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Senator Brian Schatz (D. HI) has been co-sponsoring great legislation lately.  First there's this:


U.S. Senator Brian Schatz has partnered with Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa to create legislation that would increase Social Security benefits by about $65 a month.

Schatz says their plan would also change the way the annual cost of living is adjusted to reflect the real costs seniors face. If approved, the Harkin-Schatz bill would also remove the current wage cap.

"Currently a person making $114,000 worth of income pays the same dollar amount in Social Security tax as someone who makes $3 or $4 million in income— and we just don't think that's fair. We think that's a problem in the tax code that has to be remedied," explained U.S. Senator Brian Schatz, outside the steps of the Federal Building Thursday afternoon.

Senator Schatz, who lives with his father-in-law, says he understands the struggle many local elderly are facing to get by on a fixed income. The average benefit is around $14,000 per year. He says his plan will ensure loved ones, now and in the future, will "be able to retire in dignity, not poverty". - Hawaii News TV, 8/9/13

And most recently he co-sponsored this:


U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz has announced he will co-sponsor the FISA Court Reform Act of 2013. This bill will reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review (collectively, the FISA courts), which reviews the Federal government’s surveillance requests.

The bill will create an independent Special Advocate tasked with protecting privacy rights of the citizenry, increase access for interested parties in the FISA Court of Review while respecting national security confidentiality, and require that the Attorney General increase disclosure of legal interpretations coming from FISA courts.

“The right to privacy is one of our country’s most valued democratic rights, and I am committed to making sure government does not encroach on that right,” Schatz said. “I opposed reauthorization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act because it failed to provide transparency, accountability, and reasonable limits on surveillance. With this bill, we will begin to make this process more transparent, and have the opportunity to reinvigorate trust and confidence in our country’s respect for privacy and civil liberties.” - Hawaii 24/7, 8/12/13

And another piece of legislation Schatz introduced is aging some traction in the U.S. Senate:


The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has heard testimony from the National Park Service on the Pacific Islands Parks Act, introduced by Senator Brian Schatz.

This legislation would direct the National Park Service to complete studies of three designated sites in the state of Hawaii.

Schatz is a member of the Senate Energy Committee and serves as the chair of the Water and Power Subcommittee.

Hawaii is currently the home of seven national parks, which were responsible for over $259 million in revenue for the state in 2011. The bill also includes provisions for studies on Midway Atoll, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Palau.

“The Pacific Island Parks Act is making good progress in the United States Senate. This bill would improve our local economy, preserve our parks, and increase tourism in Hawaii,” Schatz said. “Hawaii is home to some of the most incredible and unique sites, many of which have been designated as national parks. By passing this legislation, we would be opening the door to protecting additional sites, while also contributing to tourism and economic growth. I will continue to work with my colleagues, including Chairman Ron Wyden, to make this bill a reality.”

Schatz’s Pacific Islands Parks Act has been praised by the Trust for Public Land, Sierra Club of Hawaii, Nature Conservancy, and the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust. - Hawaii 24/7, 8/3/13

Before the August recess, Schatz was able to squeeze in some one-on-one time with the President on July 31st:


“Today’s meeting with President Obama focused on strengthening our middle-class by providing economic opportunity for working families across the country and simplifying the tax code for our businesses,” Schatz said. “I agree with President Obama that we need to grow our economy from the middle out and not the top down, and the only way to do this is to get rid of the sequester and negotiate a budget that will protect working families in Hawaii. It’s time that Congress stop playing political games with important issues like gun safety, social security, our deficit, and immigration reform, and start addressing these important issues. I will continue to work with President Obama and my colleagues in the Senate to find real solutions to the problems facing our country and Hawaii.” - Hawaii 24/7, 8/11/13
From Social Security to civil liberties to GMO labels to the environment, Schatz is proving to be not only a progressive champion but also the best Democrat in this race.  Schatz's primary challenger, Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa (D. HI-01) has not been getting some great press lately:


U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, D-Hi, a candidate for U.S. Senate in 2014, is the target of a Federal Elections Commission complaint filed by attorney Daniel Hempey on Tuesday.

Hempy, an attorney and managing partner at Hempey & Meyers LLP in Lihue, Kauai, has asked the FEC to investigate links between the Hanabusa campaign and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) lobby.

The complaint alleges improper coordination between her congressional office, her campaign and the PhRMA lobby on a political advertising campaign in violation of federal campaign spending law.

Hempey said the connection came to light two weeks ago in a Washington Post article
that documented communication between Hanabusa’s most senior aide, her chief of staff, and two members of her campaign staff detailing the fact that PhRMA intended to pull together an independent expenditure on behalf of Hanabusa.

Deputy Chief of Staff Christopher Raymond, who sent emails to Hanabusa’s advisers that reportedly laid out the plan and offered to put PhRMA executives in touch with Hanabusa's advisers, resigned Thursday after the complaint received national attention.

In a statement issued Thursday, Raymond said: "I have not violated any campaign finance laws, and it is unfortunate what a distraction this misunderstanding has become. Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa is the most qualified person to serve as Hawaii's next U.S. senator and I have been honored and privileged to work for her. This is a once-in-a-generation Senate race and, as such, the conversation should be focused on Colleen's proven track record and clearly demonstrated leadership. In an effort to bring the conversation back to what's important Colleen's vast experience and myriad accomplishments I am resigning my position as deputy chief of staff effective immediately. I wish her, the congressional staff, and the people of Hawaii the very best." - Hawaii Reporter, 8/8/13

Big business as well as deceased Senator Daniel Inouye's (D. HI) people are getting behind Hanabusa's campaign and for whatever reason, former Senator Daniel Akaka (D. HI) recently endorsed Hanbusa's campaign.  Schatz has been endorsed by major unions and environmental groups.  Schatz candidacy not only makes Hanabusa's people nervous but even right wing press like the Daily Caller are afraid of Schatz.  So afraid that the Daily Caller had to resort to this nonsense:


Well, dear Wonkers, it appears you have finally learned what the tip line is for, as you have sent along the Wonkettiest story that ever Wonketted, this Daily Caller masterpiece, “Hawaii senator Brian Schatz involved in simulated sheep rape rituals.” Click! Click click click click click click! Oh, now there is sheep sex in 51 open tabs!

Except, oh, it turns out you do not actually have to click, because “Hawaii senator Brian Schatz involved in simulated sheep rape rituals” is actually a frat hazing thingy from 1994, at Pomona College, and they would just tell the pledges, yo, fuck this sheep, but then the pledges would not fuck the sheep, and if the pledges were stupid enough to try to fuck the sheep, they would stop them and say, yo, do not actually fuck the sheep. - Wonkette, 8/9/13

Pathetic, right?  But what do you expect from right-wing media like the Daily Caller.  When you're desperate, you'll do anything to win.  Lets make sure Schatz wins a full term in the Senate by donating an getting involved with his 2014 campaign:
HONOLULU - OCTOBER 8: &nbsp;Brian Schatz, the Democratic Party Nominee for Hawaii State Lieutenant Governor, poses for a portrait after an interview with Honolulu CivilBeat reporter-host Chad Blair at Neil Abercrombie's campaign headquarters in Honolulu, Hawaii on October 8, 2010. (Photo by Kent Nishimura for CivilBeat)

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Originally posted to pdc on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 12:30 PM PDT.

Also republished by The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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