One important way to advance the progressive cause is to ensure that candidates who share our progressive values win Democratic primary elections, especially in districts where the Democratic nominee is likely to win the general election. One great opportunity to do so is taking place in Hawaii right now, where House Progressive Caucus member Mazie Hirono is running for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate seat that is opening up due to the retirement of current U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka. The other announced candidate in the Democratic primary is Ed Case, a former Democratic Congressperson in the DLC mold. Let’s help get another progressive into the U.S. Senate by helping Rep. Hirono win the Senate primary and general elections in Hawaii.
Rep. Hirono was born in Fukushima, Japan and came to Hawaii at the age of five when her mother escaped an abusive marriage. After attending the University of Hawaii and Georgetown University Law School, she served as a state representative from 1980 to 1994, and then as Lieutenant Governor from 1994 to 2002. In 2006, Rep. Hirono was elected to Congress, where, according to the website Progressive Punch, she has the fourth most progressive voting record of any current representative. Rep. Hirono supports single payer health insurance, the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, opposed the Iraq War from the very beginning, and has been a vocal advocate for “Pre-K” legislation that would provide federal financing and support for improving and expanding early childhood education.
By contrast, the other declared Democratic candidate, Ed Case, is far from a progressive. He supported the Iraq War when campaigning for Congress in 2002, voted for the horrendous 2004 bankruptcy reform bill, supported abolishing the estate tax, and was the only Democrat to vote for a 2005 GOP proposal to eliminate federal funding for NPR, PBS, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Title X family planning programs. Mr. Case’s Senate campaign website includes numerous bad conservative ideas, including a criticizing “harmful” levels of taxation, regulation, and spending; supporting a balanced budget amendment; adding tort reform to the health care reform law; and the type of “reaching across the aisle” language that too often means failing to stand up for progressive values.
Early polling shows Hirono beating the likely Republican nominee handily, but the primary campaign to be a close one, with the results likely to turn on whether this is a head-to-head matchup between Hirono and Case (which Hirono would likely win), or whether the progressive vote is split by other candidates entering the race. So, now is the time to help make sure Hawaii’s next U.S. Senator is a true progressive. Show your support for Mazie Hirono by:
* Liking her Facebook Page
* Contributing to Hirono’s campaign
* Signing up to support her campaign
* If you live in Hawaii, writing a letter to your local newspaper in support of Rep. Hirono’s Senate bid