by Andrew Walden (originally published Dec 11, 2009)
Today's surprise Congressional resignation announcement by Neil Abercrombie sets up a low turnout, no primary three-way race between Charles Djou, Ed Case, and Colleen Hanabusa. Such an election will be won by whoever has the best Get-Out-The-Vote effort. As an Abercrombie bonus: The Election Commission is in disarray.
The Advertiser described efforts by House Speaker Calvin Say to seeking up to $1 Billion dollars in new taxes--without actually saying that he was doing so. And this afternoon, the Advertiser announced that the US House Committee on Natural Resources is going to vote on the Akaka Bill--in a single line buried deep inside the breaking news article on Abercrombie's pending resignation.
One thing appears certain, after he leaves office, Buffalo hippie Neil Abercrombie (D-Hezbollah) will never sit in the US Congress again. His political future is in question as Mufi Hannemann has a strong fundraising lead thanks to the deep philosophical appeal Mufi has to folks who coincidentally happen to be rail contractors. This primary race against Mufi appears to be what Abercrombie is looking at with fear when he says: "I must do this to continue with the direction I've chosen for the future."
Democrats are split with Mufi and Hanabusa on one team with Dan Inouye and the old boys and Abercrombie and Ed Case on the other team with the Hokulia shake down crew and the anti-Superferry protesters.
Abercrombie has handed his ally Ed Case an advantage over Hanabusa in that she will be required to attend to legislative business during the abbreviated campaign and Case has previous experience with the 2003 special election. On the other hand Case is despised by his own Party after challenging Dan Akaka for US Senate in 2006. With two hogtied Democrat frontrunners, the advantage shifts to Honolulu Councilman Charles Djou.
Abercrombie is one of the least respected members of Congress--so reviled by other Congressmen that they shunt him off to trivial assignments such as the House Gym Committee. When his seniority makes it inevitable that he gets on semi-significant House subcommittees, he is sure to use the position to "extract" campaign contributions from defense contractors (ie the Military Industrial Complex) and others he can reward with
kick backs earmarks.
Abercrombie has not specified the date of his resignation but December 31 is being mentioned by many observers. What a great way to ring in the New Year!
RELATED: Neil Abercrombie 2009: A year of corruption
RELATED: Good News: A small elite no longer runs Hawaii -- Bad News: Mufi thinks he can change that
2003 Special Election: http://hawaii.gov/elections/results/2003/special/
2010 Special Election:
ADV: "Kevin Cronin, the state's chief elections officer, also said a special election would not be held any sooner than 60 days following a vacancy."
ADV: "I am announcing today that I will resign as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the 1st District of Hawaii. This is an extremely difficult decision for me, but I must do this to continue with the direction I've chosen for the future. Accordingly, I've concluded that I must resign my congressional seat and allow someone to be elected who will carry on the work of this office. The effective date of my resignation will be announced soon."
"I am excited about bringing my record of fiscal responsibility and government accountability to the voters. I will be a candidate in any special election for Congress triggered by Rep. Abercrombie's resignation and I look forward to sharing my views on limited government, a strong national defense, and responsible stewardship of our environment with the people of Hawaii."
ADV: "Congressman Abercrombie's announcement is a surprise and leaves us a vote shy in the House at a time when major policy changes like health-care reform, a war spending measure, the Akaka Bill and others are shaping up for debate and passage."
U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie will resign his seat in Congress so he can campaign full time in the Democratic primary for governor. More »
DJOU: WE ARE READY WITH OUR MESSAGE OF RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY
Honolulu City Councilmember and Republican Candidate for Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District, Charles K. Djou, reacted to Congressman Neil Abercrombie’s announcement that he will soon resign from Congress, which will trigger a special election for his seat.
“I am excited about bringing my record of fiscal responsibility and government accountability to the voters. I will be a candidate in any special election for Congress triggered by Rep. Abercrombie's resignation and I look forward to sharing my views on limited government, a strong national defense, and responsible stewardship of our environment with the people of Hawaii,” stated Djou.
