The Rundown

July 28th, 2010
By

Here is our first look at potentially competitive state House and Senate campaigns based on information from political strategists and party insiders.

We have provided fundraising snapshots for the contenders, which include the amount raised during the first six months of the year, cash on hand and the total amount collected for the election cycle. We will update the rundown with fresh assessments before the September primary and November general election.

Overview: Majority Democrats hold an overwhelming share of seats in the state House and Senate. Democrats have made gains in the past few election cycles under Gov. Linda Lingle — a Republican — and could again this year, especially if Democrats drive turnout in the governor’s race. Republicans have set the modest goal of doubling their numbers in both chambers. With a handful of open seats in competitive districts — and the potential for the civil-unions debate to bring religious conservatives to the polls — Republicans have a chance to pick up a few seats.

State Senate:
Democrats: 23
Republicans: 2

State House:
Democrats: 45
Republicans: 6

State Senate
*SD20 (Ewa Beach, Waipahu)
Sen. Will Espero (D)
(Raised this period: $15,111 Cash on hand: $29,795 Total: $46,007)
Celeste Lacuesta (D)
(No records)
Sam Puletasi (D)
(No records)
Tito Montes (R)
(Raised this period: $11,945 Cash on hand: $5,857 Total: $12,005)
Outlook: Leans Democratic. Espero has raised his profile on issues such as rail, returning prisoners from the Mainland, and restricting fireworks. The district’s changing demographics from new housing projects could make it more competitive for the GOP. Montes, a Navy veteran and military research analyst, is an articulate and aggressive campaigner who may appeal to many young families and people with military ties who are concerned about the economy.

*SD22 (North Shore, Wahiawa)
Donovan Dela Cruz (D)
(Raised this period: $65,937 Cash on hand: $84,233 Total: $196,303)
Michael Magaoay (D)
(Raised this period: $25,886 Cash on hand: $42,523 Total: $109,057)
Michael Lyons (D)
(Raised this period: $11,175 Cash on hand: $4,745 Total: $11,175)
Gerald Hagino (D)
(No records)
Charles Aki (R)
(No records)
Outlook: Open seat. Democratic. Sen. Robert Bunda resigned to run in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor. The last-minute decision by Dela Cruz to bolt the mayor’s race sets up one of the most intriguing primaries. Dela Cruz represented the district on the City Council. Magaoay represented much of the district in the House. Lyons is the chairman of the North Shore Neighborhood Board. And Hagino held the seat until he was beaten by Bunda. The influential Hawaii Government Employees Association has backed Dela Cruz.

*SD24 (Kailua, Kaneohe)
Sen. Jill Tokuda (D)
(Raised this period: $17,565 Cash on hand: $35,460 Total: $44,583)
Tracy Bean (R)
(Raised this period: $19,563 Cash on hand: $15,143 Total: $30,027)
Outlook: Leans Democratic. Tokuda has blossomed over the past few years and has earned praise for her work on protecting important agricultural land, Native Hawaiian affairs, and the University of Hawaii. She also led an investigation into mismanagement at the Bureau of Conveyances and was one of the leading critics who helped block the second confirmation of Peter Young as director at the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. But the district is among the most competitive in the Senate, and Tokuda could be vulnerable in her first re-election campaign, particularly if voters make civil unions a dominant issue. Bean, like Tokuda, was raised on the Windward side. She runs a nonprofit with her husband and is part of a network of religious conservatives who oppose civil unions.

*SD25 (Kailua, Waimanalo, Hawaii Kai)
Virginia Enos (R)
(No records)
Joe Pandolfe (R)
(Raised this period: $1,512 Cash on hand: $102 Total: $1,512 Loans: $1,512)
Andrew Jamila, Jr. (D)
(Raised this period: $250 Cash on hand: $0 Total: $250)
Chuck Prentiss (D)
(Raised this period: $10,125 Cash on hand: $8,510 Total: $10,125 Loans: $10,000)
Pohai Ryan (D)
(No records)
Outlook: Open seat. Leans Republican. Senate Minority Leader Fred Hemmings opted not to seek re-election. There is no obvious Republican heir, but the GOP likes Enos, a member of the Kailua Neighborhood Board. Pandolfe, a contractor active in the tea party movement, could provide a measurement of how strongly the tea party tracks among local conservatives.

