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Monday, May 24, 2010
May 24, 2010 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:17 PM :: 10660 Views

American Thinker: Hawaii Republican Djou Heads for Congress: 67% Reject Inouye Machine

HFP: Special Election Polls vs Reality: Measuring culture of retaliation?

SB: Djou win reflects unrest of voters

From local councilman to U.S. congressman, Charles Djou's easy win Saturday night blasts open a boisterous political season, a resurgence of voter engagement and profound soul-searching for Hawaii's Democratic Party. Almost 40 percent of voters gave Republican Djou a mega-boost up the political ladder, sending him to Congress through early January. But the real test, the real prize, comes in November, when the full two-year term is decided. And a lot can happen in five short months.

Just four months ago, Djou was viewed as a viable but not-quite-ready-for-prime-time candidate for the seat vacated by Democrat Neil Abercrombie, who resigned to run for governor. But as the campaign unfolded, Djou steadily gained momentum as his simple, well-articulated message of "too much debt, too much taxes, too much wasteful spending" resonated with residents. It's a national message proven effective in other recent, upset races.

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Djou wins 17 out of 24 Districts, many outside traditional GOP areas

Here’s how SB spins it: “But the Republican city councilman remains an underdog in November's general election, winning more than 50 percent of the vote Saturday only in some precincts in Ewa Beach and in his stronghold of East Honolulu.”  (Only if you blindly assume that all those Case voters will go to the despised Hanabusa or vice versa.  Civil Beat debunks this, below.) 

REALITY: 67% of voters reject machine candidate Hanabusa: Djou heads for Congress with bright prospects for November reelection

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ADV: Election results show Djou's appeal outside East Honolulu

An Advertiser analysis of the vote by state House district found that Djou performed well in potential swing districts around Mililani and 'Ewa Beach. While the combined vote for Hanabusa and Case was still larger than Djou's markers, there is no guarantee all these voters would stick with the Democratic nominee in November.

Hanabusa trailed Case in East Honolulu but did better than the former congressman in every district west of Makiki — an encouraging sign for her campaign against Case in the September primary.

District by District: http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/assets/gif/M1158351523.GIF

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Analysis: Civil Beat Poll Points To Dems' November Dilemma

"Djou needs to get about a third of the losing primary candidate's votes," said Matt Fitch, executive director of the Merriman River Group. "It would seem like he'd have a much easier time getting a third of Case's voters if Case weren't in the race. Hanabusa's supporters are more likely to vote Democratic, even if she's not the candidate. That's why Case is a stronger candidate for Democrats in November."

Hanabusa clearly appears to have the edge in the September primary, because 45 percent of Democrats supported her vs. 35 percent for Case and 13 percent for Djou, according to the poll, which had a plus or minus 3 percentage points margin of error. But she may be the weaker general election candidate, because Case has a much stronger appeal among Independents.

"Case draws 2 and 1/2 times more independents (27-11) than Hanabusa does and it's those Independents who are truly up for grabs if Case loses," Fitch said. "If Case were not on the November ballot, Democrats should be alarmed that in our survey Djou was beating Hanabusa by a 5-1 margin among Independent voters."

RELATED: 67% of voters reject machine candidate Hanabusa: Djou heads for Congress with bright prospects for November reelection

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Hours Until Hawaii Congressman-Elect Djou Sworn In

Once he gets to work, he says the major focus will be on passing a budget between now and October; and there will be a battle over the president’s plan for immigration and cap and trade.

Specific to Hawaii, Djou will focus on loosening up a visa waiver program to boost local tourism and on establishing a free trade agreement with South Korea.

He will also tackle a contentious issue impacting Hawaii that most people in the country know little about – the Compact of Free Association between the Federated States of Micronesia and the United States – which encompasses Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Republic of Palau.

Hawaii gets just $10 million from the federal government to accommodate the influx, but the governor’s office estimates that the agreement costs Hawaii taxpayers an additional $100 million a year.

Like his predecessor Congressman Neil Abercrombie who resigned in February to run for Hawaii governor, Djou hopes serve on the Armed Services Committee and Committee on Natural Resources.

KITV: Congressman-Elect Faces Hectic Schedule Charles Djou Has Lot To Do Before Taking Office

CB: Mr. Djou Goes To Washington

ADV: Djou tells FOX News he's eager to prove trust 'is deserved'

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The Price Tag Of A Seat In Congress: $12.31 Per Vote

The Honolulu City Councilman, who emphasized controlling federal spending as a theme of his campaign, spent the least per vote received. Djou's campaign spending divided by the number of votes he received equals a cost of $12.31 for each of his 67,610 votes. By contrast, state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, who placed second, spent the most money through May 2 – some $899,204 or $17.03 for each of her 52,802 votes. Former Congressman Ed Case, placing third, spent $671,479 – or about $14.17 for each of his 47,391 votes.

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Shapiro: Economic turnaround feels close

Last week was full of good news. Gov. Linda Lingle started it off by announcing state revenues have improved enough that she's at least partly backing off her plan to balance the budget by delaying tax refunds until after July.

Checks for $125 million in refunds claimed on tax returns filed in January and February started going out Friday, with more possibly to come if the next report of the Council on Revenues is optimistic.

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Hawaii economic agency slow to spend stimulus: Sluggish procurement processes, complexity of energy reform blamed

One of those is the agency charged with watching over the economy, the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, or DBEDT.

So far, DBEDT has received $37.3 million in stimulus money, but spent only $446,964, or 2 percent. The money created 12 jobs.

DBEDT officials say they have been slow to spend the money in part because they want to use it to advance a specific goal — cutting the state's dependence on crude oil. That has meant the agency is moving more slowly to make sure the money is used wisely.

RELATED: Wind Energy's Ghosts

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Hawaii's Medicaid switch produces mixed results

Fifteen months after the state switched its Medicaid insurance program for more than 42,000 low-income seniors and disabled residents from a fee-for-service model to a managed care one, advocates say two firms hired to administer the program have improved services and beefed up provider networks.

But some point to cases involving patients who have seen cuts in care or who have struggled to navigate the Mainland-based plans because of language barriers or other reasons as continued areas of concern.

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Honolulu ranked near bottom in housing affordability

Honolulu ranks #220 out of 225 with only 34.7% of housing available at a price affordable to median income earners.  Median home cost $403K

LINK: NAHB Affordability index

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Honolulu Police officer to make initial court appearance

Boyd Kamikawa is charged with driving under the influence.

Court documents show that his blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit at the time of the crash.

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Co-op provides update on seabirds, legal costs: KIUC rates to go up next month

the estimated increase on a residential customer’s bill will be approximately $8 per month,

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Molokai vets rankled by county's delay of center  (4 years to get permit)

Veterans on Molokai are upset they have waited for nearly four years to obtain permits to build a modest, $112,000 veterans center in Kaunakakai.

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It's a no-brainer to preserve surfing

The biggest flaw in state Senate bill 2646 was, apparently, that it was close to Fred Hemmings' heart.

Of course, the subject was surfing and the retiring Republican State senator was a world champion surfer in the 1960s who some believe has salt water in his ventricles.

The bill, which was shoved into a curious and controversial coma of "recommitment" to a future year in the final hours of the House session, would have created largely honorary "surf preserves" on O'ahu's North Shore and in Waikīkī.

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