by Andrew Walden
Eager to fill the void created by the desperate shortage of construction union lobbyists on the Honolulu Council, State Democratic Party Chairman Tyler Dos Santos Tam is announcing his 2022 council candidacy--but not to the public.
Dos Santos even has a plan to keep his anti-vaxxer vice-chair, SD2 member Shannon Matson, from ascending to the Chairmanship of the State’s dominant political party.
Akamai readers will remember this item from September 19, 2021: ‘Anti-Vaxxer May Soon Chair Hawaii Democratic Party.’
Dos Santos’ announcement came in the November 6, 2021, Chair’s report to the Hawaii Democrats State Central Committee:
Intent to Run for Honolulu City Council
- I would like to take this opportunity to announce to you that I do intend to run for the Honolulu City Council in the 2022 elections. A more formal announcement will be forthcoming.
- There has been a rumor circulating that in order to run, a Chair must resign. This rumor was further perpetuated by a brief mention in an article in the Hawai’i Free Press.
- To get clarification on this matter, I asked the Rules Committee for an opinion on when the relevant provisions of the DPH Constitution apply. The opinion concludes that one is only a candidate after the filing of nomination papers with the Office of Elections.
- My term ends on May 29, 2022, and the deadline to file nomination papers with the Office of Elections is June 7, 2022, and so therefore, I intend to complete my term and file nomination papers between May 29, 2022 and June 7, 2022.
- I will try to keep my “official” duties as Chair wholly separate from my “campaign” activities, as is the case with other elected officials, and so I will not be soliciting support in any way through DPH channels.
Naturally, this doesn’t sit well with Matson’s allies. In a November 13, 2021 email blast to State Central Committee members, SD3 SCC member, Zahava Zaidoff writes:
After reading the bylaws, it appears to me that the spirit of law is to ensure that no candidate gets preferential treatment over another by holding a DPH office. I don't see how that is possible since the party chair gets more publicity, simply by being the Chair.
As we try to pride ourselves as the Democratic party, as the party of integrity, this feels wrong to me.
I understand that an opinion was asked from the rules committee, but it is simply that, just an opinion.
Why should an opinion of the rules committee, (not a ruling), carry more weight that an opinion of any SCC member (such as myself)?
I would like to formally challenge that opinion. I would like the issue moved to the entire SCC, as a body. Why? Because the perception of impropriety by DPH, reflects negatively on all of us who sit on it's board, aka the full SCC.
September 19, 2021: Anti-Vaxxer May Soon Chair Hawaii Democratic Party
PDF: Chair Report and Rules Committee Opinion