Blue Dog chairman Ed Case, cousin of reactionary plutocrat and AOL founder Steve Case-- shouldn't be in elected office in Hawaii. He's far to the right of the voting base there. No one even understands why he's a Democrat instead of a Republican-- other than the fact that Republicans don't win in Hawaii. From 2002 until 2007, when he gave up his seat to run an unsuccessful, anti-progressive Senate primary against Daniel Akaka, Case, he was the right-wing congressman for HI-02, the non-Honolulu part of the state. It was what the Jews called a shonda since Patsy Mink, Hawaii's most progressive politician, had died and she was replaced by Hawaii's most conservative politician. While in Congress he voted with the Republicans more often than almost any other Democrat.
When he ran for the first district seat in a 2010 special election to replace Neil Abercrombie, a progressive, he came in 3rd (28% of the vote) after Republican Charles Djou (39%) and another conservative shitbag, EMILY's List candidate Colleen Hanabusa (31%). Then he ran for the Senate two years later-- against progressive Mazie Hirono, who beat him 58-41%. And that brings us to 2018 when a crowded primary field allowed him to slip into office again. Now he's one of the No Labels scumbags-- "the Unbreakable Nine"-- trying to derail the Biden domestic agenda on behalf of his wealthy campaign donors.
This afternoon, Daniel Marans penned an article for HuffPo about the pressure Case is getting back home-- spearheaded by two of the most effective Hawaii progressive campaigners I know, former legislator Kaniela Ing and Sunrise Movement activist Evan Weber. The two co-founded a group, Our Hawaii Action, bankrolled by the Green New Deal Network. spending $130,000 on radio spots, direct mail items and placards for activists who picket Case or engage in other demonstrations. In contrast with television, the use of radio and mail enables the group to narrowly target Case’s constituents.
Our Hawaii Action’s work is part of a wave of progressive advocacy that is unique both because it was missing in the early years of the Obama administration, and because it speaks to an unlikely alliance between the White House and groups that supported Biden’s rivals during the 2020 presidential primary.
“Ed Case isn’t just threatening to tank Joe Biden’s presidency, he is impeding opportunity for all of Hawaii’s working families,” said Kaniela Ing, climate justice campaign director for the progressive group People’s Action and a co-founder of Our Hawaii Action.
Ing said he is motivated by fear of the effects of catastrophic climate change, which the reconciliation package is expected to address with far more ambitious measures than a bipartisan infrastructure bill that the Senate passed in August and that awaits approval in the House.
“The science says this could be our only chance to avoid climate catastrophe, and the heck if I’m letting my two kids live in a world riddled with even more floods, fires, war and instability,” Ing said.
...Although some conservative Democrats in the Senate such as West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin cannot be replaced by more progressive candidates, the resistance to Biden’s agenda in the House largely comes from conservative Democrats in safe seats who are major recipients of corporate donations.
Case, one of nine conservative Democrats who threatened to withhold support for Biden’s budget in August, is no exception. Biden defeated Trump in Hawaii’s 1st by nearly 30 percentage points.
Case has spent his miserable political career primarying progressives. It would be ironic and just for a progressive primary opponent to drive him out of politics permanently. Let's hope it's Ing.