Elections 2012
Illustration by Emily Metcalf
Elections 2012
Illustration by Emily Metcalf

The Chamber of Maui Political Action Committee (COMPAC), who handles the Chamber’s candidate endorsement process, is pleased to announce the Chamber’s “business-friendly” endorsements for Federal, State and County offices in this year’s General Election.

COMPAC engages candidates in an interview process, with candidates scored on questions for their respective race.  They must receive a minimum overall score of 60% to be deemed “business-friendly,” even if it means that no endorsement is made in a given race.  The committee is looking for the most “business-friendly” candidate, not “business-neutral or average” and it is not a popularity vote or determined by who is likely to win.

It is based on where candidates stand on legislative priories and business issues, their plans and solutions, and their past performance (if an incumbent).

This year’s endorsements go to:

 

US Senate

Linda Lingle

 

(Mazie Hirono did not participate in the scheduled debate, knowing the debate served as the endorsement process for this critical race and participation was required for a COMPAC endorsement.  Many attempts were made to confirm Hirono’s participation, however, her campaign just kept indicating that they were “working on it,” neither confirming nor declining her participation.  Participation deadlines were extended multiple times in a effort to include Hirono, but when no answer was received by 10:38am the day before the event, after campaign staffers said they would get back to us by 10am, a decision was made to move forward as a forum to be fair to the Lingle campaign who had confirmed early on and to allow the candidate to prepare for a different format.)

 

US Representative – District 2

Kawika Crowley

 

State Representative – District 10 – Lahaina, Kaanapali, Kapalua, Maalaea, Kihei

Angus McKelvey

 

State Representative – District 11 – Makena, Wailea, Kihei

George Fontaine

 

State Representative – District 13 – Kahoolawe, Molokini, Lanai, Molokai, Keanae, Wailua, Nahiku, Hana

Simon S. Russell

 

Council Member – East Maui

Robert Carroll

(Although running unopposed, he still took the time to meet with the Chamber.)

 

Council Member – Wailuku-Waihee-Waikapu

Joseph G. Blackburn, II

 

Council Member – South Maui

Don Couch

 

Council Member – Makawao-Haiku-Paia

Mike White

(Although running unopposed, he still took the time to meet with the Chamber.)

 

Council Member – Upcountry

Gladys Coelho Baisa

 

All candidates for Federal, State, and County office running in the General election, that Maui residents can vote for, were invited to participate in the COMPAC endorsement process and were informed that participation was required to be considered for a COMPAC endorsement.

 

The candidates below did meet with COMPAC, but neither candidate met the minimum score, therefore, no endorsements are made for the following races.

 

State Senate, District  6

Roz Baker

Bart Mulvihill

 

State Rep., District  12

Ekolu Kalama

Kyle Yamashita

 

County Council-Kahului

Alan Fukuyama

Don Guzman

 

County Council-Molokai

Stacy Helm Crivello

Wilson (Manuwai) Peters

 

(To be fair to the Molokai candidates, our questions were a challenge as they were Maui County questions and these candidates had focused on Molokai issues thus far and were not well versed at that point about broader Maui County issues.  However, both shared that they would be quickly getting up to speed.  We also reached out to the Molokai Chamber of Commerce for their input, however, we did not hear back in the necessary timeframe.)

 

Even candidates running unopposed were invited to attend.  Although they may not need endorsements this election, the process affords both the candidate and business people an important opportunity to discuss issues and exchange ideas.  However, the following candidates running unopposed did not meet with COMPAC and therefore were not considered: Shan Tsutsui, J. Kalani English, Joe Souki, Gil Keith-Agaran, Elle Cochran, and Riki Hokama.

 

Chaired by Myles Kawakami (Past Chair and long time Chamber member with Hawaiian Carpet One), subsets of COMPAC met with Candidates from August 13-17, 2012 to identify “business-friendly” candidates for the offices noted.

 

This year, COMPAC elected to include a new element to the scoring process by adding a broad Chamber membership vote as a portion of each candidates overall score.  Chamber members had the opportunity to vote via an electronic survey and 10% responded.  The membership vote equated to 25% of the overall score and was added to the COMPAC scoring at 75% to determine the final candidate scores and endorsement selections.  With final tabulations in, COMPAC’s recommendations were then ratified by the Board.

 

“Members of COMPAC generously donated their time over the course of a week to discuss critical business and community issues with those running for office.  In this time when unfunded liabilities are mounting and major challenges must be resolved, we asked questions to determine how aware candidates are about the problems and to assess their solutions for fixing broken systems.  These individuals understood the issues and are working on solutions for businesses.  They are “business-friendly” candidates who well know the importance of the business sector to our economy, job creation, and funding the government we have,” said Myles Kawakami.

 

COMPAC thanks all candidates running for office.  It is not an easy job and the Chamber appreciates their interest in serving our community.  By running, each candidate gives us more choices to choose from and helps raise awareness of and discussion on issues important to us all.

 

Chamber President Pamela Tumpap said, “On behalf of the Chamber, we want to thank all members of the COMPAC, especially our Chair, who invested a tremendous amount of time engaging in the process and working diligently on the Chamber’s behalf to put forth “business-friendly” candidates who stand firm in their support of the business sector.  We hope the community will take copies of our endorsements with them to the polls this year and help elect these individuals.”
Report from the Maui Chamber

 

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