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Poor conserva-dem Colleen Hanabusa.  She had a nice, safe House seat.  Not much competition.  And her little peccadilloes involving her financial dealings were kept under wraps.  No one examined her voting record and associations too closely.

That all changed when she decided to challenge the popular and progressive, Sen. Brian Schatz.

Her first problem was that she based her campaign on the meme, "Sen Inouye said I could have his seat so I deserve it."

Not persuasive in convincing voters to abandon a senator like Brian Schatz who has been doing an excellent job.

So what happens? A University of Hawai'i professor writes an article  casting doubt on the authenticity of Sen. Inouye's alleged deathbed letter asking for her to succeed him.

We knew there was something fishy about the private letter being instantly leaked but not until Prof. Manfred Henningsen wrote his article did it occur to voters that the letter might have been faked.

According to Civil Beat, Inouye chief of staff, Jennifer Sabas admitted that she wrote the letter from notes and that it was robo-signed.

Bad enough.  But now it has emerged that her staff may have crossed the line in campaign co-ordination with the Big Pharma PAC, PhRMA.  Ironically Hanabusa is a member of the New Democrat Coalition which Pro Publica has called, "The Coalition Pharma and Wall Street Love". They got that right!

According to the Washington Post, email was sent from Hanabusa deputy chief of staff. Christopher Raymond, to ...guess who? Jennifer Sabas among others including Hanabusa's chief of staff.

The message described a practice that is often suspected but rarely revealed: interest groups coordinating their putatively independent efforts with the candidates they are backing.

“As I’m sure you have heard, PhRMA has committed to pulling together an independent expenditure on CH’s behalf,” Raymond wrote. “Nick Shipley (Government Relations VP) and Bob Phillipone (Senior VP) are the leads on this and would like to be put in touch with folks on the campaign. After having talked with Nick about this a little more, and based on our discussion, I came to the conclusion that is it the three of you the he would like to be in touch with. I am going to give him your email address so he can be in touch. I didn’t feel comfortable giving out your phone numbers.

“Should you be contacted by Nick or Bob please know they are good democrats,” he concluded.

Here is why voters are steamed about Hanabusa's funding by Big Pharma.

If you go to Walmart, you can get three month's supply of your medicine for an inexpensive price of $10.  Why? Because Walmart uses the buying power of their hundreds of stores to negotiate rock bottom wholesale prices with the drug companies.

So you'd think the U.S. government could get even better prices, since their Medicare and Medicaid programs are even bigger.

Not so.  Big Pharma lobbyists have donated to congresspeople like Hanabusa.  In return,Hanabusa and others not only vote against rebates on Medicare purchases, they've put into law that the U.S. government is prohibited from negotiating for better prices!

The Washington Posts goes on to contrast Hanabusa's pro-corporate voting with Sen Schatz's pro-taxpayer position:

Hanabusa shares PhRMA’s opposition to proposals that would require drug companies to provide rebates for medications that low-income beneficiaries obtain through Medicare.

Schatz, the incumbent senator whom Hanabusa is challenging, takes the opposite view. In April, Schatz co-sponsored legislation by Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.) to require such rebates.

“Senator Schatz stands by his position because it’s the right thing to do for Hawaii, and how that may influence outside groups is simply not a consideration for the senator,” Schroers said.

"how that may influence outside groups is simply not a consideration for the senator"

Oh snap!

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Comment Preferences

  •  And Hanabusa voted against Amash/Conyers'... (8+ / 0-)

    amendment on FISA. Of course, she's swimming in defense contractor donations too.

    What's the logic behind her candidacy again?

    2014: Spy Harder?
  •  Is there any polling out yet on this race? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ER Doc, Bob Love

    This sounds like the kind of thing that can sink a campaign.

    •  Some internals a few weeks ago (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Adam B, ER Doc, Bob Love, pademocrat, Vatexia
      In the EMILY’s List survey, which was taken by the Democratic firm Clarity Campaigns, Hanabusa was 11 points ahead of Schatz and drawing 46 percent of the vote — making her a clear favorite, at least at this opening stage of the cycle.
      But Schatz pollster Mark Mellman said the appointed senator’s campaign has just come out of the field with a survey of its own showing the race effectively tied at 37 percent. After rounding, Schatz is up by 1 point.

      Hanabusa is the better-known candidate, but among voters who know both Democrats, Schatz leads 47 percent to 34 percent, Mellman said.

      http://www.politico.com/...

      “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

      by Catte Nappe on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 03:32:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Like the Gabbard vs Hannemann Trajectory (6+ / 0-)

        Corrupt Mufi Hannemann was up something like 41% ahead of Tulsi Gabbard at this time in their race.

        Once people started paying attention to Mufi's bad actions and Tulsi's good positions things switched and Tulsi won by 20%

        One reason I'm writing this series of articles is so that people can get to know both candidates, their voting records and their positions.

        There is a LOT of negative push-back against the Emily's List endorsement of Hanabusa (Schatz is ineligible for their endorsement because they endorse only women)

         People remember when Hanabusa as president of the almost all Democratic State Senate refused to call a special session to over-turn Republican Linda Lingle's veto of emergency contraception bill.

        So far we've had two polls.  The Emily's List poll showing Hanabusa ahead and two others showing Schatz and Hanabusa in a statistical tie (Schatz ahead within the margin of error)

        But the Civil Beat poll showed that 75% of the electorate had no clue about either candidate.  The 25% who DID know the candidates' positions were heavily in favor of Schatz.

