in the right way—competently, with fairness, and with real concern for people in our communities.


September 18th, 2014

Common Cause Hawaii and Public Citizen Hawaii have asked candidates for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House to take the "People's Pledge" and denounce independent political advertising by mainland groups.

The candidates could agree to make donations from campaign funds to charities selected by their opponents to atone for -- and potentially discourage -- the independent spending. In 2012, Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat who is now a U.S. senator, and then-U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, a Republican, agreed to a similar pledge during a Senate campaign in Massachusetts that had attracted national interest from super PACs and independent groups.

Good-government groups have celebrated such tactics as a voluntary response to Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the landmark ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2010 that opened the door for unlimited political spending by corporations and labor unions as long as the groups do not coordinate with candidates.

But there is a perception in Hawaii that good-government groups are aligned with progressives -- and the announcement from Common Cause and Public Citizen about the "People's Pledge" re-inforced that perception.

The groups, as their only example, single out a television advertisement this week from the Republican Governors Association that attempts to tie state Sen. David Ige to unpopular Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who Ige drubbed in the Democratic primary. The independent ad is intended to help former Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, the Republican.

Yet Common Cause and Public Citizen have not asked the candidates for governor to take the "People's Pledge," citing conflicts between state and federal campaign-finance laws.

The groups also did not urge federal candidates in Hawaii to take the pledge during the primary. In the Democratic primary between U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz and U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, for example, liberal mainland groups such as the League of Conservation Voters and EMILY's List sponsored independent ads for the candidates.

Several mainland progressive groups, including, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and Democracy for America, also did outreach in Hawaii on behalf of Schatz that attacked Hanabusa as a corporate-friendly threat to Social Security and other entitlement programs.

Warren herself sent out a fundraising appeal for Schatz to members of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee -- including some in Hawaii -- with Social Security as the theme.

Hanabusa complained that Schatz and his progressive allies unfairly distorted her record on Social Security and were trying to scare seniors.

Yet there was no denunciation by Common Cause Hawaii or other local good-government groups about the independent spending, which largely benefited Schatz, a progressive, who narrowly defeated Hanabusa.

Common Cause, however, swiftly condemned the RGA ad after it first aired this week.

"It's really responding to what we saw happen in the primary," said Carmille Lim, the executive director of Common Cause Hawaii. "We would have liked to launch something like this sooner, where it could have nipped things at the bud.

"But this is what we can do to raise awareness for any outside group trying to influence our election."