State House
*HD4 (Puna, Pahoa, Hawaiian Acres)
Rep. Faye Hanohano (D)
(Raised this period: $2,664 Cash on hand $8,880 Total: $14,997)
Anthony Marzi (D)
(Raised this period: $2,200 Cash on hand: $1,224 Total: $1,486)
Marlene Hapai (R)
(Raised this period: $100 Cash on hand: $100 Total: $100)
Solomon Singer (N)
(Raised this period: $1,788 Cash on hand: $115 Total: $1,788 Loans: $700)
Outlook: Leans Democratic. Hanohano, a former prison guard, is chairwoman of the House Public Safety Committee. She is active on Native Hawaiian affairs and cultural issues, often speaking Hawaiian on the House floor. She also helped move a bill last session to give counties the option to ban fireworks. But changing demographics in the fast-growing region, along with the independent spirit of many residents, makes the district among the most quirky and unpredictable. Hapai, a former University of Hawaii regent appointed by Gov. Linda Lingle, could be competitive.

*HD6 (N. Kona, Keauhou, Kailua-Kona)
Rep. Denny Coffman (D)
(Raised this period: $6,034 Cash on hand: $4,987 Total: $15,693)
Becky Leau (R)
(Raised this period: $122 Cash on hand: $0 Total: $122)
Outlook: Leans Democratic. Coffman was among the freshmen who crafted a barrel tax increase on petroleum products to help finance food security and alternative energy programs. The district is friendly to Republicans and could be hard for Coffman to hold if the GOP runs strong in Kona in the governor’s race. Leau, a contractor, is active with religious conservatives and may get support from the local tea party.

*HD11 (Makena, Wailea, Kihei)
Rep. Joe Bertram III (D)
(Raised this period: $0 Cash on hand: $6,833 Total: $6,934)
Johanna Amorin (D)
(Reported $1,881 in donations through December)
Netra Halperin (D)
(Raised this period: $4,927 Cash on hand: $2,270 Total: $7,329)
George Fontaine (R)
(Raised this period: $5,889 Cash on hand: $4,341 Total: $9.762)
Outlook: Tossup. Bertram was thought to be the most endangered House incumbent in 2008, when he raised little money for his first re-election campaign and alienated House leadership by publicly stating he would not vote for House Speaker Calvin Say for speaker if he won. He has since been criticized for defending a friend on trial for Internet enticement of a minor and has declared bankruptcy for the second time because of medical expenses and tax debts. His signature issues have been expanding access to medical marijuana and promoting bike paths and greenways. Fontaine, a retired police captain, was one of the Republicans’ best prospects two years ago.

*HD16 (Niihau, Lehua, Waimea)
Rep. Roland Sagum III (D)
(Reported $23,680 in donations through December)
Daynette “Dee” Morikawa (D)
(Raised this period: $5,850 Cash on hand: $4,099 Total: $5,850 Loans: $2,000)
Phil Sterker (R)
(No records)
Outlook: Democratic. Sagum may have trouble in the primary against Morikawa, a county parks and recreation worker active in the Hawaii Government Employees Association. The HGEA will support its own.

*HD18 (Kuliouou, Niu Valley, Aina Haina)
Mark Jun Hashem (D)
(Raised this period: $375 Cash on hand: -$919 Total: $475)
T.J. Lane (D)
(Raised this period: $17,480 Cash on hand: $7,273 Total: $17,480 Loans: $15,000)
Albert Lee (D)
(No records)
Chris Pei-Ji Baron (R)
(Raised this period: $11,000 Cash on hand: $6,931 Total: $11,000 )
Outlook: Open seat. Tossup. Rep. Lyla Berg is leaving to run in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor. Baron, a state clean energy planner who worked for homeland security, the State Department and the National Security Council in the Bush administration, grew up in the Republican friendly district. He also has Hawaii Christian Coalition backing. Lane, an attorney, may be the Democrats’ choice and he has won the support of the HGEA.

