Tag Archives: general election

Election Day is almost here: Let’s pick the winners!

We are less than 24 hours away from one of the most hard-fought election seasons in recent memory for Hawaii.  Both sides have campaigned vigorously and have aimed to sway voters all around the state.  Millions of dollars have been spent and countless hours of television have been taken over by political ads for one side or another.  The big race is for governor and the top two contenders, Neil Abercrombie and Duke Aiona have not held back on the punches.

Desperate America Report has looked at a few of the larger races and spoken to some of Hawaii’s residents on who they think will win.  Here is our breakdowns of the Governor, US Senate, and both US House races.


This race has seen $6 million in spending combined.  Both men have flooded the air waves with ads attacking the other as well as fluff pieces on themselves.  Abercrombie took a week off after the September primary election victory of Mufi Hannemann and that may cost him in the end.  Most polls have put Abercrombie’s once double-digit lead somewhere near 4%.  Of course, many still feel the Democratic candidate still has the sizable edge and is still in control.  The Democratic party has done well to unify after a tough primary season and former adversary, Mufi Hannemann, has come around and publicly supported Abercrombie.

Aiona did not face a very tough challenge in the primary and was able to save most of his funds for the general election battle.  He has been aided in large part by the Republican Governors Association who have spent much money for television ads since Aiona became the Republican nominee.  Aiona has looked to distance himself from the Lingle administration as well as embrace certain aspects of his former boss.  He has also faced questions about his ties to a controversial religious group.  Aiona has done well to close the gap between himself and his Democratic challenger.

Outcome: Aiona’s hopes hinge on his ability to get enough of the independent voters away from Abercrombie.  The former US Congressman, Abercrombie has a sizable advantage on Oahu having served as the CD1 representative for the last 20 years.  Abercrombie is also aided by the traditionally large Democratic voter turnout on election day.  However, Abercrombie must hope not to see a repeat of 2002 when Republican Linda Lingle edged out a victory over a scrambling Mazie Hirono.  That election showed the need for party unity when moving towards the general election.  Dems have done well to bring the party together.  Desperate America Report sees this race coming down to the final printout with Neil Abercrombie winning by a 5-8% margin.

US Senate:

Dan Inouye has had little to worry about from his Republican challenger, Cam Cavasso.  The longtime Senate power broker has still made the rounds at various rallies and parties within the Democratic Party.  Cavasso has done well to remain in the conversation by running some very entertaining ads.  However, there is little evidence this race will be close.

Rundown: Inouye will be reelected by a margin near 30%.  It is a tad smaller than what would have been expected a few months ago, but it was still never that close.


It is time to complete our civic duties and vote. This election has serious implications for Hawaii's future!


US House CD1: Djou and Hanabusa have been battling ever since the special election this Spring.  Both candidates have spent a ton of money and have sent a ton of barbs in the direction of the other.  Similar to the Governor’s race, the key to victory is which candidate has the independent voters.  Djou has looked to keep a distance from the local and national Republican parties in an attempt to portray himself as an independent thinker.  Hanabusa has pledged her support to the Obama administration and has received support from the President himself in robocalls and emails.

Rundown: For much of the build up to the election, Djou has held a lead of about 5%.  However, many polls have seen that lead fluctuate and sometimes become a deficit.  In the end the independent voters go away from the traditional Democrat Hanabusa and help reelect the Republican Djou.  However, this will be a margin of victory inside of 3%.

US House CD2: John Willoughby has done his best to chip away at the lead of incumbent Mazie Hirono.  However, Hirono has been able to keep a sizable double-digit lead through most of the election season over her Tea Party challenger.  An endorsement from conservative darling, Sarah Palin, seems to have done little to sway the normally liberal neighbor islands.  Hirono has done well to state her case and has repeatedly chosen to talk about herself and ignore her opponent entirely.

Rundown: This is another one of the probable routes.  Willoughby has always been fighting an uphill battle since taking the Republican nomination.  Hirono has traveled the state and solidified her support.  Don’t expect this race to be within 25%.  Hirono should win easy.

