Saturday, May 06, 2006

Your input is desired

The reaction to my letter in the April 28th Honolulu Advertiser (see previous post for the link) has prompted me to share with a few close friends my desire to enter the race for Ed Case's open seat (the second congressional district--rural Oahu and the neighbor islands.)
Reactions have been primarily positive; there have been strong negatives which I will consider carefully up to the filing deadline. I think the negative views are of primarily two kinds. Some folks are aware of my prior disappointments and bouts of depression and don't want to see me suffering that way again. I strongly believe I'm in greater danger of that if I fail to act on my desire to change my life, work for the common good, and continue to explore boundaries and my own limitations. I feel strongly that an opportunity exists for me now and for the people of Hawaii as well. The chance for the voters to choose a representative with a new face and a strong voice such as mine mayl not come along again any time soon.
The second kind of reaction troubles me less, although it comes primarily from individuals whose opinions and experience I have great respect for. It has come in the form of the suggestion that my entering the race is a bad idea because I have not solicited or received the blessing of Hawaii's "political leaders." I have in fact solicited opinions from members of the Congressional delegation, and I await eagerly their replies; however, I happen to believe strongly as Ed Case does that no one should be bound to await sanction from "on high" in order to seek election to any public office. My initial reaction to Ed Case's announcement of his candidacy was that the timing was bad, given the need to hold on to every congressional seat and obtain control of the House of Representatives for the Democrats. As I said in a letter that my friends at the Advertizer were kind enough to publish at that time (in expurgated form) when Hawaii's Dems fight among themselves, the Republicans win. The tragedy of Ed's challenge would be if he succeeded in knocking Dan Akaka from the ticket, but lost the race to a strong(and yet to appear) Republican candidate. Likewise, Bob Hogue or Quentin Kawananakoa might end up grabbing the congress seat and cancelling out Neil Abercrombie in a "censure" or impeachment vote.
I also felt (and said very publicly in my letter) that no one has a better chance to achieve passage of the "Akaka Bill" than the grand old man himself. Students of Hawaiian history know that we celebrate the birthday of Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole today because of his legacy as a beloved member Congress (without a vote) who convinced the federal government to set aside lands taken from the Hawaiian Kingdom for the "rehabilitation" of the Hawaiian people. There are those in Hawaii who would like to see the Hawaiian Homelands program opened to all residents of the state. This is the great threat that those of of us who are concerned with the future of the Native Hawaiian people (and the Aloha State) are ultimately most worried about. This is the bottom line of the Akaka bill as I see it, and there needs to be widespread understanding ot the issues involed and debate about them at all levels of our state, and in the Congress and White House.
Now that the race for the Second District seat has become a free for all and a kind of crap shoot among a list of well funded and high profile kamaaina, as well as a few malihini like me, I figure that my entry into the race cannot increase the likelihood of any Republican victory in November, and will definitely increase the chances that there will be a robust debate about issues like sovereignty, the Iraq war, Global Warming, the "GWOT", drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, homelessness, protection of our civil rights, etc.
This thought fills me with excitement. When the doubts and fears pop up I examine them and put them aside to sleep on. So far every morning that I wake up my desire to follow the motto of my son's high school alma mater grows stronger: "IMUA" !

Let me hear your ideas, reactions, and "mana`o".
Mike / Misha


Blogger immisha said...

I guess I'll have to be the first to comment on this. I'm hoping for comments--it's a bit embarrassing to mail out links as I've done and wait so long for someone to find an idea worth reacting to. It's the same feeling one gets after leaving a request for a call at the office of one's congressperson which the congressperson never responds to. Surely something I've written has sparked your interest. Who's going to toss me a bone?

11:09 AM  

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