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Thursday, November 8, 2012
November 8, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:24 PM :: 5541 Views

Senate Dems Announce 2013 Leadership

Hawaii GOP: Reason to be Optimistic

Nonaka: A Good Night for the Kahua Group

Jones Act Shipbuilding Burdens Hawaii, Alaska, Guam, and Puerto Rico

PDF: View General Election 2012- Final Results on Scribd

"A much higher proportion of infrequent voters went out and voted"

SA: Democrats identified about 70,000 infrequent voters statewide who would likely be open to voting for Hirono. Andy Winer, a Democratic strategist, said these voters received multiple mailers and telephone calls. Thousands also received personal visits by activists at their homes.

"We pushed them pretty hard. We really went hard after the infrequent voting Democrats," he said. "This particular effort was probably the most coordinated and focused get-out-the-vote campaign that we've ever had."

(Short version: Hawaii Democrats used Obama’s appeal to make their corrupt local candidates look good. Sugar high.)

"A much higher proportion of infrequent voters went out and voted," Winer said.

The turnout for Hirono was impressive considering that overall voter turnout statewide was 62 percent, down from 66 percent in the last presidential election in 2008….

Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz directed the Democrats' coordinated campaign, which was designed to help Democratic candidates down the ballot and take full advantage of Hawaii-born President Barack Obama at the top of the ticket.

On Tuesday, allies of the state's leading Democrats — Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Schatz, U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, former Honolulu City Councilwoman Tulsi Gabbard and Hirono — were assigned House districts and directed to help drive turnout….

"Realistically, it is difficult for anybody to come back from a loss like that," said Dylan Nonaka, a Republican strategist. "But anything is possible."

SA: 'New' voters, Carlisle supporters send Caldwell to Honolulu Hale

CNN: Hawaii maybe-possibly-hopefully changed the list (Only because WV voter turnout may have dropped even more than Hawaii.)

read … Lingle?

The Road to Party Realignment

CB: Changes in demographics can influence the strength of political parties. The 2012 Obama campaign is a textbook example of how political strategists respond to the changing racial composition of the U.S. electorate. In the Border States demographics are working in favor of Republicans. Right now, long-term changes are working against national Republicans. In Hawaii’s case no politically significant demographic change is on the horizon. As for predictions that such change in Hawaii would benefit Republicans here, remember all that talk about how the influx of well-off Caucasians on the Big Island was going to turn things around?

The second road to party realignment is the most visible and dramatic one. It involves the presence of an issue that is frightening and powerful enough to get large numbers of people to change their minds. Opposition to the civil rights laws passed in the 1950s and 1960s turned the South from Democratic to Republican. Republicans, especially national candidates like Richard Nixon and Barry Goldwater saw the opportunity and successfully took it. Though it is hard to imagine an issue so compellingly fearful in Hawaii’s future, this kind of politics offers a strong hint at what Republicans here need to do. That strategy is grassroots politics that looks more like a movement than a political party.

To do this kind of politics, Hawaii Republicans first need to recognize that right now they are more like a marginalized collection of individuals than a political party. Marginalized groups do politics quite differently than political parties do.

Issues do not fall from the sky. People can be convinced and converted. Marginalized groups, whether they were labor unions in the 1930s, Southern California conservatives in the 1950s, civil rights organizations in the 1960s, socially conservative church groups in the 1980s, or the Tea Party activists just a few years ago got their power from first making people aware of issues and then mobilizing them. These grassroots activists were typically very passionate and angry. Often these groups’ enthusiasm or anger drove away the opposition. All of these movements were initially local rather than national, less concerned about electing people to big time offices and more concerned with raising awareness and getting folks on the ground involved. The same thing, a profound sense of marginalization, fueled all of these movements.

Door-to-door politics takes on a different dimension in the age of social media. Nowadays grassroots politics is called “the ground game,” but at its heart the ground game is just small-scale shoe-leather politics enhanced by modern technology. The 2012 Obama campaign set the gold standard for a successful modern grassroots politics that combines today’s media technology with old-fashioned boots on the ground politics.

