In the wake of Iselle, political jockeying in Puna should alarm everyone.
While they are clearing up trees, shoring up their homes and waiting for even the most basic necessities to arrive, Puna residents have been shamelessly made the latest pawns of Progressives as they desperately attempt to hold on to power after a stunning rebuke at last Saturday’s primary elections. In order to illustrate this, two points must be established:
1) Abercrombie and Progressive Democrats have a vested interest in the results of balloting in Puna – With stunning defeats to Progressive leaders like Abercrombie and Clayton Hee, Brian Schatz stands as the only “Progressive Hero” standing. Furthermore, Brian Schatz is the legacy of Neil Abercrombie who appointed the Progressive against the wishes of the late Senator Inouye and even his own party. With the political capital that was sacrificed, this is the closest to a ‘bright spot’ that the unpopular governor has left.
2) Schatz benefits from a suppressed voter turnout – As the numbers currently stand, Hanabusa is behind at least 1600 votes. To understand what this means, let’s look at several different scenarios. If only 1600 voters show up at the polls on Friday, Hanabusa would have to secure 100% of those votes to beat Schatz to a statistical tie. Should 3000 voters show up on Friday, Hanabusa would have to secure at least 2400 of those votes – a whopping 80%. If all of the estimated 8000 registered voters in Puna come to vote, Hanabusa would have to secure at least 4800 votes, a mere 60% – and a much more realistic and achievable total.
With Schatz’s benefactor calling the shots, it is no wonder that the administration did an about face after seeing Saturday’s numbers. It is in the best interests of Progressive Democrats to suppress voter turnout by:
- Scheduling the balloting as early as possible (six days after Iselle’s destruction),
- By scheduling the balloting as inconveniently as possible (on a Friday – despite it being a state holiday, most privately employed individuals do not have the day off), and
- By making the location as inaccessible as possible (reports show that many residents would be forced to drive 10-15 miles to make it to their polling locations).
The overwhelming lack of transparency by the Office of Elections and by Abercrombie permit no other conclusion but this. Such tactics, however, are not surprising where Schatz used a cadre of surrogates to mischaracterize, or outright lie about the voting record of his opponent. The Schatz campaign has made it clear that this is a campaign not to convince the hearts and minds of Hawaii’s residents, but only to win an election at whatever cost and whatever way. The election is nothing more than a means to an end of a Progressive victory.
The Right to Vote is one of the most sacred tenets of our democracy. Placing individuals in a situation where they must exercise their right to vote while they do not even have access to a shower is a sure-fire formula for voter suppression. Placing the “right to know” (the democratic winner of the open Senate seat) ahead of the right of even one individual to cast an unspoiled vote is similarly misplaced. Attitudes like “Let’s get it over with” are what disparage many Hawaii voters from showing up when the outcome of presidential elections is determined before the polls in Hawaii even close.
The editorial board of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, unsurprisingly, is pushing the Progressive agenda to suppress voter turnout by offering platitudes like “We could do it on Kauai eight days after Iniki hit…” This sort of logic of “precedence” is dangerous, and fails to take into account strides that we have made toward making sure every individual has unfettered access to exercise their civil duties and liberties. Once upon a time we cured ailments by bleeding the feet of afflicted individuals, but we are certainly more enlightened individuals today.
The most important point is not that Abercrombie is committing a federal crime by using his power to influence the outcome of an election, but the more sinister and disturbing precedent this sets for people of faith. What prevents Abercrombie from scheduling the election on a Sunday – a day that is horribly inconvenient for most people of faith?
Nothing. In fact, Progressive leaders of the Oahu County Democrats use Sunday meetings to make their most important decisions and neutralize moderate and conservative voices in their own party.
This blog entry was written before any sort of judgment was made regarding the injunction that Colleen Hanabusa sought to postpone Primary Election balloting in Puna. Even in an overabundance of caution, our democratic ideals demand that at minimum, Puna residents are granted a walk-in election, on a Saturday, three weeks after the original primary election date. This would ensure that all individuals who choose to exercise their right to vote are permitted to do so, not just those who are willing to place their vote ahead of their basic necessities. This is not about Schatz or Hanabusa, this is about the core of our democratic principles. But Progressives would rather make it about ‘Schatz’.
 The words of Equality Hawaii, not this blog.
 In full disclosure, while this blog takes no position regarding Hanabusa, arguments have been made that deem Schatz to be an unfit candidate. It is true that Schatz and Hanabusa have similarly abysmal records on issues close to the hearts and minds of people of faith, but only one wears the mantle that faith’s enemy has bestowed upon them. That, in and of itself, is reason enough.
 1600 votes make up the difference from last Saturday, plus an additional 800 votes to maintain a tie with Schatz.
 “Editorial board” is a misnomer. Sources have indicated that opinion pieces drafted by the newspaper are drafted by a single individual, not a board of editors.
 A May meeting of the Oahu County Committee was used to quietly usher “exceptions” to the party’s rules so that candidates without the requisite 6-months of standing in the party could run for office under the party’s banner.