The really good news today is how well our all-mail-in Primary Election went yesterday.

If you’ve read any of the stories about the wholesale screw up New York had with its mail-in experiment, you’ll realize we owe our state elections people a few words of gratitude for a job very well done. New York had some ballots being mailed out to people just three days before the deadline to have them back in. Checking postmarks and signatures there turned into a holy mess. The lawsuits are coming. That state’s election office screwed up and so did the U.S. Postal Service.

We aren’t often one of the most government-efficient states, so this performance by our gang should give us an unusual feeling of total satisfaction.

The Bad is that with mayoral front runners Blangiardi and Amemiya only drawing a total of about 45% of the votes cast, that means that 55% of the voters wanted somebody else. But they can’t have somebody else. They have those two or nobody. 55% “somebody else” is a figure not to be ignored. It says a pox you Rick and you Keith. But one will be the next mayor of Honolulu and neither one has an ounce of elective experience. Keep in mind how the Eileen Anderson one-term mayoral experiment worked. And she had been the city budget director and knew how our finances work. The current two know TV station budgets and insurance rates. Yes, they will hire department heads but they won’t really know if those people are doing things right or wrong.

Now about The Ugly — money. We go through this every election. Money buys TV spots and newspaper ads and those influence many voters who really haven’t paid any attention to a candidate’s plans. They vote based on looks, race, warm feelings and name recognition.

Most have not given money. Most of the greenbacks come from principles in firms that will be doing business with the city. And then more of the money comes from candidates wealthy enough that they can loan their campaigns any amount of money they can spare. So even if we could ban contributions, all we’d get would be those rich enough to finance a campaign themselves. We can’t keep candidates from spending their money on themselves. This year, Blangiardi and Amemiya were the top spenders (and top loan-to-themselves candidates) and got the top number of votes.

But still only 45% between them!

—30—

Published by Bob Jones

Journalist since age 19. St. Petersburg Times, Noticias y Viajes in Madrid, Overseas Weekly in Frankfurt and Paris, the Louisville Courier- Journal, the Honolulu Advertiser, KGMB-TV, NBC News foreign correspondent in Africa and Southeast Asia, and MidWeek columnist. LL.B LaSalle University Law. 3 years in the U.S. Air Force. Covered: Vietnam War, Iraq #1 in 1991. George Foster Peabody Award for distinguished journalism for reporting in China. Married to Denby Fawcett, one daughter. Brett Jones.

5 replies on “The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly”

  1. I hadn’t thought much about this, but Rick B is 73 years old. He does not appear that age and seems pretty sharp. If he were to be elected, and then seek a second term (as most incumbents do), he would be 77 at the time of the 2024 election, and assuming re-election, 81 in 2028. Probably irrelevant, but . . .
    Amemiya looks like he’s in his 30s, but he’s actually in his 50s, with a pretty rich pedigree. Should be an interesting few weeks – 86 days until November 3. (I’m counting down, because I’d like to think we can then bid a “thanks for nothing” farewell to the current occupant of the White House.)

  2. I’m not convinced it’s a good thing that more stupid and lazy people who couldn’t be bothered to vote before are now participating.

  3. Bob, you know democracy is a messy business. So why the lament?? Here’s what concerns me more. 1. What was the actual vote count? 45%, 55% of how many eligible voters? That’s the bigger concern. From a couple of decades of election studies, i’ve discovered the average turnout of eligible voters (except in Presidential or highly contested races) is around 35%. If that tracks this year, the run-off will represent less than 20% of the electorate. And that is sad, pathetic, and dangerous. The money.. well, it introduced 2 relatively unknowns to the public and they attracted more voters than the rest of the field of “usual suspects”. I’d suggest money didn’t buy this year’s results. The losers are all well known.. Mufi, Colleen.. those who did vote wanted someone new.

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