Power and Politics - I am Not the Yellow Peril

The life and times of an Asian American activist who tells all the truth (and dishes news and analysis) but with a leftwards slant.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Hawaii CD-2: APIA candidates abound

So I promised that I would profile the Hawaii 2nd Congressional District race to fill current Congressman Ed Case's seat (he's running against Senator Daniel Akaka in the Democratic primary, a race that I have already analyzed.) And since I have a bit of a lull at work, I will fulfill that promise. Additionally, I am going to try to analyze the likelihood of Democratic candidates' chances more than their ideologies since I don't have a dog in this race.

Why do I find this race of interest? Because there are so many APIA candidates, and from different ethnicities, unlike most races on the mainland. Also because Hawaii is a blue state (the whole Congressional delegation is Democratic - a rarity) that some say is tilting red, another oddity in this political cycle when people everywhere seem to be getting sick of Bush and the Republicans. So it's the sociocultural and political factors that have me hooked. Let's look at how the candidates stack up, eh?

Here are the financials of what each candidate has raised, courtesy of Open Secrets:

Mazie K. Hirono (D)
Quentin Kuhio Kawananakoa (R)
Colleen Wakako Hanabusa (D)
Brian Schatz (D)
Gary L. Hooser (D)
Clayton H. W. Hee (D)
Ron Menor (D)
Nestor Ralph Garcia (D)
Bob C. Hogue (R)
Joe Zuiker (D)
Hanalei Y. Aipoalani (D)

These figures are from the June 30 deadline, so obviously coffers have increased since then, but it seems that Mazie Hirono, a Japanese American who served as Lt. Gov for 2 terms and ran unsuccessfully for Governor in 2002 (lost to Republican Linda Lingle in part of the whole Republican shakeup], has a fundraising advantage that's about two times ahead of her nearest Democratic primary challenger, Colleen Hanabusa. Hanabusa is a Japanese American state senator from the district who seems to be the candidate of business (this may explain the fundraising numbers.)

And now the racial breakdown from the US Census:


One race






Black or African American



American Indian and Alaska Native






Asian Indian


















Other Asian 1



Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander



Native Hawaiian



Guamanian or Chamorro






Other Pacific Islander 2



Some other race



Two or more races



The APIA breakdown in particular is of interest because there has never been a Filipino American in the US Congress before, and one of the likeliest opportunities for Filipinos to have a seat is in Hawaii, a Democratic state (as opposed to parts of the Inland Empire in California that have a lot of Filipinos but are solidly conservative.) Additionally, it's possible that with so many APIAs in the race, the vote could be heavily divided and Sierra Club endorsed candidates
(yes, they endorsed two people) Brian Schatz or Gary Hooser could win, since 27 percent of the population is white. Although Joe Zuiker has a compelling campaign pitch (he's a marathoner who's literally running for Congress), has low name recognition and funds. Hanalei Aipoalani was an aide to Patsy Mink shares Zuiker's weaknesses.

Additionally, Hawaii has never sent a Native Hawaiian to Congress, but did have Native Hawaiian delegates (before it officially became a state). State Senator Clayton Hee (couldn't find a campaign website for him) is a Native Hawaiian who is good friends with (but not formally endorsed by) sitting Congressman Neil Abercrombie (D) from the 1st Congressional District.

Of the APIAs that Hawaii has sent to Congress since its inception into the United States of America, practically all the Senators have been APIA, from Hiram Fong (R), followed by Spark Matsunaga (D), and then Daniel Inouye (D). Senator Akaka spans a very large chunk of the time, with the exception of Oren Long (D) who served for 1 term only in the beginning. Wikipedia has a good history of the delegation.

On the Congressional side, there have been Chinese Americans like Patsy Mink (D) and Akaka (D), Japanese Americans like Matsunaga and Pat Saiki (R). (End digression.)

Other factors
Hirono seems to be ahead in endorsements and definitely in name recognition (only 24% unfamiliar with her). Many of the big name political players that usually do high voter turnout have opted to sit out the primary (since there are so many candidates) and instead to support the Democratic nominee, so having any in-state endorsements is key. The Sierra Club's split endorsement will carry less weight on election day.

A June poll showed Hirono with the highest favoribility (52%) followed by Matsunaga (46%), then Hanabusa (39%). However, the poll had only 165 respondents and a measure of error of 8%, which is really quite high, and so you have to take this one with an even greater grain of salt than normal. So I also wonder how much Hirono and Matsunaga's favorability ratings are driven by their name recognition (Hirono having served statewide, and Matsunaga being the late senator's surname.)

Hirono's disapproval rating was fairly high — 24 percent — but on par with that of state Sen. Ron Menor. Hee had the highest "unfavorable" rating at 27 percent of those who had an opinion about him.

Still, Hirono is in an enviable position.

