Thoughts On Case, Thielen, Hogue

Rick Hamada
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Wednesday - October 04, 2006

You are well aware of the results and the punditry following the recent Hawaii Primary Elections. I know you are clamoring for more, so here it goes.

* Ed Case is one of the most impressive politicians in the Islands. We owe him a debt of gratitude for shaking the foundations of the majority party and exposing them for what they truly are. Without his challenge to Dan Akaka, the elections would have gone virtually un-noticed. This was the only race to generate any heat and it all came from the Case camp.

His defeat was a confirmation of two things. First, the Democratic priority of status quo above anything else is still a reality. Second, it proves that Democrat proclamations they are the agents of change for our state are industrial-strength shibai.

* The selection of state Rep. Cynthia Thielen by Gov. Linda Lingle to run against Akaka in the general election is somewhat baffling. There is no offense intended toward Thielen. She is a capable and dedicated public official who has served her constituency well. However, her initial stated position of using environmental issues to define her candidacy is questionable.

There needs to be an informed choice regarding the differences of opinions between her and Akaka. I would imagine as a United States senator, you would address the most pressing issues in our nation first, such as the war in Iraq, national security, immigration, taxation, etc. Rep. Thielen has precious little time to reach a statewide electorate with a precise message how she would be a different senator than the incumbent. If she distances herself in totality from the Bush administrations agenda and fails to embrace or represent basic Republicanism, why would voters vote for a change?

* What is next for Quentin Kawananakoa? In the late 1990’s, he was the golden son of the GOP. His abrupt withdrawal from the 1998 District 1 Congressional race left party faithful reeling, and the party has yet to offer a substantive challenge to Neil Abercrombie. His return to the District 2 congressional race was greeted with enthusiasm. There were some who believed he would cruise to the nomination.

Bob Hogue didn’t think so and he won. Why? A combination of the Akaka race, with many Hawaiians voting Democratic in the primary to support him, and that Bob is a very likable guy. His campaign focused on Hogue living the lives of his constituency. Whoever gave the green light to the Kawananakoa campaign to lash out at Hogue for writing a sports column, thereby taking money out of the pocket of a family man of measured means, should consider another line of work. Nobody likes a bully, especially a millionaire bully, and it’s how that move came off.

Tired of politics?

Remember this: Politics touches every aspect of your life, whether you like it or not. You must participate for this system of governance to work. If you haven’t yet, please register to vote in the general election on Nov. 7.

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