Democrats: Rules made for ignoring?

I understand the frustration of uber-underdog U.S. Senate candidate Andy Woerner in his inability to get media attention in his Democratic primary campaign against the venerable Sen. Daniel K. Inouye.

Nobody gives him a chance against the current longest-serving U.S. senator, president pro tempore, third in line for the White House and keeper of the nation’s purse strings.

Woerner recognizes “that my campaign might not be all that newsworthy,” but he’s perplexed that he can’t get coverage for a story about apparent rule-breaking by Democratic candidates that extends beyond his own race.

He says a majority of Democratic candidates, including many at the top of the ticket, are failing to abide by an article in the party’s constitution requiring that candidates “submit Candidate Statement Forms … indicating their agreement, disagreement, and/or reservations with the Platform and Resolutions of the State and County Party.”

According to Woerner, the rule states that a “candidate who fails to abide by these requirements shall not be eligible for endorsement.”

He said he confirmed with Debi Hartmann, the party’s executive director, that 60 percent of the candidates did not return their forms, even though the deadline was extended by a week.

His own review found that candidates whose forms were missing included gubernatorial candidate Mufi Hannemann, lieutenant governor candidate and former party chairman Brian Schatz and congressional candidate Mazie Hirono.

Inouye and gubernatorial candidate Neil Abercrombie submitted incomplete or unsigned forms, he says.

Woerner wants the party to withhold support for candidates violating the rules, arguing that there’s no point in having rules if they aren’t enforced, but isn’t holding his breath.

“The ability to create and follow rules is a critical component of sound government, and is essential to the proper conduct of the offices they seek,” he contends.

Woerner is in the wrong race at the wrong time in terms of gaining a spot on Hawai‘i’s political ladder and has little chance of winning either his primary contest or his fight to enforce the rules.

But both parties need agitators like him to keep things honest, and I hope he sticks around to take another shot at public office with more realistic goals.

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54 Comments on “Democrats: Rules made for ignoring?”

  1. Scott Goold Says:

    Aloha ~
    All of us, including our elected leaders, should follow the rules. Yet this principle must be applied to candidates across the board. In this matter, Woerner claims Democrats are at fault. I support him. They should submit Candidate Statement Forms.

    Yet Republicans on Kaua’i recently fought for and won their argument that official paperwork is not critical. From state Rep. Morita’s blog:

    The Kaua’i Democratic Party’s complaint simply argues the undisputed fact that [Dave] Hamman did not sign his nomination papers in two places as required by law. First, Hamman did not sign the oath that he was a partisan candidate, i.e. that he was a member of the Republican Party. Second, he did not sign the loyalty oath or affirmation.

    However, last week Judge Randal Valenciano ruled that when the County Clerk accepted Hamman’s incomplete nomination papers, he became a “candidate” for the State House District 14 race. The decision was a disappointment because the law is very clear in stating that incomplete nomination papers are void and shall not be accepted for filing. source

    As we now have a COMPASSIONATE SOLUTION for our economic challenges from a distinguished conservative-right think tank, I post this here:

    Kevin Hasset, director of economic-policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, and adviser to John McCain in his bid for the presidency, has solved the financial problems in America. YOU are the solution … THREE CHEERS for LABOR!

    Your Fat Paycheck Keeps Your Neighbor Unemployed: Kevin Hassett

    The biggest problem with the labor market right now is that wages are too high. As Washington again turns to government spending as a cure for unemployment, some against-the-grain thinking is in order.

    Economics teaches that full employment would be reached if wages adjust downward, to a level that better reflects current circumstances. At lower wages, employers would desire more workers. Labor markets generate persistent unemployment only if wages are sticky, failing to fall as demand declines.

    A number of reasons help explain why wages don’t and won’t drop, beginning with federal and state minimum-wage laws.

    Second, because union contracts generally cover multiple years, adjusting wages in response to economic circumstances would require a return to the bargaining table, which rarely happens …

    MY RESPONSE: This is the state of American politics. Let’s take this to the extreme. If Hasset’s theory is correct, then working for FREE would be the ultimate boost to the economy. We would ALL be employed. The only problem with Hasset’s analysis is that if employees worked for free, how would they buy from other companies? Workers are consumers and consumer spending makes up 70% of our GDP. Working without earning wages would drop our GDP by 70% (assuming we had no savings or could not get credit – which is a pretty good assumption today).

    Our GDP is expected to come in around $15.5 TRILLION this year. Without our 70% contribution, GDP would fall an expected $10.9 TRILLION.

    This would represent the GREATEST financial collapse in the HISTORY of the world.

    Take a less extreme model. Let’s say we all agree to drop our wages by 25%. Our consumption would drop accordingly. GDP would fall to $12.8 TRILLION – or a percentage drop of 17.5%. This would be a GREAT DEPRESSION level collapse.

    How does Kevin Hasset become DIRECTOR of economic policy at AEI? How does a person like this get selected to advise a presidential candidate? Now do you understand why I claim it is very hard to find Republicans whom we can support?

    A*L*O*H*A

  2. Andy Woerner Says:

    Dave, thanks for covering this story… and the fair and balanced perspective.

    As a side note, I’d point out that I’m not particularly concerned about finding a spot on Hawaii’s “political ladder”, however this is most definitely the right race at the right time for me. My first priority has never been about winning the election.

    In the 2008 primary, 70% of Hawaii voters chose Obama over Clinton, the clear candidate of the political machine. And in this year’s special election, seventy percent of Hawaii voters once again spoke out against our local political machine by voting against Colleen Hanabusa.

    It would be an offense to Democracy and the Democratic Party for such a large number of voters to not have a place to express their voice in this election. I am the ONLY candidate at the top of the ticket that gives them an opportunity to do so.

    How loud they choose to make that voice is up to them.

    Andy Woerner
    Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate
    Election Reform – Term Limits – Balanced Budget

  3. shaftalley Says:

    years ago,i belonged to a union.we were going thru a union election to pick our leaders and an old-timer advised me “never vote for the incumbent.stir it up.” good luck to you andy woerner.and i hope victory for you if for no other reason but to junk those incumbents.

  4. WooWoo Says:

    Goold-

    Nobody reads your blog, so you hijack Dave’s with a post completely unrelated to the topic at hand.

    But I’m dumb enough to bite.

    Here is some more crazy economics talk:

    “Another cause of long-term unemployment is unionization. High union wages that exceed the competitive market rate are likely to cause job losses in the unionized sector of the economy. Also, those who lose high-wage union jobs are often reluctant to accept alternative low-wage employment…

    Unemployment insurance also extends the time a person stays off the job. Clark and I estimated that the existence of unemployment insurance almost doubles the number of unemployment spells lasting more than three months.”

    Do you wonder, “How does a person like this get selected to advise a presidential candidate?”