"I would rather be Mazie at this stage with name recognition and a relatively large disapproval rating than be where the other candidates are that don't have much disapproval but people don't know them at all," said University of Hawai'i political science professor Neal Milner.

The buzz around State Senator Ron Menor(who coincidentally should write a biography rather than a resume for his website since candidates should tell a story about themselves, and resumes are very dry and boring), and Honolulu City Councilman Nestor Garcia's race to be the first Filipino Congressmember has even made its way to other countries, but sadly they are lagging in financial support, and dividing the Filipino base vote, which is only going to strengthen Hirono's hand.

I think that Hirono has the upperhand in winning the primary because of her name recognition and her Washington contacts, and probably in the general election as well, since Hawaii has been so reliably Democratic. But with an eight way primary, anything can happen.

And now I must stop blogging because researching and writing this piece has taken about 2 hours out of my life and my wrists. But that's probably as much as you've ever known about Hawaii politics (if you've made it to this point, congrats!)


  • At 6:41 AM, Blogger Friends Eddie US Senate Hawaii 2006 said…

    Mahalo Aloha

    Eddie Pirkowski
    US Senate Hawaii 2006


    This NEW US and Hawaii Leadership inspirational speech for US Senate Race Hawaii provides a new path for hawaii and the nation in the international community. Listen to all of it for some real answers to our current position.

    TITLE US SENATE HAWAII 2006, "Reaching the Goals and Visions of the People of Hawaii." Approved by Friends Eddie US Senate Hawaii 2006


    SPEECH DIRECT LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7cm8NAid5I


    My goal is to make a real difference in Hawaii US Senate leadership.

    Have a great day!


    Friends Eddie US Senate Hawaii 2006

    Eddie Pirkowski
    US Senate Hawaii 2006 Candidate
    Direct Email: mauisenator@yahoo.com

    Have a great day and thank you. Mahalo Eddie Pirkowski US Senate Hawaii 2006 Candidate.

    Eddie Pirkowski US Senate Hawaii 2006 Candidate Open Letter
    Response to Debate Senator Akaka and Congressman Case.

    To all the people of Hawaii, a true leader focuses on those issues most important to the people, to reach all the dreams and goals of all the people of Hawaii. My leadership is in the style of Lincoln and Kennedy - to Stand up and reach top leadership in the US Senate for all the people of Hawaii. I humbly ask for your vote in this upcoming primary September 23, 2006.

    Hawaii US Senate 2006 GOP Candidate Eddie Pirkowski's Platform Creates Hawaii Leaders with Respect, Commitment, Trust, Equality in the Style of Lincoln, and, Kennedy. My US Senate Hawaii platform goals for the state of Hawaii are far
    reaching, and includes creating strong leaders in Hawaii that are respected worldwide.

    As one of the US Senate's Hawaii leaders, I will restore respect, trust and, honor in both public, private, and, nonprofit services throughout Hawaii, and the US, and thereby strengthen our defense with renewed respect on the world stage. It has been far too long for creation of Hawaiian sovereignty with respect for all, therefore I recommend immediate dual citizenship status (Dual US & Hawaiian Passports) with appropriate US Federal, State, County, City & Hawaii, and UN recognition.

    I will reduce Taxes for all ages and income groups, by increasing the minimum wage to $9.50 and the home exemption to $500k+ effectively doubling revenues to create a budget surplus of $1B+ for Hawaii. These funds will paydown real estate, and other taxes toreduce the impact on fixed income seniors, middle income wage earners, the young, and the poor. New community urban city
    revitalization programs will include new technology, industry centers, transaction grids, multi-use buildings,"green" walking communities, and low income housing with a goal of 100% independent services by community. New home incentives for owners to develop urban botanical gardens, "victory" backyard gardens including plants, vegetables, and native Hawaiian flowers and plants will revitalize
    neigborhoods and balance in family life. Entertainment infrastructure on the
    islands will include building new and updating existing sports
    /entertainment facilities by island to allow professional baseball,
    football, and soccer teams, movies, and world class concerts in Hawaii with
    the path for children to reach these heights clearly defined. An emphasis on
    the Police Athletic League (PAL) will bring both state,county and city
    workers closer together with the families of our islands. PAL will extend
    leagues from our children to our active seniors.
    These are the huis which
    create our family structure by community and need to be nourished to sustain
    respect of the youth and the aging for the leaders in our state, the
    everyday heros the moms, dads, grandpas, and grandmas, the ohana anties and
    uncles. The goal of creating 100% energy independence by Hawaiian island can
    be achieved using reliable, low cost solar tube technology
    (http://www.sbp.de) with 24 hour production capabilities of 50 MWe power
    generation per tube, 4 tubes per island will create 250MWe+ per island
    meeting the stated goal of 100% energy independence by island, complementing
    existing infrastructure. The power will be used to create desalination, and
    pumping facilities to distribute our water to regreen all our communities.
    After recycling, new advanced waste management techniques with a 500'
    rotating pipe can safely reduce and separate the islands paper waste volume
    significantly as in Rhode
    Island. Shredded, recycled waste tires will create
    new environmentally friendly rubber sidewalks, driveways, and guard rails on
    all islands. A new financial services industry in Hawaii, including a new
    Hawaii Stock Exchange (HSX) with partnerships with all major US, EEC, and
    Asian stock exchanges will create a new multibillion dollar industry here.
    Hawaii is perfect for the financial services industry with 24 hour trading
    partnerships with the leaders in the US, EEC and Asian retail, proprietary
    trading, private equity, derivatives hedging, banking,private banking,
    insurance, and investment banking communities. New state, county, and local
    paper digitization program to reduce paperwork storage requirements
    especially in the state, and county legal, engineering, and planning
    departments will create state and county office space in existing office
    buildings. Six sigma reviews for efficiency of all programs at both the