*HD28 (Palama, Chinatown, Downtown)
Rep. Karl Rhoads (D)
(Raised this period: $19,930 Cash on hand: $67,325 Total: $80,614)
David Chang (R)
(Raised this period: $26,649 Cash on hand: $17,131 Total: $29,736 Loans: $262)
Outlook: Leans Democratic. Rhoads, an attorney, steered the House Labor Committee during a difficult few years and did much of the heavy lifting on a bill to soften an unemployment insurance tax increase on businesses. But Republicans believe Chang — an entrepreneur, military veteran and minister named the Young Business Leader of the Year by Pacific Business News — has a shot.

*HD31 (Moanalua Valley, Moanalua, Salt Lake)
Linda Ichiyama (D)
(Raised this period: $17,938 Cash on hand: $26,153 Total: $36,984)
Sharon Lum Ho (D)
(Raised this period: $2,910 Cash on hand: $1,636 Total: $2,910)
Rocky Rockwell (D)
(Raised this period: $4,948 Cash on hand: $1,705 Total: $7,125 Loans: $5,576)
Ryan Toyomura (D)
(Raised this period: $7,591 Cash on hand: $4,662 Total: $7,591)
Garner Musashi Shimizu (R)
(No records)
Outlook: Open seat. Leans Democratic. Rep. Glenn Wakai is leaving to run in the Democratic primary for state Senate. Pocketbook issues and civil unions could make this a potential swing district. The HGEA has endorsed Ichiyama.

*HD32 (Lower Pearlridge, Aiea, Halawa)
Aaron Johanson (R)
(Raised this period: $15,274 Cash on hand: $12,527 Total: $15,274)
Lei Sharsh (D)
(No records)
Randy Swindell (D)
(Raised this period: $350 Cash on hand: -$122 Total: $350 Loans: $350)
Danny Villaruz (D)
(No records)
Outlook: Open seat. Leans Republican. Popular House Minority Leader Lynn Finnegan is leaving to run in the Republican primary for lieutenant governor. Republicans have been grooming Johanson, the party’s former political director who also worked at the White House personnel office and the U.S. Mint.

*HD33 (Aiea, Halawa Valley, Aiea Heights)
House Majority Leader Blake Oshiro (D)
(Raised this period: $0 Cash on hand: $23,972 Total: $30,969)
Gary Okino (D)
(Raised this period: $2,580 Cash on hand: $35,700 Total: $75,945)
Sam Kong (R)
(Raised this period: $382 Cash on hand: $100 Total: $382)
Outlook: Democratic. Oshiro, an attorney, has emerged as the policy force within Speaker Say’s leadership team and is often the shepherd for the outsized majority caucus. He was also the sponsor of a civil-unions bill and brought it to the House floor on the last day of session for a dramatic vote. Oshiro, who is gay, is facing a serious primary challenge from Okino, a Honolulu City Councilman and former city planner who is a fiscal and religious conservative. Last year, during the civil-unions debate in the House, Okino warned lawmakers of the serious consequences of not following God’s word and said there are medical dangers from the homosexual lifestyle.

*HD36 (Pearl City, Momilani, Pacific Palisades)
Rep. Roy Takumi (D)
(Raised this period: $13,530 Cash on hand: $28,276 Total: $45,308))
Reed Shiraki (R)
(Raised this period: $17,136 Cash on hand: $10,113 Total: $19,836)
Outlook: Democratic. Takumi is the respected chairman of the House Education Committee and the district has been a fortress for traditional Democrats. Republicans, however, warn against counting out the underdog Shiraki, a prominent chiropractor known for an honor box payment system to help his patients afford care. Shiraki is also a Mormon who has the support of the Hawaii Christian Coalition, which could bring civil unions into play.

