Brian Schatz and Neil Abercrombie (file photo courtesy Sierra Club)
Brian Schatz and Neil Abercrombie courtesy Sierra Club

BY ED CASE – My name is Ed and I’m a moderate independent. Yes, I confess to being one of the “quiet majority” of voters. Moderate because we believe the best answers for all come from throughout the political spectrum and not any one extreme. Independent because we believe our government belongs to all and not any one person, union, business, party or other interest.

Whether we mostly vote D or R or mixed, we face difficult choices for Governor (Abercrombie/Aiona) and Member of Congress/First District (Djou/Hanabusa). For while all are accomplished and capable of doing the job, none has pursued an especially moderate independent path in his or her political career to date. Yet we must make the choice.

In the end, it should and does come down to their values: what they believe and whether their perspectives and solutions would work best for most for longest. It should and does come down to who can and will govern under the bigger tent.

In this contrast of values and governance, I choose Abercrombie and Hanabusa.

Yes, it is in part because they are, like me, Democrats, and because I believe that, in this partisan world, our party – on balance, over time and despite missteps – has offered the better overall solutions. But that’s not ultimately why. The why is that I believe their values and abilities better represent the mainstream of our Hawai‘i, where us moderate independents live and work.

Abercrombie’s tent is simply more inclusive than Aiona’s, whether the issue be our economy or education, energy or our environment, and I do fear the extreme social conservatism of Aiona. Abercrombie the statewide candidate has shown not only an independence in action but a flexibility in thinking that better fits a Hawaii of both tradition and change.

I wish Hanabusa had demonstrated greater independence in her career and campaign. But the job of representing a congressional district on Capitol Hill challenges you to adjust and I believe she has the better capability to do so. I give Djou high marks for honestly voting his beliefs in Congress, and agree with him on some specific positions and votes. But overall I believe Hanabusa can better represent a broader perspective of Hawaii and has better solutions on the right way forward for most Americans.

What ultimately counts in our elected representatives is character and ability, representative values, and a commitment to represent all. For moderate independents, it’s time for each of us to make our own choices, especially as our votes will decide both elections.

So main thing for our Hawaii and country: vote!

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