    Well, you’d have to ask President Obama. These words were written by his principal economic adviser, Larry Summers.

    http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/Unemployment.html

  5. Jim Loomis Says:

    I’ve heard the “throw’em all out” line for years, and it’s bull. Invariably it comes from people too cynical or too lazy to put a little time into figuring out which are the better candidates. These are the same people who say, “They’re all a bunch of crooks.” Of course they’re not all crooks! That, too, is just a lazy excuse for not being conscientious about your civic responsibility.

  6. Scott Goold Says:

    Aloha WooWoo ~
    I’m not an expert on the work of Summers. Yet I do wish President Obama would listen more to economists like me … I would have invested massive more amounts of government resources in stimulating the economy and I made that case when Obama took office.

    If Summers advised the timid approach, I disagree with him. I write Obama all the time and ask him to listen to me … : )

    Obama, to his credit, has tried to find common ground between liberal/Keynesians like me and those on the conservative right. He pledged to heal our divide — and, this means we all must sacrifice and compromise. I accept this.

    Both Summers and Hasset claim unions push labor costs higher. They are correct. I don’t disagree with either.

    Hey, workers … do you hear this?

    Unions do improve compensation and benefits for employees. Wages of union members are 27% higher, on average, than those of nonunion workers. While all unions workers are better off than nonunion workers, women and minorities are especially so:
    * Women in unions earn an extra $170 a week — $9,000 more a year.
    * African Americans in unions earn an extra $150 a week — $8,000 more a year.
    * Latinos in unions earn an extra $225 a week — $11,650 more a year.

    In addition, studies show a large union presence in an industry or region can raise wages even for non-union workers.

    Unions are good for unionized workers and can improve the quality of life for non-union employees as well. I’m glad we agree!

    Recently, airline and auto unions renegotiated wages and benefits to help struggling companies. Union leaders and members recognize we live in a highly competitive job environment. Pushing too hard would lead to unacceptable loss of jobs; yet not pushing leads to millions of working poor.

    Here’s the difference between you and me, WooWoo: I believe in Middle Class American families. You tip your hat to the MOST RICH.

    We’re both good people with different agendas. Forty some years ago, a CEO made about 40 times the pay of the average worker. Today, a CEO makes about 350 times.

    Forty years ago, collective income share held by the TOP Ten Percent was less than 35% of the total; today it nears 50%.

    The facts are clear: the RICH are getting richer and Middle Class families are collapsing. This is not good for America; this is not good for democracy.

    For an extensive review of our economic history, please see my work posted yesterday: Understanding Our Economy: Vote Accordingly

    A*L*O*H*A

  7. Kolea Says:

    @Scott,

    You KNOW I love you, but. I gotta agree with WooWoo on the “process” point. I think it is bad form to hijack a blog post to take it too far off-topic.

  8. Kolea Says:

    On the Democrats and the Rule regarding the candidate survey:

    The Dems have been wrestling with a dilemma which faces all political parties: how to hold candidates who seek office using their “brand” accountable to the platform of the party. And how to find the appropriate mechanism and how to decide upon the right degree of strictness versus flexibility.

    If they insist all candidates adhere 100% to the platform, they will narrow the appeal of the party to voters and drive away potential candidates into the arms of another party. If they have no standards and no enforcement, the party becomes an unprincipled organization of individual political entrepreneurs, using the party label as a “flag of convenience” rather than because they are working based upon certain common values or policy proposals.

    It takes the wisdom of Solomon to solve the problem. Or at least, someone who has read Goldilocks and learned about the need for a balanced, “not too hard, not too soft” approach.

    The Libertarians have reached what appears to me toi be an admirable solution, but probably not workable for a major party. Certainly not a “party of governance.” Their executive committee interviews any candidate wanting to run using the Libertarian ballot line to determine if they are aligned with the party’s principles. If the candidate is “close enough,” but disagrees with an important formal position of the party, they are requested to NOT make the divergent opinion a part of their campaign.

    Last year (or was in January?), the Republican National Committee met in Waikiki. On their agenda was a proposal to adopt a VERY strict laundry list of positions candidates would be required to support if they wanted to run as Republicans. That proposal was defeated, but it was much more extreme than anything which has arisen within the Democratic Party, even for discussion–in the past few decades I have been paying attention.

    In this immediate cxase, folks who want to run as Democrats are rrequired to respond to the survey to express their agreement (or reservations) about the platform and recent convention resolutions. Some candidates just go through the motions, saying they agree with everything. Some candidates bridled at the very idea the party PRESUMES to ask them to explain their positions. If a candidate refuses to reply, the Party cannot expend funds on their behalf. In practice, that means they cannot appear in ads paid for by the party. I guess it might mean they would not have access to the party’s voter files if a member wanted to press the point.

    It does NOT mean the candidate will be barred from appearing on the ballot as a Democrat.

    Certain things about Andy are refreshing and attractive. But if he really is committed to honoring the Democratic Party’s rules, he may want to read through the mention early on about how the party believes primary elections are for PARTY MEMBERS to select their candidates for the ballot line in the General Election. He has openly called for Republicans to enter the Democratic primary in order to vote for their favored candidate.

    Andy’s disagreement with a “party primary” is probably not a rules violation. But it undercuts his insistence that party officials adhere tightly to the rules when dealing with candidates who fail to respond to the survey. The party is a “voluntary association” of people who come together to elect people from our membership into government office, HOPEFULLY to advance certain, mutually agreed upon policy proposals. It is an unwieldy, dynamic process for which there is no easy “legalistic,” enforcement-dependent solution. But Andy should start by recognizing Republicans do not have a moral right to pick OUR candidates. Even if the law gives them a chance to “game” our primary.

  9. Michael Says:

    I do not really care for either party.
    I care for a Candidate who cares for the very ones Ignored, THE PEOPLE.

    I will start a rumor.
    The winner of our next election will be one with Business knowledge. Business owners run Governments
    not Politicians.

  10. Andy Woerner Says:

    Kolea: You make a good point but what you might not know is that my remarks regarding cross-party voting were only made after contacting every incumbent and urging them to act to protect the Party’s constitutional voting rights. They all failed to do anything and as such, they deserve neither my support nor the party’s. Make no mistake, the election laws are unconstitutional and our incumbents refuse to challenge them in spite of clear party resolutions to the contrary.

    Andy Woerner
    Democratic candidate for US Senate

  11. David Shapiro Says:

    The Dems have been wrestling with a dilemma which faces all political parties: how to hold candidates who seek office using their “brand” accountable to the platform of the party. And how to find the appropriate mechanism and how to decide upon the right degree of strictness versus flexibility.

    Kolea, good point. Relating to our discussion yesterday, that’s also a pretty good description of the dilemma newspapers (and bloggers) face in deciding where to draw the line on allowing anonymous comments on stories and holding them accountable to standards.

