Wednesday, July 23, 2008


RUNNING WITH THE PACK: In a head-scratchier of a final slate of candidates for Kaua`i a record 22 candidates will vie for the seven County Council seats but no one decided to challenge any of our State Legislators.

The members of the new record number club, topping the previous high of 21, will square off on September 20 with 14 likely to advance to a final showdown on November 4.

But why candidates chose to give Roland Sagum, Jimmy Tokioka and Mina Morita a free ride is perhaps a matter of a combination of the sudden openings on the council combined with the self-delusion that most have that they can get past the “primary” or win a seat on the general.

The answer to “what were you thinking” is often “I wasn’t”.

Why no one came to run against Mina Morita is understandable. She’s one of the best the best things Kaua`i has to offer in the officeholder department and is wildly popular.

But the fact that the much reviled Tokioka and the developer’s friend Sagum didn’t spur at least one of the council aspirants to challenge them is puzzling since anything can happen in a race that pits only two opponents. So many people are so ready to vote for “anybody but” Tokioka and to a lesser degree Sagum that an opponent would have been starting off with 20-25% of the vote.

But even 22 choices might not be enough to unseat the entrenched or stop the sleazebags and developer from maintaining the “same old-same-old” as Joan Conrow gloomily prophesized this morning.

She runs down the list and comes to the conclusion it going to be “same as it ever was-same as it ever was” with all the Talking Heads yakking about “changing demographics” on Kaua`i being just so much wishful thinking.

It’s the same talk we’ve heard in every election even going back to 1986 when a long list of progressive candidates like Dr. Jack Lindgren and Mina Morita were thought to have a chance due to an aging and dying population of plantation-mentality-addled lackeys, the coming of age of the baby boomers and an influx of mainlanders.

Yet with an extremely rare “exception that proves the rule” such as Gary Hooser it’s been heightened expectations in July and severe dejection in November.

We’ve all fallen for the high of optimism that leads to the crash of harsh reality too many times to believe that the incumbents will have any problems and that the open slots will be filled by the next generation of “entitled-by birth” private-interest sycophants and power-mongers like Derrick Kawakami and George Thronas Jr., another rich political skein.

Perhaps the most dismaying thing may be that all of the public interest candidates are getting a late start with a few exceptions for those who have run losing campaigns in the past.

One thing any political operative on Kaua`i will routinely tell prospective candidates when listing the harsh realities of campaigning here is that in order to go from obscure to elected you need to start the day AFTER the election.

Start at one end of the island and knock on every door- preferably with a gift- until you get to the other end. And then after you lose your first election, do it all over again.

Then if you run a good campaign you might get elected.

And who the heck is that committed?. Many of the best people- those who genuinely want to represent the community’s interest and shove the corporate interests to the wayside - do it half heartedly and fatalistically.

And those representing the entrenched old boys and girls network have the zeal of self enrichment and career enhancement, not to mention the edge in raising money when people find out they are for sale..

Still anything can happen in a wide open race like this. A little hard work never hurt anyone’s vote totals.

Unlike recent years, there are multiple excellent candidates and if all the people who complain abut local politics and governance find their favorite and work their butts off canvassing, sign holding and fundraising for them... well, stranger things have happened.

Below is a list of all the council candidates with their contact information. We’ve given some details about a few of the good candidates- as well as the maybes and a few of the more disgusting entries- in the last week or so and will be refining our own list based on their words deeds and actions as they come to light over the next two months.

We especially would welcome candidates who feel they were unfairly represented or disrespected in this column to call us and try to change our mind. We can only go on the information that’s out there and more information can always change the situation.

We urge everyone to at least call the applicants and have an in depth conversation about where they stand on the issues and to gauge how they will serve the public interest and in fact fight for us against the entrenched cabal.

And maybe even get off your butt and do a little campaigning instead of spending the next two years complaining.

Though we really like Lani Kawahara, Bruce Pleas, , and Ken Taylor and will no doubt be supporting their candidacies, here’s our list of those who at least deserve attention. Give them a call- we’re sure they’ll be glad to hear from you.

