YOU REALLY GOTTA ASK?: Yeah, yeah, we know- hope springs eternal and all that stuff. But to tell you the truth it doesn't look good.
This year we just may find out what would happen if they had an election and nobody ran.
It's really hard to find anyone who isn't ready to throw the bums out this November, but usually there are plenty of new bums standing in line to replace them. Except, as the June 5 deadline for candidates to file approaches, other than incumbents, there is nary a Kaua`i legislative candidate who has even "pulled papers" much less filed them.
Despite the fact that all of of our legislators on Kaua`i voted for the dreaded bill that would have more or less repealed parts of HRS 343- the Hawai`i Environmental Protect Act (HEPA)- by exempting projects from local review, permitting, and of course public hearings, all thus far are running unopposed.
In State Senator District 8 Ronald D Kouchi, and in the House, State Representatives in District 14, 15 and 16, Derek S K Kawakami, James K Tokioka and Daynette S Morikawa (respectively) will get free passes if nothing changes, although we hear there may be a surprise announcement from a familiar name as the filing deadline approaches.
And while both incumbent Shaylene C Iseri-Carvalho and challenger Justin F Kollar have filed to run for Kauai Prosecuting Attorney, no one has filed to challenge any of the incumbent council members.
Six of the current seven- Dick S Chang, Joseph J Furfaro, Kipukai L Kuali'i, Nadine K Nakamura, Melvin Rapozo and Joann A Yukimura- have pulled papers with Rapozo and Kuali`i having actually filed them. But only three challengers- all pretty much unknown and with little chance of garnering enough support to oust any of the incumbents- have pulled papers and none of those has yet filed.
According to a Facebook page under that name, the first challenger, Christina Gutierrez-More of Kapa`a
is a Northern San Joaquin Valley, California native residing on Kauai for the past 9 years. She has been a dedicated mother of two and hardworking entrepreneur for the past 6 years. Her goal is to represent the Kauai people in issues that matter most to our island community. She is focused on positive growth, sustainability, renewable energy, affordable living and finding the means to support our ailing public school system and salvaging it's fundamental art programs. The natural beauty of Kauai and its residences' are dear to her heart and in her best interest. Please support her campaign and enable her to represent your community and make a stand for Kauai as a council member.
At a page called "Keikilane" a profile of someone named Leialoha L Sanchez- also of Kapa`a according to her filing- says
I was born in the Philippines to a Navy Captain, William Flores of Kailua and a domestic engineer, Debra Naihe of Waimanalo. I have 2 older brothers, Kalani and Kaipo and a younger sister, Ka’ohu. After the death of our father, our family relocated to Kaua’i. We spent the remainder of our childhood there and like most ‘ohana’s living in rural Hawai’i; we are “thick as thieves”. I am happily married to my best friend, Robin, who weird enough shares the same middle name as me. We have 2 beautiful flowers (girls) who add to our arrangement, Ka’uolani who's 7 years old and Kaumakakaihuia who will be 3 years old in December. The day I became a teacher was the day I became a mother.
In 1997, I moved to Hilo to further my education. I attended Ka Haka Ula o Ke’elikolani Hawaiian Language College at the University of Hawai’i at Hilo. I graduated with my Bachelors of Arts degree in Hawaiian Language with a minor in Pacific Island History. My Bachelor’s degree has allowed me to work in several Hawaiian immersion schools and other charter schools that serve Native Hawaiian students and or provides a Native Hawaiian perspective to its students.
As a teacher, I found it to be true that education is the one constant in many children’s lives and has an immense influence in shaping the person they become. My work experiences have made more appreciative of education as a way of life rather than a career.
Assuming it is the same person who filed, Elizabeth K Toulon of Koloa is a scion of the kama`aina Knudsen/Toulon clan. According to "campaignmoney.com," she has given money to right wing PACS such as "Minuteman PAC Inc," an anti-immigration, "secure borders" organization and "Eagle Forum PAC," an anti-abortion PAC apparently under the control of Republican activist Phyllis Schlafly as well as to the brief 2008 presidential campaign of Elizabeth Dole, former Secretary of Transportation under President George W Bush.
And that it. Of course the deadline could be extended depending on a ruling from the federal courts- expected any day now- on the Hawai`i reapportionment plan. But that doesn't change the fact that no one seems interested in serving in office.
And who can blame them. As jobs go it's a real stinker and can be a career killer. The salary sucks for both legislator and council and, although each is considered a part time job, they take up most of your time and limit your employment choices because an "understanding boss" is a necessity.
Job security is a real conundrum. If you do keep getting reelected you then get pegged in the public's eye as one of those "professional politicians" that no one likes. As soon as you're an incumbent you're automatically just the latest bum to be thrown out.
Who needs it? Just to get started, as anyone who knows the drill will tell you, the first thing you need to do is get out your extensive address book and call 100 friends and ask them each for $100. If you can't do that successfully you better just forget it. And if you get that done then it's time to cold-call a list of another 1000 people and ask each of them for $100.
If you do happen to get elected- usually not because the voters especially like you but because they really dislike the other guy- every one of those people who gave you money is going to call you and ask you for something... usually something you'd rather not do. And if you want to get reelected you have to either do what they ask or figure out how to turn them down without pissing them off.
Of course that's not to mention spending every waking moment you're not at work at the high school girls' water polo games, Tutu's baby lu`au or Uncle's birthday and every other boring vacuous event you'd never in your right mind attend... oh- and walk up to and schmooze everyone there, even those assholes you'd never otherwise talk to.
Do you really need to ask why no one is running? We're surprised that anyone ever does.