Skip to main content

Alaska Governor's Race

As mentioned earlier, Governor Frank Murkowski's approval ratings are hovering somewhere just above the bottom of the Bearing Strait, but below the average January temperature in Fairbanks. In fact, Alaskans hate him so much that it looks like he won't even make it out of the primary (strangely though, that didn't stop them from voting for the daughter he appointed to fill his Senate seat).

This gives us a golden opportunity to retake the Governor's mansion in Juneau, especially given that popular former Governor Tony Knowles has annouced that he will seek re-election.

From what I can figure out, Alaska is Republican based largely on economic grounds. I have a hard time believing that the state is a breeding ground for the Falwell/Dobson wing of the party. The main industries up there are oil/petroleum, various military bases, and tourism. Two of those three are core Republican demographic groups.

Hawaii US Senate Race: Case v. Akaka

This might be the starngest primary that I've seen in awhile. For those that have been following the Connecticut Senate primary (for comparison), its a much different animal.

In comparing it to Connecticut, the challenger US Rep. Ed Case, is running against Sen. Daniel Akaka, who is popular with his state's political insider establishment. Hawaii politics is run from the top down, and the mnost powerful player is supposedly Senator Daniel Inouye  Beyond that, the similarities end.

Case's reasoning for running against Akaka is something like this: Akaka is old, and might not make it through his next full term. With Laura Lingle being likely to win re-election, his replacement would be a Republican. In addition, since Hawaii's other Senator Daniel Inouye is also quite old, Hawaii's seniority in the Senate will soon plumment off a cliff. If Hawaii elects a relatively young Senator Case, then it will get a head start on renewal.

Ideologically, Case is actually to the right of Akaka, and unlike Ned Lamont, ideological differences aren't driving this race. Whichever way this ends up, it will be interesting to watch for sure.

Hawaii 2nd

Judging by the map of this district, it seems as if this is the "Paradise on Earth" district of America. Its all of Hawaii except for greater Honolulu, and is the more Democratic of the two districts (due in part to the fact that the US Navy megabase at Pearl is in the 1st). This seat is being vacated by Case as he runs for Senate, and it appears that everyone and their cousin is running for the seat.

After spending a decent chunk of the day looking through the field, I've come to the conclusion that the herd is largely bunch of mediocrities at best. The aforementioned Democratic establishment appears to be rallying behind former Lt. Governor (and 2002 Gov nominee) Mazie Hirono.

The one candidate who seems to have both promise and progressive buzz is State Rep. Brian Schatz. He's also the only candidate that has to give up his seat to run. In what appears to be a dysfunctional political culture, Schatz has made the argument for renewal and change within the Hawaii Democratic Party. He did so in an Honolulu Advertiser editorial, and its a pretty inspiring argument.

Originally posted to displacedyankeedemocrat on Tue Jun 13, 2006 at 07:56 PM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  HI 2 (0+ / 0-)

    Mazie Hirono has a reasonable progressive track record, including not jumping on the anti-gay marriage bandwagon back when the issue went through Hawaii in the 90s (as a matter of fact she may have opposed it...I'm not Hawaiian).

    Matt Matsunuga and Colleen Hayabusa seem alright as well.  And I have no idea about State Senator Clayton Hee, who apparently declared for the office recently if politics1 is any indication (did he figure in your overview?  Because this seems a very recent event).

    However, Brian Schatz does seem to be the most progressive of the group, but I think both he and Hirono would do a good job.

    "An army of principles can penetrate where an army of soldiers cannot." - Thomas Paine

    by Mister Gloom on Tue Jun 13, 2006 at 08:12:30 PM PDT

  •  Case pisses me off (0+ / 0-)

    For the same reason that Tom Suozzi and Kweisi Mfume piss me off: they're less than decent candidates who are launching costly primaries (in NY and MD, I wouldn't be a worried if their primaries weren't on SEPTEMBER 12TH!)

  •  Freak state politics hahaha (0+ / 0-)

    Great reference.  

    Hawaii's Dem party seems to be in need of some gate crashing (though at least the establishment is so far electorally successful).  How are Alaska's Dems?

    "I will make a bargain with the Republicans. If they will stop telling lies about Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them." -- Adlai Stevenson

    by Scientician on Tue Jun 13, 2006 at 08:44:45 PM PDT

  •  Akaka vs. Case (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    inside 4ll

    The pro-Akaka argument is "He has a pulse, and (except for his support of this nutty psuedo-separatist stuff) an excellent voting record." But is that enough? In thirty years in Washington (14 in the House & 16 in the Senate) he has accomplished ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! It is with good reason that he is called "the Invisible Senator." If not for the fact that C-Span2 viewers have heard zillions of roll calls beginning with "Mr. Akaka" no one would have ever heard of the guy.

    Case, unlike Akaka, at least has some potential. Given the choice between someone I agree with 95% of the time but doesn't accomplish anything and someone I agree with 80% of the time but is vigorous and aggressive I'll take the latter every time.

    •  you can have him then! (0+ / 0-)

      Case struck me as a weasel the one time I interacted with him.  Gave the most Joe Liebermanesque apology for the Iraq war I've seen.  

      It's a tough call though.  Same old, same old or blue dog war hawk.  

  •  HI and AK (0+ / 0-)

    This is an example of a macine that is worn out and needs, I hate to say, a few maor defeats to shake the cobwebs out.

    Alaska is a liberatairan state and i there is one state where a message of "keep the federal government out of our bedrooms, schoolrooms and hospital rooms", this is it.

    "We must all hang together or assuredly we will all hang separately." - Ben Franklin

    by RandyMI on Tue Jun 13, 2006 at 09:11:43 PM PDT

  •  Linda Lingle, not Laura (0+ / 0-)
  •  senator case (0+ / 0-)

    Case's reasoning for running against Akaka is something like this: Akaka is old, and might not make it through his next full term. With Laura Lingle being likely to win re-election, his replacement would be a Republican. In addition, since Hawaii's other Senator Daniel Inouye is also quite old, Hawaii's seniority in the Senate will soon plumment off a cliff. If Hawaii elects a relatively young Senator Case, then it will get a head start on renewal.

    Actually, Hawaii is one of those states that requires the governor to appoint a replacement from the same party as the incumbent whose term is being filled. Lingle would have to replace Akaka with a Democrat anyway. So Case's argument reduces to saying that Akaka should clear the way for a younger man to start accumulating seniority. Such blatant disrespect of one's elders isn't going to fly in a state like Hawaii. And jumping the political queue is guaranteed to burn a lot of bridges with the party establishment.

    My best guess is that Case isn't hoping to be the Democratic Senate nominee, he's hoping to be the appointed Democratic replacement if Inouye or Akaka die while Lingle is still in office. Which is actually probably the only way he'll get a Senate seat. He's by no means the most popular statewide Democrat, so he probably couldn't win the Democratic nomination in a free-for-all. And he can't just switch parties because Lingle already has a lock on the Republican nomination. So his best chance is to suck up to the Republican governor by appearing to be the least unpalatable Democrat for her to appoint.

Click here for the mobile view of the site