Skip to main content

Hawai'i has two of the most progressive Senators. Progressive Punch rates Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz tied for 5th place: most progressive.

But Emily's List just backed a corporatist challenger apparently because she is female.  Colleen Hanabusa, rated at 117th by Progressive Punch,  has a dismal record both as State senator and as one of Hawaii's two Representatives.

For a state that is blue all the way through and for a politician who ran from a district that went 70% for Barack Obama, one wonders how such a DINO was even elected.  

Colleen Hanabusa wouldn’t be in Congress except that progressives felt she was the better than Teaparty Republican Charles Djou and Blue Dog Ed Case.

Local and national progressives were frightened about losing the seat (formerly progressive Neil Abercrombie's) to either the GOP or a Blue Dog. So they rallied behind Hanabusa, largely based on her promise to not join the Blue Dog Coalition. Rep. Lynn Woolsey (then co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus), MoveOn.org and Daily Kos all endorsed Hanabusa on this basis

Once Hanabusa was elected, she shunned progressives. Granted, she didn’t join the Blue Dogs. But she did join the New Democrat Coalition - which has supplanted the shrinking, irrelevant Blue Dog Coalition as the home for conservative Democrats. And she’s voted against every Congressional Progressive Caucus proposal and voted for nearly every weapon-funding proposal (whether the Pentagon wanted or not).

She's joined the other New Dems in supporting CISPA (the draconian Internet censorship bill). And she even participated in a New Dems press conference the week after the 2012 election calling for "everything (to) be put on the table" (presumably including Social Security cuts?)

She voted with the GOP to exempt coal-fired boilers from stronger EPA standards - a favor she did for the huge Alexander and Baldwin Company who operates one of the dirtiest coal-fired plants in the U.S. on Maui.

She's expressed her opinion that marriage is only between a man and a woman.

Newsflash to Emily's List: Almost all the politicians in Hawai'i run as Democrats since it is unusual to get elected if you are not one. So that (D) by Colleen Hanabusa's name is meaningless given her votes and record.

Sen. Brian Schatz has made addressing climate change his number one priority.  A former Sierra Club member, he's gotten off to a great start: voting for Sen Bernie Sanders amendment to allow states to label GMO; voting against the reauthorization of FISA and voting against CISPA.  So on the environment and civil rights, his record is 100%.

On the other hand, while State Senate president, Colleen Hanabusa pushed through the infamous "Superferry bill". After environmental and native Hawaiian groups sued to stop the Superferry because it had not done an EIS and posed an unacceptable risk of invasive species transmission. They won, and at the behest of Republican Gov. Lingle, Hanabusa pushed through the bill exempting the Superferry from doing an EIS. Groups sued and the law was ruled unconstitutioinal by the Hawaii Supreme Court.

So the decision by Emily's List to back a conservative challenger to a sitting progressive is utterly baffling. It can only be explained by her gender.  Brian Schatz is a solid on women's issues (maybe more solid) than Colleen Hanabusa.  But he lacks a vagina.  Really, Emily's List? Electing women is a laudable goal. But be choosy.  For instance, don't back Michelle Bachman.

Not that there is a comparison between Colleen Hanabusa who is a shrewd woman with a law degree and Michelle Bachman whose most frequent description is "batshit crazy".  Except that they both have a propensity for siding with the corporations and voting with the GOP.

As a woman, I fully support Emily's List's goal of electing more qualified women to office.  But is this women really qualified for support by a progressive organization?

By backing Hanabusa's challenge to incumbent progressive, Brian Schatz, Emily's List is shooting themselves in the foot.  The fight will exhaust the war chests of both candidates, leaving them vulnerable to Republican Linda Lingle to swoop in and take the seat.

This isn't the first time Emily's List has made a mistake.  As they did with Nikki Tinker and Blanche Lincoln they need to withdraw this endorsement. But they need to do it now before any more damage is done.

For a politically astute organization like Emily's List, this decision seems inexplicable.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Pat K California, Jeff in PA, claude, Ottoe, bink, Sylv, From the choir, RF, Odysseus, melo, Gooserock, MsSpentyouth, GayHillbilly, eeff, LeftHandedMan, WI Deadhead, RFK Lives, expatjourno, hubcap, Heart of the Rockies, madhaus, agoldnyc, bronte17, Zinman, TracieLynn, afox, ask, farmerhunt, roses, sngmama, Nate Roberts, Alna Dem, sidnora, psnyder, TexDem, Kentucky DeanDemocrat, Eyesbright, MGH, cosette, HeyMikey, mnguitar, NYFM, Calidrissp, RebeccaG, outragedinSF, zerelda, TexasLefty, nailbender, humphrey, Ckntfld, ichibon, LakeSuperior, chimene, democracy inaction, Militarytracy, grimjc, YucatanMan, EJP in Maine, Laurence Lewis, Gary Norton, bleeding blue, Sun Tzu, where4art, GreyHawk, Lindy, peacestpete, RainyDay, fhcec, accumbens, begone, esquimaux, redcedar, Naniboujou, kck, blueoasis, MJ via Chicago, gooderservice, CA Nana, downwithtyranny, fiddlingnero, blueoregon, kurt, bstotts, OHdog, Aaa T Tudeattack, NonnyO, tegrat, ammasdarling, pgm 01, bvljac, Old Gardener, hawaii2, Debs2, Positronicus, psychodrew, edsbrooklyn, wildweasels, Matt Z, deepeco, suejazz, OIL GUY, RudiB, roycej, JDWolverton, thankgodforairamerica, hkorens, seriously70, mconvente, HappyinNM, Involuntary Exile, skohayes, lineatus, monkeybrainpolitics, Lujane, RandomNonviolence, Gemina13, My Spin, BYw, clent, Rick Aucoin, ewmorr, JesseCW, petral, sfarkash, Little Flower, SheaG, Just Bob, amadon, flitedocnm, NJpeach, brunoboy, gramofsam1, piers, TealTerror, Eddie L, pixxer, OnlyWords, scarlet slipper, nirbama, Betty Pinson, Maverick80229, nosleep4u, fiercefilms, stevenaxelrod, Actbriniel, tgrshark13, Pakalolo, Onomastic, sabo33, Alice Olson, molunkusmol, Ricochet67, thomask, Wolf10, muddy boots, shaso, Grandma Susie, peregrine kate, cjo30080, Deathtongue, Vatexia, stlsophos, RLMiller, joanbrooker, thejoshuablog, quill, anodnhajo, Dave in AZ, congenitalefty, This old man, Canines and Crocodiles, doroma, Kayjay, Portlaw, Sue B, Blue Bell Bookworm, nomandates, Panacea Paola, kleinburger, Neapolitan, aresea, ORswede, JerryNA, howabout, blue91, Another Grizzle, Jim Domenico, hamjudo, Dad of a pack, eagleray, citylights, Capt Crunch

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site