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Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Cam Cavasso: Family and the Future
By News Release @ 7:58 PM :: 10370 Views :: Maui County, Education K-12, Energy, Environment


Hello friends and supporters,

I realize that this letter is long overdue, but I would like to take this opportunity to provide you with a more detailed analysis of the campaign we ran together, to recognize and thank those individuals who played key roles in our campaign, and to update you on my family and our plans for the future.


As you are aware, we mounted a strong challenge to Inouye right up to the end. It actually looked in some ways as if we might pull it off. The polls initially showed us down by 42 points, then 30 points, then "13". The nationally recognized Rasmussen poll called our surge a "surprisingly strong showing in traditionally Democrat Hawaii."

While the final election results were, by any measure, a disappointment, the number I continue to focus on is "13"—that margin between Dan Inouye and Cam Cavasso just three weeks before the election. The surge surprised most political observers and clearly it surprised the Inouye campaign. It cannot be dismissed as an anomaly, because both Duke Aiona and Charles Djou experienced something similar.

The conclusion to be drawn, I believe is clear: our message resonated with the voters and--if only briefly-- gave us a window into their real beliefs and intentions. This has given me great hope for the future. I am certain that changes are coming to the moral and political landscape of our state.

After the Rasmussen poll hit the national news, Inouye and allies dipped into their considerable war chests and brought all their resources to bear, which explains the ultimate result of the election. We were out-spent thirty-to-one. On Election Day, most of the rest of the nation turned right and began the return to sanity and American tradition, but Hawaii, California, Oregon and Washington took a hard left.

The final numbers notwithstanding, I do believe there is great hope that we can return to the values that made our state and our nation such a very special place. It may take a miracle of God, but we have foundations built on principle, values and freedom-- both religious and secular.

We value life and liberty and the right to free enterprise and our own initiative. We really do value family and justice. We really do value love for ourselves and for our brothers and sisters. This is what we stood for in our campaign and I pledge to you that we did not do so in vain.

The Positions We Took:
We ran the race with bold integrity and in accordance with the values set forth in the Declaration of Independence. We stood for limited government, private property and the right to work. We stood for taxation that encouraged fair play and competition, and that was not confiscatory, but reasonable for meeting the basic needs of a government maintaining a strong military, civil police, justice system and free economy.

We stood for fiscal responsibility, free enterprise, accountability, a balanced budget and an end to the character-compromising practices of pork-barrel spending, earmarks and favoritism.

We stood for life, all life from the youngest unborn child in the womb to the oldest grandparent. We stood for family and the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. We stood for an education system based on freedom, innovation, competition and incentives where parents have the liberty to send their children to the best schools, whether private, public or home-school. We stood for accountability and truth in family, work and government. We stood for the right to pray and worship and speak about our spiritual values.

We stood for protecting our environment: air, land and sea, even as we worked to expose the radical ideological abuse by the environmental left which distorts the truth and sabotages transportation progress, the production of fuel, and the needs of people who must make a living for themselves and their families.

What We Continue to Believe:

I. Taxes

Our tax system is broken. It has been used and abused to impose various social engineering controls and governmental policies which take away freedom and hinder initiative.

Taxes are being used by our leaders to redistribute wealth from those who work to those who would live on the backs of others and subvert initiative; to destroy inheritances and legacies among families, businesses, and organizations; and to support that which is grievously abhorrent to every cell of our being-- the killing of innocent children through abortion.

The tax code is so complex that many of us spend weeks working on our submittals. It is time to simplify. If a ten percent tithe was good enough for God to meet the needs of his church, people, and nation, then a similar system should work for us. Let's get back to a simple, fair, level and just tax system and set our people free to be creative again.

II. Healthcare

Our healthcare system cannot be controlled by government. Most of you know by now that recently my family experienced our own life and death experience. Throughout that ordeal, I saw our healthcare system at its best and its worst.

I saw that more government control is not the answer to “fixing” healthcare. It hinders innovation and the progressive development of our system to recognize and employ both traditional "western" and "non-traditional" therapies and cures. A national health care system run by bureaucrats is not the answer.