Dickie P (Wala`au) Chang, Jay Furfaro, John R Hoff,. Harry K Kaneakua,. Jr., Daryl W Kaneshiro, Lani T Kawahara,. Christobel K Kealoha,. Les P Kipukai Kualii,. Rhoda L. Libre, Scott F. Miljares, Linda Pasadava, Bruce J. Pleas, Kenneth R. Taylor,

And don’t forget to attend and/or watch on TV the Eco Roundtable candidate forum on Aug 5 at the convention Hall at 5:30.

Now Meet our full slate of dunking booth contestants.

1) Ron Agor, 3728 Nawiliwili Rd. Lihue 96766 (808) 651-5764
2) Bill (Kaipo) Asing, 4113 Palau Mahu St. Lihue 96766 (808) 245-4555
3) Bob Bartolo, 5060 Nonou Rd. Kapaa 96746 (808) 639-8080
4) Tim Bynum, 5935 Kololia Pl. Kapaa 96746 (808) 822-1652
5) Bob Cariffe, 4279 Kailewa St. Lihue 96766 (808) 635-3398
6) Dickie (Wala`au) Chang, P.O. Box 3944 Lihue 96766 (808) 635-8800
7) Jay Furfaro, P.O. Box 223224 Princeville 96720 (808) 652-1550
8) John R Hoff,. P.O. Box 547 Lawai 96765 (332) 974-9745
9) Harry K Kaneakua,. Jr. P.O. Box 3066 Lihue 96766 (808) 647-0172
10) Daryl W Kaneshiro,. 4135-A Noho Rd. Koloa 96756 (808) 651-6906
11) Lani T Kawahara,. P.O. Box 1565 Kapaa 96746 (808) 652-6741
12) Derek S.K Kawakami,. 5077 Kawaihau Rd. Kapaa 96746 (808) 822-7489
13) Christobel K Kealoha,. P.O. Box 3942 Lihue 96766 (808) 245-9944
14) Ronald Kouchi, 3391 Eono St. Lihue 96766 (808) 639-2724
15) Kipukai Les P Kualii,. 4210 Rice St., #A2 Lihue 96766 (808) 212-9192
16) Rhoda L. Libre, P.O. Box 246 Kaumakani 96747 (808) 645-1210
17) Nancy A. McMahon, 5532 Tapa St. Koloa 96756 (808) 639-6695
18) Scott F. Miljares, P.O. Box 1222 Kilauea 96754 (808) 652-7113
19) Linda Pasadava, P.O. Box 600 Kilauea 96754
20) Bruce J. Pleas, P.O. Box 721 Waimea 96752 (808) 639-2850
21) Kenneth R. Taylor, 1720a Makaleha Pl. Kapaa 96746 (808) 823-8527
22) George S. Thronas, , Jr. P.O. Box 246 Kapaa 96746 (808) 651-6419


Anonymous said...

Another developer's friend: Bernard Carvalho. At his rally, amidst all those Hawaiian faces, was a haole sticking out like a sore thumb -- Andy Friend, project manager at kealanani, that poor excuse for a "farm" just north of Kealia.

Anonymous said...

hi andy,
one of the major factors discouraging good people from running for a state representative seat (ie. tokioka's or sagum's), is the logistics of living (renting!) in honolulu during the week, then returning to kauai for the weekend. for example, i rent here and to rent also in honolulu would be incredibly unhealthy for my solvency! if you have any thoughts about how to manage this problem, please let me know! sorry, living with parents not an option...and living on someones couch in honolulu for the session, equally impossible.

Andy Parx said...

There is a special per diem plus travel and housing stipend for neighbor island reps and sens. I’m not sure how much it is but I’ve heard it’s more than adequate.

Anonymous said...

mahalo andy for providing additional info on the herd running for office. will be interested in how many candidates will attend the forums and bother to participate in the voter information activities(like sierra club questionaires). seems like the only way to find out what the candidates are about is to attend one of their fundraisers. hopefully the serious ones will take you up on your offer to cover the candidates' platforms.
hope it doesn't just come down to the name recognition and number of signs in the yard. it does mean that candidates have to work hard to cover the island searching for voter support. maybe the idea to vote by district has a place to support folks like bruce or rhoda who have an established westside record but might be unknown in hanalei. might not be so burdensome for candidates to campaign in their neighborhood instead of covering the ground from mana to haena. just some thoughts about how our local system might not be best serving the locals. wonder what jonathan chun would have to say about that?
cheers and keep up the good work. a hui hou,........jimmy t