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Thursday, January 02, 2014
WaPo: Schatz Represents Hawaii's new White Ruling Class
By Selected News Articles @ 2:22 PM :: 5715 Views :: Democratic Party, Politicians

WaPo: Schatz Represents Hawaii's new White Ruling Class

Washington Post: ...the divide is personal, and it’s unique, like the state where it’s playing out. In Hanabusa’s candidacy, what remains of Inouye’s mostly Japanese American political machine is fighting for supremacy against a younger and whiter progressive wing that is trying to become Hawaii’s new ruling class....

A new path is what Abercrombie had in mind when he picked Schatz a year ago. In an interview in his top-floor office at the State Capitol, Abercrombie said, “It had very little to do with Brian and Colleen themselves as people. It had everything to do with the future and the past.”....

Hanabusa said Abercrombie’s focus on her age is “rather offensive.” Over lunch at Zippy’s, a local casual-dining chain, Hanabusa sounded angry and at times bitter that Abercrombie passed her over for Schatz, whose résumé in state government she believes does not stack up to hers.

“By saying that he’s putting somebody in so they can get seniority, it’s like saying to the voters, ‘You’re not relevant. Here’s somebody who’s going to be there forever,’ ” Hanabusa said. “No one — no one — should feel that level of entitlement.”...

The Schatz-Hanabusa race carries echoes of the 2008 Democratic presidential contest between Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton. Schatz led an early “draft Obama” movement here and became the face of Obama’s campaign in the Hawaii caucuses.

Meanwhile, Hanabusa, at Inouye’s urging, helped lead Clinton’s campaign here. “When Senator came to see me . . . he said, ‘We may come off looking a bit lolo because Barack Obama is from here, but let’s do it,’ ” Hanabusa recalled....

The Democratic infighting is bleeding into the 2014 governor’s race, where Abercrombie’s low approval ratings, particularly among Japanese American and native Hawaiian voters, make the white incumbent vulnerable. Some Democrats, including former governor Ben Cayetano, are lining up behind a primary challenger, state Sen. David Y. Ige, an Asian American....

Republicans hope to take advantage of a divisive Democratic Senate primary, scheduled for Aug. 9. Former congressman Charles Djou said in an interview that he is among those Republicans considering a run and that he sees an opportunity to campaign from the ideological center.

“Brian and Colleen seem to be running a contest as to who can be the left-most extreme liberal candidate,” Djou said....

Former New York mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (I) will headline a fundraiser for Schatz in Hono­lulu on Thursday, while former vice president Al Gore (D) has endorsed Schatz....

read ... Hawaii Senate primary is dividing Democrats along ethnic and generational lines

  *   *   *   *   *

In Hawaii, a Democratic Party divided

WaPo: The feud is spilling over into the governor’s race as well. Abercrombie’s decision to pick Schatz over Hanabusa has further alienated him from many of the state’s political elite — and one of those elites, state Sen. David Ige (D), has mounted a challenge to Abercrombie in this year’s Democratic primary....

polling, both public and private, shows Abercrombie is unpopular, particularly among Hawaiians of Asian and native descent. Those voters make up a large part — perhaps a majority — of the state Democratic primary electorate.

He has had a rocky first term, too, taking heat for comments in 2011, when Abercrombie said it was “so stupid” for the state to pay $4 million a year to host the NFL’s Pro Bowl, which happens annually in Honolulu (The game generates about $3 million in state taxes and almost $30 million in economic activity a year, according to Hawaii’s tourism authority.). And he has fought with the state’s powerful teacher’s union over a new contract; the union ratified a new contract in April, narrowly averting a threatened strike....

Ige has won support from former Gov. Ben Cayetano (D), a longtime supporter of Abercrombie’s who now says the governor has lost his common touch. Cayetano told a local media outlet that Abercrombie’s fights with public worker unions and his close ties to developers moved him to back Ige.

“He used to be a strong voice for the little guy. He’s not now,” Cayetano said of Abercrombie in an interview in November.

So far, no viable Republican candidate for governor has emerged.....

read ... No Viable Republican

  *   *   *   *   *

WHT: Hawaii Senate primary is dividing Democrats (WHT dog whistle to white people in Kona.)

ILind:  Hanabusa is poster child for sense of entitlement

Background: Memos: Hanabusa has Failed -- Schatz is a White Ideologue with a Superior Campaign

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