Archive for July, 2012


July 31st, 2012

Former congressman Ed Case has won the endorsement of Veterans in Politics International for his Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.

Case is facing U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono in the primary.

From Dennis Egge, a board member for the veterans’ group:

Ed Case shows genuine concern for our veterans, the military personnel and their families residing in Hawaii. He has a record of standing by veterans, and we believe he will work diligently to improve the quality of life for them and their families.

`Death match’

July 31st, 2012

Former congressman Ed Case has been appealing to independents and Republicans to vote in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.

But in a speech last Thursday morning to Smart Business Hawaii, the conservative small business group, the moderate Case was particularly blunt. He described his primary with U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono as a “death match” against Hawaii’s Democratic political machine and predicted that his success, regardless of the result against former Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican, in the November general election, would “drive a stake into the heart of that machine.”

Case’s comments came on the morning a new Hawaii Poll showed him trailing Hirono by double-digits. The poll found that both Hirono and Case had double-digit leads over Lingle. It also was the day of Case’s final debate with Hirono before the primary.

From Case:

Clearly, there are three candidates — apologies to (Republican) John Carroll — but there are three candidates that have possibility of winning the next United States Senate seat: Me, Hirono and Lingle.

And I would suspect strongly — and I hope I don’t get myself out on a limb, but I’m going to say it anyway  — that for some of you I’m your first choice, that for a fair number of you I’m your second choice, but for none of you am I your third choice. And I would suspect strongly that Ms. Hirono is your third choice.

So the only race I’m in right now is the primary election, the Democratic primary election. Yes, some of you, maybe most of you, don’t agree with me 100 percent on several issues.

But I know very well that I can do a better job than Hirono would. I know darn well that I strike a better ground for you. I know darn well that she is the choice of the political culture of Hawaii today and I am not. And this is your opportunity to make a difference in the primary election.

So yes you can vote in the primary election. Apologies to the Republican primary candidates in the room. I hope none of you have contested primaries. But, you know, you should all vote in the Democratic primary …

I say that very bluntly and I say it for a darn good reason. You saw the papers this morning. One poll of many. I don’t agree with the poll, but the poll says that it’s either going to be me or Hirono as your next senator. Make your choice.

If you don’t want to make that choice now, make your choice in the primary election and decide later between me and Lingle.

It’s that blunt and that honest. Strike for a better political culture in the primary. Strike for the possibility of having some of the change in Washington.


July 30th, 2012

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono on Monday picked up the endorsement of the Progressive Democrats of Hawaii in her Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.

Hirono, who serves in the Congressional Progressive Caucus, is facing former congressman Ed Case in the primary.

The Progressive Democrats said the group’s members backed Hirono by more than two to one. The group requires that 60 percent of members support a candidate for an endorsement.

From Josh Frost, the group’s co-chair:

We believe Mazie is the best candidate for Hawaii. She will support progressive policies that will create jobs, stabilize our economy, and aid those who continue to struggle during these ongoing difficult economic times. Ed may have similar positions on sustainable environmental policies and issues of social justice, but when it comes to what’s best for Hawaii’s middle and working classes, there’s no doubt that Mazie is the best candidate in this race.


July 27th, 2012

The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly has invested in additional television advertising and direct mail for former congressman Ed Case in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.

According to Federal Election Commission reports, the faculty union has spent $237,355 so far this year on behalf of Case, who is facing U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono in the primary.

UHPA’s independent spending has helped Case, who has struggled with his own fundraising, keep a media presence.


July 26th, 2012

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee came out Thursday with a new poll by the Mellman Group that has U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono up over former Gov. Linda Lingle 52 percent to 33 percent in a potential November general election for U.S. Senate.

The poll was conducted by telephone among 800 likely voters from July 18 to July 22. The margin of error was 3.8 percentage points. The Mellman Group is a Washington, D.C., based firm that has done research for many Senate Democrats, including U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye and U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka.

The results are similar to a new Hawaii Poll released on Thursday that had both Hirono and former congressman Ed Case with double-digit leads over the Republican Lingle.

The Lingle campaign, trying to inoculate against a bit of unwelcome news, put out a personal message from Lingle on Wednesday night that gave her supporters “advance notice” that she would likely be trailing in the Hawaii Poll.

The Star-Advertiser had provided the Lingle, Hirono and Case campaigns with complete poll results — the same data that was presented to Star-Advertiser reporters — with the explicit agreement that the information was not to be released until Thursday. The newspaper routinely shares such data with candidates in advance so they can offer informed responses that are included in stories about polls.

Lingle told her supporters on Wednesday night that the Hawaii Poll results are not consistent with recent polls from “reputable, independent sources across the country,” which have her with a slight lead over Hirono.

But the previous two polls released on the Senate campaign, like the DSCC survey out on Thursday, came from sources with obvious rooting interest in the outcome: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has endorsed Lingle and has spent $750,000 on television advertisements on her behalf; and Voter/Consumer Research, Lingle’s pollster.

From Lingle, a former journalist:

Aloha friends and supporters,

I am writing you personally to give you advance notice of a poll that will be released tomorrow by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. The poll results they will announce simply are not consistent with recent polling conducted by reputable, independent sources across the country and don’t match up with past, real-life election demographics.

Tomorrow morning’s newspaper will likely feature a headline that says I am trailing in the race for Hawaii’s open U.S. Senate seat. However, over the past 10 months of this campaign, I have continued to steadily climb in the variety of polls conducted statewide. Most recently, in two unrelated polls conducted earlier this month with likely voters in the state, I was shown as leading the race by five and six points respectively.

