It’s blue-on-blue warfare among Democrats fighting over the special election in Hawaii’s 1st District.
You’ll recall that far Leftist Neil Abercrombie stepped down earlier this year to run for governor.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in Washington favors former Democratic Rep. Ed Case over state Senator Colleen Hanabusa. Case is considered more “moderate” than the union-backed firebrand Hanabusa. But for Asian-American Democrats, it’s all about skin color. They’re whining about white male favoritism and making giant, race-hustling fools of themselves.
Oh, and the hyphenated Democrats are also mad that Case had the audacity to raise the issue of Asian-American U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka’s age.
Meanwhile, the GOP candidate in the race, Honolulu city councilman Charles Djou, is reaping the benefits:
This is a three-way race featuring two Democrats, former Rep. Ed Case and Hawaii State Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, squaring off against Republican Charles Djou. It is a winner-take-all contest between the three candidates, competing to replace Neil Abercrombie, who left Congress to run for governor.
The winner will represent Hawaii’s first district, covering urban Honolulu–the district where President Obama was born and raised.
Right now, the race is close: according to a Democratic source, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has conducted an internal poll showing Case at 32%, Djou at 32%, Hanabusa at 27%, and 9% undecided.
And there is some further in-fighting going on here. The DCCC has reportedly inserted itself into this race, sending some undercover help to the Case campaign, including assistance from DCCC Western Regional Political Director Adam Sullivan.
Hanabusa, meanwhile, has the support of Hawaii’s two Democratic senators, Daniel Akaka and Daniel Inouye (who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee)–meaning the DCCC has evidently split from the wishes of Hawaii’s two most senior politicians, in an attempt to elect the perceived frontrunner with an edge in the polls.
There’s more to the back-story: according to two Hawaii Democrats, Case offended Hawaii’s senators by challenging Akaka for his Senate seat in 2006, campaigning (indirectly) on Akaka’s age.
“He was trying to make the argument that, look, our two senators were 85 years old. Let’s make a switch now and start building some seniority so we don’t lose everything all at once,” one Hawaii Democrat said. “In insulting Sen. Akaka, he pissed off Sen. Inouye.”
“It was the subtext of everything, that Sen. Akaka was old and that for some reason he’s incapable of representing Hawaii in Congress,” another Hawaii Democrat said, adding that both Akaka and Inouye liked Case at the time and were comfortable with him becoming Hawaii’s next senator–if he waited his turn.
Insulted! Affronted! Wah! Let’s hope they feel all that and more when both Democrats go down on May 22. Support Charles Djou’s campaign here.