There you go ladies and gents.  It will be a fun night come November 2nd.  Follow us on Twitter for live election results and reactions.  And please remember: GET OUT THERE AND VOTE ON NOVEMBER 2ND!


Share your thoughts: What does the increase in negative campaigning mean for Hawaii politics?

Negative ads and campaigning is a part of every election.  Hawaii is not immune to such happenings.  However, the use of attack ads and negative campaigning has seemingly hit an all time high.  Desperate America Report is looking to gauge where the public stands on this issue.  How will this election cycle affect future campaigns and the chances of getting muddier and muddier?  How will the influx of mainland groups affect future campaign ads?  Does negative campaigning really work in Hawaii?

We want to hear your thoughts on the issues.  Please leave your comments below or hit us up on Twitter or E-mail!

Walk-in Absentee Voting Sites Now Open

irst of all, Happy Labor Day everyone!  Labor Day has traditionally marked the start of school for the entire country.  Study hard and go to class children, then maybe one day you too can have your own reality show.

Now on to more pressing matters.  The early walk-in absentee voting has begun in Hawaii.  The early primary voting places opened on September 3, and will run until September 16.  The sites will be open Monday through Saturday from 8am-4pm.  It is recommended that voters take advantage of these early voting sites as to avoid the rush and crowds of the September 18 Primary Election.

For a complete list of walk-in absentee voting sites, click here.

Please remember to bring a photo I.D. with you when voting.

*Remember to join the Honolulu Coffee Party Examiner and Desperate America Report for complete Primary Election results and analysis heading towards the November General Election.

Heavyweight Battle for Governor Headlines Dem Primary

The Democratic gubernatorial primary pits familiar foes against one another for what is shaping up to be a classic battle.  On one side is the large grinning, former United States Congressman.  On the other, the charming, constantly singing, former Honolulu Mayor.  This race will undoubtedly receive the bulk of the news headlines and completely overshadow the GOP primary.  Join Desperate America Report and the Honolulu Coffee Party Examiner as we take a closer look at the two heavyweight Democrats.

Neil Abercrombie came to Hawaii in September of 1959.  He attended the University of Hawaii where he earned Master’s degree in Sociology and later a Ph.D. in American Studies.  In 1974, Abercrombie ran for the Hawaii State House of Representatives.  He was elected to represent the Makiki-Manoa district.  He would serve in the State House from 1975-1979.  Later that year he would join the State Senate.  He held the position until 1986.  While in the State Senate, Abercrombie was instrumental in starting the Healthy Start prevention program.  The program helps at-risk mothers and children.

The former US Congressman will not shy away from the attacks from his opponent.

Abercrombie won a special election to fill the unexpired term of US Congressman, Cec Heftel.  However, he would later lose his reelection bid in the Democratic primary to his current gubernatorial primary opponent, Mufi Hannemann.  Abercrombie returned to Hawaii and was elected to the Honolulu City Council.  He served as City Councilman from 1988-1990.  Abercrombie made his return to the nation’s capitol in 1990 having been elected to represent Hawaii first congressional district in the United States House of Representatives.  He would hold the seat until his resignation in December of 2009 to focus on his run for governor.

Abercrombie has long been a supporter of the environment.  He is focused on the environment and proposes increasing the attention given to the Department of Land and Natural Resources(DLNR) in an attempt to revitalize the agency and gain public support and trust.  The move towards clean energy  for Abercrombie begins with an initial government investment into the clean energy industry.  This would lead to the creation of the Hawaii Energy Authority which would allow producers to sell directly to the customers.  The move would help lower costs for both the manufacturer and the customer.

Challenging Neil Abercrombie is former Honolulu Mayor, Mufi Hannemann.  Hannemann was born in Hawaii on July 16, 1954.  He attended Iolani School graduating Cum Laude and earning the Headmaster’s Award.  He would go on Harvard University where he lettered in varsity basketball.  Hannemann would also earn Cum Laude status upon graduation at Harvard.  Hannemann would return to Iolani School as a history teacher and varsity basketball coach.