*HD41 (Waipahu, Village Park, Waikele)
Cory Chun (D)
(Raised this period: $8,200 Cash on hand: $6,709 Total: $8,200 Loans: $5,000)
Ty Cullen (D)
(Raised this period: $1,200 Cash on hand: -$143 Total: $1,037 Loans: $1,120)
Leatrice Grantham (D)
(No records)
Fernie Nicolas (D)
(No records)
Angel Cordero (R)
(No records)
Carl Wong (R)
(No records)
Outlook: Open seat. Tossup. Rep. Jon Riki Karamatsu is leaving to run in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor. Competitive precincts in Village Park and Waikele make this a potential swing district. The HGEA likes Cullen.

*HD42 (Waipahu, Honouliuli, Ewa)
Rep. Rida Cabanilla (D)
(Raised this period: $3,255 Cash on hand: $8,688 Total: $19,142)
Mike Schultz (D)
(Raised this period: $3,525 Cash on hand: $293 Total: $2,934 Loans: $3,500)
Tom Berg (R)
(Raised this period: $0 Cash on hand: -$9,361 Total: -$9,361)
Outlook: Leans Democratic. Cabanilla became more visible on policy issues such as helping the homeless as chairwoman of the House Housing Committee. But she had to be rescued by House leaders after mishandling a bill to allow flagpoles to fly the American flag in planned communities, a controversy that energized many military veterans and conservatives. Schultz, an operational analyst for a military research and development company, came close to taking out Cabanilla in the primary two years ago and has won the HGEA endorsement. Berg is Cabanilla’s former office manager who now works for Rep. Kymberly Pine, a Ewa Beach Republican who was behind the flagpole bill.

*HD43 (Ewa Beach, Iroquois Point, Puuloa)
Rep. Kymberly Pine (R)
(Raised this period: $9,990 Cash on hand: $15,812 Total: $30,944)
Jason Bradshaw (D)
(Raised this period: $14,050 Cash on hand: $5,253 Total: $14,050)
Kurt Fevella (D)
(Raised this period: $2,911 Cash on hand: $2,222 Total: $6,989)
Outlook: Leans Republican. Pine, a former Republican aide, has been an organizer for tea party and anti-tax rallies. She was also the only House lawmaker to vote against diverting money from the state’s hurricane relief fund to help end teacher furloughs. Pine wanted to borrow, not take, money from the hurricane fund. Plugged into her demographically shifting district, Pine won re-election in 2008 with more than 70 percent of the vote and took 63.5 percent in 2006. Bradshaw, a former Democratic aide, is political director of the AFL-CIO and has shown some fundraising ability. His message? “We can do better!”

*HD45 (Waianae, Makaha, Makua)
Rep. Maile Shimabukuro (D)
(Raised this period: $2,153 Cash on hand: $4,487 Total: $12,094)
Johnnie-Mae Perry (D)
(No records)
Bill Corless (R)
(No records)
Bud Ebel (R)
(No records)
Jadeen Meyers (R)
(No records)
Outlook: Democratic. Shimabukuro, a legal aid attorney who grew up in Waianae, has been an advocate for human services and Native Hawaiian affairs and is well-connected in the Democratic leaning district. But the district is known for low voter turnout. Republicans think Meyers, who was also raised in Waianae and who serves as an associate youth pastor at a Christian church where her parents are pastors, could pull an upset, especially if civil unions becomes an issue.

*HD46 (Schofield, Mokuleia, North Shore)
Tammy Ann Escorzon (D)
(Raised this period: $270 Cash on hand: $1 Total: $270)
Maria Pacheco (D)
(No records)
Larry Sagaysay (D)
(No records)
Gil Riviere (R)
(Raised this period: $10,752 Cash on hand: $4,012 Total: $14,474 Loans: $614)
Outlook: Open seat. Leans Republican. Rep. Michael Magaoay is leaving to run in the Democratic primary for the state Senate. Riviere, a mortgage broker and leader of Keep the North Shore Country, could take a district that has been slowly trending Republican.

