For real, this time:
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is pulling out of the Hawaii special election for Rep. Neil Abercrombie’s (D) seat, effectively handing the seat to the Republicans.
“The DCCC will not be investing additional resources in the (Hawaii) special election,” Jennifer Crider, a DCCC spokeswoman, said in a statement. “Local Democrats were unable to work out their differences. The DCCC will save the resources we would have invested in the Hawaii special election this month for the general election in November.”
The committee concluded there’s no way state Sen. Colleen Hanabusa and former Rep. Ed Case (Hawaii) can split the Democratic vote and still defeat Honolulu City Councilman Charles Djou (R).***
Hanabusa has been in third place in most polls of the three-way contest. National Democrats were sending the message to step aside through Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and his staff, according to the Honolulu Advertiser.
But the Hanabusa camp seemed to hint she was staying in the race to help her chances in November.
Anyone know more details on this, or should I just assume this is the usual shitshow fail parade that I’ve grown to know and love from Democrats?
So, the Republicans will have the seat only until November.
The only downside is suffering through a few days of Fox snickering that the Dems lost in Obama’s (fake) birthplace.
While the Republicans are untied in their assault on reality, the Democrats are determined to compromise both their principles and their chances at election. Good times.
John’s day has finally come!
c u n d gulag
You’re a relatively new convert. You still see your new love as pretty and voluptuous. She ain’t, and hasn’t been in decades and decades.
This is as it always was in my adult lifetime, and I’m 52. There is nothing to see here. Trust me.
Near as I can tell, it’s the shitshow parade. You’d think our team would’ve learned something from NY-23.
That’s nonsense. Inouye despises Ed Case. He’s a big promoter of Hanabusa’s. Inouye feels that Case lied to him back in 2006; Case (according to Inouye) assured him he wasn’t going to run against Dan Akaka, then turned around and did.
I’m more of an anti-Case voter than a pro-Hanabusa one, but she’s a much more progressive Democrat than Ed Case ever thought of being. He’s a Blue Dog except when he’s voting for Bush’s tax cuts, which he did in 2001 & 2003.
Case is making a big deal of his accrued seniority in the House, yet he gave that up in 2006 to run against a sitting Senator with 16 years of seniority himself. He’s a guy who doesn’t hide his ambition much.
Scott Brown 3.0 coming at you.
There’ll be champagne corks a popping and Rent boys on the house at GOP headquarters everywhere.
I’m voting in this special election. The problem with it is that there’s no primary. So, anyone can get on the ballot. Colleen is a Hawaii democrat, with all the good (strong progressive values) and baggage (cog in the machine) that that entails. Case is an egotistical DINO, but has charisma and a strong business record (and served in congress once), so he’ll attract voters. The Dem vote is split between progressives and moderates, so the wingnut will take it.
In a normal election, there’d be a primary, the machine would back Colleen, and she’d beat out Case by a slim margin, and go on to beat Djou by 20 points in the general. But the law governing special elections is what is causing this issue. It’s stupid, unless we convert the whole governmental system to a British style parliament with proportional representation.
The law as got to change, and getting Djou in office might be the catalyst for that.
J. Michael Neal
It’s two local pols that each think that their ego is the most important thing in the world. This really doesn’t have anything to do with Democrats collectively, and Republicans are just as prone to it. (See: Crist, Charlie). Given that, as soon as we have an election with a primary, and thus only one Democrat in the general, it’s back in our hands. At this point, the only real downside is that Fox will get about 24 hours of entertainment out of it. In other words, there’s really no story here.
Perhaps over the next 12 days as the election approaches, one of the Dems will step aside, like in the NY special election last year. Especially if upon news of the DCCC retreat, the Hawaii Dem voters rally around one candidate.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
@GregB: From what I am reading about it, this does seem like a replay of MA: An establishment candidate against one the bloggers support. And because of that, the Republican wins.
kommrade reproductive vigor
Clearly this is a proof that Obama isn’t from Hawaii!
Damn, how many Hawai’i-based readers does this blog have?
No more Scott Browns until the current one is defeated and his sorry ass is sent back to Massachusetts. One beefcake bimbo in Congress at a time.