Hannemann spent time as a special assistant in the US Department of the Interior under the Carter Administration as well as being a special assistant to Hawaii Governor, George Ariyoshi.  He would later serve in the Reagan administration as a White House Fellow to Vice-President, George H.W. Bush.  Hannemann has an impressive resume having worked under four US Presidents and two Hawaii Governors during his many years in public service.

Hannemann has a sizeable war chest and support of the HGEA in his bid for the Democratic Gubernatorial nomination.

The former Honolulu Mayor has pledged to green light the Honolulu rail transit plan.  The plan calls for an increase in jobs for Hawaii’s declining construction market.  The rail plan also calls for increased business development along the route.  Hannemann also has promised to begin identifying and eliminating government waste and abuse.  The hope is to allow for better transparency and increased efficiency in the public sector.  He has also expressed a desire to follow the precedent set by the Hawaii Council of Mayors so the Governor and the county Mayors can work together and address the problems of Hawaii.

The battle between Hannemann and Abercrombie will be fierce.  The two men battled in 1986 with Abercrombie winning the special election but Hannemann coming out on top in the primary.  Hannemann attacked Abercrombie over being soft on drug legislation and on rumors that he smoked marijuana.  The mudslinging may have won Hannemann the primary, however, it would come back to bite the Democrat against Republican Pat Saiki in the general election.

This race is probably the most questionable of any of the races.  Both candidates have the support of some of Hawaii’s most powerful and influential unions.  Both candidates also have the support of some political heavyweights.  It will be interesting to see how negative the campaigning will get.  There have already been some initial salvos from both sides.  However, if the race gets too muddy, it could do more harm than good this time around.  Something tells us that the former US Congressman, Neil Abercrombie, will pull out the victory.  It will surely be entertaining to watch and should provide some of the best campaign quotes in recent memory.

Get Involved: Complacency breeds Incompetence!

Who will be fighting for the US 1st/2nd CD seat come November?

Hawaii voters will need to decide on the two US Congressional seats which represent the state.  The islands have seen little change in the make up of its Congressional delegation.  In fact, Hawaii voters have never voted out an incumbent for either the US House or Senate seats.  This time around Hawaii’s voters have a strong contender to replace an incumbent.  Last week Desperate America Report and the Honolulu Coffee Party Examiner introduced everyone to the candidates for the 1st and 2nd CD House seats.  Today, join us as we go a little deeper into the candidates and figure out where the chips will fall come the November election.

The race for Hawaii’s 1st CD seat features an incumbent with only a few months of experience in the seat.  Congressman Charles Djou, will be looking to earn the outright vote of the people come the primary and general elections.  Djou won the right to replace Neil Abercrombie after his win in Hawaii’s special election held in May of this year.  Djou, a Republican, beat out big name Democrats Colleen Hanabusa and Ed Case in a hotly contested race.  Many pundits feel that his win was a result of the two Democrats splitting the vote rather than an affirmation for Djou’s candidacy.  The Congressman previously served on the Honolulu City Council from 2003 until 2010.  He was term-limited from running for reelection.

Congressman Charles Djou looks to extend his stay in Washington D.C.

Since being elected to office, Djou has voted to repeal the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, and against the extension of unemployment benefits.  Djou’s mantra has been to vote no on increased taxes and no on deficit spending.  He would like to see inter-state sales of health insurance to combat the near monopoly on Hawaii’s current insurance system.  Djou feels the need for a reform in the way earmarks are done in order to eliminate wasteful spending.  The former City Councilman has also pledged to fight for federal funding to help Hawaii become a beacon of alternative energy.

Challenging Congressman Djou within the Republican Party is John Giuffre. Giuffre is a relative unknown but has released numerous videos online and through Olelo which discuss the economic problems facing the nation. Based on the Big Island, Giuffre earned only 82 of the more than 150,000 votes tallied in May.

Democrat Rafael Del Castillo was the fourth leading vote getter in the May special election.  Del Castillo moved to Hawaii in 1987.  Just ten years later, he began his advocacy for healthcare reform in Hawaii.  He is a big proponent of building a partnership between the health care industry and the government.  He has stated the creation of such a partnership will help alleviate the high costs we currently face.  Del Castillo has an uphill battle to gain the party’s nomination.  He opposes any form of an AMT for middle and lower-income families and has called it a way to keep the poor in poverty.  He holds a belief that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional citing it is in violation of the 10th amendment.  He also supports a repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policies.

