Hawaii Democrats Continue to Sidestep the Issues

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Elections 2012
Illustration by Emily Metcalf

LENNY KLOMPUS – It’s as clear as a bell. Democrat leaders from across the state will gather at this weekend’s State Party Convention to talk about anything but the important issues facing the people of Hawaii. They will instead take the stage and take inappropriate shots at former Governor Linda Lingle, candidate for Hawaii’s open U.S. Senate seat.

While the people of Hawaii are focused on the economic issues facing their families and communities, including the rising costs of basic necessities such as food and energy, it’s unfortunate that political operatives like Chuck Freedman will continue to dust off very old news releases to caustically attack their potential campaign opponents. They should be letting the people of Hawaii know where their candidates stand on the myriad of issues facing the residents of our state,” Lenny Klompus, Deputy Campaign Manager and Communications Director said.
Time and time again Governor Lingle’s common sense solutions to critical economic issues are met with the same tired and irrelevant responses. When Gov. Lingle announced her candidacy for U.S. Senate on October 11, 2011, party operatives in Hawaii and in Washington D.C. quickly tried to link her candidacy to partisan politics.
When that did not gain traction, they tried to diminish her candidacy and downplay her experience as a successful elected official in Hawaii.
When the U.S. Chamber of Commerce publicly supported Governor Lingle, the Hawaii Democrat Party avoided any serious discussion of Gov. Lingle’s job-creating record and instead responded with their two favorite words, ‘Sarah Palin.’
Their attacks continued when Senator Susan Collins of Maine, a Republican leader focused on creating bipartisan solutions, was in Hawaii campaigning on behalf of Governor Lingle, and the Democrat Party attempted to distort the Governor’s own bipartisan record.
Most recently, when Congressman Tom Cole, an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation, was here in Hawaii speaking in support of Governor Lingle and of native Hawaiian federal recognition, the Democrat Party launched their attacks on one of Hawaii’s greatest allies in the U.S. House of Representatives.
We have seen this erratic behavior increase to an irrational level, which makes it perfectly clear that the Hawaii Democrat Party is focused on dividing instead of uniting the people of Hawaii, and more importantly, helping Hawaii residents enhance their quality of life. Instead of finding common ground on which they can form solutions, they would rather criticize and label their opponents.  Their vitriol against members of Congress and leaders here at home is not the Hawaii way.
The question voters need to ask is ‘why do these politicians pursue this path versus developing relationships that could advance legislation that is good for Hawaii and for the rest of the nation?’
While one Democrat Senatorial candidate believes this race is about ‘supporting a national agenda’ and the other is focused on ‘fixing Washington D.C.’, Governor Lingle’s candidacy is about ‘us — the people of Hawaii’.
I am calling on Chuck Freedman and others to live in the here and now and provide answers to questions about the issues so voters can see, hear and read the stark difference between the candidates.  After all, isn’t that what elections are for?
Lenny Klompus is Deputy Campaign Manager for Linda Lingle’s U.S. Senate Campaign