General Election 2K8: Hawaii Edition

Author’s Note: Today I cast my absentee ballot in the 2008 General Election. I’ll briefly go down the ballot and explain my choices as appropriate. I won’t discuss all of my votes at this time as I am currently hosting candidate forums for my students and it’d be inappropriate to the candidates for me to chime in at this time but perhaps in a follow-up post I will do so.

1. President and Vice President

(C) BALDWIN, Chuck for President
CASTLE, Darrell L for Vice President

(L) BARR, Bob for President
ROOT, Wayne A for Vice President

(R) MCCAIN, John for President
PALIN, Sarah for Vice President

(G) McKINNEY, Cynthia for President
CLEMENTE, Rosa for Vice President

(I) NADER, Ralph for President
GONZALEZ, Matt for Vice President

(D) OBAMA, Barack for President
BIDEN, Joe for Vice President

My Vote: Obama, duh!!! Although I do like Ralph Nader. Personally, I agree with Obama’s views and his plans for office. He may not be as experienced as a McCain but I believe in Obama’s vision for America’s future and seriously speaking — is McCain all that different from fucking Bush? (I am still VERY disappointed in the masses for putting that idiot back in 4 years ago – don’t get me started).

2. US Representative, Dist I

(R) TATAII, Steve
(L) ZHAO, Li

My Vote: Abercrombie. He’s been a great Congressman and represented us and our needs well. There is no compelling reason to put him out. That and I’m thoroughly impressed at how he’s utilized modern technology to reach out to the constituency 🙂 (Having dinner with the guy a few months back in an intimate setting doesn’t hurt either).

3. Board of Education – Honolulu District (Vote Not More Than One))

LEE, Carol Mon

My Vote: I’ll comment at a later time as I’ve done a candidate forum for this race.

4. Board of Education – No Departmental (Vote Not More Than Three (3))

AIONA, Darrow Kanakanui
AKUNA, Janis
TOGUCHI, Garrett
TOM, Terrence
YEE, Randall

My Vote: I’ll comment at a later time as I’ve done a candidate forum for this race.

5. Office of Hawaiian Affairs At-Large Trustee (Vote Not More Than One (1))

HONDA, Helene

My Vote: I’ll comment at a later time as I’ve done a candidate forum for this race.

6. Honolulu Mayor


My Vote: Kobayashi. Don’t get me wrong. Mufi did an excellent job as Mayor. I do agree he managed the city well and expanded and made its services more efficient. So why Kobayashi? Two reasons: 1 – Word is the guy is gearing up for a run for Governor in 2 years. I personally would like to see a guy who is 100% committed to the job and intends to stick with the job. 2 – The entire rail issue is just too fishy. I am NOT a rail expert but I am inclined to believe the Steel on Steel opponents who say the system is too costly. Honolulu definitely needs a better mass transit system but Steel on Steel, from the sound of things, is not the best route to go.

7. CON CON: Constitutional Convention Question: “Shall there be a convention to propose a revision of or amendments to the Constitution.”


My Vote: “No.” In concept, I agree with the idea of holding a Constitutional Convention. It is always good to reassess where we are as a State. Times have changed since the last Con Con. I believe we have different needs which does necessitate a change in our Constitution. However, I at this point in time I agree with the opponents to a Con-Con. The cost for the process is prohibitive, in my opinion, given our current economic situation. Many opponents also cite how it will open up the flood gates to have many current entitlements taken away (mostly Hawaiian related). While I tend to not like to think from a defensive “look out for my own interests” mentality as I tend to like to think of what benefits everyone as a whole, I do think given our current situation it is probably best to maintain the status quo. The time for a Con Con will come again for sure — at a later time.

8. CON Amend: Age Qualification for Governor: “Shall the age qualification for the office of governor and office of lieutenant governor be reduced from thirty years of age to twenty-five years of age?


My Vote: “No.” With all due respect to the brilliant minds under 30 (I considered myself one), I feel that at the age of 25 the average person just doesn’t have enough perspective, life experience and skill to handle the responsibilities of running a State. Most people at 25 barely have the skills to take care of themselves much less several million – in my opinion.

9. City Charter Amend: “Shall the Prosecuting Attorney be allowed to initiate programs, projects and activities, as determined by the prosecuting attorney, on the subject of crime, including but not limited to crime research, prevention and education?


My Vote: “Yes.” Overall, I don’t see anything overly wrong with this. I do believe more resources do need to be devoted to crime research, prevention and education. Is the Prosecutor’s Office the best place for that? Probably not as I would think the Prosecutor’s Office should focus on prosecuting. I believe the crime research, prevention and education work should probably be done by a joint task force of the police department and prosecutor’s office or some permutation thereof but that’s more of a city org chart and delineation of roles and responsibilities thing. The bottom line is someone needs to do that job and at this point in time the Prosecutor’s Office is probably as good a place as any to start off.

10. City Charter Amend: “Shall the Revised City Charter be amended to authorize the city Ethics Commission to impose civil fines established by ordinance for violations of the standards of conduct committed by appointed officers and employees of the city who have significant discretionary or fiscal power?


My Vote: “Yes.” Hey, it’s all about accountability. People who wield great power should definitely be held to that higher standard. We need those checks and balances to ensure there’s no abuse of power. I would like to say though that I hope the violations they’ll be penalized for are things of substance that border on criminal as opposed to pettier things like sending porn or inappropriate jokes via e-mail which to me is just a very trivial issue to waste time and resources managing.  As long as it has no bearing on a person’s ability to effectively do the job why worry?

11. City Charter Amend: “Shall the Revised Charter of the City and County of Honolulu 1973 be amended to conform to state law by specifying that the circuit courts of the state have jurisdiction of impeachment proceedings against elected county officers?


My Vote: “Yes.” I don’t see why not. I guess my question is, what jurisdiction does this fall under currently? Federal? State District court? I don’t believe there is a “county” court or anything like that so I don’t overly see a major problem with the state circuit court handling this.

12. City Charter Amend: “Shall the powers, duties, and functions of the city, through its director of transportation services, include establishment of a steel wheel on steel rail transit system?

My Vote: “No.” This question is specifically asking if we should implement steel on steel rail. It is NOT asking if we should implement a rail system in general. As the debates have shown there are multiple options for a rail transit solution. I think most people will agree that a rail transit solution is something we need (or at least a BETTER mass transit solution than what we have now). However, as opponents have shown (and have convinced me) steel on steel is not the best solution due to its cost (which WE will be paying for for years upon years in taxes). If we can implement a mass/rail transit solution at a lower cost that offers comparable performance than I say go for that. Unless you enjoy paying more taxes than you need to. I am all for rail transit — but it needs to be implemented at reasonable cost and I’m not convinced steel on steel is the best solution for our needs and situation at this time.


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