Current Hawaii Senate President, Colleen Hanabusa is the top Democrat in the race. Earning a surprising second place finish in the special election, Hanabusa cemented her position as one of the top Hawaii Democrats. Having spent her entire legislative time in the Senate, Hanabusa has been an outspoken advocate for the Leeward coast of Oahu.  She has helped get legislation passed that is aimed at curbing Hawaii’s meth problems by a combination of stiffer penalties, prevention programs, and increased treatment programs.  Hanabusa is widely expected to earn the Democratic nomination and the privilege to face incumbent Charles Djou in the November general election.

Colleen Hanabusa looks to move from Leeward Coast Senator to US Congresswoman.

Hanabusa would like to see an increase of resources for college scholarship and loan programs.  The move would assist the millions of Americans who are struggling to afford higher education.  She also looks to expand internet-based learning to allow working individuals a better chance to get an education.  Hanabusa would also like to see more investing of federal money into Hawaii’s renewable energy efforts.  This money would go to the development and growth of public and private ventures which would stimulate the local economy.

It is nearly a foregone conclusion that Hanabusa and Djou will face each other in the November general election.  Djou will likely have the fundraising advantage and will be able to point to his big votes during his short time since winning the special election.  Djou will need to push hard for the independents and conservative Democrats if he hopes to win the race.  Hanabusa will have a unified front as opposed to the split vote she encountered in May.  It will be interesting to see if the national arm of the Democratic Party comes out to support her.

2nd CD Representative, Mazie Hirono, is the only Democrat in the race. Hirono has been a member of the US House since 2006.  Hirono served as Lt. Governor during the Cayetano administration.  She would later lose her bid for the office against Maui Mayor, Linda Lingle.  Hirono currently sits on the Committee on Transportation and infrastructure, as well as the Committee on Education and Labor.  She replaced former Congressman Ed Case after his unsuccessful bid to unseat US Senator, Daniel Akaka.  Hirono has long been considered a popular and strong Democrat in Hawaii.

Congresswoman Hirono is running on a platform of investing in early education to prepare our children for the challenges ahead.  She also supports reforms of No Child Left Behind.  The controversial Bush-era initiative puts an emphasis on test scores and punishes schools who are unable to hit the standards.  Hirono is also pushing for the renewal of the tax credits for renewable energy.  She believes that government should reward entrepeneurs and help them to develop.

Hawaii television news anchor/reporter, Republican Ramsay Wharton, is set to compete in a tough race for the Republican Party nomination.  Wharton, 39, entered the race back in February and brings a wealth of experience having covered politics for the last decade.  She is also the co-founder and Vice-President of the newly formed Hawaii Federated Republican Women’s Association.  The single mother of a 6 year-old daughter, Wharton is currently seeking her second master’s degree.  Wharton promises to lower taxes for the middle and lower-income families of America.  She has pledged to fight for better transparency in government and to protect Hawaii’s beautiful environment.

Set to battle Wharton for the GOP nomination is John Willoughby.  The current United Airlines pilot, Willoughby resides in Honolulu with his wife and children.  Willoughby is a former Navy pilot and was once stationed at Barbers Pt. Naval base in Kalaeloa.  He has spent nearly 20 years in the Armed Forces.  Willoughby runs on a platform focused on providing small business healthcare plans which would help bring the costs of health insurance down for local businesses.  He is also interested in finding ways to allows Hawaii’s school children to travel between islands to provide a better understanding of the unique environment of the islands.  He has also pledged to use tax breaks and credits to assist local farmers and help them grow their businesses in Hawaii and around the country.

Hirono, second from the left, is currently the senior member of Hawaii's US House delegation.

