Over the past week, Charles has received hundreds of emails from people all over the state and the nation expressing their sorrow and disappointment over Tuesday’s election results. While we share your pain, we prefer to instead focus on all that we were able to accomplish together in the last year.
For many, on the mainland, they see our Special Election win in May, as part of the spark that ignited the wildfire that placed the US House firmly in GOP hands, which in turn, will now provide the American people with fiscal leadership and a much-needed check and balance in Congress. Many also say that the tremendous amount of spending ($1.5 million) in negative advertising by national Democrats against Charles allowed for the GOP to gain three to four additional seats on the mainland.
On a local level, we gave voters of the first congressional district a real choice. Most election cycles, the voters don’t have much of a choice, and that’s especially the case with this congressional seat, which hasn’t seen a serious challenge in over a decade.
I am especially proud of Charles and his staff for all they have accomplished in their few short months in office. Many of you may not be aware, but Charles’ office assisted in the release of South Korean fishermen who were being held by the North Korean government. On August 8, 2010, the South Korean squidding vessel Daesung 55 was seized by a North Korean naval vessel. Two days later, on August 10, Charles introduced a resolution condemning North Korea’s provocative actions and called for the immediate release of the Daesung and its crew. Less than a month later, North Korea acquiesced. We were later told that Charles’ resolution was used by the South Korean government to pressure North Korea—through China—to swiftly resolve this situation.
At home, Charles’ staff has been dedicated to helping individuals negotiate the federal bureaucracy. For example, Charles was able to help a military family with a husband’s redeployment to a unit in Virginia so that his wife could have a kidney transplant at the hospital of her choice. Another of my favorite examples is of a man who was fighting for back pay and benefits for over 3 ½ years. He contacted Charles’ predecessor and the rest of Hawaii’s congressional delegation, but none of them helped. It was only after Charles’ staff had gotten involved that he was finally awarded the pay and benefits he had earned.
Charles and his office also worked hard to host a job fair in September. Over 50 employers participated and we understand anecdotally that more than a dozen people found jobs as a result.
For me, I like to focus on the good that Charles has done. If he was placed in Congress just for those South Korean fisherman, or just to host a job fair that resulted in someone finding a job, that’s more than enough. So, thank you to all of you who support Charles --- your support meant and continues to mean something for all those individuals that Charles and his office were able to help, and for all those that they will help in the next two months before they leave office. Together we all did a lot of good and that’s something to be proud of.
With sincere thanks,