  12. shaftalley Says:

    @ Jim Loomis- i strongly and disrespectfully disagree with your characterization of me as cynical and lazy!even though it’s true!!anyway,i try to be sincere and honest and accurate when i express my views here.

  13. Kolea Says:

    Dave,

    I don’t envy the moderators their job. But I think it is a mistake for them to shut down comments compleyely. Especially when the comments are overwhelmingly is disagreement with an editorial.

    The editors have a right to endorse whomever they want. But if people write in to disagree and the modetators respond by shutting down the comments and deleting those already posted, it is inevitable that readers will get angry. Particularly those of us who don’t think our comments should be deleted because of some other jerk’s intemperate remark.

    The net effect is to empower the hotheads to censor everybody else’s opinion by posting over-the-top comments. Why give Keith Rollman that much clout? (joke)

    Unless someone posted things more outrageous AFTER I stopped reading, the tenor of the remarks were not any ruder than normal. But they were ridiculing the S-A editorial, undermining the value of the endorsement for those who read the “paper” online. And so, the owners abandoned their small commitment to free speech (for others) and deleting the comments. Leaving their poorly reasoned endorsement unchallenged.

    That stinks.

  14. Shawnette Says:

    It’s a “moot” point. In this context, I would say it means a point
    which can be discussed endlessly but provides no value in discussing it. My suggestion…”Woerner, change Party’s”!

  15. Michael Says:

    “My first priority has never been about winning the election.” Andy Woerner

    Sorry to say that once money is donated to your campaign, You are expected to win. Not some charity where money is given to you who has a selfish reason. You are now a Marionette. One pulls your strings if that One gave you a “donation”. A bribe is a bride but in a nicer way a “donation”. One expects you to win and One gets their moneys worth. This is Business now and One is a Business Owner. You are a Politician in name only, As Business Owners, they would own you too.

    If you think so, I think someone is also pulling Senator Inouyes strings.
    It only appears he is in control, but he is not.
    The system is not wrong but those who are the system.

  16. zzzzzz Says:

    If a party wants to exclude non-party members from the process of selecting candidates their candidates, they should pay for their own elections.

    As long as the primaries are paid for by taxpayers, all voters should be able to choose to vote in whatever party’s primary they choose.

  17. Andy Woerner Says:

    zzzzzzz: I agree, and this too is a violation of the States Constitution (Article VII, Section 4). Its nice to hear someone else with that perspective. While I’m a firm supporter of the Democratic Party, it shocks me that the two main private political organizations of the state have so much control over our elections… especially when you consider that their combined memberships make up less than 5% of our total population.

  18. Capitol -ist/WassupDoc Says:

    May take? Ban all comments sections in the newspapers. Do like Civil Beat and require people to use their real names. Go back to the Good Old Days when someone disagreed with the editorial writers, s/he could write a Letter to the Editor.

    I’m sure our blog host remembers those dim & distant days.

    I stopped reading the Comments sections in the Advertiser, Star-Bulletin and now the Star Advertiser on a regular basis a long time ago. Somehow being subjected to singularly junk writing as well as junk thinking was a huge waste of time especially since I am not able to write rebutting comments.

    Where’s the dissembling screed?

  19. Michael Says:

    As if WassupDoc is a real name?

    Not if one take chloropyhll
    it won’t stink. Then again
    one is so righteous, nothing stinks.

  20. Kolea Says:

    So Andy, I have difficulty reconciling your reply to me and your reply to zzzzzz. You correctly point out the Party has passed resolutions in favor of a closed primary(and inserted it into our rules). And you expressed frustration that no democratic elected officials seem to be willing to support legislation to enact a closed primary. In fact, you APPEAR to be saying Hawaii’s current open primary laws are unconstitutional. (Or am I misunderstanding you?).

    Yet you agree with zzzzzz when he says everyone should be able to vote in either party’s primary if they are paid for with taxpayer money.

    So am I misunderstanding your position? Or have you already developed the politician’s tendency to appear to be ingratiating themselves with people on both sides of an issue? 😉

  21. Andy Woerner Says:

    Kolea: I agree with the party that our open primary is unconstitutional AND agree with zzzzzz that the use of our primary elections for
    the nomination processes of private political organizations is a missappriopriation of public funds under our state constitution. I support the Party in it’s efforts to protect itself, but would prefer stronger action to protect the interest of the public in general.

    Andy Woerner
    Democratic candidate for US Senate

  22. Capitol -ist/WassupDoc Says:

    Nichael: I use my name when it is required amd my posting name when it isn’t. However, our blog host as well as several of the regulars here know who I am in the real world.

    Interesting that I am on hold waiting to speak with a Costco supervisor named Mike and have had both written and oral communications with three other Michaels over the past 24 hours. Perhaps you are one of them and I wouldn’t know that if you do not use your last name here.

    With respect to the subject of this particular blog post, I believe that candidates running as a Democrat should support the Platform or, in the alternative, express their concerns & personal positions on issues with which they may have some disagreements.

    I certainly don’t expect all candidates to be in lock-steo agreement, but I think that those of us who will be voting the (D) slate are entitled to know where the candidates stand on our Party Platform – now how’s that for a pun!

  23. Kolea Says:

    zzzzzz,

    You think any voter should be able to vote in either party’s primary so long as the elections are financed by the taxpayers. OK, I am familiar with that argument. And, at a certain level, it seems to make sense.

    Let me try to present it to you in a slightly different light and see if you will follow my logic long enough to entertain the possibility my position makes a certain amount of sense.

    This issue has been decided fairly recently by the US Supreme Court. But heck, I think the SCOTUS, especially under the current leadership, is often full of doo-doo, so the fact that SCOTUS has ruled on this doesn’t necessarily mean their interpretation is correct. But it DOES mean it is established law for the foreseeable future, which presents a practical problem for those of us who might disagree with them.

    The ruling was in California Democratic Party v. Jones. Here is a direct link to the ruling:

    http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/California_Democratic_Party_v._Jones/Opinion_of_the_Court

    NOTE: although the case was filed by the Democratic Party of California, the other parties: Republican, Libertarian and Peace & Freedom all filed amicus briefs in support of the Dems’ position.

    For those willing to put some research into their opinions on political issues, (an admittedly SmALL group of people, but I am confident that group DOEs include you) it is well worth reading. It will get you “up to speed” on the issue. And, I can promise you, the ‘closed primary” issue will not go away in Hawaii politics, especially after the blatant efforts of the GOP to use the current statute to “game” the system.

    The opinion was written by Antonin Scalia, someone I RARELY agree with on anything. But his opinion reads almost like poetry. It is well-reasoned, well-written and takes the reader back to the “First Principles” which animated the Federalist Papers and the writing of the Constitution.

    In rough outline, the argument is that people have a fundamental constitutional right to ‘associate” with like-minded people in order to organize to influence government policy. Inherent in the right to associate with like-minded people, is the right to NOT associate with people working against you. The political parties are a dominant expression of this right to associate.

