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

February 20, 2008

Delegate Counts

OK… counts are in, so people are connecting the dots and speculating as to what the official delegate counts may be. We know that Hawai‘i awards delegates proportionally rather than winner take all… should be simple to figure out, right?

Statewide tallies were roughly 75% Obama to 25% Clinton. We have 20 delegates that are allocated proportionally… split that 3/4 to 1/4 and you get 15 Obama delegates and 5 Clinton delegates… right? Wrong. As you may have seen in the media accounts (Hon Adv, Star Bull), based on the preliminary vote counts that have yet to be verified, the projected delegate count sits at 14 Obama and 6 Clinton.

It is a tad more complicated to figure out than one may think on the surface of things. Read more if you want to know more about the geeky aspects of delegate allocation… (more…)

Hawaii Caucus Retrospective

As a precinct president, I helped staff my Democratic Caucus in Honolulu (District 25), and it was a phenomenal night! I brought a friend with a disability and arrived early, about 5:30 (voting was to begin at 7 PM). At that time, almost everyone there was a volunteer worker, but soon people coming to vote were arriving early. People had gotten word of a possible huge turnout. We had a huge line of new voters, and another huge line of people registering as Democrats for the first time— so many that we ran out of Democratic Party registration forms! If we had designed the influx better, we might have had a third line for registered voters who are already members of the Democratic party, but weren’t sure which precinct they were in (we could have processed everyone faster.) Some came expecting to vote early, registered, and then had to leave before voting even began.

Everyone had to go to their precinct table to await the official time for the caucus vote, 7:00 – 7:30 PM. Our tables were filled to overflowing. Some precincts quickly ran out of Precinct Sign-in forms, and I barely had enough. The procedure was that when the District Chair gave the go-ahead, everyone had to get a ballot from a precinct officer and vote. Unfortunately, we had no microphone or loudspeakers in the room full of hundreds of people! The poor district chair had to try to shout over the din to let us know when it was time to vote. Once balloting started at 7:00, there was mayhem for a while. There were FOUR names on the ballot: Clinton and Obama, of course, but also Kucinich and Edwards, even though they had dropped out, and “Uncommitted.”

we did our best!!

A few more thoughts to put down about last night’s Democratic caucuses that didn’t make it into my last post. Perhaps best that they are split anyway… the last one was full of elation, this post will have some of my gripes and annoyances.

I went to bed last night thinking that considering the chaos, there seemed to be relatively few complaints. Most people seemed to understand that we were doing our best. I have been perusing other blogs that posted reports from different locations last night and just got around to checking Jerry Burris’ reports at HA. Many comments coming in are from people complaining about their site’s lack of preparedness. Let me respond to one that was directed at my district. I think these complaints are probably representative of how many others felt across the State. I can only speak for myself, but I imagine my response is likely similar to that other organizers across the State would make as well. (more…)


I hardly know where to begin. The turnout last night was insane. Unheard of. Probably will never happen again. Amazing. Plenty more adjectives come to mind.

Maybe it is because I am exhausted (didn’t get to bed till 3am after helping tally the votes at HQ) and still in shock that I survived the onslaught of turnout in my district… But I am actually quite emotional when reading the results today. It is not often that I feel moved to tears of joy when reading about politics. Like I said, probably best attributed to lack of sleep.

That said, I am very happy about how things turned out last night. In District 20, where I am the chair, we had over 1000 people turn out to vote. Four years ago, even with a large influx of Kucinich voters (including myself), there were 128 ballots cast in the District 20 caucuses. Last night, 1028 ballots were cast. Statewide, over 37,000 votes were cast. That has never happened before, and I think it is safe to say it will never happen again. The factors that combined to create the huge turnout last night are unlikely to come together in the future. A candidate with a history in Hawai‘i. A national race so close that Hawai‘i “matters.”

A few thoughts on what all this may mean… (more…)

Which party is the “E Komo Mai” Party NOW?

Filed under: HI Politics — Tags: , , , — Bart @ 3:56 am

The Hawaii Republican Party several years ago tried to co-opt the traditional Hawaiian greeting, “E Komo Mai,” as their party slogan, implying that they were welcoming, whereas the Democratic Party was a closed club.

Last night’s Democratic Caucuses showed that to be a lie, as some 37,400 people turned out to vote in the Democratic Party’s precinct caucuses . In the recent Hawaii GOP caucuses, approximately 1500 people statewide turned out! Heck, we had more Republicans voting in the DEMOCRATIC Caucuses this year than bothered to vote in their own Republican caucuses!

E Komo Mai, indeed!

The Democrats allowed anyone who wanted to vote to join us. It was easy to do. Just show up and sign up! (Well, you also had to “line up”, but only because so many folks wanted to do so). The Republicans required you join their party at least 10 days before their caucuses. AND the Republicans do not allow you to cast a vote for your favorite Republican presidential candidate–IF you can FIND a Republican candidate you might feel easy voting for.

Of the 29 delegates going to the Democratic National Convention from Hawaii, 20 of them must vote the way you, the Hawaii voter, wants them to vote. The Republican national delegates can totally ignore the wishes of Hawaii’s voters. People are complaing that 9 of the Democrats national delegates are “superdelegates” and free to ignore the caucus votes. Well, ALL of the Hawaii GOP delegates are basically “suoerdelegates” and nobody complains!

