Time For Case To Exit Gracefully
Wednesday - June 02, 2010
Elections can be cruel - and miraculous.
First, the cruelty. In one of his Internet postings following the 1st Congressional District special election, Ed Case denounced $250,000 worth of attack ads run against him by an organization called Independent Women’s Voice, a conservative political action committee.
The ladies of the IWV didn’t act ladylike at all. In their ads they described Case as a free-spending liberal who voted for tax hikes and hired staffers from disgraced Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevitch, “the man who tried to sell Barack Obama’s seat” - implying that Case might have conspired with him in the sale. They included no mention of Case as a “blue dog” middle-of-the-road Democrat during his four years in Congress.
The IWV gals also used a blurred, black-and-white picture of Case that appeared to have been taken during a police lineup in which he was strung out on drugs. I have never heard of lawyer Case ever being arrested for anything, and whatever you may think of his politics he is one handsome buggah.
The IWV’s case against Case was a stereotypical attack ad: one-sided, teetering on utter falsehood and implying criminality. Case had every right to denounce it; Charles Djou and Colleen Hanabusa should have joined him in doing so.
In light of Djou’s victory, the IWV folks crowed, claiming credit for Case’s drop in the polls from 32 percent on April 20 to 23 percent of the vote on election day. In the same period, they argue that their ad drove Case’s Republican support down from 15 percent to 8 percent.
Whoever drove down Case’s numbers - the IWV folks or, more likely, Djou and Hanabusa - the former congressman finished a disappointing third with 20,000 fewer votes than Djou and 5,000 less than Hanabusa. He carried only one House district to Hanabusa’s six. Djou took the other 19.
So now what? Democrats Case and Hanabusa garnered 100,193 votes to Republican Djou’s 67,610. Hanabusa enjoys strong support from women, union members and fellow legislators. Case’s strength came from independents and Republicans, but the Republicans will be with Djou in the general. So too will some independents.
If the Democrats are to beat Djou come November, they need to spare themselves the bitterness, acrimony and expense of a primary fight. Case should fold his cards and run another day for another office. By the time you read this, rumor has it, he may well have done so at the Democrats’ State Convention.
Then there’s the miraculous power of an election. Last Tuesday, Gov.
Linda Lingle held a news conference to announce that teacher furloughs will end next year, thanks to a $10 million line of credit from local banks.
It only took Lingle a year - and an upcoming election to choose her successor - to come up with a solution. During that year, she battled with Department of Education superintendent Pat Hamamoto, denounced the leadership of Hawaii State Teachers Association, criticized the elected Board of Education and ignored a parents’ group that staged a week-long sit-in at her office.
But while, come November, Lingle steps down from the governor-ship, she would very much like to see her lieutenant governor of the past eight years, Duke Aiona, step into it. And she’d like to help young Charles Djou win that full two-year term in Congress on Nov. 2.
Seventeen more furlough days left in the next school year by the outgoing Republican governor could-n’t help the chances that Republicans would be incoming. So, miraculously, after 12 long months of cogitation, a solution was found: a $10 million line of credit.
An impending election, it appears, causes our elected officials to think harder.
Or do you believe in miracles?
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