*HD47 (Laie, Hauula, Punaluu)
Rep. Jessica Wooley (D)
(Raised this period: $10,545 Cash on hand: $19,713 Total: $35,148)
Richard Fale (R)
(Raised this period: $8,880 Cash on hand: $6,615 Total: $9,333)
Outlook: Leans Democratic. Wooley, an attorney, is a progressive who is active on issues such as food and energy security. She has also been an advocate for Hawaiian families who were facing eviction from Kahana Valley State Park. She is in her first re-election campaign after defeating Colleen Meyer, the most conservative Republican in the House, two years ago. Her opponent, Richard Fale, is in the Army reserve and operates a nonprofit on Polynesian culture. He also farms. Fale is a Mormon who could draw votes from Laie and other precincts that reliably went with the conservative Meyer in the past.

15 Responses to “The Rundown”

  1. Yoshi1940:

    I am curious why you chose to skip over HD 24, where the “incumbent” was appointed, rather than elected, and is now seeking election for the first time, running in the Democratic Primary. (AOL Time Warner) Steve Case’s sister-in-law, Kimberly Case, also is running for the seat in the Democratic Primary, and there is a GOP challenger, Zach Thomson, who is expected to do better than past Republican candidates.

    Also, Speaker Say is facing what looks to be a more serious than usual challenger in Dwight Synan, whose AJA family reportedly has lived in Palolo Valley for around 70 years.

    Mahalo nui loa to all who are willing to run for office and to all those who so generously serve!


  2. Capitol -ist/WassupDoc:

    Although I’m not directly involved with one of the above campaigns because I am a minor Party official and don’t want to take a public position or do any volunteer work for a candidate running in a contested Primary, my SigOth is the campaign treasurer.

    Your take on the GOP candidates is correct; however, the Democratic Primary is going to get pretty hot as well because of the stark differences amongst the three of them. Frankly, one of them is a local Blue Dog Dem so that, if that candidate wins, once again the General Election will be a case of the voters having to select The Least Worst.


  3. Michael:

    Nice article.
    It seems Democrats will run over the opposition.

    Then it may be a major upset in some areas.
    With dissention in the Democrat party, who knows?


  4. rachel:

    I know it is probably a long-shot… But, what about HD20? This is what I would write.

    *HD20 (Palolo, St Louis Heights, Wilhelmina Rise)
    Speaker of the House Calvin Say (D)
    Dwight Synan (D)
    Julia Allen (R)
    Outlook: Democratic. Speaker Say carries the huge incumbent advantage after being in the legislature for 34 yrs with 11 yrs as Speaker of the House. In the last few years, however, he has drawn increased criticism from unions over his stance against a GET increase and from civil union advocates for hindering the passage of HB444. Synan offers a hard-working, charismatic and articulate Democratic alternative. The Republican, Allen, is not likely to pose a realistic threat as she has run several times garnering about 20% of the vote.


  5. ohiaforest3400:

    Second the compliments (really good thumbnail sketches) but also note some omissions, especially those ID’d by Yoshi.

    Yoshi, forgive me if I’m missing something but to which race are you referring? By your reference to an “appointed,” rather than “elected” rep in HD 24, (and without initially having looked to see which district that is), I was thinking you must have been referring to Gil Keith-Agaran because he is the only “appointed” rep I can think of (taking the position of the late Bob Nakasone when he died not long after the 2008 election).

    Rereading your post, seeing Kimberly Case’s name, and looking the district up, I realize you are referring to the Manoa seat held by Isaac Choy, but he was not “appointed.” He was selected by the Dems to represent them after the Ann Kobayashi/Duke Bainum/Kirk Caldwell candidate filing SNAFU but he beat Republican Jerilyn Jeffryes in the general. So, while I guess you mean that the general is just a formaility in heavily Democratic Manoa and that Choy was “appointed” by virtue of his selection as the Democratic candidate by party leaders, he was, indeed, elected. Taking you too literally, I guess.

