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

August 11, 2010

Progressive PAC Announces Endorsements

Filed under: Elections,HI Politics,Legislature — frosty @ 10:16 am

The Progressive PAC, made up of members of Progressive Democrats of Hawaii and Americans for Democratic Action Hawaii, recently released its list of endorsements for this election year. Of all the PAC’s endorsements, there are a handful of candidates that will receive financial assistance from the PAC.

After much examination of candidates’ position on civil unions, emergency contraception in the emergency room, job security, progressive taxation, renewable energy, education, we have targeted our support for the following candidates who are in key races.

Neil Abercrombie for Governor
Gary Hooser for Lt. Governor
Michael Golojuch for 19th State Senate District (Oust Gabbard!)
Representative Blake Oshiro in House District 33
Linda Ichiyama for House District 31
Jason Bradshaw for House District 43 (Oust K Pine!)
Cynthia Rezentes for House District 44

The Progressive PAC, to fund its donations to candidates, will be holding a fundraiser on Saturday, August 21. at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu, 1730 Punahou St. from noon to 2:00pm and tickets are a suggested $60 donation. We need your help to support these candidates to ensure they win their primary races!

Here also, is the list of candidates in other races who the PAC has endorsed:

Senate District 8 – Larry Price endorsed with enthusiasm
Senate District 9 – Les Ihara endorsed with enthusiasm
Senate District 11 – Carol Fukunaga endorsed
Senate District 13 – Suzanne Chun-Oakland endorsed with enthusiasm
Senate District 19 – Michael Golojuch endorsed with enthusiasm
Senate District 24 – Jill Tokuda endorsed

House District 1 – Mark Nakashima endorsed
House District 4 – Fay Hanohano endorsed
House District 9 – Gil Keith-Agaran endorsed with enthusiasm
House District 11 – Joe Bertram endorsed with enthusiasm
House District 18 – Mark Hashem & T.J. Lane endorsed (dual endorsement)
House District 20 – Dwight Synan endorsed with enthusiasm
House District 23 – Tom Brower endorsed
House District 27 – Lynn Vasquez endorsed
House District 28 – Karl Rhoads endorsed with enthusiasm
House District 36 – Roy Takumi endorsed with enthusiasm
House District 38 – Marilyn Lee endorsed with enthusiasm
House District 39 – Marcus Oshiro endorsed with enthusiasm
House District 40 – Michael Doyle endorsed with enthusiasm
House District 45 – Maile Shimabukuro endorsed
House District 51 – Chris Lee endorsed with enthusiasm


  1. Did Mina not receive one of these endorsements?

    Comment by Stumped — August 12, 2010 @ 9:28 am

  2. @Stumped. There were a number of legislators and candidates that we would like to have endorsed, but who didn’t complete our questionnaire. With regards to Rep. Morita, she can still complete the survey and I imagine she’d receive the PAC endorsement in time for her General Election challenge.

    Comment by frosty — August 12, 2010 @ 9:39 am

  3. “enthusism” seems to have a specific meaning here. Does it have anything to do with the score on the questionaire?

    Comment by Al — August 14, 2010 @ 1:41 pm

  4. Al,

    Let me try to answer what was meant by “enthusiasm.”

    It was a combination of factors. For incumbents, it meant the score of their voting record for the last year; for challengers, it meant their answers, plus our knowledge (or at least impressions) of their personality, values, energy, etc. (Some of the candidates are quite impressive when you talk with them.)

    Sometimes our enthusiam was a reflection of our hostility to their opponent. Sometimes it was for appreciation that they were willing to step into the breach to do battle. Sometimes we had slightly different assessments of a candidate, with some folks more enthused than others.

    For a candidate to get an “enthusiastic” recommendation required consensus.

    Comment by Bart — August 16, 2010 @ 2:10 am

  5. “Stumped” asked why we did not endorse Mina Morita. The answer is pretty straightforward. We sent our issues questionnaire to all those who filed as a Democrat (though communications were somewhat undermined with those candidates for whom we could not find an email address).

    We ranked all the incumbents on a scale 1-10, based upon their recorded votes on specific bills we were tracking. There were a LOT of incumbents who scored very highly with us and who we liked. But a lot of these incumbents (and some challengers) did NOT return our survey in time for our endorsement vote.

    Anyone who has tried to get candidates to fill out surveys of this sort soon realizes how many organizations are asking candidates to fill out their surveys. Some candidates, particularly incumbents without challengers in the primary, are disinclined to fill out such surveys.

    We decided we would not endorse any candidate who did not request an endorsement, and treated their response as a sign of their interest. Nonetheless, we DID evaluate each of the incumbents, based upon their scores and our experiences with them. Here are the incumbents we WOULD have endorsed had they responded and asked for our endorsement. We will probably follow up AFTER the primary and ask if they want our endorsement:

    SD15 Glenn Wakai
    HD06 Denny Coffman
    HD21 Scott Nishimoto
    HD22 Scott Saiki
    HD25 Della Au Belatti
    HD26 Sylvia Luke
    HD46 We are still waiting for a clarification on some answers from Dawn Wasson.
    HD47 We received a LATE response from Jessica Wooley and will be endorsing her.
    HD49 We received a late response from challenger John Chinen. Too late for the PAC, but PDH has endorsed him over incumbent Pono Chong.

    In the remaining races, we either got no response from the candidates or were unenthused about either the incumbents or the challengers. Or there is no contest in the primary, so we can revisit the race prior to the general. In one race on Maui, HD08, Justin Hughey gave very good answers, but some felt he had no roots in the district and most Maui progressives appear to be supporting Tasha Kama over former Speaker Joe Souki. Tasha Kama, while good on some important issues, is opposed to civil unions, which prevented some of the PAC people from being able to support her. As a result, we did not endorse in that race.

    So back to the original question: Mina does not have a primary challenger. She MAY have a GOP challenger in the general election, although the Kauai County Democratic Party might still challenge the eligibility of her opponent due to shenanigans played by another Republican candidate filing and then withdrawing. PDH co-chair Josh Frost has been providing on-Oahu support for Mina’s challenge, filling a void created by inaction from the state Democratic Party.

    So despite some unfounded criticisms voiced elsewhere on the social networks, Josh Frost and the PAC members are deeply committed to helping Mina Morita be re-elected to the House. Either she will fill out the damn survey, or we will be forced to change our rules for the general election.

    Comment by Bart Dame — August 16, 2010 @ 2:45 am

  6. Is there a place to see the responses to the survey? It’s a bit late for this primary, but in the future, I think that would be quite helpful.

    Comment by Geoff — September 18, 2010 @ 10:00 am

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