The road to reelection is not paved with too many bumps for Mazie Hirono.  The former Lt. Governor is running a general election race in July and August as opposed to her Republican contenders.  Hirono has the last few years in office to point to and has a strong base of supporters.  The Republican nomination will come down to which side can gather enough of the base.  There will likely be a small voter turnout for Republicans in the primary election due to the big races over on the Democratic Party ballot.  The key to a Wharton victory is to draw a parallel between her candidacy and that of Republican darling, Charles Djou.  Both are young Republicans with energetic campaigns.  Willoughby needs to show he is a strong conservative who can bring reason to Hawaii and create jobs.  Ultimately the race is a toss-up.  However, we see a Willoughby/Hirono battle in the November general election.

Join us on Friday as we examine the race for the US Senate and the bid to unseat Dan Inouye.

Also, don’t forget to register to vote if you haven’t already.  The deadline to register for the September primary is August 18.  The deadline for the November general is October 2.

Get Involved: Complacency breeds Incompetence!

Hawaii Office of Elections Releases Complete List of Candidates

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010 was the deadline for individuals to file candidacy papers.  The primary elections is set for Saturday September 18, 2010.  The general election will be on Tuesday November 2, 2010.  The list contains all the names that have filed for Hawaii’s numerous races this election cycle.  Beginning on Monday, Desperate America Report, in conjunction with the Honolulu Coffee Party Examiner, will take a look at a few of the important races.  Join us next week as we take a look at the contenders in the race for Governor, US Senate, US House, Lt. Gov., and Honolulu Mayor.  Each day will feature a new race and a brief intro to the candidates.

If you still haven’t registered to vote, please remember that the registration deadline for the primary election is August 18th.  The deadline for the general election is October 2nd.  Visit the Office of Elections website for more info on registering to vote.

Click here to see the complete list of candidates(pdf format)

Hawaii’s Special Election

On just about every political news website, one of the top stories features Hawaii’s special election to fill the vacant 1st Congressional District seat. The election has three main opponents, Republican Charles Djou and Democrats Ed Case and Colleen Hanabusa. The election will be done through a mail-in ballot process. Ballots have already begun to arrive in the mailboxes of registered voters. Hawaii rarely uses this type of process for an election of this magnitude. However, this is a stand-alone election and the mail-in process saved more money.

Republican candidate, Charles Djou, currently is a Honolulu City Councilman

Those unfamiliar with how this process works needs to look no further than Desperate America. Today’s post is not designed to tell you how to vote. Nor is it designed as a campaign tool for a specific candidate. Instead, we will go over how the process will unfold and what you need to do to ensure your voice is heard.

Democrat Ed Case previously held the 2nd CD House seat after the passing of Patsy Mink.

The ballots were initially mailed out to registered voters at the end of April. The ballots will continue to arrive over the next 7-10 days. Inside each envelope is a ballot and a return envelope. There is no need for stamps as the postage is already paid for. The return envelope and the ballot itself provide instructions on how to properly cast your vote and the procedure of mailing the ballot back. Once the ballot has been completed and put into the return envelope, it is important that you sign your return envelope. There is an area under the flap of the envelope that requires your signature. If you fail to provide your signature, your vote will be deemed invalid and will not be counted for the election. Place your envelope in the mailbox and be sure that it is taken by the post man. Congratulations, you have voted for the 1st CD vacancy! If for any reason you made a mistake on the ballot or something occurred which prevents you from mailing back the ballot, contact the Office of Elections immediately.

Democrat Colleen Hanabusa is the current Hawaii Senate President.

The special election for the 1st CD seat in the United States House of Representatives, was needed after the resignation of Neil Abercrombie. Rep. Abercrombie resigned for the seat earlier this year to run for governor of Hawaii. Abercrombie had been part of Hawaii’s congressional delegation since 1991. The special election will reveal the new winner on May 22, 2010. Voting will end at 6pm on that day. There is also an option of absentee walk-in voting that can be done at Honolulu Hale starting on May 10-20 from 8am-5pm. There is no excuse to not take part in the election.

This election will fill the vacant seat until the upcoming primary and general elections in the fall of 2010. The winner of this special election will only hold the seat for a few months. However, whomever comes out of this special election as the winner, will no doubt have all the momentum and a lot larger campaign fund than the competitors. If you failed to register in time for this election, don’t fret. You still have time to register for the coming primary and general elections. However, don’t procrastinate until it is too late!

Get Informed and Get Involved!