`Be Not Deceived’

August 29th, 2010

Jonah Kaauwai, the state GOP chairman, has sent a forceful letter appealing to pastors and people of faith not to vote for former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann in the Democratic primary for governor. Kaauwai says Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona, the leading Republican candidate, better represents church values.

Duke will win because the Church has been behind him the entire time operating in the POWER and the AUTHORITY of the NAME OF JESUS! We are the HEAD and not the tail; we are the VICTORS not the victims! If Duke Aiona does not win it will be the burden of the Body of Christ to bear so rather than preparing to have to deal with either Mufi or Neil winning the Church, we should be preparing for Duke to WIN. Neither Mufi Hannemann nor Neil Abercrombie is righteous and a vote for either in the primary or general election is succumbing to fear and advancing unrighteousness!

Bloggers David Shapiro and Ian Lind have noted the religious fervor in Kaauwai’s message, but there is also a basic political strategy at work as well. Many Republicans believe the conservative Aiona has a better chance against former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, a liberal, because the political contrasts are starker than against Hannemann.

Aiona, a Catholic, and Hannemann, a Mormon, can both appeal to the faithful. Aiona would likely have to run even further to the religious right to prevent Hannemann from peeling off Christian votes, possible alienating many of the independents and moderate Democrats Aiona needs to win.

Or, as Kaauwai puts it:

As a former men’s pastor and worship leader for 8 years, I am positioned here in the midst of politics to share the truth and expose the conspirators of a very corrupt system no matter what the cost. Too often, we as the Body of Christ are reacting to crisis like HB444 . We need to fearlessly, like David did Goliath, run towards the unrighteous enemy. Duke Aiona’s Campaign for Governor is the Body of Christ’s opportunity to operate in the AUTHORITY and to be proactive. The Primary Election is the first step to bringing back a righteous leader to the highest office in this State which has not been seen since Queen Lili’uokalani. Over 100 years ago! With more than 400,000 Christians in the State of Hawaii, WE are responsible no matter what the outcome of Duke’s race because we have been given the POWER and the AUTHORITY in the NAME OF JESUS!!!!

Kaauwai said on Sunday that he expected his letter would be widely circulated. But he said he did not ask for it to be posted on the Hawaii Christian Coalition website, which gave it a larger audience and brought a considerable response.

He said his goal is to get Republicans to pull GOP ballots in the September primary and not cross over to the Democrats in either the primary or the November general election.

“We want Republicans to stay home in this election,” he said.

*Update: Aiona released this statement on Monday:

While faith is a central part of my life, I’m running for governor to serve all the people of Hawaii – regardless of their religion.

The goal of our grassroots campaign is to connect with every citizen in every community of this great state, and chairman Kaauwai’s personal comments are seen by many as divisive.

Our campaign is focused on families, friends and neighbors of all backgrounds, and we’re going to continue to reach out to all the citizens of Hawaii.

16 Responses to “`Be Not Deceived’”

  1. myviewtoo:

    Wow, what a desperate attempt by repubs to obtain votes for their candidates via a religious appeal. Maybe the non-believers should also make their own appeal. This is really nonsense; repubs are no more religious than demos. Jonah we are not electing a pope but a governor, don’t you understand that? Leave religion out of politics and government.

  2. Nikki Heat:

    I think you give the GOP and Jonah too much credit.
    If the GOP leadership was being strategic about the Governor’s race, why have general election contests in Democratic legislative strongholds throughout the State (for example, why put up token opposition to Central Maui’s Shan Tsutsui and Joe Souki [the other Central Maui house seat has appointed Rep. Gil Agaran running for the first time so challenging him is not a bad idea even if Kahului is full of Democrats who voted for Cayetano, unpopular as he was over Lingle in 1998])? If the GOP was strategic for the gubernatorial race, why force Tsutsui and Souki to mount “real” campaigns to get out the Democratic faithful?
    In the world I grew up in, if Jonah was a real Christian, he wouldn’t be in support of a Roman Catholic (let alone a Mormon), at least not in the edifying language used in his sermon to the GOP faithful (the lapsed cradle Episcopalian from northern New York, of course, even if still partaking of the Eucharist, would be no better than a Catholic who attends services in a building where priests can marry). Politics make strange bedfellows for Evangelicals to embrace Dukie in the language Kaauwai uses– Roman Catholics remained a mission field when I was a kid in a Bible believing church. As Mitt Romney discovered, a Mormon still ain’t considered a “Christian” in certain GOP Religious Right circles.
    If the GOP strategists think the Religious Right obsession with gay rights is the winning issue, then I can understand why they think Neil is an easier contrast to the “independent leader” (his “rise and shine” commercial can’t even openly disclose Duke is a REPUBLICAN). But unless “Christian” voters go along with the notion that nothing is more important than keeping gays in the legal closet — and even the Hawaii Family Forum candidates questionnaire included questions on poverty and housing — I think it’s dangerous to assume that Duke will fare better against Abercrombie. Except for civil unions, I don’t think Mufi and Neil differ widely on issues important to Democratic Party coalition members (afterall the public worker unions split between the two of them– with the educators in UHPA and HSTA going with Neil and HGEA and UPW siding with Mufi)– and last I saw, more people in Hawaii remains a Democratic Party stronghold.
    I think it shows the GOP leadership has not only been preaching to the choir but basically evangelizing (and polling) only in the pews.