Unless you have a few hundred millions dollars you won’t be copying this model any time soon, but it can be used on a smaller scale. Environmental organizations do it, and if Republicans are a little queasy about using tree huggers as models, they can consider the Tea Party movement, especially in its early stage.

As hard and as unprecedented as it would be for Hawaii Republicans, grassroots politics is the only feasible alternative. It will require a very different mental timeline that thinks less about finding good candidates and more about understanding that as long as the party is so weak, there is no such thing as a good candidate. It requires a more compelling combination of disaffection, optimism, and willingness to work very hard for initially small rewards.

Do Hawaii Republican activists have the passion, time, and energy to do this? It would be an understandably human response if they choose not to, especially at a time when civic involvement seems to be diminishing in this country. And it is insensitive simply to say to a person, “Get with it! You are not angry enough.” But before Republican stalwarts dismiss this strategy, they need to ask themselves this question: is there a better plan, one that is not full of self-deception?

read … Something Intelligent

120,000 Join in Kids Vote Hawaii,Djou Wins 63-37

SA: This year, more than 120,000 K-12 students statewide participated in Kids Voting Hawaii, the program's highest participation since it started in the state in 1996.

Seventy-five percent of students voted for President Barack Obama, while former Gov. Mitt Romney received 18 percent, according to Kids Voting Hawaii results. Rifleman said he voted for Obama because "I thought he spoke more for me."

Democrats Mazie Hirono and Tulsi Gabbard beat their Republican congressional challengers, former Gov. Linda Lingle and Kawika Crowley, while Republican Charles Djou led Democrat Colleen Hanabusa 63 percent to 37 percent.

On Oahu, students voted 55 percent for Kirk Caldwell and 45 percent for Ben Cayetano for Honolulu mayor. Students on Hawaii island voted 65 percent to 35 percent for Mayor Billy Kenoi over challenger Harry Kim.

Students statewide also voted on a number of issues proposed by fellow students, ranging from whether school lunches should offer more fruits and vegetables to whether flavored tobacco products should be banned.

read … The Future

District by District Where They Won

CB: Republican Senate candidate Linda Lingle, a two-term governor, carried just one of Hawaii's 51 state House districts, while GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney failed to do even that, a Civil Beat analysis of general election results shows.

Charles Djou had marginally more success, taking six of 29 districts in his 1st Congressional District defeat. Ben Cayetano, who was a lifelong Democrat running in a nonpartisan race but was supported by many conservatives, carried 11 of Oahu's 35 House districts.

The losing candidates' strongholds in many cases overlapped — for example, in District 18 in East Honolulu and District 47 on Oahu's North Shore…..

Obama's strongest areas, where he took more than 80 percent of the vote, included District 9 (Kahului) and District 2 (Hilo). In fact, the president's top six districts were all in either Hawaii or Maui counties.

Romney's strongest area — the only place his share of the vote even reached 40 percent — was District 47. That includes the Mormon enclave of Laie. Precinct 47-03, Kahuku High School, saw Romney more than double Obama's vote total, 1,103 to 482. Romney also topped Obama at neighboring Precinct 47-04, Hauula Elementary School.

Romney surpassed 35 percent in only two other House districts — Nos. 42 and 40 in Leeward Oahu.

Hanabusa won with strong margins — exceeding a 60-40 split — in places like Districts 21, 23 and 20 in and near Downtown Honolulu.

Djou's strongest areas were the same as those that attempted to support Romney and Lingle. He carried Districts 42, 36, 43, 40, 18 and 17 — mostly East Honolulu and Leeward Oahu.