@Leonard Stiltskin: It’s a mail-in election only; no polling places. Nobody’s going to back out now since voting has already begun (I mailed my ballot Saturday).
@Linkmeister: Heh. Just check the new comments after midnight pacific time. Chances are those are Hawaii readers.
@JSD: Balloon-Juice Hawai’i meetup!
(For Leonard S above) If the state had a million bucks to spare this would have been a full-blown special election, by the way. The mail-in vote is strictly due to our budget difficulties. If that were the case I think it would be an entirely different animal than it’s turning out to be.
I was just in Hawai’i, and I asked some locals about it. Nobody at all seems worried in the slightest. One of the 2 Dems will eventually back down, and the Dems will clean up as expected.
A nontroversy. Nothingburger.
I just wanted to point out that most of the current financial problems seem to stem from rating company action.
Bundled CDOs with compliance levels over 90% became “worthless” overnight due to the ratings agencies. Greece was being compliant with repaying its obligations until the ratings agencies lowered their rating on “concerns”, and suddenly the cost of borrowing for Greece skyrocketed.
If Al Quaeda parked a fertilizer truck in front of Moody’s or S&P, would anybody really give a shit?
Wasn’t the DCCC backing Case? In this case, seems like a win. Hanabusa could creep ahead if not fighting headwinds from DC.
Its a special election the winner only holds the seat until November. There will be a primary & one of those two will be the Dem candidate that will oust the Reb if he should win.
As in all politics, its an ego thing. Both the Dems think they can win in Nov and to pull out now would show weakness that will hurt their chances in the primary.
Its stupid, its pointless, its politics Dem style.
But the law governing special elections is what is causing this issue.
IRV is the answer for this problem, but Americans just don’t like that system.
@Belafon (formerly anonevent):
That’s a fairly novel reading of the MA special election, I think. My assessment would be something more like this:
The Moar You Know
It’s called the “circular firing squad”, and it will define your existence as a Democrat.
Every election, there will be districts where a Republican could not get elected as village idiot, and every election, those Republicans will win, because the one thing Democrats are better that than anyone else is beating themselves.
I would bet good money that not one American in fifty has the slightest clue what IRV is or how it would affect our elections. Also, there’s a big drawback to IRV that its proponents never address, namely, how much it will complicate down-ticket non-partisan races. It’s bad enough having to decide who to vote for as county supervisor or sheriff or justice court judge when you don’t really know who any of these people are, but having to rank them in order of preference?
Edward G. Talbot
meh, this seems like a non-issue. Two democrats, neither one will back down, and a non-primary, non-party-chosen open seat race. Really not a big deal as far as I can see. It’s not like say Hoffman in NY choosing to run as an independent and shitting all over the republican even after she dropped out.
As long as there is no primary and no majority or even substantial plurality requirement (like 40%), you can’t really expect things to go smoothly. I could easily see the reverse happening with two repubs in a district that was the mirror image.
@Belafon (formerly anonevent):
I don’t think that’s quite right — I think each Dem is a different flavor of “establishment candidate,” one a machine pol who is a bit process-tainted but ideologically cool, the other a wealthy glad-hander who has center-right ideology and a lot of ambition. I get the sense that Case is like Harold Ford; I haven’t come up with a good analogue for Hanabusa.
Coffee Talk in Kaimuki.
the real concern i have isn’t the lack of a gop like godfather who can decide who the standard-bearer is, in no uncertain terms, so as to not appear divided(though as noted the gop sometimes fails to put the horse’s head in the right bed too).
the concern for me is that there might be a willingness to let the special elections go, in order to win them back at a later point. are the dems really trying to make a narrative of seats gained/lost, that is more important than elections themselves?
it seems like pointing at the churn and concluding that activity is proof of effectiveness.
it doesn’t work when businesses do it either.
August J. Pollak
Wonderful, we’re so used to ridiculous electoral maneuvering that actual fucking Democracy is seen as a “shitshow.”
Geez. It’s a special election with a open race. There’s something like 14 people on the ballot; it just happens that in a 70%-Democratic district, two of the top three candidates are Democrats, and splitting the vote. Neither of the Democrats care if this costs them the seat to the Republican, because with that heavy a Democrat lean it’s guaranteed to whoever wins the primary for the normal, closed election in… six months.