    From the opinion:

    ‘Representative democracy in any populous unit of governance is unimaginable without the ability of citizens to band together in promoting among the electorate candidates who espouse their political views.”

    And, also from the ruling:

    “In no area is the political association’s right to exclude more important than in the process of selecting its nominee.”

    Ergo, a political party has the right to determine who participates in the selection of its candidates and has the right to exclude people who are hostile to the principles and interests of the party.

    I hope I wrote that clearly enough. My scrambled writing (and thinking) is no substitute for Scalia’s eloquent presentation of the argument.

    Next step in the argument:

    The government CAN pass laws which limit constitutional rights IF it can demonstrate a compelling state interest AND if the law is “narrowly tailored” to protect that vital state interest in a fashion least restrictive of the constitutional right. SCOTUS ruled the open primary law is NOT narrowly tailored and therefore unconstitutional. The court ruled that a state government CAN decide to move to completely non-partisan elections if it so chooses, but if it uses a party-based primary system, it must allow the political parties to decide which voters can participate in making that choice.

    (I realize I have not yet dealt with your “paid for by taxpayers” objection. But in my opinion, it is important that folks appreciate the basic logic of the SCOTUS opinion before getting to that stage of the argument.)

    The Court ruled that public financing of the elections does NOT trump the constitutional right of party members to run their own affairs. It notes it is constitutional for states to pass laws requiring political parties to use the primary system in order to guarantee a modicum of fairness and democracy in the selection. In fact, the primary system was enacted as a reform to move parties away from back room deals for selecting candidates. And, as noted, if state governments object to a primary system controlled by the parties, they have the option of moving towards purely non-partisan elections.

    For those tempted to believe “non-partisan” elections minimize the influence of “vulgar” partisan behavior, I would point to the Mayoral race, where the Republican Party is openly campaigning for Panos and GOP officials are attacking Carlisle for his apostacy in quitting their party. That’s as “partisan” as any other part of the election. In fact, the Democrats are split on a “non-partisan” basis between Caldwell and Carlisle, the current system rewards the GOP for behaving as a partisan bloc!

    Just as Jim Loomis rightly criticizes those who say “all politicians are crooks” or “all incumbents should be driven from office,” so too does the call for crossover voting depend upon a certain level of cynicism. And when the crossover option is so openly discussed by Republican party leaders, as well as by Mufi campaign folks and, on the other side, by Ed Case calling upon Republicans to vote for Neil, these appeals are all VERY “partisan.” Which exposes as a lie, MUCH of the surface argument used to justify crossover voting as if it were “highminded” and “above party” kind of thinking.

    Of course, your mileage may vary. But I deny that crossover voting or “non-partisan” elections are somehow a more high-minded and principled form of voting than a party primary system.

    democratic voters should pick our champion. Republican voters should pick their champion. Sincere supporters of a particular candidate can vote for their favored candidate on whichever ballot the candidate appears. But I think it is highly unethical for voters to vote for a candidate in party primary if they are hostile to that party’s basic platform and/or intend to vote for another candidate in the General Election.

    Sincere Mufi supporters should vote for him in the primary. But those who intend to vote for Aiona in the General, should NOT vote for Mufi, even if the law allows it. As grown ups, we should be able to recognize that a lot of improper behavior is not illegal, but we still do not engage in it. Particulary those who pretend to be motivated by a “higher purpose,” like religious conservatives, should resist the siren song of those who wish to justify unethical behavior in the name of a higher good. The “ends justify the means” is always a slippery slope.

  24. Kolea Says:

    Andy,

    I posted before I saw your response. I recommend the Jones ruling for your consideration. I think the apparent logic of your position falls apart under the ruthless, step-by-step reasoning in the SCOTUS opinion.

    When the Philistines and Hebrews lined up for battle, and Goliath challenged the Hebrews to send forth their best warrior for hand to hand combat, it wasn’t the Philistines who helped decide who the Hebrews should send out, it was a decision made by the Hebrews themselves, without the ability of the Philistines to “game the system” to their advantage.

    The current practice of Hawaii Republicans to “cross over” into the Democratic primary, whether to vote for “the weakest candidate” (one easily defeated by Goliath) or to pick the most “Philistine-like” in case the Hebrew is the eventual victor, is just wrong.

    The use of taxpayer funds ensures government supervised elections during the primary. This was intended to ensure fairness and transparency as an improvement on “smoke-filled, backroom deals by political bosses.” My assertion on this is backed up by the historical record.

    SCOTUS has ruled that public financing of elections already serves THAT purpose and does not create a further right to override the right of parties to pick their own candidates.

    Again, I recommend people interested in reading the most highly developed arguments along these lines read the ruling and the dissent. And, if you want to dig deeper, the arguments by both sides. I think you will find the final opinion to be a persuasive weighing of the competing arguments.

    And yes, i fell “icky” saying anything nice about Scalia. but in this case, it was an intellectual AND LITERARY pleasure to read his prose.

  25. WooWoo Says:

    Kolea-

    Very nice post. We should all try and be as thorough and thoughtful.

  26. Michael Says:

    Miss Capitol -ist/WassupDoc Says:
    “May take? Ban all comments sections in the newspapers. Do like Civil Beat and require people to use their real names. Go back to the Good Old Days when someone disagreed with the editorial writers, s/he could write a Letter to the Editor.” quote Capitol -ist/WassupDoc Says:

    “Nichael: I use my name when it is required amd my posting name when it isn’t. However, our blog host as well as several of the regulars here know who I am in the real world.” quote by Capitol -ist/WassupDoc Says:

    To your convinience! Quite contradicting to what you say once and reply again. As if you due respect to anyone. Also don’t put me in your lemming class of who you know. How you also side track comments, to your convinience.

    One post an opinion based on Bible Characters but is not a Christian. I guess so since these characters were alive before Jesus was born so making one a Non-Christian believer. Only after Jesus died, did Christianity come of birth.
    Of course to her convinience to post opinions that can be subject to asking if one is a Christian.

  27. Michael Says:

    Comments were already side tracked and as title states it seems, Rules are meant to be ignored.

  28. David Shapiro Says:

    OK, enough personal sniping. Let’s please stick to the substance. I like WooWoo’s suggestion. Thanks.

  29. Michael Says:

    I asked to be moderated.
    I thought that is what others call
    a “discussion”.

  30. Kolea Says:

    Andy expressed an opinion that Democratic elected officials have refused to support the call for a closed primary and therefore “deserve neither my support nor the party’s.”

    @Andy,

    I hope you don’t feel I am picking on you by responding to your points where i disagree?

    AndI am also aware I have an obligation to TRY to remain close to the original subject of Dave’s blog post. I hope people will recognize the issue of elected officials and their relationship with the Party is at the core of Dave’s post. My comment here is intended to help shed light on the difficulties inherent in that relationship.

