Message to Supporters April 15, 2012
After six (very long) months deployed with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan away from my wife and children, I am happy to finally be home. Mahalo to each and every one of you who kept my wife, Stacey, and my three children in your thoughts and prayers; who remembered me and my fellow soldiers with kind notes and care packages; and who held down the "fort" and kept the campaign going in my absence.
As you may know, I was deployed with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Infantry Division in the Zharay District of Kandahar Province in Afghanistan. During my tour of duty, I handled detainee operations for my brigade. I determined if individuals captured on the battlefield should be jailed or released. It was challenging, important and rewarding work. As a combat-deployed Army Reservist, I regularly saw the best in humanity in our American soldiers, but I also saw the worst in the lengths the Taliban would go to protect their cash source -- hashish and heroin -- and promote their cause.
Having seen our American soldiers in combat theatre, I can say unequivocally that our nation is served by some of the best individuals our country has to offer. It was a privilege and an honor to have served with soldiers, who worked exceptionally long hours, 7-days-a-week, in sparse living conditions, under constant threat of bodily harm and injury. These service members did not serve for rich financial rewards or fame, but instead because they believe in this country and answered the call to serve. After seeing such amazing selfless sacrifice, I know that the problems and issues facing our community and our country can be fixed through solid leadership and by each and every one of us coming together to do our small part.
The road ahead will be a long and arduous one. Those that control this state and our nation will do anything and everything they can to maintain the status quo -- a system based on who you know and how much money you have; and they won't loosen their stranglehold unless and until we stand up against them. I believe we deserve better and I'll fight with everything I have to make sure we win this race and we change the direction of our state and our nation. However, I need your help.
This is a race we must win.
There is simply too much at stake for us to sit on the sidelines. With unemployment at record high levels for the fifth straight year, with our nation's debt at unimaginable levels, and with our representatives unwilling to make the tough decisions, we need people who will do what's best for our state and our nation regardless of the personal cost.
This is a race we can win. You were with me in 2010. In January 2010, polls had us 17 points behind and dead last. Just five months later, in May 2010, we had won by 9 points. Today, we’re no different; we can win this race because we know we have to win it. Like our soldiers, we know that we can’t just sit back hoping that someone else will do the hard work. Our work, however, is made easier by the following:
The congressional district has improved significantly through redistricting with the addition of 10,000 new voters in Kapolei, an area that trends Republican and was the only state house district carried by Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona in 2010.
· In 2010, we were the national Democrats’ top targeted race. We are no longer a targeted race, as the national Democrats have much more on their minds this cycle.
· President Obama’s polling numbers, even in Hawaii, have fallen dramatically. According to Gallup, Obama’s job approval rating in Hawaii in February 2010 was 71%; dropped to 66% in February 2011; and as of February 2012 had fallen even further to 56%.
· With less than a year in office, Democratic Governor Neil Abercrombie, has been identified as the most unpopular governor in the nation. His 30% job approval rating is demonstrative of the unpopularity of his administration.
· Former Gov. Linda Lingle, who is now running for the U.S. Senate, is an outstanding fundraiser and campaigner. She will outraise her Democratic opponents by a sizeable margin and will ensure that her supporters turn out to vote on Election Day.
· The race for Honolulu Mayor has heated up. With the rail system poised to have a big impact, our past opposition to increasing taxes for rail will help boost our campaign. Equally important, the mayor’s race will draw resources that might otherwise be used against us.
This will be a challenging race, but it is one that we must win and will win with your help. Aloha and best wishes.