Support Chang in HI-01 – Don’t let Dems elect a Koch-friendly pro-nukes oil-funded anti-choice candidate

It’s definitely primary season here at La Maison, and as I’ve said many times, the election action on the Dem side is in the primaries. We don’t just have to defeat the Republicans. We have to defeat the Steve Israels of the world, as well as their Koched-up and corp-controlled candidates.

Thanks to all of you who are helping Nancy Skinner in MI-11 get her pre-election mailings out the door. If you haven’t done so already, you can donate here. Her election is Aug 5, precious few days away.

Support Stanley Chang in HI-01

Which brings me to the other House candidate I’d like you to support — Stanley Chang in Hawaii’s 1st congressional district. To go right to the support links, click one of these:

▪ ActBlue
▪ Stanley Chang campaign

To read why you should contribute, stay with us for a few more paragraphs — then please contribute.

The high-profile race in Hawaii is the Senate race, which pits true-progressive incumbent Senator Brian Schatz against “corrupt conservative New Dem” Colleen Hanabusa. (And yes, corrupt means what you think it means.) Hanabusa left her House seat in HI-01 to run against Schatz, which means there’s a race for the House in her old district. Here’s where it gets interesting — and ugly.

The HI-01 race on the Democratic side includes these three candidates:

Stanley Chang, House candidate in HI-01

Stanley Chang, House candidate in HI-01

Stanley Chang — The race’s only genuine progressive (see below)

Mark Takai — State senator who supports “imposing warrantless, suspicionless drug tests on anyone seeking public benefits” including veterans

Donna Kim — A “backward and reactionary” state senator opposed to marriage equality (yet endorsed by EMILY’s List)

It’s a deep blue district, so the Republicans don’t matter — unless you count the virtual Republicans running as Democrats.

The EMILY’s List–supported candidate is Donna Kim. The Democratic reaction against Kim was bad, however, and even many mainstream Hawaiian Dems couldn’t get behind her. RL Miller of the ClimateHawksVote SuperPAC says this (my emphasis):

[Donna Kim, a] right-wing, undeserving-of-the-label, Democrat-In-Name-Only is in a crowded Democratic primary. To prevent the DINO from being elected, progressives attempt to unify behind one of the several other candidates in the race. Political Science 101 suggests that they unify behind the most progressive alternative who represents the best chance of election.

In Hawaii’s deep blue and progressive First Congressional District, they’re about to do the opposite: unify behind [Mark Takai] a DINO-Lite instead of a viable progressive choice.

To get away from Kim, local newspapers have endorsed Mark Takai:

Hawaii newspapers have anointed Mark Takai as the other, more progressive front-runner in the August 9 primary. Mainstream groups such as the Sierra Club and Human Rights Campaign have endorsed him. But is he actually progressive or just a Kim-Lite?

The Hawaii Sierra Club endorsed Takai, but he accepted an oil industry-funded junket to Azerbaijan. Takai wants to cut Hawaii’s dependence on foreign fossil fuels by exploring nuclear power as a viable option.

The problem is that Takai is progressive only in his advertising:

Takai is way too cozy with Koch-affiliated groups. Hawaii has a Koch-affiliated think tank, the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, with a mission to “promote individual liberty, the free market and limited accountable government.” Takai calls its new president a dear friend and mentor.

Equality Hawaii endorsed Takai, but he voted no on civil unions twice, only reversing his position after deciding to run for Congress a few months ago.

He’s also made friends with the gun lobby and as we mentioned above, the nuclear industry. Howie Klein at DownWithTyranny adds all this up:

The progressive in the race is Stanley Chang and he’s being challenged by two conservatives, Mark Takai and Donna Kim. Back in May the Congressional Progressive Caucus endorsed Chang. Last week, Japanese-American congressman, Mark Takano, lied to his fellow caucus members and convinced them that his Japanese-American pal Takai is not really a conservative and railroaded them into making it a “dual endorsement.” They should have known better because Takano, one of the least effective and least trustworthy members of the CPC, also went to bat for corrupt conservative Pete Aguilar (a New Dem) on behalf of DCCC chairman Steve Israel (a Blue Dog who was behind both Aguilar and Takai).

Can you see what’s happening here? Because the mainstream Hawaii newspapers endorsed Takai, and the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) later “dual-endorsed” Takai and Chang — in effect, stupidly repudiating its earlier support for Chang — Takai has the upper hand. But not by much.

(By the way, the odd thing about Takano endorsing Takai, is that Takai is anti-gay, and Takano is gay. I’ll have more about Takano later; he’s not who you thought he was when the Grayson-Takano “No Cuts” letter was being circulated.)

Chang can win with your help

Here’s the polling on the race, taken by station KTIV after the recent televised debate (via email):

Stanley Chang — 48%
Mark Takai — 39%
Kathryn Xian — 5%
Donna Kim — 2%
Others & undecided — 5%

While not definitive, this shows that Chang and Takai are the top two candidates, and clearly in range of each other.

Here’s the money situation in the race, as of the June 30 quarter:

Kim — $201K
Takai — $199K
Chang — $145K

So, a winnable race — but Chang needs your support now. The primary is August 9, a Saturday very near you. Can you help? Here are those Contribute links again:

Stanley Chang campaign

I’ll let Stanley Chang have the next-to-last word:

Did I mention he’s strongly pro-climate? That’s why the Climate Hawks SuperPAC is strongly endorsing him.

Thanks for considering this. Again, the primary is August 9; not much time left to help.


Twitter: @Gaius_Publius
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Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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