by Andrew Walden
The National Journal May 24 reported that, even after the Special Election, National Democrats believe, "(Sen. Colleen) Hanabusa is still unlikely to win a general election." Just one month ago, the headline was “DNC, White House Trying To Chase Hanabusa From Race”. A National Democrat poll circulated by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in early May concluded that, for Democrats, “Only Case can win in Hawaii.”
POLITICO reported May 3:
“Determined to (prevent Republican Charles Djou from winning), the two sources said the DCCC is providing under-the-radar organizational support to former Rep. Ed Case against Democratic state Sen. Colleen Hanabusa, including assistance from DCCC Western Regional Political Director Adam Sullivan.
“Those efforts have coincided with the circulation of opposition research within Washington advancing the notion that Hanabusa is a longtime insider who received significant legislative pay raises at a time when the state has suffered through economic hard times — an emerging storyline that led Hanabusa to pull down her first campaign ad touting a vote to cut state legislative salaries and concede that the spot was misleading.”
With the DCCC’s help Ed Case came in dead last. And now, they are going to do the same for “longtime insider” Hanabusa.
A DCCC news release sent out this morning announces Hanabusa is being included in the DCCC’s “Red to Blue” program:
"These candidates being named to our Red to Blue Program are running strong campaigns and demonstrating their commitment to being independent leaders who will make job creation back home their top priority," said Chris Van Hollen, Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
These candidates earned a spot in the program by surpassing demanding fundraising goals and demonstrating to voters that they will work to create jobs and put the interests of their constituents ahead of the special interests in Washington.
Imagine that. The DCCC says “longtime insider” Hanabusa is “independent” and not tied to “special interests”.
One of Hanabusa’s first acts upon being elected to the State Senate in 1999 was to organize Senators to vote against second term confirmation of Hawaii Attorney General Margery Bronster. Bronster was investigating extensive corruption organized by Kamehameha Schools trustees. Hanabusa did this in concert with reputed Hawaii mafia boss Larry Mehau and with two of the five “Broken Trust” trustees.
Let’s see what former Governor Ben Cayetano has to say about that:
“…Hanabusa had other reasons to oppose Bronster’s confirmation. (KSBE Trustee) Henry Peters and his influential mother, Hoaliku Drake, who had organized public demonstrations in opposition to Bronster’s confirmation, were both supporters who lived in her district. Politically, that alone would have been reason enough for her to vote against (Bronster). but, as the Honolulu Advertiser would later disclose, Hanabusa had a close relationship with developer Jeff Stone, whose sister was married to Bishop Estate trustee Dickie Wong and who, along with Peters and Wong had been indicted by a grand jury convened by Bronster. As the attorney general’s investigation would later reveal, prior to the confirmation hearing, Hanabusa had met privately with Larry Mehau and Wong. When confronted by a reporter, Hanabusa confirmed that the meeting had taken place, but, in a remarkable lapse of memory, she could not remember if Bronster’s confirmation had been discussed.” (Ben pp 432-433)
Here is some more of the national coverage:
WSJ: National Democrats target Charles Djou, plan mainland fundraising for Hanabusa
The idea behind the program is to introduce Democratic supporters to new candidates and help expand the fundraising base for their campaigns, according to the DCCC. The 11 new candidates bring the total number of candidates getting Red to Blue support to 26. In the last election cycle, the fundraising effort helped Red to Blue candidates raise more than $26 million, the committee says.
Among the 11 new candidates are State Sen. Tarryl Clark of Minnesota, who will run against Michele Bachmann, a harsh critic of President Barack Obama; Colleen Hanabusa, who will challenge Charles Djou for a seat from Hawaii; and Chad Causey of Arkansas, who’s running for the seat being vacated by his boss, Rep. Marion Berry.
Atlantic: Dem Establishment's Former Foes Join Top-Tier Lineup
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, it appears, has a short memory: today, it adds to its list of top-tier candidates two Democrats it worked to oppose last month.
In Hawaii, state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa was opposed by the DCCC in the state's special election, where she placed ahead of former Rep. Ed Case, whom the DCCC supported, as both lost to Republican Charles Djou. Case announced shortly thereafter that he's not running in November.
NYT: Democrat Congressional Campaigners Add to Targets
For their part, Republicans said the new additions to the program showed Democrats were on the defensive these midterm elections. “The most ‘offensive’ part of this program is that it’s as unreliable as the party trying to sell it,” said Paul Lindsay, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee.
WaPo: The Fix
And here is the Hanabusa National Democrats now suddenly call "independent":
UPDATE: Hawaii GOP Chair Jonah Ka`auwai released the following statement:
DEMOCRATS FLIP-FLOP TO REGAIN “THEIR” CONGRESSIONAL SEAT
HONOLULU—Today, Chairman of the Hawai'i Republican Party Jonah Ka'auwai responded to an article in The Atlantic, about the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s flip-flop in supporting Democrat Colleen Hanabusa in November’s race for the congressional seat currently held by Republican Charles Djou:
“The Hanabusa campaign and DCCC both seemed to forget that only six weeks ago, the DCCC was saying that Hanabusa had no chance in beating Djou and siphoned D.C. money and support to Democrat Ed Case. Now, after Case came in third in the election and conveniently announced he wouldn’t run again in November’s race, Hanabusa is a top tier candidate.
“We’re not surprised; national Democrats always flip-flop and now Hawaii Democrats are following lockstep. This is just another example of the Democrat political machine playing politics and working to preserve the status quo of high taxes and wasteful government spending here in Hawaii.”