Djou had already filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to run for Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District in the 2010 general election. Djou will now file the appropriate paperwork necessary to become a candidate for any special election for Congress.
Frm. Congresswoman Pat Saiki will serve as Djou’s campaign chair. Djou currently serves as a member of the Honolulu City Council and previously served as the Republican Floor Leader in the Hawaii State House. He is married with three children. Outside of the City Council, Djou is an officer in the Army Reserve and has worked as an adjunct professor at the University of Hawaii.
"While my opponent has resigned from office, I will honor my commitment to serve my full term. He's been a part of Washington politics a very long time and has grown out-of-touch with our residents. I'm committed to growing our economy, creating jobs and improving public education." (Via Twitter)
Earlier today, our potential opponent for Governor in 2010 announced that he will resign from Congress to campaign full-time. While this move will force the added expense of a special election during the largest revenue shortfall in our state's history, we are not surprised.
After a long career of insider politics and big government spending, he could use some time in Hawai`i to reacquaint himself with the issues facing our families and distance himself from his failed policies in Washington.
Duke Aiona is working every day in our communities to make a difference for you. He's a family man, a former state judge and as Lt. Governor, he has built a proven record of leadership, integrity and experience to best serve the people of Hawai`i.
Duke is the only candidate standing between you and higher taxes. And he is the only candidate who will honor his commitment to serve his full term in office.
- If you want to move Hawai`i forward
- If you want balance in government
- If you want a Governor who will put your family first
Mahalo, Team Aiona
KA`AUWAI: A DESPERATE MOVE BY THE DEMOCRAT PARTY
HONOLULU—Hawai'i Republican Party Chairman Jonah Ka'auwai released the following statement on the resignation of Rep. Neil Abercrombie:
“Abercrombie’s resignation is simply a desperate move by the Democrat Party to steal the election from the frontrunner Charles Djou.
“Today, Furlough Friday, children are at home because of our failed Democrat-dominated politics. Yet Rep. Neil Abercrombie is going to force a special election and waste millions of dollars for what can only be described as his own personal political greed. How can someone who wants to hold the state’s highest office possibly believe this is right for the state of Hawai'i?
“What people in Hawai'i are looking for is an individual with unfailing values not based on words but on actions. Charles Djou represents the Hawai'i Republican values of liberty, limited government, individual responsibility, fiscal accountability and equality of opportunity. Now more than ever our state and our nation need a candidate that embodies these values.
“We welcome the special election as an opportunity for voters to send a strong signal to an out of control Congress.”
On Sunday, I will hold a press conference where I will formally announce my intent to resign from the U.S. Congress and concentrate all my efforts on becoming the next Governor of Hawaii. This decision was the result of much thought and careful consideration.
Ed Case announces special election candidacy
December 11, 2009
U. S. Congressman Neil Abercrombie (HI-1) today announced his intention to resign from the U. S. House of Representatives to pursue his campaign for Governor of Hawai‘i fulltime. Congressman Abercrombie will provide the effective date soon; the remainder of his current term through the end of 2010 will be filled by special election to be scheduled by Governor Lingle.
Congressman Abercrombie has served our Hawai‘i and country faithfully in Washington, D.C. for almost twenty years. He was my valued colleague in Congress for over four of those years, and I always appreciated our partnership as members of Hawai‘i’s congressional delegation on issues of critical importance to Hawai‘i or just taking care of folks from back home. His commitment and passion exemplify the best of public service. We spoke this morning, and I thanked him for his service. I wish him well along his campaign trail.
I earlier announced my candidacy to succeed Neil as U.S. Congressman representing Hawai‘i’s great First District (Honolulu: Makapu‘u to Mililani/Waipahu/Ewa Beach), and I today announce my candidacy for the upcoming special election to fill the remainder of Neil’s term. Neil’s mid-term resignation leaves an especially big puka in our delegation at a critical time for our Hawai‘i and country. With my seniority, experience, relationships and knowledge of current issues in Congress, I can and will hit the ground running from day one. Hawai‘i’s representation won’t miss a beat.
