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by Nicole Loschke and Kalamalama staff

 

Still, Akaka is enormously popular with Hawai‘i’s old guard Democrats, and the party still has a strong hold on Hawai‘i’s electorate and the party purse strings, as Case has pointed out. In fact, what he calls the bankrupt political culture of the nation and of Hawai‘i itself is one of the reason he has chosen to run against Akaka. “It’s time for change,” Case says, and urges voters to consider that he offers them real choices: “past vs. future; distance vs. engagement; marginal vs. mainstream representation; status quo vs. change,” he wrote in a letter to Kalamalama editor Kyle Galdeira.

Being willing to risk his seat in Congress to go up against a well-established incumbent is one of the things that make Ed Case appealing to the younger generation of voters. Case gained the support of some HPU students when he attended an event set up by the College of International Studies, a chance for students and faculty to hear from both Akaka and Case about where they stand on important issues. However, Case was the only politician to show up. Akaka didn’t make an appearance at the event, allowing Case to steal the show.

“ Ed takes risks, he is exciting, he stepped out of the norm and put down ‘authority’ so that he could do what he thought was right,” said HPU junior Leanna Overstreet.

Case’s experience includes serving eight years as a State Representative to Hawai‘i’s legislature, two of them as the House Majority Leader. He is currently serving his second term in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing the Second Congressional District which includes all of Hawai‘i except Honolulu.

Case bases his campaign on three basic beliefs: (1) Now is time to begin a transition in the U.S. Senate and build seniority so that Hawai‘i will not be without influence when its senior Senator, Daniel Inouye, 81, retires or otherwise ends his career. (2) Now is the time for Hawai‘i to have more effective representation from a moderate Democrat rather than one who has been named the Senate’s most liberal member. And (3) Now is the time to put behind us the bankrupt political culture that has split the country and the government and even the political parties, and begin building a new political culture based on moderation and consensus.

Where does Case stand on specific issues:

Education: Case supports lowering student loan interest rates and fully funding No Child Left Behind or changing it so that the state’s are not left on their own to pay for federally mandated programs.
Social issues: Case is pro-choice and pro stem cell research, and he supports the Akaka Bill.

Environmental issues: Case voted against the Bush administration’s flawed national energy policy. He is against drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge because of the effect it will have on the Gwich’in Indians.

Case opposes The Jones Act (Akaka supports it), which allows only American-made ships, run by American crews to be the only ships to serve between two U.S. ports such as Hawai‘i and Los Angeles. Case used this, at the Aug. 8 Hawai‘i Publishers Association forum, to contrast Akaka as part of the corrupt political culture that allows Alexander and Baldwin to run a monopoly that costs all of Hawai‘i money. In order to preserve those aspects of the law that have protected Hawai‘i labor, Case has urged an exemption for Hawai‘i, such as the one enjoyed by Guam and other U.S. territories.

Case supports the Patriot Act to find potential terrorists through court approval, but he does not support President Bush’s illegal eavesdropping without court approval.

Case does not support the War in Iraq, but neither does he support, despite the Bush administration’s failed strategy, setting arbitrary timelines for a U.S. pullout. The U.S. does not operate in a vacuum in Iraq or the Middle East.

“ Case is following his own drummer,” wrote Honolulu Advertiser’s editorial page editor, Jerry Burris. He is redefining what a Democrat is; he is high risk and interesting.”
 

 

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