Archive for August, 2012

Undecided

August 30th, 2012
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When Hawaii’s delegate count was announced on the floor of the Republican National Convention, the count was 17 for Mitt Romney, the eventual nominee, and three for Ron Paul, the congressman from Texas.

Based on the results of the state GOP’s presidential caucus in March, Hawaii’s delegates were shared between Romney, Paul and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. While Santorum’s supporters ultimately backed Romney, Paul’s backers stood firm.

It was indicative of a larger rift between Paul supporters and the RNC, which instituted a rule change on the eve of the convention that led to half of Paul’s delegates from Maine not being seated — and a walkout on Wednesday by some of those same supporters.

Hawaii State Party Chairman David Chang, said he believes the delegation ultimately came around to supporting Romney as the best candidate to defeat President Barack Obama.

Said Chang on Thursday night:

Even on Monday night, when we starting to get ready, the Santorum people were excited about Mitt Romney, even the Ron Paulers – they were really happy with Ron Paul, but in the end they said, ‘You know what, our primary goal is defeating Braack Obama. Mitt Romney is the best candidate to be our Republican nominee and we need to rally behind him.’

That may be true, but at least one Paul supporter said he remains undecided about who will get his vote in November.

Joe Kent, a delegate from Maui and one of the Paul supporters, said he may abstain from voting, he may write in Paul or he might vote for Obama or Romney.

Asked Thursday whether he could support the ticket, Kent, in a phone interview, said:

Not currently. They’re pro-war. They’re against social issues that we’re for. You could say we agree with half of the things he says but the other half of the things we disagree with. And is that really a decent reason to vote for any candidate? We don’t want to lower our standards to support a candidate. We want to raise the standard of candidates around us because nobody gets our vote for free.

A lot of people, I ask them, can you sell Romney to me? And the first thing they do is start bashing Obama. But if I ask them, can you sell Romney to me without bashing Obama, they’re speechless. They have nothing to say. So to me it just seems like a big television show.

Kent said he, like the Paul supporters at the RNC, felt “disenfranchised and ignored” by the national party and the rule changes, adding:

We’re pretty upset about them pulling out half of Maine’s delegation and there were many other states who were treated unfairly as well. … All we want it to be is fair and square. It’s one thing to lose, but it’s another thing to lose illegitimately. Because if it’s illegitimate, then the small guy will never have a chance in the future.

Renewable

August 30th, 2012
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The Sierra Club, the League of Conservation Voters Action Fund and Ocean Champions are defending U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono’s call for a national renewable energy standard against attacks from former Gov. Linda Lingle, Hirono’s Republican opponent for U.S. Senate.

Lingle, who like the Democrat Hirono is an advocate for renewable energy, has said Hirono’s national standard is an unnecessary federal mandate that shows the congresswoman’s “fundamental lack of knowledge” about energy policy. Hawaii is among 30 states that have already set renewable energy standards.

The environmental groups not only side with Hirono on a national standard, but they also criticize Lingle for her support for expanded domestic oil and natural gas drilling.

“Rather than recycling her party leadership’s tired, Washington talking points on oil drilling, Linda Lingle would be wise to join Mazie Hirono and the people of Hawaii in taking a more responsible and renewable approach to America’s energy future,” Robert Harris, the director of the Sierra Club’s Hawaii chapter, said in a statement.

*Update: Retired Maj. Gen. Robert G.F. Lee, Lingle’s campaign manager, said the environmental groups are not giving Lingle the credit she is due for helping to establish the state’s energy goals.

It looks like Mazie Hirono’s campaign has reached that time when they encourage surrogates to ‘say anything’ in order to win.  Recent statements by surrogates for the Hirono campaign are made with blatant disregard for the facts and for the organizations’ own history with Governor Lingle.

Despite the fact that these organizations have previously praised Governor Lingle’s Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, now that it is campaign season, the groups have taken political pot shots and ignored the facts.

Pledge

August 30th, 2012
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Hawaii delegates at the Republican National Convention in Tampa get a share of the spotlight on Thursday as activities wrap up for the week.

Dylan Nonaka, an Iraq war veteran and former executive director of the Hawaii Republican Party, was chosen to lead the delegates in the Pledge of Allegiance to start Thursday’s final session, when former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney formally accepts his party’s nomination for president.

Said Nonaka:

“It is a great privilege to represent Hawaii and our long history of military service to our country. I have wanted to attend a national convention since I was four years old. Now having not only been able to attend as a delegate but also to lead the convention in pledging allegiance to our great country is an honor beyond description.”

Nonaka will be the only member of the Hawaii delegation to take the stage in Tampa, the state party said in a news release. Nonaka was a Marine with the 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 and continues to serve as a U.S. Army Reservist with the 871st Engineer Company in Hilo.