    CWD, it’s not clear from your post but are you also referring to HD 24 and Yoshi’s post? With the delay in posting (pending “moderation”) there’s often no way to know whether one’s post will immediately follow the one to which one is referring (altho’ it appears to have done so here) or whether you were referring to one of the races sketched by Derrick.


  6. Gail:

    Good article. Since i’m from hd18 and a dem, i’m interested in this race. I have to give the edge to tj lane. TJ is a 20+ year resident of east honolulu and an active volunteer for the community. I think tj has run a successful law firm and taught at HPU for many years. The other 2 guys, hashem and lee, just parachuted into the district two months ago since it was an open seat with lyla berg now running for l.g.

    *HD18 (Kuliouou, Niu Valley, Aina Haina)

    Mark Jun Hashem (D)
    T.J. Lane (D)
    Albert Lee (D)


  7. ohiaforest3400:

    PS RE: HD 32, I’ve been impressed by Aaron Johanson. I don’t know the others but, from what little I’ve seen, he’s a thoughtful, considerate, engaging guy who doesn’t seem given to the ideological (idiotic?) rhetorical excesses of the fledgling (flailing?) Republican minority in the legislature.


  8. Yoshi1940:

    Sorry, ohia! I stand corrected! I guess the heavily Democratic district (over 3000 people turned out for the Democratic Party’s precinct caucus in HD 24/Manoa in 2008!) is still smarting over having Choy as their standard bearer for the House seat. My friends who live in HD 24 wonder if it was instant karmic balancing to have Manoa’s favorite son, Pres. Obama, and Isaac Choy win in the same election.


  9. ohiaforest3400:

    Understood, Yoshi. Choy has his good points (he knows his tax policy and is at least willing to consider, and take the hit for, raising taxes selectively/temporarily) but he’s a real dunderhead when it comes to, for example, civil unions and stating that, if the rail can be placed on the ballot, so should civil unions (as if either even remotely had anything to do with the other!). Case looks better to me at this point.


  10. Nikki Heat:

    I like the Central Maui Democratic Primary race (although the GOP actually have an opponent for the winner this time). The more the merrier primary likely favors incumbent legislator Joe Souki in HD08 (Wailuku-Waikapu-Waiehu), but the Rev. Tasha Kama came close to beating SpeakerJoe last election and there more new voters in the district on both ends (Waiehu Kou and Waikapu Gardens). Retired insurance man Tom Cerizo is a Democrat again after flirting with the GOP in his last elective run and teacher & HSTA activist Justin Hughey are also in the race. Is there that much discontent with Souki’s long tenure (Joe has moved from social service origins at Maui Economic Opportunity to power broking as Finance Chair and House Speaker and as part of the Say leadership) or were ambitious folks just expecting the dean of the Maui delegation to have retired this year.


  11. Manoa_Fisherman:

    To OhiaForest3400 and Yoshi1940, I hate to pop your bubbles about HD 24 Rep. Choy, but he grew up in Manoa Valley and the residents will clearly state their overwhelming support for him during this election. To put it mildly, Choy will smoke his opponents in the primary and general elections.

    Kimberly Case grew up in Kahala and was a Punahou graduate (gee, no Obama ties there?). Case claim to fame is that she is married to Steve Case’s brother. Who didn’t think that was part of the old Kamaaina oligarchy connection at Punahou? I guess we all have to listen to you Lunas and vote for the Big Five candidates again, don’t we.


  12. Paiko_kid:

    HD18 is very interesting. I see Hashem out there every morning so he’s obviously a hard worker, plus he grew up on Oahu so it’s not like he’s an outsider. Lane is a lawyer from the district seems like an ok candidate too, I worry that Barron and the R’s might paint him as an ambulance chaser and not really local.