    The Democratic Party “owns the trademark, “Democratic,” and has some (limited) right to decide who gets to use the Party label when running for office.

    But most candidates, including a lot of incumbents, feel little or no obligation to the Party in exchange for the use of that label.

    The candidates raise almost all their campaign funds by themselves or through allies. Little or no funds come from the Party. While candidates might draw some volunteers from those they know through the Party, they are more likely to rely upon friends from school, business or social connections. Meanwhile, the Party passes all kinds of resolutions and platform planks in an effort to define what it means to be a “Democrat.” And, in the views of the candidate/elected official, some of those positions are, to be charitable, “ill-considered.”

    So when Party activists approach them saying, “Hey you gotta support the Party’s position,” or “Hey, you gotta obey the Party rules,” the candidates sometimes get impatient and say, “Oh yeah? Or you’ll do what?”

    Which sorta calls the Party’s bluff.

    To which the Dem Party activists may say, “Hey, we own the rights to the Party label and can revoke your right to use it.” Which kinda is a troublesome argument because, push comes to shove, the Party DOES have that kind of power. But who wants to escalate things that far? Who wins?

    THAT is the dilemma facing the Party when candidates fail to reply to the survey, despite the Rule.

    Frankly, the Party leaders have wisely come to the conclusion that they will only go after candidates or elected officials for the most egregious violations of the Rules. To go after them for minor violations of secondary or tertiary rules is a waste of everyone’s energy. The Due process considerations for holding disciplinary proceedings under Party Rules are time-consuming and pull key party members away from other very pressing duties. Especially during election season.

    As a result, a lot of rule violations are ignored. Except, as I said, the most egregious. Not sure how it could be otherwise. IT might make sense to whittle down the Party Rules a bit and drop those provisions which are too difficult to enforce.

    But to conclude that Democratic candidates and elected officials who do not complete the survey or do not support the Party’s internal call for a closed primary are therefore unworthy of support, strikes me as a bit extreme. If Andy can find NO elected officials supportive of the call for a closed primary, maybe the Party needs to do more work to convince them or should drop the idea.

  31. shaftalley Says:

    we have term limits for president.should we have term limits for members of congress in DC and for hawaii state legislators?yes and no.put it to a vote.let the voters decide. public financing of elections is negative and dangerous.tax-payer money turned into political money.regulating money and throwing that money into into the political system won’t stop abuse.or bring transparency.just more bureaucracy.

  32. David Shapiro Says:

    I don’t care for it when somebody posts a totally off topic diatribe to advance some agenda of theirs, but I don’t mind if the discussion drifts to another subject or a sidetrack as a natural matter of course. It’s gone to some interesting places.

  33. Andy Woerner Says:

    Kolea: Excellent synopsis of Dems v Jones. You also seem to have a deep understanding of the issues and I look forward to studying your response in more detail when I have the time… At the moment I’m in a bit of a hurry getting ready to take my 2 yr old son to the fair!

    For now, I would just note that cross party voting doesn’t have to be unethical or against the party. My position is simply that the effective general election in Hawaii is the Democratic primary and Republicans and republican minded independents do themselves a disservice by selecting the Republican ballot. I believe they should protect the power of their own vote by choosing the Democratic ballot and voting for the Democrat who best will best represent them in government.

    Until we either change our elections laws to provide for a Constitutionally valid non-partisan election, or change our state constitution AND election laws to provide for a closed primary, I will stand firmly by that position… especially since 95% of our population belongs to neither of these parties, and our election laws and political culture have clearly been developed to discourage candidates from running as non-partisan candidates.

    Andy Woerner
    Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate
    Election Reform – Term Limits – Balanced Budget

  34. Michael Says:

    “I don’t care for it when somebody posts a totally off topic diatribe to advance some agenda of theirs, but I don’t mind if the discussion drifts to another subject or a sidetrack as a natural matter of course. It’s gone to some interesting places.”

    I guess Dave, that is a rule I also follow.
    Dissenge the Brain and Common sense and you get what is popular by those who break rules. Their form of discussion. Discussion or Debate now is Trash Talking. Throwing of Mud.

    Interesting how Politics and Blog rules are similiar.
    Double standards meant for a few. Andy tries to set rules straight but everyone else goes on their own trip. Sort of like a Scott Goold. Similiar in looks.
    Change the system or one tries to and the whole group goes against any who disagree. Point taken. Point proven. Again I say Thanks!

  35. Andy Woerner Says:

    Kolea: Back from the fair and got the boy to bed, so I thought I’d make a couple of comments to your posts:

    A) As for your comments on Dave’s blog and the Party rules… you again provide a great synopsis of the situation… but as you point out in your other arguments, just because they can break the rules, doesn’t mean its right.

    B) In the debate about primaries, you stated, “The Court ruled that public financing of the elections does NOT trump the constitutional right of party members to run their own affairs. It notes it is constitutional for states to pass laws requiring political parties to use the primary system in order to guarantee a modicum of fairness and democracy in the selection.”

    While I agree with that ruling, its important to note that that it was based on the federal constitution and not the state’s. My concern (and probably zzzzzz’s) is with the misappropriation of public funds as prohibited by Article VII, Section 4 of Hawaii’s Constitution. While elections are certainly a “public purpose” and an appropriate use of public funds, the nomination processes of private organizations certainly are not… especially when those private organizations make up less than 5% of our total population.

    C) You place a lot of emphasis in your arguments on the Party’s rights of associations… and you will find no argument from me on that point. This is indeed why I support the Democratic Party’s efforts in this area, and why I have been so frustrated that our Democratic leadership (including Sen. Inouye) have actively refused to protect what appears to be a clear violation of our Party’s rights (Though to be fair, Dem v. Jones makes a special note that it doesn’t necessarily settle the question about our slightly different type of open primary system).

    Either way, you fail to point what I believe is Scalia’s most interesting point in the entire opinion. In the closing paragraph, he drops a hint for a better solution and provides constitutional cover for the top-two primary system that Californian’s finally adopted (this year) to overcome the legitimate constitutional concerns decided in this particular case.

    Andy Woerner
    Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate
    Election Reform – Term Limits – Balanced Budget

  36. Kolea Says:

    Andy,

    Last point first. I think you will see I did cover Scalia’s point when I said the court ruled states had the option of moving to purely non-partisan races. But as long as they use the party primary system, the state has no right to force the party’s to include people who are fundamentally hostile to the party’s interest.

    It seems to me you DO disagree with the Court on the importance of the right to associate. This is not a minor, secondary right. It follows inexorably from the right to free speech and the right to petition the government for redress. If I believe the future of humankind is served by setting up colonies on the planet Mars and, through letters to the editor, petition drives, speaking at Rotary Clubs and otherwise convincing my neighbors that this is a good idea, we could form a “Mars Colony Party.” If there are people who oppose interplanetary colonization or people FOOLISH enough to want us to set up colonies on Mercury instead, we should not be forced to allow such people to pick our party leaders, our spokesmen or our candidates for political office.