III. Hawaii

I opposed the Akaka sovereignty bill. I am for Hawaiians as I am for all our people of all races and backgrounds. Both of my sons are married to beautiful Hawaiian women and I have 9 wonderful hapa-haole grandchildren. The Akaka bill was a well intentioned, but destructive, act that would have divided Hawaii and created a so-called "favored people" based on ethnicity that would have bred resentment, anger, division and despair.

My wife Tula grew up on a Sioux Indian reservation in South Dakota. She has seen the affects first hand. The Akaka bill would have wreaked havoc with our economy, pitting favored businesses against un-favored businesses with different rules and laws applying to one job or enterprise versus another.

Our tax system would become more dysfunctional as one person or enterprise would be taxed, and another not, for the same activity, one block apart.

On the matter of raising taxes, I continue to stand in opposition. Raising the excise tax by 12% for Oahu was the wrong direction to take. The levy was supposed to be for rail, but even now the legislature looks to use it for other purposes. My feeling is this is a financial trap which may take years from which to recover. We went for generations without raising the excise tax. We should not have started now, and we would do better repealing the increase.

IV. The President and the Democratic Agenda:

I find myself at odds with President Obama and what he stands for. From embracing of international enemies to his rejection of Israel and other friends, he takes us down a schizophrenic path to war. I am dismayed at the direction in which he is taking our nation.

President Obama claimed to be pro-traditional marriage and then directed his attorney general not to enforce the "Defense of Marriage Act". He claimed to be concerned about energy and then handcuffed our ability to search within our own lands for fuel, threatening our sovereignty and independence.

President Obama won 72% of the vote in Hawaii. Today his favorables in Hawaii are significantly higher than any other state in the nation. Similarly, Gov. Abercrombie captured 59% of the vote. Like Obama, Abercrombie also stands contrary to most every issue or value I hold dear: from respecting life to free enterprise; from free speech and open government to the right to work; from big government, itself, to just taxes, family, marriage and true liberty.

Both the President and Governor are intolerant of any who disagree with them and use executive power like a hammer. It is this kind of abusive power that our founding fathers feared, and it is this kind of abusive power that is the rationale for our counterbalancing branches of government.


Our campaign did a wonderful job with the resources we had and I am proud and grateful for the work of everyone who supported our efforts. Many sacrificed and gave much. While the list is long and I will almost certainly leave out a name or two inadvertently, I would like to recognize and thank:

George Jones did a superb job of planning and leading and was always a special pleasure to partner with, both traveling and in headquarters. Tula and I so appreciate our friendship with George and his wife Pua.

Phil Uyehara served as my treasurer. What a special and patient giver. I am deeply grateful for his long and faithful service.

Dee Taketa undertook the huge task of bookkeeper for the campaign. She did an incredible job managing our books, travels, and expenditures. She did all of this while fighting her own health challenges and those of her mother.

Shawnette Osborn came aboard helping in the early organization and managed the office operations for most of the campaign. She is gifted and has offered continuing help with the ongoing fundraising, for which I am deeply grateful.

Mark Spengler is a longtime friend and brother who helped produce and refine many of our positions on the issues. He did so with great speed and efficiency and managed our contacts and support in Washington DC. Mark is a fighter who never gives up. I send blessings to him and his wife Eva, our special friend in prayer.

Ryan Knoll is a wonderful writer and communicator who was able to help me quickly and effectively express my heartfelt views and values. Without him it would have taken forever to get the writing done. He kept us moving, especially in the difficult times after Psalm’s illness hit.

Scott Schmidt was our social media consultant who, through his wonderful and always cheerful work, taught us all we needed to know. Lewis Fein grasped the vision and kicked the operation into motion.

Summer, my daughter, was my right hand and traveling companion throughout the campaign. She handled the responsibility so wonderfully and cheerfully and I am so very proud of her. I love to watch her interact with people and also spin through the I-phone and computer. Just the time alone traveling and working with her, hearing her thoughts, made the whole campaign worthwhile.

Jeff Ming and Walter Delce set up ad ran our computer systems and Philip Allen our web page.

Phil Lowry helped set up the office communications and keep our Mass Mutual financial services business running smoothly even as I was away so much.