    I really don’t know why Lyla gave up this seat because she’s got very little shot at LG. Gives the Rs some shot at it now.


  13. Michael:

    I believe the district 28 should lean Republican for this race. I have worked in the Chinatown district for some time now for the largest Chinese newspaper. There is a huge pent-up demand in the Asian community in the district, especially among the Chinese and Koreans. This district is the most ethnically diverse out of all the districts and many of the residents have felt they have not been properly represented. They have started to register for voting and the support for Chang has been overwhelming. Especially with Chang’s West Point and PBN’s business leader of the year background, if the residents come out in full force to vote, Chang will win the election.


  14. Garfy:

    It’s so sad that Hawaii’s voters in general are still living in the 50′s, back when the Democratic party used to be for the working class majority. Too bad so many of them still think that the Republicans represent the “rich” because they really don’t anymore. I guess maybe my perception of rich is wrong because I make under $50K a year and align myself with the Republicans more than what the Democrats stand for. Perhaps someday the people will wake up and realize that they’ve been living in the past and ignoring how screwed up our state is. Frankly, the party of the Governorship means nothing as the Legislature is dominated by the Democrats and anything they want to get through will be pushed through as they have more than enough votes to override any Governor’s veto. Yet, they try to blame the Governor for our state’s financial woes when it’s the Democrats who crafted all the bills for fiscal issues, etc. It’s no different in President Bush’s last 2 years when the Democrats had a filibuster-proof majority and basically could do whatever they wanted (like ram-rod Obamacare through) despite the wishes of the majority of the nation’s voters. Without a true two-party system with some semblance of balance, we can continue to have one of the country’s highest taxes, cost-of-living, etc. The choice is ours this November in the general election. As John Fink would say, “Think about it”…


  15. Brooklyn96:

    Replying to Garfy: You are so right on, the only one comment that gets what the real issue is. Hawaii is stuck in plantation politics and all the Democrats do is blame republicans for the mess we are in when the fact remains thwt for the last 50 years, Hawaii government was controlled by democrats. they passed all the tax and spend bill, they are responsible for the fiscal mess and they and they alone should carry guilt. But they are effective becue they have Unions backing them, the ones who have made our cost of living 30% higher than it should be, the ones who with thier outraggeous benefits and pensions, well above what the private sector can afford, are bankrupting the state. Mazie sent me an email touting how she must drop everything and run back to Washington to vote FOR, yet another unfunded spending bill to help teachers keep their jobs. Where’s the support for private industry jobs? The answer is none, when it comes to Democrats, the private sector be damned, the ones who provide most of the jobs in this country. As long as they can keep growing the government, and increasing our taxes to pay for it the working people will be left holding the bag. NO it is the Rpublicans who actually advocate for the working people, but for some reason that fact is lost on the populous. Just remember Hawaii Democrats have controlled the government here for 50 years asnd what do we have to show for it? Exploding government dependents, homelessness beyond our wildest imagination, the highest taxes in the country, ballooning deficits, an impetent police force, one of the worst public school systems in the country, and on and on. No the Democrats have no one to blame but themselves. And now Obama because he can’t accept responsibility for the sinking economy is still blaming Bush for his failures! He inherited a mess that the Democrats created when they took controll of congress in 2006. The economic melt down was caused by Democratic policies that forced banks to lend money to people who couldn’t afford it. So why are they blaming Republicans for the housing bubble? Most of the spending bills that blew up the deficit came from them in the last 2 years of Bush’s term. Then Obama gets elected and he quadrupled the deficit is less than one year! and now he’s trying to blame Bush for this. I truely hope the people recognize this and vote out asll the tax and spenders and vote in the party that really does put people before government. No the Democrats are no longer the party of the people, that ended a long time ago. unions have out lived their usefullness and have now become a thorn in the side of the working people, those who work to pay the taxes to keep Union Bosses fat and happy.


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