We all believe in a better way forward for our Hawai‘i and country. I truly look forward to the opportunity to serve you again in D.C. Our campaign begins in earnest today, and Audrey and I will be seeing you along our own campaign trail.
In the nine months since I announced my candidacy I have met thousands of people across our islands, each sharing stories of hope for the future in the face of a collapse of leadership. These voices have made me more energized and focused than at any time in my career. They have made crystal clear the deep desire for a change in direction for Hawaii.
In these same nine months, you and I have been witness to the most troubling episode in our state’s fifty-year history. Our government has stumbled its way into the eye of an economic and fiscal emergency made worse by a lack of preparation, leadership, and resolve. In these nine months, our children have been shut out of school and parents left feeling ignored and angry. Programs for at-risk mothers and pre-schoolers have been slashed with disregard for long-term costs. The response to the H1N1 flu has resulted in confusion and frustration. Our ecosystem is at risk because of unexplainable cuts to agricultural inspection. Supports for new industries that can spark economic recovery and anchor a future of good paying jobs have been eliminated. The rail transit project on Oahu—so significant to the long-term future of our state—hangs in a balance of uncertainty. Poverty and homelessness is on the rise as compassion in government dwindles.
Instead of signs of hope and a game plan for recovery, we see a Hawaii mired in gridlock and confrontation. More time is spent on placing blame than proposing solutions. In all my years in Hawaii, I have never seen an election where the stakes are so high. Hawaii’s next Governor must be ready to reverse this spectacle on Day One and I will devote myself to that task.
I have shared my decision with the White House, Senator Inouye, Senator Akaka, Representative Hirono, Speaker Pelosi and other leaders in Congress. I will soon set a firm date for my final day in office. My immediate priority is to fulfill those remaining duties that require my participation and pave the way for our next representative.
My departure from Congress will trigger a special election for a replacement. However, the law on special elections provides the flexibility to ensure a timely and cost-effective method for selecting a new representative, as demonstrated by the two mail-in elections for Honolulu City Council held earlier this year. I have complete confidence that the voters of the 1st Congressional District will select a person who will add talent and promise to Hawaii’s delegation.
For me, leaving Congress also means leaving a staff of people who never get the recognition they deserve and pour everything into serving the public. They have been my family, and my gratitude to them is deep and abiding. In Congress I have accumulated 20 years of lessons learned and lifetime friendships—all of which I will call on for the benefit of Hawaii as Governor.
In the House, I am one of 435 members and part of a Congressional team that knows how to deliver for Hawaii. But there is only one Governor, and in the final analysis, these extraordinary times call for extraordinary action. The people of Hawaii need a leader who is totally committed to meeting the challenges that lie ahead.
In the coming months, I will build a team of the best minds including experienced veterans of public service working alongside a new generation of leaders who are eager, energetic, and ready to tackle our problems. Together we will present ambitious, achievable plans for job creation, economic recovery, educational reform, food and energy independence, public health and safety, and government efficiency. For me, issues are not just words on paper; they are a call to action. We will be prepared and we will get things done.
I am asking you to be a part of this effort too. The choices you make for your family and community, and the joint decisions we will make for today and tomorrow will determine our ability to break away from the false comfort of the status quo. This will take everyone who is willing to act on a sense of obligation to each other and our love for Hawaii. It’s not that we will agree on every matter of policy and every nuance of a plan, but we respect and accept one another, and join in a common purpose.
This decision is about what you deserve in a candidate for Governor. I am asking you to go “all in” by choosing to place your faith, trust, and vote with me. I can do no less than go “all in” myself. I cannot claim the Governorship should be a cornerstone of our democracy and not make the campaign for it the center of all my efforts. My choice is to devote all of my time, all my energy, and my complete commitment to working side-by-side with you—for all Hawaii.