Friday, September 3, 2010



Contact: Andy Woerner
Phone: 808-896-9473



Senator Inouye’s only Democratic challenger, Andy Woerner, sent a letter to the Hawaii Democratic Party on Friday requesting they enforce their own rules regarding eligibility for the Party’s endorsement.

According to Article IX, Section 3 of the Party’s 2010 Constitution, which is available online, “candidates shall submit Candidate Statement Forms... indicating their agreement, disagreement, and/or reservations with the Platform and Resolutions of the State and County Party" and that, a "candidate who fails to abide by these requirements shall not be eligible for endorsement".

In the letter, Mr. Woerner notes that, “the majority of candidates (and especially incumbent candidates) either failed to return their forms at all, or failed to complete them as required”.

Debi Hartmann, the Party’s Executive Director, confirmed in an email to Mr. Woerner that 60% of the candidates did not return their forms, even though the deadline was extended by one week.

Mr. Woerner viewed the forms under the supervision of West Hawaii Chair John Buckstead, but was not allowed by the Party to make copies of the documents. However, under Party rules, they are available to all members of the Party through their respective County Chairs.

Candidates whose forms were missing from the 290-page document included Gubernatorial candidate Mufi Hannemann, Lt. Governor and former Party Chairman, Brian Schatz, and U.S. Congressional candidates Mazie Hirono and Colleen Hanabusa (*see note at the end). Several other candidates including Senator Inouye and former U.S. Representative Neil Abercrombie submitted incomplete or unsigned forms.

Mr. Woerner asked the Party “to ensure that no Party funds or events are used to support said candidates in either the Primary or General Elections”.

While he seems aware that this action is unlikely to affect the outcome of his own race, Mr. Woerner contends that, “this clear disregard for the Party's rules is an alarming indication of these candidates’ lack of respect for the members of the Democratic Party itself, and for rules in general. The ability to create and follow rules is a critical component of sound government, and is essential to the proper conduct of the offices they seek.”

Hawaii’s primary election is on September 18th.

More information about the candidates can be found at: and

A copy of the Hawaii Democratic Party Constitution can be found at

*Regarding Colleen Hanabusa: The Executive Director of the Hawaii Democratic Party notified me on 9/8 that Sen. Colleen Hanabusa submitted her form before the deadline but her form was "omitted in the process of sending copies".  I have no reason to doubt her... but its certainly interesting that the one candidate who is most likely to need the Party's support in November, is the only candidate I named who's form was forgotten.


Monday, August 30, 2010

Choose the Democratic Party Ballot on Sept. 18th

Whether you’re a Democrat, Republican, or one of the nearly 90% of Hawaii voters who belong to no political party at all, I urge you to vote in the primary election, and more importantly, to choose the Democratic ballot regardless of your political affiliations.

As Justice Kennedy of the United State’s Supreme Court put it, Hawaii’s election laws “exact severe penalties for one who does anything other than vote the (Democratic) Party ballot”

Like it or not, most of our elections are decided by voters who choose the Democratic ballot in the primary election. Failing to vote in this election, or failing to choose the Democratic ballot prevents you from participating in what has effectively become the general election for the State of Hawaii.

Choosing the Republican ballot may make you feel like you’re helping conservative candidates, but most of them don’t need your help on September 18th. Nearly 80% of the Republican candidates on this year’s ballot are uncontested in the primary election. In the remaining Republican contests, there are clear front-runners who will easily win the Party’s nominations.

If you look at the 2004, 2006, and 2008 election results, you will find that voters who chose the Republican ballot in the primary election had absolutely NO impact on ANY of the outcomes in the general election. Republican candidates elected to office either faced no competition in the primary election, or won their party’s nomination with landslide victories. Voting Republican in the primary was clearly a waste of these voters already limited political power.

As an alternative, you might consider the Nonpartisan ballot. But clear biases in our election laws make it virtually impossible for these candidates to win. Voters who choose THESE ballots have NEVER elected a nonpartisan candidate to office in the state of Hawaii.

We need COMPREHENSIVE ELECTION REFORMS to address these and other problems, but for now, protect the limited power of your vote by choosing the Democratic Party ballot on September 18th.