E Komo Mai? Why SHOULD any one “E Komo Mai” into the Republican Party when they place obstacles for you to join them and, once you get there, they give your vote no say in picking their presidential candidate?

E Komo Mai to the Democratic Party! Welcome, and make yourself at home.

February 18, 2008

Sen. Inouye and FISA

Filed under: HI Politics,National Politics — Tags: , , — BobSchacht @ 10:08 am

The leadership role of our Sen. Inouye in the FISA issue has been little discussed, but intrepid blogger “emptywheel” has dug up some information:

The entire Congress was not briefed on the program

Aside from those members who have, at one point, been members of the Gang of Eight (Harman no longer is, and Pelosi has had two roles in it), just three members of Congress got briefings on the program before Risen and Lichtblau revealed it. The day after the hospital confrontation, Tom DeLay got a briefing, probably so he could tell Cheney that even he could not force through a bill authorizing the illegal program.

And, December 1, 2001, Daniel Inouye and Ted Stevens–as the ranking members of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee–got a briefing, presumably so they could authorize the NSA to pay the telecoms tons of money to wiretap Americans. (Bill Young and John Murtha got briefings in 2006, after the Administration started briefing more members of the intelligence committees presumably in response to the Risen-Lichtblau revelations.)

Tom DeLay is, thankfully, moot. But the Inouye briefing is interesting in that he was one of the sane* Democrats who repeatedly voted with Republicans in support of trashing civil liberties and privacy.

*[A commenter suggested a typo here, thinking that emptywheel probably meant to write “same”, not “sane”.]

The FISA “ball” is now in the House’s court, and of course President Bush is promising hellfire and damnation if the House doesn’t agree to rubberstamp the Senate’s FISA-gutting bill. Obligingly, 21 conservative Blue Dog Democrats have endorsed the Senate-passed bill, but Inouye does not appear to be one of them.

Commenting on emptywheel’s blog, JimWhite wrote

Inouye’s behavior on this is truly puzzling. I just checked his ratings on Progressive Punch. Overall, he is 32nd in the Senate. On topics directly related here, he is 23rd on corporate subsidies, 24th on government checks on corporate power, 19th on human rights and civil liberties and 27th on making government work for everyone, not just the rich and powerful. Only on war and peace, where he is 37th, is he appreciably below the middle of the Democrats.

Clearly, from the Progressive Punch ratings, Inouye is voting well out of his character on retroactive immunity. Also, I have noted earlier a high correlation of being in on early briefings on these programs and being out of government entirely. I continue to wonder if we still have only a very tiny part of the true scope of what has been going on in these programs, given the inexplicable impact of these briefings on the subsequent political careers of those taking part. If any documents survived these briefings, historians will have full employment for a very long time once classification expires.

Emptywheel replied to another commenter,

I have a gut feel (and a half-written post) that Lockheed is actually a major player on this program. They’re top recipients include Inouye, Mikulski and a fwe of the other Senators who voted for this.

If it’s true, it would be pretty stunning, since Comey is Lockheed’s Chief Counsel.

So, what’s up with Sen. Inouye?


February 14, 2008

Obama & Ho‘oponopono

Filed under: 08 Presidential Hopefuls,Barack Obama — rachel @ 1:01 pm

In case you haven’t heard… PDH endorsed Obama at our meeting last week. In light of that, I think it is appropriate to post this commentary sent to me today by a PDH member…


I’m hoping next Tuesday’s February 19th caucus is on your mind and that you are considering supporting Barack Obama.


I was a Dennis Kucinich supporter, who took strong stands against the war in Iraq and the “Patriot” Act as well as, like Edwards, against the role of lobbyists and corporate greed and the continuation of poverty.

Now we have a choice between two capable candidates. As a feminist I would love to see, finally, a woman in the White House. As a civil rights attorney from New Orleans–the Deep South–who has lived and breathed civil rights for Blacks since I was 15 years old, I
would love to see a Black man in office. Torn–if it was just such a superficial choice. (more…)

February 1, 2008

McCain v. Clinton ??

Filed under: 08 Presidential Hopefuls,Barack Obama,Hillary Clinton — prog @ 5:15 pm

From Ostroy Report via Karin…The more likely scenario on Super Duper Tuesday unless Latinos shift to Obama

Is this worthy of a new thread?

Maybe not inevitable with this LA Times endorsement?

Why It’ll Be McCain v. Clinton Come Tuesday Night On Tuesday, voters in 22 states will go to the polls in what has become Super-Duper Tuesday…an historic day of key Democratic and Republican primaries and caucuses. By the time the polls close, I suspect the candidates left standing will be Arizona Sen. John McCain and NY Sen. Hillary Clinton. (more…)

Obama Ohana Super Tuesday gathering

Filed under: 08 Presidential Hopefuls,Barack Obama,HI Politics — prog @ 12:38 pm

Dear PDH friends, this is a warm invitation to all to the Obama Ohana Super Tuesday gathering at Ryan’s, from 4:30 on. Big screen tv, bring friends and family. It will be exciting! Hope to see you there! Meanwhile, there will be Obama canvassing at First Friday and Punahou Carnival.

Lots to do, and you are all invited to join the fun!

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