    state, and county levels will identify bottlenecks in services and reconfirm
    the strength and quality of our services to reach the needs of the people
    today and tomorrow. I ask for your vote for the US Senate Hawaii on
    September 23,2006, to create the leadership to reach your goals and
    community visions for today and the future. My commitment is to make each
    person's life better on all the beautiful islands of Hawaii, and to restore
    the peoples trust in our US Senate leadership,in Hawaii, the US and the
    world community.

    Because of the location of Hawaii, from New York and Japan, it is the
    perfect location for 24 hour trading worldwide to create a new Hawaii
    Stock Exchange (HSX) , with partnerships with US, EEC & Asian
    exchange leaders. The State of Hawaii can use $100M+ of the current surplus to raise the credit rating for Hawaii. (currently AA- rating is highest in the nation) to reduce risk, reduce State, and County
    cost of borrowing,increase rates of return on investment, and prepay interest on long term debt.

    America was built on the strength, and creativity of its immigrant
    population, therefore I recommend immigration reform including restoration of respect to all citizens and, to provide all with a 100% path to US citizenship.

    To lead with strength, honor, trust, commitment, and respect at all levels of public and private endeavor is our goal. Hawaii's rich diversity of plants and animals provides a wealth of diversity with unique differences on all of the islands. This diversity creates a plant and animal genetic catalogue of all Hawaii native plants, and animals to guarantee our future with respect for our common past.

    New advanced transportation systems complementing our existing infrastructure will focus on independent "green" walking communities, with new private and, public buses, and increased route
    coverage for all our seniors
    and children to reach any part of our islands.

    I recommend the development of advanced transportation systems for 100% independent transportation by island for Air, Land, Sea, and Rail as the core of a reliable infrastructure for stable growth.

    In construction and planning, decentralized leadership of each islands
    county "wait list" by community based on the general plan ,and
    decentrallized control of planning will allow leaders by community to take
    ownership of and increase both the effectiveness and to reduce the wait time
    for planning and development of advanced "green" communities, and the needed
    infrastructures to support current, and plan for solid future needs.

    The specific focus of agribusiness will provide 100% of each islands Hawaii
    food, including production, operations, distribution with an immediate goal
    of 100% sustainable independence by island. Organic farming will ensure
    price stability with highly
    productive and efficient environmental farms.
    The replanting, and regreening of all islands will heighten the tourist
    experience, and the aina of the land for the people of Hawaii. The "road to
    Hana" on Maui must be regreened and tropical including developing all park
    areas and setting aside lands with long term large scale koa reforestation
    and unique botany tropical and regional projects for all islands. The beauty
    of our islands is unparalled, and needs to be replenished for a strong and
    beautiful future for our children.

    Thank you for this opportunity to speak my mind. I am
    standing up in leadership for each of you. Mahalo ! Aloha Have a great day!
    Edward "Eddie" Pirkowski US Senate Hawaii Candidate National GOP Campaign
    Website: http://mauisenator.gop.com US Senate Hawaii Profile:
    http://www.hawaii.gov/elections/candidates/profiles/pirkowski_uss.pdf Eddie
    US Senate Hawaii 2006 Hawaii Republican Party,725
    Kapiolani Boulevard,
    C-105,Honolulu, HI 96813 Ph:1(808)593-8180 Fax:1(808)593-7742 Campaign
    Website: http://mauisenator.gop.com US Senate Profile:
    http://www.hawaii.gov/elections/candidates/profiles/pirkowski_uss.pdf Wiki
    Site: http://del.icio.us/mauisenator Eddie US Senate Hawaii 2006 Hawaii
    Republican Party,725 Kapiolani Boulevard, C-105,Honolulu, HI 96813
    Ph:1(808)593-8180 Fax: 1(808)593-7742 Website: http://mauisenator.gop.com US
    Senate Profile:
    Friends Eddie US Senate Hawaii 2006

  • At 11:04 AM, Blogger Friends Eddie US Senate Hawaii 2006 said…



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