Andy Woerner

Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate-Hawaii
Election Reform - Term Limits - Balanced Budget

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Response to Senator Inouye's call to "keep it clean"

On August 24th, Senator Inouye called on Hawaii's candidates to "keep it clean", and indirectly accused Ed Case of "character assassination" after he published a brutally honest assessment of Mufi Hannemann and Hawaii's "political machine".

Let me see if I've got this straight.  Senator Inouye called Ed Case a liar based on an unrecorded private conversation between politicians in 2006, and that wasn't character assassination.  Now, Ed Case calls Mufi Hannemann dangerous after he very publicly and repeatedly injected the divisive issue of ethnicity and localism into his campaign, and that is?!

Sounds like someone just fired up the old political machine.

What voters need most is honesty, and when it comes to politicians, the truth isn't a very positive subject.

Andy Woerner
Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate (challenging Inouye)
Election Reform - Term Limits - Balanced Budget

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"Beyond the Machine" by Ed Case

Former U.S. Representative Ed Case sent this out as a newsletter to his supporters on August 17th.  I thought it was an important message for Hawaii voters, but couldn't find it available to the public online, so I re-posted it here for anyone to see.  I should point out that Ed Case has no connection to my campaign, nor has he offered me his support in anyway... even so, I'm glad that we share a similar message.


Dear Friend:
A candidate for high office asked me recently: "What do your voters want?" I said I couldn't speak for all, but overall we want to end Hawai‘i's crippling control politics.

The machine, old boys network, status quo, establishment, insiders. By whatever name, it describes today's centralization of political power and control in the hands of too few to the exclusion of too many. It operates as a loose coalition of politicians, unions and businesses who act together to preserve their own positions.

Political machines are not unique or new to Hawai‘i. The plantation-era Big Five companies and their political followers ran an exclusionary machine for decades before a new majority declared their independence with the '54 Democratic revolution. It's sad that one legacy of that revolution is now what it fought to replace.

Today's coalition is sometimes called the "Democratic machine", but that's a mistake. The network's goals are not driven by party philosophy but power preservation. The battle underway in the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i between machine and independent members shows that most Democrats also reject the politics of exclusion.

The coalition's biggest fears are new ideas that rock the boat and new leaders who think and act independently. Acting together, they've largely succeeded in hammering down most threatening nails. The result has been a stunted political culture that's produced a lost generation of leadership and left us ill-prepared for the challenges of tomorrow.

In my May speech to the Democratic Convention, I offered this advice to Sen. Hanabusa (and to my party): "Almost 70% of the voters didn't vote for you. Most did and do share our values. But we, including many in this room, share a deepening and spreading disillusionment with politics as practiced in our Hawai‘i and country today. The politics of power, not principle or people. The politics of division, not unity. The politics of avoidance, not solution. The politics of fear and retribution, not freedom and enlightened debate. The politics of extremism, not consensus. And we are ready, willing and able to vote to change all that even over our values if that's what it takes today to get to where we want to go tomorrow."

Our most crucial campaigns this year give us clear choices between the status quo and moving beyond the machine. The wrong decisions may lose us another generation; the right ones will give us a fighting chance.

  Warm aloha,
  Ed Case

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Inouye's Democratic Challenger Reaches Out to The Tea Party for Support on Term Limits


JULY 22ND, 2010

     With the most senior Senator in the nation and being a state that has never removed an incumbent from Congress, Hawaii is a natural battleground for promoting term limits in this year’s election.  And while some may debate their value, as many as 83% of Americans support term limits.[1] 

     Bonded Term Limits Pledges offer candidates a new approach to providing voters the option of term limits directly at the ballot box.  It’s a simple process where a candidate makes a choice to limit their own terms in office, and then backs that promise with a meaningful portion of their personal assets.  To do so, the candidate provides a promissory note to a non-profit organization of their choosing.  If the candidate should later break their word, the note becomes legally binding and the assets are forfeited.