        This tells progressives that we need to get the word out on both candidates votes and affiliations in order to keep our progressive Senator Schatz in the Senate.

  •  Hanabusa as a conserva-Dem? (0+ / 0-)

    Ha. Someone's playing fast and loose with the facts and campaigning for her preferred candidate under the guise of reporting news.

    Unapologetic Obama supporter.

    by Red Sox on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 03:34:49 PM PDT

    •  Certainly more conservative ... (7+ / 0-)

      ... than Senator Schatz, or her district.  The union endorsements in this race confirm that. She also helped kill civil unions in Hawaii in 2009.

    •  Hanabusa is a member of the New Dem Coalition (7+ / 0-)

      Here are some links showing that the New Democrat Coalition is a conserva-dem organization dedicated to funneling lobbyist money into its members pockets in return for corporation-friendly votes.

      How Some Democrats Sold Their Souls to the 1 Percent
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

      The New Democrats: The Coalition Pharma and Wall Street Love
      http://www.propublica.org/...

      Better Blue Dog than New Democrat?
      http://www.publicintegrity.org/...

      Decoding the New Democrat Coalition
      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      Why Wall Street's generous to New Democrats in House
      http://www.mcclatchydc.com/...

      And Hanabusa herself has had these votes:

      YES on CISPA
      YES on FISA reauthorization
      NO on Amash-Conyer's amendment to rein in NSA spying
      NO on making Pharma rebate medicine costs for Medicare

      And finally, Hanabusa herself has clearly stated that "I am not as liberal as Patsy Mink"

      •  Read the ProPublica article (above) (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bob Love, Justina, LeftHandedMan, ER Doc

        They nail the New Dems with responsibility for sabotaging Dodd-Frank finance reform at the behest of the Wall Street Banks.

      •  The McClatchy article (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LeftHandedMan, ER Doc

        talks about how the New Dems acted as minions of Wall Street trying to weaken financial regulations:

        "The New Dems have been saying that they are working on behalf of the end-users at the same time that Wall Street has been stuffing their back pockets with cash," alleged Adam White, the director of research for White Knight Research and Trading in Atlanta, an independent research firm.

        "This is what Wall Street money is all about," said Craig Holman, a legislative representative for Public Citizen, a consumer group. "The New Democrat Coalition is a powerful group, and Wall Street believes this is a way of influencing legislation."

      •  And with that... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ER Doc, Karen from Maui, IllanoyGal

        Thanks a bunch Karen. Seriously. The information you have been providing has been invaluable.

        Hanabusa has been benefiting wildly from non-Hawaiians assuming they know who Hanabusa is. Based almost entirely on the noxious Ed Case making the meh choice seem like a solid one a few years back. That was then, this is now. I've been involved in Democratic politics for over 20 years now, and the gulf between Hanabusa's reputation and how she votes on some pretty important non-Conservative policy priorities, is pretty stark.

        We are not talking about a choice between Ed Case and Hanabusa, we are talking about a choice where there is a real choice with real consequences for Social Security, Medicare, and environmental laws and regulation.

        You don't replace a superior Senator with a more regressive one simply because of ignorance, bamboozlement, and New Dem PR.

        I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

        by LeftHandedMan on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 08:04:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Considering that a Hanabusa hack(s) (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Karen from Maui, IllanoyGal

          signed up for accounts here to troll you, and this race, and were so hamfisted about it they/he vanished, I hope you never stop posting these diaries.

          The only way way this race goes against the incumbent is if people are bamboozled about what the choice is really between.

          I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

          by LeftHandedMan on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 08:07:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Many thanks [blush] (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LeftHandedMan
            •  Well, let's be real here (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Karen from Maui, IllanoyGal, Vatexia, melo

              somebody comes into your diary and accuses you of, essentially, being a hack out of sheer ignorance and cluelessness and your answer is to rebut it cleanly with a ton of information instead of brawling by punching down at ignorance in anger.

              That's not always easy to do.

              I noticed that you handled those two "visitors for Hanabusa" the same way. Props to you.

              I'm embarrassed to admit it, frankly, but I was one of those people who got conned by folks who have no idea what they are talking about talking up Hanabusa in the past. I sent her a modest amount of money during the Ed Case v. Hanabusa contest a few years back, and, while I think she is better than Ed Case, she was not sold as merely the lesser of two bad choices, but as a solid progressive. That simply isn't true. She's a corporatist New Dem who has a PR smokescreen that she isn't.

              The truth is, she's not who a lot of people think she is because people who have no idea what they are talking about decide to put in their two cents of pure nonsense.

              It's important that you are doing such hard work clearing that up.

              Can you imagine what would happen around here on that race if you weren't posting these things and the "let me tell you about Colleen Hanabusa, even though I have no idea what I am talking about" voices were the only sources of information? Seriously.  

              That's why I say thank you, and rec your diaries.

              The Democratic Party should be dominating American politics by making a robust counter-argument to Movement Conservatism. The sitting Senator does that, Hanabusa would not.

              I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

              by LeftHandedMan on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 09:20:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Ed Case (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LeftHandedMan, IllanoyGal

          When some environmental/progressive groups endorsed Colleen Hanabusa against Ed Case they extracted a promise from Hanabusa that she would not join the Blue Dogs.

          Little did they know that the New Dems (altho not as rabid on social issues) are Blue Dogs V 2.0

          I think Hanabusa may have been counting on these groups to endorse her.  So far all have endorsed Brian Schatz instead.

          There are still a few biggies out there but I think once bitten, twice shy.

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