PDHblog This is a place for members of Progressive Democrats of Hawai‘i to express their thoughts, hopes and exasperations about political happenings.

October 25, 2006

Della Au Bellati endorsement?

When I got home from work today, on my answering machine I found a ringing endorsement of Della in the unmistakable voice of Sen. Daniel Inouye, although the beginning of the message in which he probably identified himself was missing.

We are trying to decide whom to endorse this week, so I told Della that it would help if we could hear from her on a few critical issues. We have a 5-part platform that we call our “S.H.I.P.S.” platform, and my questions to her were based on this platform.

[Bob]
“S”: Stop the War!
While State legislators can’t vote directly on the war, there are issues that do come up. Would you support legislation calling for the return of the Hawaii National Guard posted overseas to Hawaii, and the resistance to any future deployments of our Hawaii National Guard outside the state?

[Della]
ABSOLUTELY!!!!! We have so many potential needs here in Hawaii, but my understanding is that our National Guard participation is among the highest in the nation.

[Bob]”H”: Health Care for All.
In recent years, there has been some legislation in Hawaii in support of comprehensive, affordable health care for everyone. Do you support such legislation?

[Della]
AGAIN…YES!

[Bob]
“I”: Impeach President Bush and Vice President Cheney
It is already public knowledge that Vice President Cheney was involved in the “outing” of CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson, and a number of books have been written outlining the legal grounds for impeachment of President Bush.
While impeachment per se is, of course, the prerogative of the U.S. House, there is a historic method, based on the “Thomas Jefferson Handbook,” for state legislators to demand that the U.S. House initiate impeachment proceedings. Would you support such an action by the Hawaii Legislature?

[Della]
I would need to think a little bit more about this, but I certainly think this administration has a lot to answer for, not just to Americans but to the world.

[Bob]
“P”: Public Funding of Elections
I recall that you have signed the “Clean Elections” pledge and
favor public funding of elections. Do I understand this correctly?

[Della]
Yes – I would like to explore ways that we can make Voter Owned Elections more sustainable.

[Bob]
What do you mean by “sustainable?”

[Della]
The fear/criticism with publicly funded elections is the mechanism where publicly funded candidates get matching funds to their non-publicly funded candidates which can run up the bill to an unknown amount. We, collectively, need to think of mechanisms and maybe marketing strategies to get around these criticisms. We need to find a funding source (maybe unclaimed property?) that can provide revenue source. And maybe part of the solution is outside of the legislative realm, we need to find brave politicians, like Harry Kim and his $10 donation acceptance, who are wiiling to go with public funding (providing that the public funds will allow them to run a competitive campaign) and show others that with hard work it is possible.

[Bob]
“S”: Sustainable environment
Hawaii has some very special ecological concerns for a sustainable environment. What is your position on these issues?

[Della]
We need to protect our environment, not just in the present but for future needs. Clearly, we need to ensure any development we engage in is sustainable and does not endanger our natural resources.
=========================[End of interview]

I think Della has run a really good campaign. She has some of the qualities of a good politician, in the best sense of the word: She’s a good listener, and can remember names, faces and concerns. Her positions on our platform indicate to me that she is worthy of our endorsement.

Bob Schacht

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