On Wednesday night, delegates heard from speakers including former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice before U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan took the stage to formally accept the GOP nomination for vice president.

Earlier in the day, activities were disrupted by disgruntled supporters of Texas Congressman and one-time presidential candidate Ron Paul.

From TheHill.com:

A long stream of Paul’s backers from Maine, Oklahoma, Oregon, Arizona, and several other states protested the Republican National Committee’s treatment of Paul and his supporters by walking out of the convention hall with chants of, “As Maine goes, so goes the nation!”

The Paul supporters were protesting a rule change that the RNC adopted the night before in floor proceedings that would allow any future presumptive presidential nominee to disown delegates who support another candidate. The RNC refused to seat half of the delegates Ron Paul won from Maine in a dispute with that state’s party.

Paul’s supporters vehemently opposed the move because they make up the most significant presence, next to Romney’s backers, at the convention and want their voices to be acknowledged as not supporting Romney.

Hawaii had two representatives on the rules committee, delegates Jacquelyn Skaf and David Chang, the state party chairman. The Hawaii delegation supported the rules changes. Skaf was among those who supported the rule changes.

Said Skaf in an email to the Rules Committee:

I agree. Furthermore, the revised RNC rules respect each states’ right to make their own state party rules as long as the candidate who “wins” the state also “wins” the delegates. In other words, if Candidate A wins the state you cannot send delegates to elect Candidate B. Imagine the confusion and sense of voter disenfranchisement when a state thinks they have elected Candidate A only to find out later that Candidate B received the delegates! I support this rule because it makes sense to rank and file voters, folks we would like to empower to vote and stay committed to the democratic process.

Hawaii delegates cast 17 of their 20 votes for Romney on Tuesday night, with the last three going to Paul. Delegates were rewarded proportionally based on the results of the party’s statewide presidential caucus in March.

Romney won a majority of delegates with 44 percent of the vote.  Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum won five delegates, who pledged their votes for Romney when the vote was announced Tuesday night by Erin Kealoha Fale, the delegation’s vice chairwoman.

Doctors

August 28th, 2012
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The Hawaii Medical Association’s political action committee has endorsed former Gov. Linda Lingle for U.S. Senate.

The HMA represents more than 1,100 doctors and medical students. The Republican Lingle is running against U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii.

From F. Don Parsa, M.D., a plastic surgeon at Queens Medical Center and University of Hawaii at Manoa professor of medicine, representing HAMPAC

She is clearly committed to advancing affordable, quality health care for all the people of Hawaii and the nation. Governor Lingle is the only candidate that understands the need to ensure we all have access to high quality and affordable health care, while also recognizing the realities facing medical professionals. Her leadership is critically needed in Washington as we face challenging times ahead.

Being conventional

August 28th, 2012
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^^Screen capture from MSNBC.com

Hawaii Republicans joined with their brethren from around the country today in Tampa to formally nominate the GOP presidential ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan at the Republican National Convention.

Erin Kealoha Fale (above) had the honor of announcing Hawaii’s delegate count on the convention floor during the roll call of states.

Tuesday’s events marked the first full day of activities for the convention after Monday’s abbreviated session that was shortened over the weekend when it appeared Tropical Storm Isaac might make landfall on Tampa. The storm bypassed Florida, strengthened to a hurricane and made landfall Tuesday in Louisiana.

Highlights from Tuesday’s schedule included speeches by Romney’s wife, Ann, and the keynote address by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Photos from Tuesday (courtesy of Erin Kealoha Fale):

The Hawaii delegation sign on. the convention floor.

Hawaii delegates.

Fritz Rohlfing, Hawaii delegation chairman, gets interviewed.

Hawaii delegates.

Delegates celebrate the formal nomination of Romney.

Delegated

August 27th, 2012
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A total of 17 delegates and three superdelegates from Hawaii are taking part in this week’s Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.

The three superdelegates are state GOP Chairman David Chang, RNC National Committeeman Ted Liu and National Committeewoman Miriam Hellreich.

The 17 delegates are pledged proportionally to specific Republican candidates based on the results of the state party’s first presidential caucus held in March. There are nine Mitt Romney delegates, five Rick Santorum delegates and three Ron Paul delegates.

Fritz Rohlfing was chosen as chairman and Erin Kealoha Fale vice chairwoman, based on their positions for the Romney campaign in Hawaii

In all, more than 80 people are traveling with the delegation, including alternates, guests and support staff, Fale said.

The list:

2012 RNC Hawaii Delegates

Evolved

August 26th, 2012
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Former Gov. Linda Lingle on Sunday released a new television advertisement for her U.S. Senate campaign that highlights her commitment to preserving Social Security and Medicare, citing the example of her 87-year-old father who has long planned for his retirement.

Lingle blamed “election year posturing by Washington politicians of both parties” for worrying seniors about the entitlement programs.