Chris Ghosh performed terrific and faithful service in the office and he starred in our TV work.

Daniel Siangco faithfully represented us before public forums and led sign waving and John Rocco created media opportunity.
Robin Cravatt, Diane Repsholdt and Bonnei were key in our office. Thank you JC Cartee, Joshua Preager, Hohn Delfin, Mark Vrians, Katherine and Jo Gardner, Generation Joshua and Mike Farris.

Cutmaster Spaz and crew did an incredible camera and ad production for the campaign. coverage.

Carol Moore was invaluable in her advertising work and Leon Siu worked faithful for creative media.

Richard Wood generously applied his wonderful photography skill.

Nick and Esther Van Rensberg offered faithful support and organized the intercessory prayer covering with Cynthia Meekins, Hank and Sharron McKinney, Tammy Keough, Barbara Guss, Susan Becket, Charlotte Mings, Myong and Nick Papptas.

Pastor Frank Diehl wrote and produced our theme song.

Daryl Smith criss crossed the Big Island helping in a multitude of ways. Greg and Marie Ruhland, Jeannie Tomiyosh, Donna Sweere, David Ross, and Becky Leau, always faithful and encouraging.
Don and Bey Seal, Edwin Nakakura, Bob Halman, Harold Kilborn, Roy Sasaki and Villamore and Grace Galiza helped us reach Kauai.
Garret Hashimoto, Lora Burbage, Nathan Paikai, Brian Reynolds and so many others supported the campaign in many ways.

Jim Marocco, Rob Finberg, Eddie Asato, John Kerr, Lucy Jim, John Henry, Patty Peterson, Tom and Annie Rupp helped us reach out to Maui.
Mike Montgomery, George Nagato, Norman Nakanishi, Mike Lewin, Sandra Ahn, Babylon
and Julie Schoniwitz, Bill Stonebreaker, Rick Wheelock and Carol White were all great encouragers and supporters.

United States Senator Tom Coburn, Michael Schwartz, Don and Cindy Dodson, Nadine and Jim Stollenmaier, Sam Slom, Gene Ward, Dick Rowland, Tom Rulon, Dave Zimmel, Scott and Kathy Waracka, Sylvia Waiwaiole, Bill and Jackie Mathews, Robert Smith, Nancy Epperson, Dorothy Eshoder, Roy Grady, and Jack and Nydia Hughes, Gary Kutil and Archie Campbell contributed to our campaign greatly.

Stu Reese, Grant Fraser, Don Harrington, Glenn Evans, Wayne Tanaka, David Biando, Thomas Waring, Ray Poteet, William Heagney, Randy Gladden, Stan Tillinghast, Al Paalan were key supporters from the financial industry. Magenta Ishak, NAIFA PAC, Nash Sabotnick, Mark Cadin, ALU PAC, Roger Crandall, and Ken Cowen, Mass Mutual PAC gave generously.

Dennis Praeger and Rusty Humphry granted interviews broadcasting over their national radio programs. I am grateful for their courage and bold stand for truth in our nation.

Thank you Jonah Kaauwai Chairman of the Republican Party, Dylan Nonaka Executive director, Margaret Scow, Scott and Kathy Waracka, Malia Gray, Gabe Joseph, Michael and Dawna McClellan, and so many others. I am grateful for all. It is the work of a great team.

Finally, thank you Tula, my love, my wife. Thank you Anna, our daughter, and Psalm, our joyful one with the Lord in heaven, and Summer again. I love you all.


I am so blessed, humbled, and deeply grateful for my family. As a family, we are all joined in our commitment to serve. Tula has walked beside me from day one-- even before we were married. What a precious wife and partner she is.

Psalm and Summer were born during the years I was serving in the House, and Anna our youngest had known nothing less than constant commitment to serve as a family. Summer has now returned to complete her 3ird year at Hawaii Pacific University after taking a semester off to help in the campaign.