     The first response some candidates have is that “their word is their bond”.  Although I have no reason to doubt them on a personal level, the failed term limits pledges of the 1994 Contract with America clearly demonstrates how quickly citizen candidates turn into career politicians.  More importantly, a Bonded Pledge is simple and inexpensive to make, and exposes the candidates to absolutely no risk, as long as they are true to their word.

     The second argument you will hear comes from candidates who support term limits but believe that self-imposing is bad for their constituents because it forces effective legislators to step down from office.  This is certainly a logical argument, but it relies on the same arrogant point that all incumbents make: That THEY are the most effective legislators, and THEY alone are able to best represent their constituents.
     These candidates also fail to inform voters of the extreme unlikeliness that a constitutional amendment for term limits will ever be passed.  While it sounds good on the campaign trail, their support of term limits is virtually pointless as it neither provides voters with a realistic hope for mandatory term limits, nor a personal guarantee of voluntary term limits.

     So when you hear a candidate who supports term limits, applaud them.  But then aggressively request them to back that support with something more than an empty campaign promise.  Those who have already self-imposed should be given the greatest scrutiny.  Making a Bonded Term Limits Pledge exposes them to absolutely no new risk, as long as they are true to their word.

     For now, I am proud to be the lone candidate in Hawaii to have made a Bonded Term Limits Pledge.  However, I would prefer to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with other Democrats, Republicans, and Independents to isolate our incumbents in their clear opposition to such a highly popular idea.   Bonded Term Limits Pledges provide a unique opportunity for challengers from all parties to come together in unified opposition to Hawaii’s nearly invincible political machine. No single candidate or political party can do that alone.

Andy Woerner
Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate – Hawaii
Election Reform – Term Limits – Balanced Budget

More information about Mr. Woerner can be found at the candidate’s website:

Information about the Alliance for Bonded Term Limits can be found at

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Reflecting on Independence Day

Two hundred and thirty-four years ago today the promise of America was summed up in one of the greatest single sentences ever to be written:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
It is a sentence that will stand the test of time and will forever inspire hope in the hearts of those who are subjected to the dark realities of oppression.

But most Americans, myself included, are surely an embarrassment to the great men who risked their very lives to pen those inspiring words. On this Independence Day, reflect on their passion and how they might apply it if they were with us today.
There are many avenues where those ideals can be profoundly applied, but we must first find the strength to declare our own “declarations of independence” from the relentless grips of comfort, apathy, ignorance, and pride. I worry that the British were a much less formidable foe.

Andy Woerner
Candidate for U.S. Senate-Hawaii
Election Reform - Term Limits - Balanced Budget

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Hawaii primary election clearly violates the State's Constitution

   As the 2010 elections approach, the people of Hawaii look forward to exercising one of the greatest rights of American democracy; the right to vote.  However most of us are so ingrained in the system that we are oblivious to the fact that our current primary elections clearly violate our rights under the Constitution of the State of Hawaii.

   All political power of this State is inherent in the people and the responsibility for the exercise thereof rests with the people."

   The current primary system is a taxpayer funded nomination processes that illegally strips political power from the people and bestows it unequally upon political Parties.  These Parties have no legal rights under the Constitution, and the citizens of Hawaii have in no way relinquished their constitutionally protected political power to them.  Citizens are also under no legal obligation to join any political Party and as such, should in no way have their political power legally diminished or increased by election laws that give preference to political Parties.  Additionally, the Parties' legal access to the general election ballot is in no way correlated to the size of their membership as a percent of the population, and therefor does not protect the equal Rights of Citizens under section eight of the Constitution of the State of Hawaii.

   As demonstrated, Hawaii's current election laws clearly violate it's citizens' constitutional rights to the entirety of political power, and wrongfully deprives them of their equal access to the rights and privileges of voting as citizens of the State of Hawaii.  I call on the Hawaii State Legislature to immediately take steps to update our election laws in order to restore political power fully and equally to the citizens of Hawaii.  One option would be to consider an open blanket primary similar to the one that California voters passed earlier this month.

    Should the legislature fail to do so, Hawaii's Supreme Court must be called upon to protect the constitutional rights of all the citizens of Hawaii.

Andy Woerner
Candidate for U.S. Senate-Hawaii
Election Reform - Term Limits - Balanced Budget