Honolulu Lite


The weird and wacky
crash political parties

In this strange political season, some fringe candidates are singing their version of an old Lesley Gore tune, "It's my party and I'll vie if I want to, vie if I want to ... you would vie too if it happened to you!"

What's happening is that established political parties are playing "spot the loony" among people who want to run for office under their banners. When they spot an interloper who scores too high on the "Froot Loops scale" -- a little known internal campaign tool for measuring the relative looniness of a candidate -- the party boots the wacky, would-be politician out of the tent. Or at least tries to.

In a highly entertaining recent article, the Star-Bulletin's Treena Shapiro mapped out the political battle lines being drawn on the far reaches of the political landscape. Treena tells us that's where you find candidates such as Daniel Cunningham, a former chiropractor who claims he's the biblical figure Daniel of Revelations, running for governor under his own Free Energy party.

Well, it's his party and he'll vie if he wants to, but some candidates simply weasel their way into other people's parties. You know the type. They show up at your door empty-handed and uninvited, scarf down all the expensive pupus and free beer and then sneak off in someone else's good zoris.

The weird thing is that the parties that are shunning the loonies (we use the term "loony" in its most sensitive, positive and least legally actionable sense) are the parties that in the past were recognized by their own looniness.

The Libertarian and Green parties historically have been havens to those with unconventional beliefs. But the Libertarians, who espouse personal freedom and responsibility, gave the above-mentioned Daniel a very non-ecclesiastical fling out of the party. The Greens, who are pro-pot, snuffed out convicted marijuana grower Jonathan Adler's try for governor under their flag because he's just a little too pro-pot for their tastes.

The head of the Green Party says "flaky people" aren't welcome as candidates. That would shock many Republicans and Democrats who consider the Green Party a huge bowl of flakes with a few nuts thrown in for good measure.

The Natural Law Party seems to be the designated refuge for rejected flakes, a sort of political homeless shelter. Residing there now as candidates for governor are Adler and Kaui Hill, the sometimes comedian known as Bu La'ia.

Like most everyone in the world, Bu has no idea what the Natural Law Party stands for. Bu was entertaining when his looniness was staged, but now that it seems to be the real deal, the Natural Law Party isn't laughing about being stuck with the wild-haired politico. That, no doubt, suits the prankish Bu just fine. As frustrated Democrats and Republicans will attest, political parties inevitably seem get the candidates they deserve.

Charles Memminger, winner of National Society of Newspaper Columnists awards, appears Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. E-mail

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