Running in place for governor
BY LAST COUNT, every Democrat politician in Hawaii has filed to run for the U.S. House seat being vacated by Ed Case but none have filed to run for governor. How weird is that?
What's even more weird is that since I announced I would run for governor on the Democratic ticket, I haven't received one phone call from the Democratic power structure. I sit by my phone all day long, waiting for a call from Democratic Party head Brickwood Galuteria. But all I get are calls from people in India offering to refinance my house and a daily call from some senior citizen trying to make a dental appointment.
I knew that since I'm not actually a Democrat, I wouldn't be the first choice of the Democratic Party to run for governor. But there's nobody left. I was going to lay out very involved progressive program for my campaign but instead I plan to run on the "Hey, I'm Here!" platform.
AND I am here. Unlike everyone else who is grabbing for the brass ring of Ed Case's House seat. I believe there are now 5,436 Democrats running for that seat. Due to the peculiar nature of primary elections, the candidate who will advance to the general election needs to get only three votes.
That candidate likely now will be Matt Matsunaga, who announced his candidacy this week in Hilo before a crowd of four farmers, a confused tourist and a goat. Matsunaga says he plans to run a "truly, truly, truly (several minutes later) truly, truly, truly grass roots campaign" and to prove it held up some grass roots that later were fed to the goat.
Matsunaga, son of the legendary former U.S. Sen. Spark Matsunaga, should have no trouble beating the other several thousand Democrats in the House primary considering he got 99,000 votes when he ran for lieutenant governor. That was more votes than anyone has ever gotten in the history of Hawaii, even going back to the days when dead people could vote. In contrast, his opponents have managed to get only 47 votes combined in every race they've ever been in. So, Matt's looking pretty good there.
If I succeed in becoming the Democratic candidate for governor (Brick, I'm waiting ...) I plan to latch on to Matsunaga's coattails and cut a few thousand votes out of his herd. I'm having a little trouble raising money for my campaign. I planned to distribute a bunch of "Hey, I'm Here!" T-shirts but so far can only afford the word "Hey," which, by itself, is a tad confusing.
, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists' 2004 First Place Award winner for humor writing, appears Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org