Tuesday, February 3, 2009


MONKEY’S AND WEASELS VS. JOKERS AND THIEVES: It’s anything but lonely under the big top.

The winners’ butts are barely parked after the 2008 game of musical chairs and already the players are throwing elbows for position and the music is playing for the 2010 political sweepstakes.

Only this time there’s going to be way more candidates circling the seats, with not just one but many less chairs to be fought over than suitors to fill them.

Senator Gary Hooser’s announcement that he’ll run for Lt Governor comes with instant opposition like Democratic Party Chair Bryan Schatz and Honolulu Councilmembers Rod Tam and Donovan Dela Cruz.

But with the announcement that he is seeking to play second banana to one of the Abercrombie Hanabusa or Hannemann triumvirate comes an opening for a top political plum for Kaua`i politicians- and one sure to cause all manner of the upwardly mobile to vacate their once coveted incumbencies.

While Honolulu-centric bloggers like Ian Lind and the long fingered Dave Shapiro (whose chair may be in Hilo but whose keyboard is on O`ahu) have quite a bit to say as to who will be flitting around the fifth floor in 2011, here on Kaua`i the speculation has already begun as to who will try to fill Hooser’s shoes.

Today former councilman, former mayoral candidate Mel Rapozo - who for the next two years at least is reduced to nitpicking at council and planning commission meetings and blogging like the rest of us poor schlubs- speculates on the game of marbles to come saying

Who will run for (Hooser’s) seat? It is way to early to tell, but the names that come to mind are JoAnn Yukimura, Ron Kouchi, and James Tokioka. If Tokioka decides to run for the Senate seat, we will have a vacancy in his State House seat as well. The next few months will be very interesting, and maybe even surprising. I have some tough decisions to make as well. I will be considering all of my options.

What Rapozo doesn’t mention in naming only those out of office is how this will effect the ambitious who are already in one seat or another.

And by “the ambitious” we mean every single one of them.

There is also a mayoral election in 2010 along with one for the seven members of the county council and a trio in the legislature. And you can bet all of the sitting have their eyes on greener grass of someone else’s seat.

But we have no doubt that there will be the same belly aching come the July 2010 filing deadline- that “there are no good candidates” once again despite this advance warning that it’s going to be a wide open field.

Every election year it’s the same thing- people who have the fire-in-the-belly if not the name recognition and even a good resume but won’t run or, when summer comes just suddenly discover there is going to be an election in a few months but haven’t done anything for the past two years to prepare for the opportunity.

Even worse will be another group will whine and snivel at their lack of choice and try to promote the joke of a “none of the above” option on the ballot while they refuse to run for office themselves.

But for anyone really serious about public service, today is your lucky day.

We’re here to remind you that with a little hard work over the next two years you too can have everyone in town calling you a hack, a crook and a dunderhead for the two years following your election.

Yes it’s time to get started and all you need is a running car a few good pair of shoes and a few boxes full of something to give away.

It’s time to visit every single one of your neighbors- it’s time to “walk the island”, going door to door talking to each person and letting them know who you are, what you’re running for and why they should vote for you.

Oh and bring ho`okipa. It should be something that they will not just throw away like a pen or key chain or something else with your name on it that you haphazardly ordered a bunch of. It’s got to be something people will either use or see every day that reminds them of you.- preferably something that is unique to you and your campaign.

Now get a map- a good, up to date one.. And then get movin'- there are almost 100 weekends between now and the election- plenty of time to knock on every door.

Now there are a select few people for whom this might not work- this mean-mouthed, higher-taxes and bigger-government advocate comes to mind. But for those of you who will come to us the summer after this one and ask us to support you and haven’t been doing this for two years, don’t wonder why you come in in 22nd place in a 21 candidate council race.

There very well could be almost all “vacant” seats- those without incumbents- on the council and in state house races to go along with state senator slot because, as we know from experience, having competition never stopped a politician from seeking higher office and there will be at least two or three current or former office holders in every race.

This is your year. find a gimmick- er, gift- put some gas in the jalopy and get out there.

Otherwise shut up next year. We’re tired of hearing “oh woe is us we have no good candidates again” every two years or if you do run having to see you stand there at the debates with your thumb up your butt because you don’t know the issues, you don’t know the voters and have no chance because you got a late start but we had to support you because at least you aren’t “them”.

Oh and it wouldn’t hurt to start following the actions of the person in the seat you’re seeking so you just might be able to do something once you get into office. But that’s a thought for another day.

No comments: