Last week, Blue America endorsed Sergio Alcubilla for the Honolulu-based congressional seat that is currently held by Blue Dog Ed Case. Since then, I have gotten a few requests from readers who want to know why Ed Case deserves to be defeated and why they should contribute to his opponent. OK, let me make the case-- and if you like it, please consider contributing to Sergio's campaign by clicking on the Blue America 2022 Primary A Blue Dog thermometer-- below.
Case is basically a Republican with a "D" next to his name, a classic DINO. It was truly tragic when he replaced one of the most enlightened progressive political leaders in Hawaiian history, Patsy Mink, who-- with Bernie-- founded the Congressional Progressive Caucus. When she fell ill and passed away in 2002, Case jumped into the race without ever letting the voters know he is basically against everything the revered Mink stood for. Had he done that, he would never have won.
In 2006, Case primaried Senator Daniel Akaka, another shining progressive. Case's smear tactics backfired and he lost (53-46%), largely due to the contrast between Akaka, who had voted against the war against Iraq and Case, who was a big booster of that and every other war. When Neil Abercrombie decided to resign from the other Hawai'i congressional seat, in 2009, Case jumped in against Republican Charles Djou and establishment Democrat Colleen Hanabusa, creating a hideous lesser of 3 evils election. Case's vicious campaign split the Democratic vote and he came in last, but threw the seat to Djou:
Two years later, he was back running for the Senate against another progressive, Mazie Hirono. She kicked his ass, 58-41%. He never wins in head-to-head races, just when there is a crowded ticket that splits the anti-Case vote. Hee's like a vulture, waiting for someone to retire or die so he can try for a Senate seat again. And if you like Joe Manchin or Kyrsten Sinema, you'll love Senator Ed Case as well. As you would probably guess, his voting record has earned an "F" grade from ProgressivePunch. People who vote like him usually represent swing districts. His district, though has a PVI of D+14. Trump only managed to get 34.5% of the vote.
In 2018, Hanabusa retired from Congress to run for governor. Case, with the most name recognition, jumped into the primary at the last minute and won with 40% of the vote. So what's he been doing in Congress since then?
He's been a Republican when it comes to Social Security, which he calls "unsustainable" and says the way to fix it would be to raise the retirement age. He has also suggested means testing, a long time Republican Party tactic to destroy cohesive support for the system.
He also has a long, ugly history of opposing bills to increase access to health care, going all the way back to opposing long-term healthcare when he was in the state legislature, which is weird considering that Hawaii has a huge senior population. Later, in Congress, he wasn't happy about Obamacare. In between, her voted against the Democrats' prescription drug plan, similar to the one he's opposing now as part of the Build Back Better Act. Instead, he voted for GOP schemes like medical savings accounts that would undermine Medicare. He has also insisted that workers should pay more for their health insurance. See him here-- third from the left? Those are the 9 undermining Biden's Build Back Better Act.
Update: What I Forgot To Say
Let's keep in mind that Ed Case is an elite out of touch dilettante, an entitled and overly privileged rich guy who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and doesn’t give a shit about real people. He cashed out in his real life job working as a hotel exec for a non-union hotel chain (Outrigger), and now is working to deprive working people of health care and the ability to retire comfortably.