It is clear that the Star-Advertiser figures are far from reality. I have visited with all of you statewide, in your homes and your businesses, and it is your unwavering support that drives my efforts.  Despite tomorrow’s headline, I continue to remain confident that we have a clear path to victory in this election.  Our polling results – which have been validated by independent, national polls – are a more accurate reflection of the sentiment we are experiencing on the ground.

Stay tuned for more details tomorrow morning from General Bob Lee, my campaign manager.  He and our nationally-recognized pollster are pouring over the complete poll results now and will give you a detailed review in the morning.

Mahalo nui loa for your continued support. It is your enduring confidence that will lead us to victory!


P.S. Please pass this on to your ohana, friends and neighbors. These sensational headlines and the skewed data behind them will not distract us on our path to victory in 103 days.


July 25th, 2012

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono has a new television commercial out in her Democratic primary campaign for U.S. Senate that highlights her role as lieutenant governor in creating the Pre-Plus early education program and as congresswoman in supporting President Barack Obama’s science, technology, engineering and math education initiative.

The 30-second ad, like a spot earlier this month on renewable energy, clearly appears intended for a potential November general election campaign against former Gov. Linda Lingle, the leading Republican candidate, and not for the primary against former congressman Ed Case.

Lingle has cited renewable energy and STEM education as among the main successes of her two terms as governor.

Working it

July 25th, 2012

The new radio spots by Working Families for Hawaii, a labor group, against former congressman Ed Case in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate are the first in the campaign to take a sharper tone.

Most of the advertising by interest groups and the candidates has focused on positive themes. But Working Families for Hawaii notes that Case raised the issue of age in his unsuccessful primary campaign against U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka in 2006, voted to extend portions of President George W. Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy, and supported the Iraq War.

Three women

July 25th, 2012

Primary voters interested in abortion rights and other issues important to women might expect some guidance from the Hawaii Women’s Political Caucus in the Democratic primary for state Senate District 25.

State Sen. Pohai Ryan (D, Lanikai-Waimanalo) is up against Laura Thielen, a former director of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, and Levani Lipton, a non-profit worker.

But the Hawaii Women’s Political Caucus, a local affiliate of the National Women’s Political Caucus, has endorsed all three women.

Faye Kennedy, the local chapter president, explained that the endorsement is based on a questionnaire given to the candidates. She said if all the candidates support caucus priorities, the caucus has concluded it would be unfair to choose one over another.

“I will be the first to admit it’s unfortunate,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy, who is the outgoing president, said she also disagrees with a national policy change from a few years back that bars the caucus from supporting male candidates. She said that policy is one of the reasons she is stepping down. She said she is open to any suggestions to improve the endorsement process.

`Opposites attract’

July 24th, 2012

U.S. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, has endorsed U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.

Hirono is competing with former congressman Ed Case in the primary to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii. Former Gov. Linda Lingle is the leading Republican candidate.

In a 90-second campaign advertisement released by the Hirono campaign on Tuesday, Young refers to Lingle’s campaign theme of bipartisanship:

Here’s what’s important, Hawaii: If you’re looking for a United States senator who doesn’t just talk about ‘bipartisanship,’ but actually knows how to work with both Republicans and Democrats to get things done — Mazie Hirono will be that senator.

“Though Don Young is certainly a Republican, and I am clearly a Democrat, we’ve forged a partnership that enables us to solve problems for the people of both Hawaii and Alaska,” Hirono said in a statement.

Hawaii and Alaska lawmakers have had an alliance in Washington, D.C., for decades forged by the initial partnership between U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, and the late U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska.

National Republicans said privately that they find it interesting Hirono would tout the Young endorsement when national Democrats have criticized Young for allegedly helping major campaign donors.

Retired Maj. Gen. Robert G.F. Lee, Lingle’s campaign manager, made a similar point.

Governor Lingle is proud of her long, proven record of bipartisanship, stretching over 25 years of public service to the people of Hawaii. No matter who wins the Democrat Primary on August 11, we look forward to comparing their record with Governor Lingle’s.

It should be troubling to the people of Hawaii that Mazie Hirono’s first attempt to convey any example of bipartisanship is a video advertisement with one of the House of Representative’s most controversial members, who even Mazie’s fellow Democrats have criticized on a range of ethics and spending issues. This is not the leadership Hawaii needs.

Sisters in arms

July 23rd, 2012

EMILY’s List, the national group that supports Democratic women candidates who favor abortion rights, has purchased $128,720 in television advertisements for Honolulu City Councilwoman Tulsi Gabbard’s campaign for Congress.

The ad buy is the latest sign that political analysts believe Gabbard has a chance against former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann in the primary to replace U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono, who is running for U.S. Senate.

From Stephanie Schriock, the president of EMILY’s List:

Our research shows that women voters want leaders like Tulsi right now who understand what they’re going through, and will take their fight to Washington. The EMILY’s List community is thrilled to stand with a dynamic, accomplished leader like Tulsi. We know she’s working hard to make it easier for women and their families – and that’s exactly what we need right now in Congress.

Esther Kiaaina, a former chief advocate for the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs who is also running in the primary, said she is offended by the ads.

I am particularly offended by the ads being paid for by Emily’s List, an organization whose supposed mission is to help women candidates. It is clear to me that all this group cares about is which candidate has the most money in her campaign war chest as opposed to which candidate is the most qualified or has demonstrated an ability to fight for women’s rights. Shame on Emily’s List.