Akaka is endorsed by national arms control group
U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka picked up another endorsement for his re-election yesterday, while U.S. Rep. Ed Case hasn't yet received public backing from any group.
A national arms control group, the Council for a Livable World, recommended Akaka over Case because of his stand against the war in Iraq.
Akaka, however, received adverse attention from a national conservative magazine, the National Review, which is publishing an editorial this week calling his bill to recognize Native Hawaiians a race-based effort that would divide the nation.
Akaka was one of 23 senators to vote against the use of military force in October 2002. Case wasn't a member of Congress at the time, but he said he would have likely voted for the use of military force based on the belief that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
"The two candidates have vastly different records on the Iraq war, as well as several other issues where Case stood with the Bush administration while Akaka strongly opposed Bush," according to a statement from the council.
Nine groups have endorsed Akaka, including the Hawaii State Teachers Association, the Hawaii Government Employees Association, United Public Workers, and the State Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations.
Akaka has served in Congress since 1976 and is favored by Hawaii's old-line Democratic Party establishment, including fellow Democratic U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye.
Case, however, said formal endorsements won't determine who will win the Sept. 23 primary election.
"I find it a lot more productive to focus my efforts on the voters of Hawaii and letting them know my view of things," Case said in a telephone interview yesterday.
He has applied for endorsements from the Sierra Club and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and he said the Council for a Livable World had recommended him in previous races.
"Given both the number of endorsements Sen. Akaka has received, and the diversity of the constituencies, it shows he is working hard on behalf of the people of Hawaii," said Elisa Yadao, Akaka's campaign spokeswoman.
Separately, the National Review blasts Akaka's efforts to pass a law that would give Native Hawaiians a degree of self-government.
"The greatest victim of the Akaka bill would not be nonnative Hawaiians or those opposed to all race-based programs. It would be the core assumption that every American belongs to a single, indivisible society," the editorial says.
The conservative magazine urges Republican senators to vote against what it calls a race-based bill that would pave the way for a Hawaiian government to secede from the nation.
Akaka aide Jon Yoshimura said he's confident Congress finally will approve the bill.
"The National Review ... regurgitates assumptions, mistruths, biased surveys and conspiracy theories concocted by opponents in an effort to prey on the fears of the uninformed," Yoshimura said.
A vote on the bill could reach the Senate floor as soon as next week.