So, yeah, it’s a “fail parade” in that what is happening makes perfect sense. Both Democrats want to win, both Democrats would guarantee they will never get the seat if they back down, and both Democrats are raising their prominence and now need only to beat the other in the primary a few months from now to sail to a permanent seat.
The only thing puzzling me isn’t the DNC backing out of funding this but why they bothered to waste over a quarter-mil on it to begin with. A Democrat’s taking the damn seat in November no matter what.
Count me among the 49. I had to look it up.
Hmm. OK, so it’s sort of like how basketball rankings are calculated based on rankings by the sports writers. And, according to the Wiki article, the Academy Awards and the Hugo in sci-fi writing.
So long as it doesn’t force me to give a potential vote to someone I hate, I don’t have a problem with this system at first glance.
I like Coffee Talk. Either there or Town (on 9th and Waialae). Town has it’s own parking, but tends to run out of scones in the morning.
What August said…
This is all just jockeying for the November election, when the Democrat will win. Probably the Washington establishment didn’t want to give the Republicans the PR when Djou wins…because you know that will be all over the news, but when it goes back to the Dem in November there will be silence.
The comparison to Massachusetts makes no sense. Mass had a primary. If only one Dem was in the Hawaii race and Djou were still ahead, that would be comparable to what happened in Mass.
“If Al Quaeda parked a fertilizer truck in front of Moody’s or S&P, would anybody really give a shit?”
If you’re lucky, maybe there’s a daycare in the building too, like in OKC.
Another HI-based BJ reader (Punahou ’85). I am strongly progressive, but am probably going to have to vote tactically in this election.
It is quite annoying that Hanabusa has not been able to do better. The most telling poll to me was a pair from Mason-Dixon in January:
When matched against Djou, Hanabusa is simply losing 10% of her support or more. I think that she will lose the primary in Nov, and would be at risk of losing the general in Nov if she did win.
Kind of sucks, but I am probably going to vote for Case to try to keep Djou from winning.
But, i’m going to wait another week to see what the polls do…
@Citizen Alan: IRV has its problems, but in this specific case – a special election with no primary and a mail-in ballot – I think would be a good place to use it.
The article is misleading in that it makes it sound like the DCCC is pulling out from supporting both Dems because they won’t play nice. It should have been totally clear that the DCCC has pulled out from giving money to Case, which is a good thing. There is no reason to keep backing the most rightwing people you can find in safe Dem seats, but they do it anyway. If the DCCC had backed Hanabusa like the local Dem machine has then Case wouldn’t have had enough support to stay in the race and the DCCC would have what they claim to want in the article.
Take heart…at least the Democrats haven’t reached this level of fail:
Maine Republicans: standing tall in the face of the “UN Treaty on Rights of the Child” and pernicious efforts to create a one-world government.
Ed Case is the cousin of Steve Case, the uber-douchebag CEO of America Online during the tech boom.
@JSD: Hmm. I was gonna be selfish and say Anna Miller’s, since I can fall out of bed and roll downhill till I get to it.
How about somewhere central, like Ward Warehouse/Center or Ala Moana?
@PeakVT: IRV is a pain in a low stakes election where you don’t know much about the candidates. And examining the results takes a Masters Degree in Excel to work out.
@Linkmeister: Mocha Java at Ward Center?
@Citizen Alan: What are you talking about? There’s absolutely no reason to require IRV for obscure down-ticket races just because you use it for higher-profile ones, and the municipalities that are using it now don’t do so.
@MobiusKlein: Masters degree my ass. If one candidate has a majority in the first round, end of story. Otherwise you take the lowest-ranked candidate’s numbers and tally up the second choices, adding exactly one more column to your spreadsheet. If the race is still too close, then you do that again.
I take it you don’t live in San Francisco, or Minneapolis, or any other city that’s already used this system without confusion about the results. It’s not like this is some hypothetical thing no one’s ever tried.