But the most interesting element is that Lingle has now come out in favor of gradually raising the amount of wages subject to payroll taxes, which mirrors U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono’s position. The Democrat would lift the $110,100 cap on earnings subject to the payroll tax that finances the program so higher-income workers would pay a greater share

Hirono has also frequently cited her 88-year-old mother as one of the reasons she wants to protect the entitlement programs.

`Mazie? Really?’

August 25th, 2012
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State Senate Minority Leader Sam Slom (R, Diamond Head-Hawaii Kai) has been one of the few conservatives who have encouraged former state lawmaker and attorney John Carroll’s underdog Republican campaigns over the past decade. He has also been among the few Republicans not publicly in lock-step with former Gov. Linda Lingle.

But even a contrarian like Slom was disappointed that Carroll would endorse U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono, a liberal Democrat, over Lingle for U.S. Senate.

From an email from Slom to Carroll on Friday:

Tell me this isn’t true; its a bad joke (Atomic Monkey?) and a bad dream?

Was anyone in your “brain trust” asked about this first? Was there any serious discussion?

Mazie? Really? Yes, she is “predictable;” she has always opposed EVERYTHING we all value and will continue to do so if elected. “Good and honest character?” Mazie?

John, what are you thinking? Did you soar in your Sweitzer glider too high without oxygen?

No endorsement would have been preferable.

Many people have always admired you and your independence and clear judgement . And ability to stand for the truth.

But this is a critical mistake.

I’m frankly surprised and disappointed.

Had to weigh in.

Aloha,

Sam

Carroll tried to explain:

Sam, Yes, I did endorse Mazie over Lingle. Lingle’s judgement is so faulty than I can’t in good conscience do anything, which includes nothing to let her sit in the US Senate.

I had much counsel about this, and I made the decision before the election was over.

I gave you a big plug at the news conference citing the fact that after 12 years as Party leader we had just one senato of 25 and 8 reps of 51.

I knew that I may get expelled from the Party, but frankly, the party is Lingle, not Republican…

I believe you will see the clarity of my thinking if you look at LL’s Myth v Fact piece.

I am your friend and appreciate your chastisement.

Aloha Nui

jc

`Dean dozen’

August 24th, 2012
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Democracy for America, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean’s advocacy group, will provide $25,000 in assistance to U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono’s campaign for U.S. Senate.

Dean’s group is providing similar help to a dozen progressive candidates across the country.

The package:

  • A cross-endorsement from Democracy for America Founder, Governor Howard Dean,
  • A commitment to raise an additional $20,000 in small donations from DFA’s national membership,
  • A contribution of $5,000 in financial and in-kind support from Democracy for America’s PAC over the course of the campaign,
  • On-the-Ground organizing support from DFA’s regional field organizers, and
  • The campaign will receive priority in the Call-Out-the-Vote tool, where DFA members make tens of thousands of calls to voters in a given day.

Choice

August 24th, 2012
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Former Gov. Linda Lingle, who is skipping the Republican National Convention in Tampa next week, is also trying to put some distance between some of the issues in the GOP platform that could be toxic to her U.S. Senate campaign against U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono in Hawaii.

On Friday, the Republican issued a statement calling on the RNC to consider the diverse opinions of Republicans on a women’s right to choose an abortion before adopting a platform plank recommending a constitutional amendment that would ban abortion under all circumstances.

Lingle, who supports abortion rights, said she sent a letter to Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus and the leaders of the GOP platform committee.

“This platform plank as drafted fails to recognize the views of pro-choice Republicans like myself. Throughout my years of public service, I have listened with great interest to both sides of this issue. The positions taken were argued with equivalent passion and commitment. But I have always been an ardent supporter of women’s rights, including a woman’s right to choose, and I do not stand alone in this opinion,” Lingle said in the letter.

She also repeated her position on abortion:

  • a woman has an unequivocal right to choose what is best for her health, including her reproductive rights;
  • decisions regarding a woman’s health care need to be left up to her, in consultation with her doctor and family;
  • women (and men), including those with limited financial resources, should have broad access to contraceptives, emergency contraceptives and family planning services provided that there are clearly defined exceptions for religious institutions. As Governor of Hawaii, she signed Act 201 in 2003, Hawaii’s emergency contraception law, allowing pharmacists in Hawaii to dispense emergency contraception without prescriptions; and
  • all legislation related to contraception, emergency contraception, family planning, and abortion must be met with equal respect for religious institutions that may object to these services. Their deeply held beliefs are no less important and must be acknowledged through appropriate exemptions within the law.

Other Republicans who have difficult campaigns in traditionally Democratic states are looking for similar distance.

Earlier this week, U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., who is facing attorney Elizabeth Warren, urged the GOP to soften the platform language on abortion.