Wednesday, October 22, 2008


BEST IN SHOW: In the past, the day that the Kaua`i Sierra Club announces their endorsements for county council has often been a mixed bag at best with some real headscratchers along with the real deals.

We can’t forget the dust up over their endorsement of Jay Furfaro in his first run at council and the “what the heck were you thinking” response from many to their support for the, at the time, Republican hotel manager- especially with other great candidates running that year, one of whom ended up in 8th place by just a handful of votes while Furfaro grabbed a seat.

But this year we were pleasantly surprised- and we join the Sierra Club in supporting Lani Kawahara as our sole endorsement for a seat on the Kaua`i county council.

While we think that 14th place finisher in the primaries Bruce Pleas has the right stuff and a vote for him is a good one, in reality he really hasn’t got any shot at overcoming a deficit of many thousands of votes much less leap-frogging over the seven others-including Kawahara- to make the cut.

So, as the Sierra Club says

Since first-time political candidate Lani Kawahara narrowly missed being among the top 7 vote-getters in the Primary election, (coming in a close 8th) we hope by giving Lani Kawahara our sole endorsement, it will help provide her the final boost she needs to become elected.

But true to Sierra Club’s penchant for wishy washyness in the name of viable future lobbying of some of the real clunkers who will be elected they say.

We hope you will give Lani one of your votes along with your favorite candidates.

As usual foolishness and duplicity reigns when you try to cover all bets and, although the popular concept of “plunking” is a Kaua`i council voting tradition, the SC fails to encourage it’s use even to accomplish their stated goal.

For those in the dark as to the concept of “the plunk” it is basically voting strategy that selects only the candidate(s) you truly want to see in office and no others who might beat them, in part because you voted for them..

Since there are no “districts” on Kaua`i and all council candidate run “at large” everyone has seven votes. That’s why you’ll always hear the long time hacks saying “please save one vote for (insert name of bought-and-paid-for, fake-humility-exploiting , cog-in-the-good-old-boy-machine here)”.

It’s also why you rarely see any council candidate criticize others. They hope to get you to add their name to your list no matter who you really want to see in office. If a candidate were to be critical of your prime choice they could lose the possibility you might be dumb or confused enough to vote for them.

Don’t forget- although you can vote for seven you don’t have to.

And it’s a lesson learned the hard way when you add a borderline candidate- or throw in a vote for a real clunker- to the ones you really want and your candidate comes in 8th while the one you threw in because he knows your auntie’s cousin guys winds up in 7th, winning by a slim margin over your pick

Unlike Sierra Club we urge only one vote for council this year- third generation Kauaian, librarian Lani Kawahara.

As the Sierra Club says- and we couldn’t say any better:

We believe Lani Kawahara would be a strong voice for protection of the environment and preservation of Kauai's unique rural character. The following issues - taken from Lani's website are issues Sierra Club supports:

-Develop a long-term program for acquisition of shoreline lands and access-ways to shoreline and mountain areas for public use.

-Support renewable energy initiatives that reduce global warming, and are cost-effective and environmentally benign for Kaua`i.

-Restrict the number of new visitor units allowed to be built annually to what is called for the in County General Plan to enact into law the ideas in the Responsible Government Charter Amendment.

-Insist on the completion of the full EIS process and the implementation of its mitigation recommendations before the Superferry is allowed to provide service to Kaua`i.

-Increase bus service and run buses using alternative fuels or electricity generated from alternative energy sources to reduce dependence on oil and lower CO2 emissions.·

We urge people who may not know Lani to look up her platform statements on transportation, sustainability, infrastructure improvements, environmental protection, growth management, alternative energy, economic diversification, ag lands ad open spaces, beach and trail access, and solid waste and recycling.

She is exactly what Kaua`i needs on the council- someone with the smarts to understand the issues and the guts and determination to stand up to the corporate interests and support a citizen’s agenda.

We urge you to contact Lani at 808-652-6741 or to offer help in canvassing and other campaign tasks. And if you can’t volunteer- and even if you can- send a tax deductible (since she’s following the guidelines set by the Campaign Spending Commission) check made out to “Friends of Lani Kawahara” and send it to:

Friends of Lani Kawahara

PO Box 1565

Kapa`a, HI 96746

And if you want to cast a vote for Bruce Pleas too, well, don’t tell anyone but we’ll probably be voting for him too. Just don’t confuse people who might not be able to hold two thoughts in their head at the same time..

We also urge you to read some of our past articles detailing Lani’s virtues and the horrors of the other 12 candidates.

And don’t forget Lani’s chili and rice fundraiser on Wednesday, October 29 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. at the Kauai Memorial Convention Hall.

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