Brown owned talk radio in Boston, but he was championed by the sports talk station, WEEI. (the day before the elction he was live on every show) He won by winning the white male vote and the number white male radio station in Boston is WEEI sports radio. She was a shit candidate, but sports radio positioned Brown as “a regular guy” and Coakley as an elite, out of touch bitch. If i remember correctly, Brown won by 5 points which amounted to just under 200,000 votes, the margin of difference was men. Of course, the sports station pounded Coakley on the Curt Schilling issue. WEEI has well over 500,000 listeners and they were sold Scott Brown for weeks and weeks!
The Grand Panjandrum
Cole’s still got the lockstep rightwing mentality thing going on. The worst that can possibly happen is the GOP’er takes the seat until he loses in November. So what. Let Fox news have a few giggles. In the long run this will work out.
@elmertfudd: Looks OK. M-W-F are the best days for me, preferably mid-morning or lunchtime.
Oh, I agree. I’m fully in favor of IRV. I’m also in favor of federal grants for struggling young lawyers, taxation of America’s churches and a good Indian restaurant on every street corner, and I ain’t gonna get any of those either.
We have two political parties in this country which have jointly dominated our system of government for over 150 years. The only mild challenges to the Democratic-Republican hegemony have come from occasional third party candidacies which, frankly, have consisted mainly of personality cults running on a platform of “a pox on both their houses.” The last of these personality cults to come anywhere near to breaking the duopoly was Teddy Roosevelt almost a century ago.
You don’t have to buy into the (false) idea that Democrats and Republicans are just the same to realize that both parties have intense structural reasons for opposing any policies, including IRV, which might allow a third party even the slightest influence over our polity.
No one needed sports radio to portray Coakley as elite or out of touch. She managed that quite handily on her own by essentially taking the position that winning the primary equated to winning the election. Obama caught flack for taking off for a weekend to Hawaii to visit his dying grandmother. If he’d walked out of the DNC and gone straight to Oahu for a month, we’d all by watching President McCain on television right now while trying to drink ourselves to death.
Not Prince Hamlet
Djou winning is the second-best outcome for both D’s because then they still have a shot in the fall. Ed Case hates the Hawaii Democratic machine and it hates him. Colleen Hanabusa is one of the better products of the machine (which isn’t saying all that much in these degraded days). Neither has any incentive to help the other, and they both want the House seat to strengthen their chances at a Senate seat when one of the Dans goes.
The real question is what’s in this for Charles. A six-month House career really isn’t worth the effort.
@Linkmeister: I could do a Friday, midmorning. Mon & Wed I have mid morning meetings. Mocha Java or someplace central is fine with me too. I live near punchbowl, so it’s easy to get around.
@JSD: Sounds good. Let’s take it offline, since this post is going to scroll off-screen at some point.
Any Hawai’i Balloon-Juice readers, let’s organize a meetup in meatspace! Mocha Java in Ward Center on an upcoming Friday.
I’m at [email protected]
Couldn’t agree with you more, but it caught fire when Dennis and Callaghan, the morning show on WEEI started featuring Brown daily weeks before the election his polling caught fire. The two conservative talk stations had been pouinding her but when the ‘apolitical” WEEI started pushing Brown it was game over for Coakley and when she fucked up the thing with Schilling it was merciless, the beating she took from WEEI. We DFH don’t realize when a radio station has a bigger and more loyal audience than the Boston Globe…it makes a huge difference. Imagine if the Globe did front page to back anti Coakley for 2 weeks!
@Linkmeister: Can’t guarantee I can make a Friday. We’ll see.
Ed is only about Ed. He is only in the Democratic Party because in Hawai`i that’s the way to get ahead politically. He was a huge supporter of Bush & the Iraq war and is a faux fiscal conservative. The Democratic Party of Hawai`i should drop kick his okole out of the party and into the gutter or GOP, wherever it lands first.
The DCCC has really screwed up by interfering in this race by repeatedly showing its fairly blatant support for Ed. The DCCC (and allegedly the White House) have been “leaking” negative poll data against Hanabusa for a while now. They want their boy Ed back in DC .
I can wait until November to get a real Democrat elected to HI-1.
There’s still more douche left in that old bag:
@JSD: Things worth pointing out. The British parliament does not operate under the laws of proportional representation. The Lib-Dems are trying to force a shift to proportional representation in exchange for their participation in a formal coalition govt at this very moment.
TRYING to drink ourselves to death? I’d probably have already succeeded by this point.