    That right to associate with like-minded people and to NOT associate with those who oppose our agenda is a FUNDAMENTAL right. If I understand what you have written, you agree with that part of it. Yet you then take the opposite position, that OPPONENTS OF MARS COLONIZATION have every right to help decide the Mars Colony Party’s leaders. You justify this reversal because the government pays for and runs the voting process. NO! States moved to government-run elections in order to ensure fair and transparent selection of a party’s candidates, to prevent voter fraud and/or decisions made by party bosses rather than the party members. That increased transparency/fairness was the “compelling state interest” used to justify requiring parties to adopt the primary system. But the “compelling state interest” DOES NOT trump the FUNDAMENTAL constitutional right of political association.

    If you want to grumble that the members of the parties are benefiting from the expenditure of taxpayer money and therefore THE STATE has a right to interfere more in the internal affairs of the parties, you overstep. Frankly, the laws in Hawaii are pretty relaxed about the steps needed to create a new party and gain ballot status. If other citizens want to take advantage of the “benefits” of state run elections, it does not require a very large expenditure of money. It just takes convincing enough like-minded people to sign a petition requesting ballot status. And the signature requirement is pretty low, relative to other states. The problem with starting a new party is not government roadblocks. It is convincing your neighbors that your new party makes sense.

    If the state were to refuse to pay for public elections, what would happen? The parties would come up with other, cheaper and less transparent ways for picking their candidates for the general election. I get from your comments that you attended the last Democratic convention. Can you imagine a convention would be a better way of deciding between all the Democratic candidates?

    And the Democratic state conventions have been MUCH more transparent and fair than recent GOP Hawaii conventions, where the GOP leaders resorted to ahnding out pre-marked ballots to their loyalists in order to ensure they voted for the pre-approved slate and used Robert’s rules to shut down debate. Don’t rely upon my account. You can find the complaints of the local conservatives and Ron Paul supporters online. Read the accounts for yourself and then decide if you would rather take your chances with government supervised elections or those run by the parties themselves.

    No. In the early part of the 20th century, the public, mobilized largely by the Populist and Progressive movements, became convinced elections had to be taken away from the control of the political bosses and put under the control of government supervised elections. Some folks advocated purely non-partisan elections, but that idea did not catch on and what was adopted instead was a reformed, party primary process for most states. Public money buys the transparency. It does NOT buy the right to suppress the right of like-minded people to associate with each other and offer up THEIR candidates for consideration by ALL voters in the general election.

    Just because the politicians in Hawaii have not passed a law forbidding people from one party from interfering with the political rights of another party does not mean it is “ethical.” You cannot hold that position AND support the principle of a closed primary. Public funding does NOT justify that violation. Your personal interest in getting votes from Republicans dissatisfied with Inouye and wanting to register a protest vote may give you an interest in fudging on the logic–and ethics–of the situation.

    If Hawaii follows California’s example and moves to a non-partisan election, the point will be moot. But until that happens, cross-over voting, especially insincere, “strategic” cross-over voting is clearly unethical and a violation of the constitutional rights of the party members being invaded. Your encouragement of it is wrong.

  37. WooWoo Says:

    An email went out yesterday from Dylan Nonaka of the local GOP urging all GOP members to NOT crossover. I thought it was a very well written and well reasoned email.

    I think that the idea of crossover voting gets a lot of airplay with political junkies, but it’s more of a conversation piece than anything else. It seems to me that the only people that might do it are those who imagine themselves as particularly clever individuals… Key word “imagine”

    Along with the arguments that it’s ineffective and disrespectful of the party process, Nonaka points out that it is very unfair to the many republican candidates that are out there working very hard to earn voters’ support. They deserve to get a vote from their fellow party members.

  38. Andy Woerner Says:

    Kolea: Nice example with the Mars Colony Party!

    To be clear, I do not in any way believe that non-party members should have the legal right to participate in deciding the nominee for a political party. I also agree that the old convention-based and other private means of determining a Party’s nominee can easily be corrupted and lack transparency… HOWEVER, they are private organizations and that is a problem that its members have the sole responsibility to address. If the members of the Mars Colony Party are unable to control their leadership and its nominations, then they should quit the Party or at least unite to control it. Imagine if taxpayer funds were used to ensure that the members of the Mars Colony Party had fair internal election processes… now imagine the same of groups like the KKK, or other extreme groups in our society. When you step outside the accepted culture of our two-party system, the problems of public funded nominations seem quite obvious to me.

    However under our current system, quitting the Democratic Party and removing one’s self from participating in the Democratic Primary often comes with the “severe penalty”, as Justice Kennedy put it in Burdick v. Takushi, of sacrificing one’s entire voice in the effective general election of the state, which usually occurs on the Democratic Primary Ballot.

    It’s not my intention to encourage cross-over voting for the purpose of selecting the Democratic Party’s nominee… I simply encourage cross-over voting for the sole purpose of participating in the election of the Democrat who will ultimately represent a voter in government. Our unconstitutional primary system leaves them with little other choice. I think if you truly put yourself in their position, you’d probably find yourself doing the same.

    Either way, if this is the end of our conversation, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your perspective and encourage you to apply your deep understanding of the issues somewhere outside the confines of this blog. We both agree that there are real constitutional problems that need addressing… and doing so is more important than either of our personal positions.

    Andy Woerner
    Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate
    Election Reform – Term Limits – Balanced Budget

  39. WooWoo Says:

    In re-reading my post, I realized that right in the middle of Andy and Kolea’s exchange my statement about imagined cleverness might be construed as a dig at Andy. Nothing of the sort. It is clearly a smart idea from where he stands for Andy to encourage republicans to crossover and vote for him. It’s just not a smart idea for republicans to do it.

  40. charles Says:

    We also need to make a distinction between card carrying Democratic Party (or Republican Party) members and voters who choose to vote in the primary.

    Kolea, your points are well taken and well articulated.

    A political party has the right to develop policies and rules as to who can run under their banner. In Hawaii, it’s a fairly loosey-goosey policy probably based upon the “big tent” theory.

    In other states, it’s far more restrictive. For example, in some states the party endorses candidates so while anyone who follows the rules can run, say, as a Democrat, the Democratic Party may and does endorse candidates in the primary.

    In Hawaii, the party’s attitude is anyone can run as a Dem if the rules are followed and after the primary, the party will “officially” endorse you.

    There’s advantages to this approach as has been written but there’s disadvantages as well. We all know there are a number of DINOs in elected office and that is a knock on Mufi this go round.

    As far as the argument that tax dollars are used in elections and therefore it should be totally open; well, that is a stretch.