Shem and Shiloh, through their work and support, have been a critically important part of our efforts, from our first run for the Legislature and in subsequent terms. Their wonderful wives-- Shem's Melba and Shiloh's Eliza-- are raising their children together with Tula and making our family strong. Our nine grandchildren Maka, Mahea, Ka'i, Ezekiel, Samual, Ka'ena, Nalu, Kamakani, and Maunakea are joyful blessings in our home and have brought great comfort in our loss of Psalm.

Most now know of our struggle and battle for Psalm’s life. When she was struck with the brain tumor in June and then seemed to recover she told me "Don't quit Dad, keep going". We believed and expected for a full healing from the Lord as had happened 5 years earlier when she had been attacked by a different brain tumor. For four years, all was well, until this sudden new battle. This was different and more difficult. So many special loving people around the world and home here stood together in prayer for her life and healing and we saw many miracles as she overcame one struggle after another and we are so grateful.

In October she suffered multiple seizures and was partially paralyzed. On election day she took a turn for the worse and Tula and I abandoned all else to care and fight for her day and night, until Psalm went to be with the Lord in heaven on December 27, 2010.

Our hearts go out to others who have also lost their child, or spouse, or soldier son or daughter. We pray others will know the comfort we have known in the Lord and our knowledge of heaven.

On January 7th 2012 we held the memorial for Psalm at First Assembly of God at Red Hill. It was said by many that this celebration lifted them into the presence of heaven as no other memorial had before. Six hundred joined us to grieve over our loss, and to rejoice in Psalm’s return to the Lord. One third of those in attendance raised their hands in recommitment or giving of their lives to the Lord. Heaven has never been closer.

Soon we will post the memorial on our web site at, once the editing is complete, so all can experience this truly moving outpouring of love and compassion.


So where to now? We did not prevail in the election, but I see change coming. I saw it in the campaign. I saw it in the hearts of people as I listened to them. l know it in the values we historically hold in Hawaii. We were once the most literate and devout nation in the world. The roots and the heart and the foundations are still here. Yes, we have gone astray, but we can turn back and be an influence for good in the nation and world.

Our future is to continue the work that has begun. We are born to serve and we will continue. An important step in this work was to build a campaign foundation and organization that would be able to continue to influence our state and our nation and our world for good.

We built a solid organization that I plan to transform into a sustainable grassroots advocacy platform that will allow us to carry our message of fiscal responsibility, traditional family values and decisions informed by faith and morality.

I plan to stay active in politics and to remain a part of the public policy conversations that are taking place. I believe there will be a season when I am to serve in the United States Senate and perhaps in other ways. I do not yet know when that will be but we will build and be ready for the call when it comes.

We yet have financial obligations to meet from this past campaign and I feel a sense of urgency to strengthen our financial base to prepare for the next call when it comes.

I have initiated establishment of a 501(c)4 nonprofit educational organization called "Foundation 1776,"the mission of which will be advocate for the application of the foundational principles on which our nation and our families were built.

Through this organization, we will continue to influence the political and policy debates that seek to define our state and our country. Foundation 1776 will be the vehicle through which our voices will be heard; the instrument through which our values, beliefs and our determination for political and moral reform will be felt.

We will also build a separate Political Action Committee designed to help recruit, train and fund the campaigns of like-minded candidates seeking to serve in the 76 legislative seats in the Hawaii House of Representatives and Senate.

To carry forward these works and mission, I must once again ask our friends and supporters for their help. You were generous in your support of our campaign and now I ask that you consider supporting our efforts going forward.

I would appreciate the chance to discuss my plans with you and to hear your thoughts about the opportunities that exist to keep our message in the forefront of the public debate.  In the interim, please give some thought as to whether you would be willing to continue supporting our efforts by renewing your contribution or even doubling it, if possible.

I also ask if you would be willing to continue volunteering in one capacity or another. We need talented, committed people to help fill positions in this volunteer movement: from bookkeepers, to media and technology consultants, to fundraisers, to photographers and graphic artists, to office and clerical workers. We need to build our team.

Will you share the vision? Together with many other organizations and people we can do our part to influence our home and church and state and nation and world for good.

Will you join me as we step out? Our web site continues to be; and you can still find us on Facebook.

May God's grace be upon our people, families, state and nation. God bless you!


Cam Cavasso


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