Isle Democrats elect lobbyist as new chairwoman
SA May 28, 2018: …Hawaii’s Democrats elected lobbyist Kealii Lopez as their new chairwoman for the next two years Sunday, dealing a blow to the more liberal or “progressive” wing of the party.
The election of Lopez was in part a reflection of continuing party tensions that date back to the 2016 split between supporters of Hillary Clinton and the more liberal backers of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Lopez, 57, served as director of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs under former Gov. Neil Abercrombie. She defeated current party Chairman Tim Vandeveer, a Sanders supporter….
This year’s convention in Waikoloa was well attended by the more liberal wing of the party, which is particularly well represented in the ranks of Hawaii island delegates, but Lopez defeated Vandeveer by a vote of 529-472. A third candidate, Gloria Borland, received 38 votes.
The convention at the Hilton Waikoloa Resort was actually attended by only 605 delegates, but the vote count was weighted to give more votes to off-island delegates to compensate for party members who were unable to manage the interisland travel trip to attend….
“I will be very upfront with you. The Hawaiian community and the Hawaiian agenda, I hope, is going to be very important to this family,” she said referring to the state Democratic Party.
Vandeveer supporters, including Democratic National Committeeman Bart Dame and former state Sen. Gary Hooser, said they were satisfied the election process was fair, but some delegates expressed concern privately that the party had just elected a “corporate lobbyist” as its chairwoman.
Lopez is director of government affairs for the law firm of Alston Hunt Floyd &Ing, and was registered to lobby this year for clients that include the American Resort Development Association, Expedia Inc., the Hawaii Association of Mortgage Bankers and the Western Plant Health Association, which represents biotechnology and fertilizer companies….
read … Political Insider
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Lopez Grateful for Vote as New Democratic Party of Hawai’i Chairwoman
News Release from Democratic Party of Hawaii May 29, 2018
KONA, Hawaii – The Democratic Party of Hawai‘i elected Keali‘i Lopez to be the new Party Chair on Sunday at its 2018 State Convention. Lopez’s main message for her campaign was that all members of the Democratic Party across the state need to come together to move Hawai‘i forward.
“The amount of enthusiasm and excitement at this year’s Convention was simply phenomenal. We have so many amazing members of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i and I look forward to working with all of them to ensure we move Hawai‘i forward by supporting the many values that we all deeply care about. We must continue to support working families, protect the environment, advocate for the rights of the LGBT community and most importantly support our guiding principles found in the platform of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i. ” Lopez said.
After having hosted the 2018 Convention, former Party Chair, Tim Vandeveer said, “It’s been an honor serving as the Chair of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i these past two years, and I look forward to working with Keali’i as she takes on her role as the Party’s new Chair.”
Lopez said she looks forward to having more of Hawaii’s residents seeing the Democratic Party as a broad spectrum of people united in fostering a better future for Hawai’i.
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Star-Adv: Democrat Rule Cripples and Divides Hawaii
SA: …There are few states where Democrats hold quite the advantage as Hawaii Dems do, and there seem few prospects for overturning the balance of power in the foreseeable future. And that’s truly lamentable, for a democracy benefits from challenges by a robust second, or even third, political party….
The state party had its convention last weekend at Waikoloa, and seemed at least superficially to be relying on the one playbook with a unifying theme: opposition to President Donald Trump. No doubt this is a point around which the party is rallying, nationally.
Democratic leaders from Hawaii and other states, however, should be seeking a more affirmative platform, as negative campaigning has its utility but may not inspire the voters as much as imagined….
The elections of 1954 is the line of demarcation (but) …
As the party became entrenched, however, money followed the new power structure. Some of the interest groups — the unions, larger businesses, to name two categories — became the new elites. The labor movement began to shed private-sector membership, leaving public-sector unions among the primary beneficiaries of the new political ruling class.
Successive labor contracts increased wages and retirement and health benefits to the point at which the state now faces a crippling liability for its unfunded benefits.
What seems to have emerged is an elitist social stratification in which people are placed on the basis of economic status rather than race. Hawaii is as diverse as it ever was, but there are clear haves and have-nots. Those who managed to secure property are the “in” crowd, while the poor are on the outs, and sliding further into poverty.
It’s seen everywhere, in the rents that strain working families’ budgets, in the homelessness suffered by many who earn too little to afford the basics….
read … Dems must help the truly needy