    After all, one could say we give tax-exempt status to churches, non-profits, etc., but we would tread very lightly in reaching into their internal affairs.

  41. WooWoo Says:

    Ok, thread drift. Have you seen the new Hanabusa commercial? Of course regulars here know I support Djou, but still… Doesn’t it drive you nuts that her eyes keep drifting off screen to the TelePrompTer?

  42. David Shapiro Says:

    WooWoo, I watched the Hanabusa spot several times and the eyes didn’t jump out at me, but I was looking at it YouTube sized on my computer screen. I won’t TiVo past it the next time it comes on TV and see if the bigger screen makes a difference. I thought your man Djou had a shifty eye problem in those “Jane you ignorant slut” segments he used to do with Brian Schatz on KGMB, but he seemed to get it fixed by time the campaign started. I’m put off as a viewer by the spots where the candidate deliberately isn’t looking right into the camera, like the latest Aiona and Hooser ads. Maybe I’ll get used to them.

  43. Michael Says:

    Not everything is based on Religion but Business.

    Since today is September 11, 2010.
    In a past inteview with Usama bin Laden,
    the attack was made to Bankrupt USA,
    as Usama bin Laden said he had done to Russia
    in 10 years of Afghnistan War.

    What has also been done was to make United States into Divided States of America. People are divided into parties, financial chaos, religious chaos. United States will never regain if divided and so weak. Civil War never ended. Rights have been forgotten. Even parties are divided.

  44. WooWoo Says:

    Michael-

    Division in America today, IMHO, has very little to do with UBL.

    If you do some in-depth reading on the subject, you will learn that UBL’s primary goal in attacking the US was to incite a mass uprising in the Middle East against US-backed Arab governments. His attack was designed to send the message to other disaffected extremists in the region not to be afraid of the Arab strongmen (like the Mubaraks, Assads, al-Sauds, etc.), and that the tacit support of the US for these regimes meant nothing; that the US was weak, that these Arab dictators were weak, and that the rebels could take them down. What happens to the US, as far as UBL is concerned, is a distant second to what happens in the Muslim world. He only wants us to be bankrupted or consumed in division or anything/everything else bad if it helps achieve his goal of an Islamic caliphate. If America falls but the Al-Sauds continue to rule Saudi Arabia, UBL doesn’t consider it a win. Typical of us to think that we are the main event; we are not.

    Back to the divisions in the US. What is the root cause of this apparent increase in social division? I think the big factors that must be considered are the splintering of our mass media and the continuing emphasis on minority views.

    50 years ago, everybody watched one of three networks. Everybody watched Leave it to Beaver and I love Lucy. Now, with literally hundreds of cable channels and media outlets available, our perceptions of America outside of our immediate circle of interaction are increasingly fractured. Equally important, since we now have choice over what we see and hear, we never have to listen to someone we disagree with. Liberals never have to watch Glen Beck, and conservatives never have to watch Keith Olbermann. We make a few initial choices in our views, and then continue to follow those choices down a road that diverges further and further from our neighbor that made initial choices slightly different than ours. This is human nature; the main reason why first impressions count so much is that once we form an opinion, we look for reasons to validate our original opinion much more than reasons that we are wrong. Most human beings don’t make a judgment and then immediately try and prove themselves wrong (although we might all be better off if we did this a little bit more).

    The other factor is the idea that has been subtly taught over the last few decades in schools is that the minority view (minority in a broad view, not just racial minority) deserves equal standing with the majority view. Indeed, it often seems that the minority view gets top billing because of the implicit assumption that the majority view is bad since it is associated historically with oppression. The way that various social subjects are taught today, the only reason why the people who are “on top” today (invariably white people)are there is because they lied, cheated, stole, and oppressed their way to the top. Example: the bloodless “overthrow” of Queen Liliuokalani by the white business interests is bad, bad, bad, but the fact that her ancestor King Kamehameha I (“the Great”) “united” the Hawaiian Islands by killing other Hawaiians and forcing them to jump off the Pali is celebrated. Brown skin kill brown skin = okay, white skin take land from brown skin = not okay. My point is not to say that the overthrow was legitimate; it wasn’t. But from that standpoint neither was Kamehameha’s, but they don’t get equal treatment today. In the broader sense, my point is that every minority viewpoint is treated “special” today, and this contributes to the splintering of American society.

    This is my opinion on the “why” of matter. Whether this (divisions in American society) is a good or a bad thing is a separate discussion. Clearly supression of minority views is a bad thing; also, failing to acknowledge that often times majority views are majority views because they have more merit than minority views is a bad thing.

    One thing in my mind that is crystal clear is that places where people of differing opinions can come together and have honest, respectful discussions are essential to our long-term success as a society. And for that, mahalo to Dave and everybody else here, and mahalo to the brave men and women who put their lives on the line at home and abroad to protect our right to have this discussion.

  45. shaftalley Says:

    the left has this wierd idea that all private money is tainted and only public money is free of sin! it seems to me that public financing is the surest way to lock up the system and protect it from dissenting outsiders.public financing secures elections for only people who love the status quo(inouye,akaka,henning) to participate.the real problem is not that private donations leads to abuse.the problem is that the stakes are too high.the pro-government establishment wants public money and wants the citizens to support their liberal causes.

  46. Michael Says:

    WooWoo:
    America will never be the same,
    then Why fight in the Middle East of Afghanistan?
    After all this is not my war, I get along well with
    other Relgions. America is in deep! All this bickering between Parties is not getting anywheres.
    They divided one is strong. It seems Divided America falls. Troops here and there. Dissention in Parties.
    Civil Rights war starting all over again. The Freedom to Speak only to a few. Is this not double standards? Reason more so to get angry as I do.

    You say Usama bin Laden is not at fault, then it is the fault of America and it’s leaders. Usama bin Laden was taught by Americans. He learned well and studied where Americans made mistakes before.

    50 years plus is when TV first came out. Black and White with test tubes that blew out ever so often and repairmen did door to door. Ed Sullivan was a hit show. Leave it to Beaver came out in the 60’s and then 70’s added few other shows. At first there was no cable. Hawaii was not even a State but a Territory. 1959 we became a State. I questioned for myself if I was a natural born citizen. I am since Hawaii was a territory. Next to become a State is Puerto Rico if they allow it.

    Again the Business Top 5 names come in the picture in Hawaii.
    If you study other Countries Histories, America Attacked Japan way back in the 1800’s. Commodore Perry set up blocks in Japan ports. Way before Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. Terrorist learned by 10 years of study to destroy America. So many years for the planning of Pearl Harbor Attack. All for the purpose of destroying the Countries Economy, Japan at one time and now Americas. The same mistake was made twice.

    Many Americans are hated in other countries. Why?
    I had no problem since I don’t look American.

