The Hawai’i Congressional 1 race has several good candidates and a leading candidate who is so bad that progressives are saying they’ll vote the Republican candidate if she wins the primary.
Despite being a deep blue state, (or maybe because it is) Republican candidates often join the Hawai’i Democratic party. You folks may talk about the “Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party” but here we talk about the “Republican wing of the Democratic Party” and we’re dead serious.
One of the most egregiously unprogressive candidates is Donna Mercado Kim who is leading the HI-01 race both in the polls and in the money.
The Civil Beat poll (margin of error 6%) showed “…it clearly looks like a race between state Sen. Kim and state Rep. Takai”.
And Open Secrets shows that only three candidates are competitive:
Kim: Cash on Hand:$534,893, Total Raised: $582,775
Chang: Cash on Hand: $331,213, Total Raised: $557,748
Takai: Cash on Hand: $322,026, Total Raised: $453,919
Takai and Chang are both espousing progressive positions. In the Hawaii Legislature, Takai has been a reliable vote in favor of the environment. His lead in the polls and consistently good votes on environmental issues led the Sierra Club to endorse him and urge folks to consolidate around a single Not-Kim candidate.
If there is no consolidation Kim will win.
Kim not only has a checkered past when it comes to ethics but she’s being supported by the Pat Roberts Christian Coalition for her anti-abortion, anti-gay, and pro-school-prayer positions. Kim recently voted no on marriage equality (which passed anyway).
She’s made it clear that she supports corporations over the environment by appointing a Monsanto lobbyist to the Water Commission nominating committee right after Monsanto was twice turned down by the Water Commission.
In contrast, the Sierra Club endorsee Mark Takai, has expressed progressive positions. He’s always been excellent on renewable energy, supporting programs for low income people to install PV, credits for solar, and walking the walk by converting his own home to solar.
He voted in favor of Marriage Equality and received the Equality Hawaii endorsement. (Equality Hawai’i is another progressive organization which is extremely worried that folks won’t rally around a single Not-Kim candidate)
Mark Takai is advocating for rebuilding our transportation and communication infrastrucucture. He says, “At a time of unprecedented onslaughts and attacks against unions and working families across the country, I will continue to be a champion for organized labor and working families.” On women’s issues he supports choice, equal pay and has worked hard on the military sexual assault issue.
Takai supports Brian Schatz and Elizabeth Warren in the “Strengthening Social Security Act” which will raise or eliminate the cap on FICA taxable income. That cap means that the poor and the middle class pay 6.5% FICA tax on everything they earn but that someone making a million dollars per year pays less than 1% on their earnings.
Takai, a member of the Hawaii National Guard, was deployed to the Middle East and, as is often the case, this has reinforced his resolve to prevent us from engaging in unnecessary wars. He opposed entering the Iraq war and continues to oppose more involvement in Iraq.
Takai’s military experience will help him in HI-01 where there are substantial military votes and will also position him to compete head to head with the Republican Charles Djou who is in the Army Reserves. (We’re talking about the registered Republican – not Donna Kim who is the stealth Republican.)
Progressive Caucus members Mike Honda and Mark Takano have both endorsed Mark Takai.
The Civil Beat poll showed that Takai is within striking distance of Donna Kim and two progressive organizations are urging us to consolidate support around this progressive Not-Kim candidate. Whatever we do, we cannot allow the Republican-registered-as-a-Democrat, Donna Kim win. It will take all of us getting behind one of the progressive alternatives to beat her.