Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hawaii Looking For Senatorial Seniority... Fast


Hanabusa beat Case in the 2010 House special election

Politicians from Hawaii understand how congressional seniority works and the state plays up to it. When Daniel Inouye died last week he was the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the longest serving member of the Senate, first elected in 1963. Before that he was a Congressman since Hawaii achieved statehood (1959). At the time of his death his seniority had landed him the chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, a post that served Hawaii very , very well. It's likely that Gov. Neil Abercrombie will be eager to choose a replacement even before the new class is sworn in so that the next senator from Hawaii has seniority over all of them.

Reportedly, Inouye's last request of Abercrombie was that he pick his close friend, Rep. Colleen Hanabusa. Hanabusa is a right-of-center New Dem whose loyalties have been more with business interests than with working families. Abercrombie is a solid progressive but he may be stuck with her since the two other top contenders are much worse. The worst of all is Ed Case-- Hawaii's version of Harold Ford. He runs for every open seat and will stop at nothing to get back into government. He's already told friends he expects Abercrombie to pick Hanabusa and that he'll run in the House special election to replace her.

Case is more a right-wing Republican, at least on economic issues, than a Democrat but the state is too blue for a wily character like him to join the GOP. He's become very unpopular with the state's Democratic base and keeps losing primaries. He was also considered the laziest Member of Congress when he served. But the elites like him-- especially in DC-- and he's got a ton of dirty money behind him.

Case's backers in Hawaii try to portray him as recently socially moderate, rather than the reactionary extremist he was when he was in the House. But he's never explained to the women of Hawaii why he voted against funding for Planned Parenthood.The guy has a clearly Republican voting record and it would be nothing short of catastrophic to reward his perfidy with another shot in either house of Congress. He's been completely consistent in his support for Republican and corporate initiatives like job-killing trade legislation and to special interests legislation like abolishing the estate tax for the super-rich, making it easier for banksters to rip off consumers, screwing over working families on pensions and the never-ending Republican proposals to shift the tax burden to the middle class. He generally voted with the most reactionary Democrats when they joined the GOP to stifle reform and, we tried to make the point that anyone who likes Chamber of Commerce pawns and Patriot Act-type Dems such as Dan Boren (Blue Dog-OK) and Joe Donnelly (Blue Dog-IN) would be perfectly happy with Ed Case-- especially if xenophobia and war-mongering and making sure that victims of big corporations have no recourse to the courts are on the menu.

The other possibility Abercrombie is said to be considering is also worse than Hanabusa, though probably not as reactionary as Case-- but more corrupt. Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, has, like Case, lost multiple congressional elections. Let's hope Abercrombie digs deeper than the obvious and comes up with someone who will represent Hawaii's working families, rather than big money interests the way Hanabusa, Case and Hannemann would.

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At 11:37 AM, Blogger John said...

So where did Inouye fall on the Case-Hannemann-Hanabusa (limited) continuum?

John Puma

At 11:54 AM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

Inouye was a moderate Democrat (which is different from being a conservative Democrat)-- so more like Hanabusa, with whom he was very close. He despises Case. His lifetime ProgressivePunch score was 79.89, making him the 31st most progressive Democrat, just a tiny bit better than Dianne Feinstein, Mark Begich and Herb Kohl-- not someone Blue America would have ever endorsed, but not someone Blue America would have needed to primary either.

At 11:57 AM, Blogger John said...




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