    WooWoo, I do not usually discuss but Thanks for replying in a Civil manner. It would take years to explain my comments but there is a reason.
    At least you give a chance for me to read and breathe, not get a reply shoved down my throat as others do in their discussion.

    From what I read, Afghanistan has resources beyond oil but minerals, gems, a few other natural resources,
    other countries want. Russia wanted but lost.
    All in it for money. Business is War.

    Done for now.

  47. Michael Says:

    Correction, not of but or.

  48. Kolea Says:

    shaftalley,

    I think you misread my posts if you think I was talking about public financing of campaigns. The discussion was whether public funding of primary elections in the NARROW Sense, i.e., the counting of the votes should give the government the authority to dictate who can vote in a party’s primary.

    You appear to think we were talking about public funding of CAMPAIGNS, a different subject, also worthy of discussion, but not the topic I intended to address.

    Sorry if my careless terminology set you off! 🙂

    Not sure if you have followed the Libertarian Party’s involvement in the primary debate. They figured in a major case where non-Libertarians wanted to vote in their primary, in order to elect an non-Libertarian as their candidate for a general election. (I forget the cite, sorry. I think it was in Arizona.)

  49. WooWoo Says:

    Dave-my vote for best commercial to date goes to Inouye. Maybe I’m just a sucker for the grandpa routine, but I think it hits all of the right notes. Of course it’s probably easier to appear calm and humble when you’re king of the hill (literally), but it’s still a very nice ad.

  50. Kolea Says:

    Andy,

    You cite Justice Kennedy’s opinion in Burdick v Takushi, but Kennedy’s opinion was a dissent. Meaning his view did not prevail.

    The Jones case is pretty definitive in this area. Certainly much more than what you provided from Kennedy’s minority opinion.

    @WooWoo,

    I appreciate your remarks about people who imagine themselves “clever” by playing cross-over games. But it is not an insignificant number. And not all crossover voters have the inflated ego you suggest.

    Look at Ed Case’s political career. He has relied upon Republican cross over voting in each of his major races. The recent special election did not offer him the opportunity. The republicans who have voted for ed in the past did not (generally) do so thinking they were clever. They did it because they liked Ed’s views. Some may have qualified that by saying if the race were to be run by a Democrat, Ed was their favorite choice.

    Mufi has also benefited from GOP crossover voting. His mayoral races were bad examples, as those races were non-partisan. but his 1986 race for Congress provided a rare opportunity for political junkies with data for assessing the extent of GOP support for Mufi. Two elections were held simultaneously, with the same pool of voters. A non-partisan special election and the Democratic primary. In the special election, Neil won, because GOP voters voted for Pat Saiki. But in the Democratic primary, Mufi won. Because without Saiki in the race, the Republicans voted for Mufi.

    I believe most GOP crossover vote is sincere. Because there are almost never interesting primary raves on the GOP ballot, and because the winner of the Democratic primary is likely to go on to win the general, they take a Democratic ballot in the primary. Even if most of them intend to vote for the republican nominee in the general. I believe very few such voters try to be “clever” in the sense they would vote for the “weaker” Democrat in order to increase the odds for the GOP candidate in the general. But they will vote for the most “Republican-like” of the Democrats.

    Dylan Nonaka’s email recognizes this reality. The Hawaii GOP has decided Aiona has a better chance against Neil Abercrombie than Mufi. And they know Mufi has no chance of winning the Democratic primary without Republican crossover votes. That is the main reason why Nonaka is asking GOP voters to NOT take a Democratic ballot.

    Similarly, in the Akaka-Case race, Governor Lingle knew a lot of Republicans were fond of Ed and were planning to vote for him against Akaka. Lingle saw Case as a major competitor in her political future and preferred Akaka to win, creating a better scenario for her plans to run for the Senate herself. In that case, prominent Republican operatives close to the Governor actually helped Senator Akaka, particularly in the Hawaiian community.

    Cross over voting is real, is significant and can determine elections. It is not just political junkies who believe this. It is major candidates and major strategists from both parties.

  51. shaftalley Says:

    hey kolea! i read everything twice.all the comments from you ,andy,woo-woo,michael,scottG(of course!).everyone.wonderful stuff.dynamite.

  52. WooWoo Says:

    Kolea-

    Good points. I was specifically thinking about the crossover voters who try to pick a weaker Dem candidate in order to help the Republican in the general. Crossing over to vote for somebody that is more conservative in values to ensure two “acceptable” candidates from a conservative point of view is, in my mind, something a little bit different than messing around with the other team’s primary election by voting for a weaker candidate.

    Nonaka’s email pointed out that there are two streams of murmurs in the GOP community about crossover voting: vote for Mufi because he’s more religiously conservative, and vote for Neil because he would be easier to beat. Obviously, these two just cancel each other out. Maybe I’m just a sucker, but I believe him when he says that we should pull a Republican ticket because our candidates deserve our support.

    I also agree that the momentum seems to be with Abercrombie now, but I am not so confident as to say that the only way Mufi wins the primary is with crossover votes.

  53. Andy Woerner Says:

    woowoo: I agree that there is a difference between negative and positive crossover voting… and I only advocate the later (as a means of ensuring these voters have an effective say in who what is essentially our general election).

    As for Republican “candidates deserving (y)our support”… the election history just doesn’t support the idea that they even need the support in the primary. In the last 3 elections not a single Republican elected to office needed significant voter support in the primary. Only three Republican winners even had primary challengers at all, and they all won by large margins in their primaries.

    Cross over voting doesn’t prevent republican voters from supporting Republican candidates, it just prevents them from wasting their already limited political power.

    In Hawaii, I believe there are only about 10,000 members of the Republican party. As such Republican candidates are only slightly better positioned than other third party candidates. Like it or not, voting in these third party and Republican primaries serves to simply protect the interests of the “Democratic” political machine by remove these opposing voices from the effective general election of the state.

    As an example, if in 2006 all republicans had chosen the Democratic ballot, Ed Case would have easily won the Democratic Primary and he almost certainly would have been elected to the Senate. Although most Republicans probably don’t like Case either,they would probably agree that he would at least provide slightly better representation of their views in government.

    And by the way, Gov. Lingle only needed 323 votes to win against her 3 Republican challengers… which is a strong reminder of why most Republican candidates don’t need much support in their primaries.

    Andy Woerner

  54. Michael Says:

    Mr. Smith goes to Washington.

    Old School rules. Seems that there are rules
    but who Polices them? Senior Politicians.
    Seems Senators of junior ranking have no say but to be seen and nod yes to anything said. One becomes a Marionnete. One wants to run for Senate but won’t be heard. Drastic measures, Drastic actions. Irritate the lot and eyes are being opened. Ears are listening.

    He wanted to be heard so he made a loud noise. Now eyes and ears are opened and rules will be followed.
    Mr. Smith stood his ground, till the very end even when sick, He Became Heard.


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