  3. OldDiver:

    Jonah Kaauwai, the state GOP chairman has just made the best case not to vote for Duke Aiona.

  4. Haleiwa Joe:

    Does anyone else see how seriously weird this is?

    What chairman of any party ever tells his people to not to vote!?

    The head of the Hawaii GOP has gone off his rocker with religious zealotry to essentially enhance the prospects for Neil Abercrombie in the Demo primary!

    If you’re a moderate, a Christian, a conservative or a Republican (like me) you have to believe that whoever you support, Hawaii is better off having a choice between Mufi and Duke in November.

  5. Ed:

    All the people I have been talking of the Christian faith have talked about voting Democrat in the primary for Mufi because he is more alined with our values so Jonah’s position is not the norm.

  6. Maui-Loo:

    Perfect! So all you “Christians” should vote for Mufi … the guy who put out the brochure asking you to compare his being local born to Neil being mainland born … to compare his Japanese wife to Neil’s haole wife … to compare his Harvard eductaion to Neil’s UH education. Go ahead vote for the guy notorious for unfairly bashing his political opponents, for strong-arming political donations from companies doing business with the city, and for punishing people and businesses who don’t. And, whatever you do, don’t youvote for Neil … intelligent, compassionate, scrupulously honest … a guy who has given the better part of his life to public service, about whom there has never been the hint of scandal and who refuses to engage in negative campaigning. Go ahead — vote for Mufi and don’t vote for Neil because it’s the “Christian” thing to do. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to throw up.

  7. ohiaforest3400:

    Methinks Jonah the Thumpah doth protest too much. He thinks too much with an empty head and a narrow mind.

  8. jaded:

    Great post, Maui-Loo! Took the words right out of my mouth … :)

  9. Outside Observer:

    At least these guys make it easier to see who to vote for next month.

    According to Mufi, my race is wrong and according to Duke my religion is wrong!

  10. Kimo:

    Will be interesting to see where this goes. One one hand, it could go nowhere. On the other hand, it could stir up a hornet’s nest of Conservative Christians vs. Liberal Thriskiaphobes. Hawaii’s abysmally low voter turnout can give either group a significant opportunity in this election and it won’t be just Aiona vs. Democrats. There are 95 other contested races going on and most of them on the Republican side are populated with Conservative Christian views.

    Ka`auwai has pushed the button. Now we’ll get to see if there’s anything connected to it.

  11. ohiaforest3400:

    Or, as Jules Pitt said in Pulp Fiction, immediately before smiting his enemies: “The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.”

    Jonah should be worried, very worried. Fortuantely, I’m not. I don’t believe in that silly, superstitious stuff.

  12. Michael:

    Jonah got swallowed by a great fish for a reason.

  13. Marcus:

    Does anyone REALLY think Jesus would EVER vote Republican?!

  14. Eric Ryan:

    Jonah Kaauwai (former deputy chief of staff to Aiona), Lynn Finnegan (wannabe LG and the most losing minority leader in Repubican history), Dylan Nonaka (government employee turned party employee), Duke Aiona (former Democrat and Mufi contributor) and others banded together a couple of years ago under the banner “Our Party Our Ohana” in order to take over the party and push for the Aiona/Finnegan ticket using various religious leaders in Hawaii to secure enough convention delegates to gain power. This memo by Kaauwai to church pastors in Hawaii is right out of the Kaauwai/Finnegan/Nonaka/Aiona playbook . . . except that it wasn’t supposed to be publicized. This nonsense by this cabal will set back the Hawaii GOP for years to come. But the issue is NOT “righteousness”, as Jonah has been lying to these same pastors about Finnegan’s GOP primary opponent for LG, Adrienne King, saying that she’s a social liberal and not a Christian. Kaauwai has been holding closed door meetings for months with Hawaii pastors to spread his hateful and self-serving lies in order to ensure he gets the outcome he wants: an Aiona/Finnegan ticket. Now the whole state and the whole country (thanks to the viral nature of this story) knows that the Hawaii GOP has been taken over by braindead, narcissistic, politically suicidal, neophytes with a God complex. Sadly, after the debacle to come on Election Day 2010, I’m afraid that these morons (the asinine leaders, not the innocent followers) will refuse to go away. Major bummer, except for Democrats and their allies.

  15. Kimo:

    I was wondering when the Eric Ryan of the GOP was going to rear his photoshopped head. His last vast-right-wing conspiracy theory was about the GOP platform and that kinda fizzled once nearly the entire party approved it. Eric was without his demons and went quiet.

    Now Jonah has given Eric a new paranoid pill to take. This is a good one Eric. Swallow it whole, baby. It’s GOD. Imagine the photoshop possibilities you get now!

    Folks, this is much ado about nothing. It’s the Christian version of Ed Case’s letter to his own party about Mufi. Jonah basically said the same thing about Mufi as Ed did, using language that his audience uses. Nothing more, nothing less.

  16. Eric Ryan:

    Jonah, when did you change your name to Kimo??

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