Latest Articles

  • What Do the Election Results Mean for the Neighbor Islands?

    · By Nathan Eagle

    There’s no doubt that the emotionally charged issue of genetically modified organisms and concerns over the pesticides that major biotech companies spray on the fields they lease in Hawaii drove many neighbor-island residents to the polls Tuesday.

    Less clear is what to make of the election results.

    All of the incumbents who ran for office on Maui and Big Island won another term. That holds true on Kauai for races at the state level, but voters uprooted the power structure of their seven-member county council.

    Voters on

  • Hawaii 2nd Congressional District: Gabbard Cruises to Re-election

    · By Nathan Eagle

    Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard was sailing smoothly into a second two-year term Tuesday night, leading Republican Kawika Crowley in the race to represent rural Oahu and the neighbor islands in the U.S. House.

    Gabbard had 76 percent of the vote, to 18 percent for Crowley, according to early returns. Libertarian Joe Kent had 2 percent.

    Gabbard, a 33-year-old rising star in the Democratic Party, hardly had to campaign this election after running unopposed in the Aug. 9 primary.

    Tuesday marks the second time Gabbard has defeated Crowley, a 63-year-old

  • Hawaii 1st Congressional District: Takai Defeats Djou

    · By Nathan Eagle

    Democrat Mark Takai has defeated Republican Charles Djou in the race to represent urban Oahu in Congress for the next two years.

    With all precincts reporting Tuesday evening, Takai was up over Djou, 51 percent to 48 percent. Djou picked up a little ground in the third wave of results that were released just after 10 p.m. but not enough to flip the results.

    “We started this race Aug. 7, 2013 — 15 months ago,” Takai told supporters at the Japanese Cultural Center in Moiliili, where Democrats gathered to celebrate their

  • Schatz Helps Fellow Dems as Republican Underdog Tries to Unseat Him

    · By Nathan Eagle

    In the past two months, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz has given more campaign cash away to help fellow Democrats seeking office than former state Rep. Cam Cavasso — the Republican trying to unseat him Tuesday — has raised in the entire race.

    Schatz spent $4 million during his grueling battle to defeat U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa in the August primary, a contest decided by fewer than 1,800 votes. 

    But since then he’s taken advantage of his huge financial advantage and double-digit lead in the polls to support candidates facing tougher battles on the

  • Tulsi Gabbard Emails Thoughts on D.C. and Why She Wants 2nd Term

    · By Nathan Eagle

    Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is many things. A combat veteran. A Hindu. A national media darling.

    She’s also the Democratic candidate running to represent Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District for another two years.

    The race has received scant attention, though, as less lopsided contests and controversial ballot measures have dominated the political discourse.

    Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, seen here at AFGE’s annual legislative conference last year, is seeking election Tuesday to a second term in office.

    AFGE

    In her first shot at a congressional seat in

  • John Oliver Blasts Hawaii Legislature Over ‘No Conflict’

    · By Nathan Eagle

    John Oliver, the host of HBO’s new comedy news show Last Week Tonight, slammed Hawaii lawmakers in Sunday’s episode highlighting the ethically-challenged-yet-dangerously-powerful nature of state legislatures across the country.

    Showing a video clip from a House hearing in 2011 about a bill requiring businesses to charge customers a 10-cent fee for plastic checkout bags, Joe Souki, speaker emeritus at the time, is seen asking then-Rep. Joey Manahan to decide if there is a conflict because Souki is a paid consultant for the American Chemistry Council, which produces plastics.

    Manahan,

  • James Pflueger Donates $4,000 to Libertarian Jeff Davis’ Campaign

    · By Nathan Eagle

    Two weeks before retired Honolulu car dealership owner James Pflueger was sentenced to jail for his role in the fatal Ka Loko dam breach, he made one of the biggest political donations of his life.

    State campaign finance records filed this week show Pflueger gave $4,000 to Jeff Davis, the Libertarian candidate for Hawaii governor, on Sept. 30.

    Pflueger, 88, was sentenced Oct. 15 to seven months in jail after pleading no contest in July 2013 to reckless endangering in the first degree. State prosecutors had alleged that Pflueger had illegally filled

  • Outside Money Having Outsized Influence on Hawaii Governors Race

    · By Nathan Eagle

    Super PACs funded by groups based on the mainland have spent more trying to influence the Hawaii governors race since the Aug. 9 primary than the candidates have themselves, according to the latest filings with the state Campaign Spending Commission.

    The public got its first look Monday at just how much cash the most active of these independent expenditure committees have put toward saturating the airwaves with ads targeting Democrat David Ige and Republican Duke Aiona.

    Two super PACs in particular have set the pace, spending a combined $3.2 million to sway voters

  • Which Hawaii Candidate Spent the Most Money Per Vote?

    · By Nathan Eagle

    A dozen people in Hawaii are set to enjoy influential, decently paid jobs with great benefits for the next two years and all they had to do was sign up to run for office.

    That’s according to a list of interesting 2014 election stats compiled by the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission staff. They let the numbers do most of the talking, whether it’s how many people have already won seats in state and county offices before the Nov. 4 general election has even taken place or how many super PACs have been working to influence races without filing a

  • Hawaii Candidates for Congress Fundraise to the Finish Line

    · By Nathan Eagle

    Mark Takai needed more campaign money — and he got it.

    The Democratic candidate for Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District raised just over $200,000 — including $85,000 from political action committees, or PACs — during the first half of October, according to the latest filings with the Federal Election Commission.

    His Republican opponent, Charles Djou, pulled in $72,000 but outspent Takai by almost $82,000 during the same 15-day period.

    Charles Djou and Mark Takai share a laugh during a congressional debate at the Plaza Club in Honolulu on

  • Is Cayetano’s Complaint Against Super PAC a Criminal Matter?

    · By Nathan Eagle

    It’s not over yet.

    The state Campaign Spending Commission decided Wednesday to defer until November a complaint that former Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano filed against the super PAC that crushed his bid for mayor in 2012.

    Pacific Resource Partnership, a political action committee funded by contractors and unionized carpenters, spent over $3 million on a coordinated attack to keep Cayetano out of office after he pledged to end Honolulu’s $5.2 billion rail project if elected.

    “I’m not doing this for any kind of motive like revenge — the public

  • Should Hawaii Purge More People from List of Registered Voters?

    · By Nathan Eagle

    Hawaii’s infamously low voter turnout may not be quite as bad as it seems.

    That’s because thousands of people who are still on the registered voter list have moved, gone to prison or died since the last election, lowering the overall turnout percentages published by the state Office of Elections in any given year.

    Heading into the Nov. 4 general election, the state has identified 626,431 people as “active” on its master list of 706,890 registered voters.

    Voting booths are lined up and ready for voters