In all, the two candidates were within 10 points of each other in 15 of the 29 House districts, and within five percent in 10 districts.

read … District by District

Mormon HD47 Precincts Go to Lingle, Romney, Fale, Meyer

PR: HD47 proved to be an interesting microcosm of identity politics: Republicans mostly held Mormon-influenced precincts in Kahuku and Hauula; Democrats held firm in precincts in Haleiwa and Sunset Beach.

The Kahuku and Hauula precincts saved former Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican who lost in landslide to U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono for U.S. Senate, from losing in every House district statewide.

Kahuku and Hauula also gave Richard Fale, an Army veteran, former legislative aide and farmer, a Republican victory over former lawmaker Ululani Beirne, a Democrat. Both Fale and Beirne are Mormon, but Fale took Kahuku, the precinct closest to Laie, by more than one thousand votes.

Here is a breakdown of HD47 by precinct….

(The message here is that Democrats can try to take it all back in 2014 when Mormons won’t be so motivated to vote.)

read … The Breakdown

Say, Souki Battle for Speaker 22-22

PR: State House Speaker Calvin Say and state Rep. Joseph Souki, the man Say replaced as speaker 13 years ago, spent much of Wednesday counting votes to see who will control the House.

At a luncheon at Alii Place across the street from the state Capitol, Say told his loyalists that the count among Democrats was tied at 22 to 22, sources say.

Several lawmakers, however, have yet to formally sign their allegiance to Say or Souki, so sources in both camps described the situation as fluid.

Souki, who had been in Say’s camp, is now the choice of House dissidents who have sought to remove Say as speaker for several years. The dissident faction has been led by Rep. Sylvia Luke and Rep. Scott Saiki.

Many dissidents view Souki, a veteran Maui lawmaker, as the instrument to break Say’s lock on the House but not as a long-term option as speaker.

read … The two party system

Federal criminal indictment expected in Wonder blunder

HR: According to press reports from South Carolina, Marc Hubbard, a 44-year-old concert promoter and club operator from Mecklenburg County, N.C. was arraigned last week in Spartanburg, S.C., on securities fraud and forgery charges for allegedly soliciting hundreds of thousands of dollars in 2008 to promote an Alicia Keyes concert in 2008. Hawaii News Now reported that Hubbard is the subject of the Honolulu federal indictment as well.

read … Arraigned

University of Hawaii Coaches Get Extra Cash, "Courtesy Cars"

HR: Coaches in a variety of sports got to keep excess cash generated by “sports camp” programs they conduct.

“Cash receipts collected in excess of expenses are distributed to coaches as additional compensation,” the report said.

“Camp brochures and applications do not disclose the disposition of camp proceeds,” said the audit.

More than $110,000 was distributed among an undisclosed number of men’s baseball coaches in 2011 and 2012; $55,000 to men’s basketball coaches; $82,000 to football coaches; and $106,000 to women’s volleyball coaches, according to the report.

read … Cash

Inouye sends regents letter of support for UH president

SA: In a Nov. 6 letter to the secretary of the Board of Regents, U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye said he was "saddened" and "deeply worried" over the negative news surrounding his alma mater, the University of Hawaii.

Inouye said his efforts to obtain funding for UH have been "particularly successful under President Greenwood's leadership." He cited initiatives in astronomy, oceans, biosciences, informatics, innovation and disaster reduction in the Asia-Pacific region.

In regards to the failed Stevie Wonder concert, Inouye said "No doubt there were serious failures in the internal checks and balances of the university system which must be corrected to ensure such an embarrassing episode is not repeated.

"Unfortunately, harsh comments were made in frustration and anger that cannot be easily taken back. All parties bear some responsibility for ratcheting up the rhetoric. I most respectfully suggest that the parties put their arrows back into their respective quivers."

PDF: U.S. Sen. Inouye's letter to UH regents

read … Inouye

UH regents approve Donovan deal, but mum on Greenwood

SA: The University of Hawaii Board of Regents voted today to approve a legal settlement reached in August that gave former athletic director Jim Donovan a new $211,200-a-year marketing job in the UH Manoa Chancellor's Office.

