OHA election reflections

So speaking of OHA and the elections...

E kala mai for not posting on the subject earlier. I know some folks have been wondering when I was going to reflect on the election.

I was of course disappointed that Bumpy Kanahele didn't get elected to OHA, but he did put on a respectable showing, with over 53,000 votes. OHA races have always been largely about name recognition, and it is hard to beat the power of incumbency. This year only one out of five incumbents lost his seat (Walter Heen, who I supported, defeated Dante Carpenter).

In the at-large race, with three seats in contention, all three incumbents were reelected, while two of the candidates I supported, Manu Boyd and Bumpy, came in at numbers 4 and 5.

By the way, in looking at the Maui results, Bumpy did come in #3 on Maui. If it were up to us, he would have been elected! (He also came in #3 on Kaua'i.) I also note that here in the Hana precinct, Bumpy came in first!

I give Bumpy (and all the other candidates) a lot of credit for running, and I hope he will do so again in two years.

While it obviously would have been desirable for me to see him to get elected, I also think his campaign helped raise some good awareness about the central issue in his platform: the need for a truly Hawaiian bank, owned and controlled by majority Native Hawaiian stockholders, and serving the needs of the Hawaiian community. OHA and other Hawaiian institutions have the ability to make this happen. Without Bumpy on the board to push for it, it is unlikely to happen, but I encourage everyone to continue to raise the issue and urge the OHA trustees to seriously consider it. It has been a long term project for us, and we'll keep building support for it until it happens.

Here's the release on federal loan data on Hawaii's banks that demonstrates the lack of service to Native Hawaiians and the need for a Hawaiian bank, and here's some background on the leverage power of a bank.

Here's Bumpy's message from his website:
Mahalo nui for your Support and Kokua

Words cannot describe the feeling of gratitude
that I have towards all of you who helped me
in my campaign for OHA 2006.

I do feel good about the outcome of our race, although it would have been a sweet victory had we won a seat. It has been a huge learning experience for me, but it does give me a better idea on the pulse of the community in Hawai`i regarding our campaign's platform. At least now we know that at least 53,312 people believe in our vision, Economic Unification.

These numbers not only bring credibility to our vision of a fair and impartial Political process, they also sparked economic interest in the formation of a Hawaiian-owned and controlled Bank. I have spoken to our OHA campaign representatives on ALL islands and we will continue to pursue these two initiatives, vigorously and immediately. Please stay tuned and watch our website for updates.

I also want to say congratulations to Judge Heen and to the trustees who were reelected. While I didn't support any incumbents because I thought a change at OHA would be healthy, I don't have anything personally against the trustees. I have expressed my disagreement with them particularly on their policy of single-mindedly pushing for the Akaka bill and spending massive resources doing so, but I also give them credit for good work in other areas. I'll continue to criticize when I think it is justified, but I also look forward to working with them on the practical and positive solutions that OHA can be a part of.

Posted: Tue - November 28, 2006 at 07:35 AM    
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Published On: Nov 29, 2006 06:25 AM
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