Ed Case: Abercrombie, Hanabusa Best Choices for Hawaii’s Next Political Leaders

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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!





  1. Aloha Ed, with all due respect, while endorsing Abercrombie and Hanabusa you claim to be a “moderate-independent”? What is that? Wasn’t Abercrombie the radical that set fire to buildings at UH? Isn’t that a bit extreme? That aside, you wrote an article in the Small Business Newsletter last year endorsing Obamacare and the need for health care reform. I wrote a follow up article that offered a different approach to reduce health care costs. My suggested reforms included tort reform, portability of insurance, allowing competition from insurance providers outside of Hawaii and finally, the removal of mandates. Those four items drive up health care and insurance costs dramatically and I felt it was a great opportunity to open debate on the topic. Unfortunately, you never responded and there was no discussion. Now that Obamacare has passed, we are finding out what is actually in the bill and it appears that the majority of US citizens don’t like it! Abercrombie voted for it! Hanabusa says she’ll support Obamacare. How can a “moderate-independent” support candidates that support policies that will bankrupt our country and destroy the best medical system in the world? Are “independent-moderates” fiscally responsible?

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