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