“We need to put this affair and its aftermath behind us,” said a regents’ written statement after the decision.

The regents also vowed that they will not be influenced by "undue pressure" from inside or outside of the university.

But the statement contained no mention of the board's discussions on the future of embattled UH President M.R.C. Greenwood.

The board met for three hours behind closed doors this afternoon with attorney William McCorriston and another lawyer from his firm before going into a public session to approve Donovan's settlement. They met for another 45 minutes before ending the meeting and authorizing the written statement….

In their public session today, the board approved Donovan's new job as a legal settlement by an 11-to-4 vote.

LINK: BoR Agenda

read … Buy Out

Rail: Iwi Discovered at 5th Site

SA: The archaeological survey for the $5.26 billion rail project has uncovered another human bone in an excavation at the edge of Chinatown, according to the city and the chairwoman of the Oahu Island Burial Council.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation reported the find was made on Nov. 1 along with subsurface architectural remnants and cultural materials.

Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, chairwoman of the burial council, said the bone was a portion of the foot, and was discovered in one of two trenches dug in a parking lot along the rail route near Nimitz Highway and Kekaulike Street.

Also found in the trenches were glass, shells, rusted pipe and concrete, she said.

Workers conducting the survey for the 20-mile rail line have so far discovered remains believed to have come from five people at four sites, including one intact burial under a sidewalk near Keawe and Halekauwila streets.

read … Rail dig uncovers human bone near Nimitz

Election ends but fight over rail continues

KHON: …the more than $5 billion project will continue to be met with challenges. Caldwell's opponent, Ben Cayetano, is still involved in a lawsuit against rail. Last week, a federal judge ruled the City needs to work on three areas of the project, which came to a halt in August. Caldwell believes they are technical issues, while Cayetano says the lawsuit is more complicated than that.

"And it may in fact have pretty serious consequences for the rail project at least in terms of delaying it further," Cayetano said.

Although rail was a significant issue in the mayor's race, both say, it wasn't necessarily the deciding factor. The former governor says the attack ads by the Pacific Resource Partnership, had a huge impact.

"To me, that made the difference, otherwise, I don't think the race would be close," Cayetano said.

Work will continue on Cayetano's libel lawsuit against PRP and numerous others. PRP has yet to comment on the lawsuit and Cayetano's defeat.

read … Election ends but fight over rail continues

Tourism Industry Dreams of Free Trade

HNN: In President Obama's first term, he made it clear, his administration would focus on Asia, and Hawaii has been the bridge that brings east and west together.

"Having the President of the United States coming from Hawaii has just been a tremendous boon because it focuses attention on Hawaii," says Juanita Liu, dean at the University of Hawaii's School of Travel Industry Management.

Liu says four more years of Obama gives Hawaii greater credibility, as well as visibility, especially to untapped Asian markets. "The Taiwanese are going to be coming here with the visa restrictions loosening up. And then, we have the South Koreans and the Chinese. In all of these areas, even if we get a small fraction of this business, we're going to do very well."

The Hawaii Tourism Authority agrees - the President understands the importance of making the U.S. more accessible to visitors. And HTA says when Mr. Obama visits his favorite haunts, he becomes a local tour guide, of sorts - exposing the public to a more intimate side of Hawaii.

read … Free Trade Dreams

1st Hindu in United States Congress Elected and Hails from Hawaii

CN: The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) celebrated a historic election day as Tulsi Gabbard overwhelmingly prevailed to claim a congressional seat in the Second Congressional District of Hawaii. A Democrat, Gabbard will enter the U.S. House of Representatives as the first Hindu-American legislator nearly a half-century after Dalip Singh Saund, a Sikh, served in the same body.

Ami Bera, who grew up Hindu and now identifies as a Unitarian Universalist, holds the advantage in a tight race in a Sacramento area congressional district. In a year where a record number of Hindu Americans ran prominent campaigns, Manan Trivedi of Pennsylvania and Upendra Chivukula of New Jersey came up short.

Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a practicing Hindu of the Vaishnava tradition, campaigned on her experience as a former Honolulu City Councilwoman and Iraq war veteran. Her landslide win was expected after she became the Democratic party’s candidate following a primary victory in the state’s second district in July. She replaces Mazie Hirono, a Buddhist, who subsequently won Hawaii’s vacant Senate seat.

read … First Hindu

Suicide High Among Hawaii Elderly

CB: Suicide is not just the leading cause of fatal injuries for teens. It's also the leading cause for Hawaii seniors ages 65 to 74 — and it's trending upward, the latest statistics show.

Family members and physicians alike need to pay more attention than ever to early warning signs of depression in seniors, health experts told a crowd of caregivers at a conference Wednesday.

A four-member panel of doctors and social workers asked for broader community help in caring for Hawaii's kupuna. Citing the state's rapidly aging population, the group called for more mental health screenings and changes in hospital practices that could save lives.

Ritabelle Fernandes, a geriatrician who teaches at the University of Hawaii medical school and works at the Kokua Kalihi Valley clinic, said one of the biggest issues doctors are facing today is they have no time….

Fernandes explained how the pendulum in America has swung from over-hospitalization of mental health patients to not enough. She said the way things work now is that in essence, if a person is not going to kill themselves that day, he or she is sent home.

"It's a policy issue," Fernandes said.

Marya Grambs, executive director of Mental Health America of Hawaii which organized the conference, said 70 percent of seniors who kill themselves saw a doctor in the past month….

Dr. Tom Harding, a neurologist who treats people with dementia, underscored the importance of the words people use. He said he has heard doctors tell a patient, "Well, there's no hope." And he's heard caregivers say, "It's OK if it doesn't get better."

He said he tries to instill hope in patients by talking about treatments, spending ample time with them going over the bad news of a diagnosis.

read …An article that’s NOT about assisted suicide!

Elder Abuse? Care Home License Revoked

SA: Hawaii County police are conducting a manslaughter investigation into the death of an 82-year-old man at a Kailua-Kona care home in August.

Police officers responded to a report of an unresponsive resident of a care home on Haokuni Street.

Fire rescue personnel brought the man to Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 3:58 p.m.

An autopsy on Aug. 15 showed he died of aspiration of food.

Police consulted with Adult Protective Services.

Detectives focused on the level of care provided and found that the Department of Human Services had revoked the caregiver’s care home certification on Sept. 24 because of the death.

read … Elder Abuse

Non-Profit not Profitable any more--County terminates outstanding WMSA grant

MN: Maui County officials have terminated the remainder of a grant with the embattled Wailuku Main Street Association, following repeated warning letters seeking compliance with an ongoing probe of the nonprofit's operations.

The county informed Wailuku Main Street's board Chairman Tom Cannon in an Oct. 26 letter that the organization's outstanding $243,000 grant had been terminated, effective immediately.

The letter, obtained by The Maui News through an open records request, also said the county will be taking action to recover anything the organization has bought with county funds.

The organization has received more than $2.2 million in grants from the county since 2002 through the Department of Planning.

read … Maui County

With Federal Funds, Swinging Bridge Back up to $5M

KGI: It was deja vu all over again two weeks ago at the Kaua‘i County Council. The latest development in the Kapaia Swinging Bridge project brings its price tag right back to its original estimate of seven figures, as federal funds are being courted.

The 125-foot swinging bridge, built in 1948, was functional until September 2006, when it was deemed unsafe and shut down. A consultant originally priced the bridge’s restoration at more than $4 million. Since then, estimates have tethered up and down, depending on the nature of the proposal and who came up with it.

In August 2011, the administration said it would look into securing the bridge’s two towers, and the work would cost roughly $60,000. At that time, the county had approximately $111,000 in a fund especially set aside to be used toward saving the bridge.

read … $5M



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