Always Running For A Higher Office

State Sen. Clarence Nishihara received an ethnic slur from a GMO protester Photo courtesy Sen. Nishihara

So, why do all those incumbent politicians yearn so mightily for higher office instead of being satisfied with the one they have?

It troubles me and surely will influence my 2014 votes. How about you?

They all claim to have a “calling” for public service, but their main calling seems to be climbing the political ladder.

Tulsi Gabbard barely got her feet on the ground in the City Council when she ran for Congress. She was no sooner there when she put in her name for a Senate appointment.

Colleen Hanabusa just got into Congress, but seems to want to be a senator or maybe a governor.

Mufi Hannemann quit his mayoral job mid-term to run for governor. Didn’t make that, or Congress in 2012. Will he be back next year?

I’d love to see someone I elect sit still, learn the job and do it well, instead of plotting from day one how to move up to the next rung.

Then there are the ethnic critics I’ve let slip by.

I should have taken state Rep. Faye Hanohano to the woodshed for saying any public artworks “by haoles, Japs, paranges, pakes, you can just take away right now.”

But North Korea came up and I let Hanohano’s thoughtless statement go by.

I won’t let environmental activist Jessica Mitchell’s offensive phone call to a lawmaker go by, albeit two weeks late. You’re hereby nailed, Jessica!

She’s mad at state Sen.

Clarence Nishihara over that food/GMO matter. So she left a voice message at his office that said, “Mr. Nishihara, go back to Japan and mess up their aina.”

Go back to Japan? Nishihara was born and raised in Makawao, Maui, and did his undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Hawaii.

That “go back to Japan” or “go back to the Mainland” stuff is so offensive that it almost constitutes a hate crime.

Especially the “back to Japan” kind in light of what we went through after the Pearl Harbor attack when we packed innocents off to incarceration camps.

Mitchell hasn’t just damaged the environmental movement, she’s made herself a pariah.

Legitimate criticism of government policy is a good thing. Saying that citizen Clarence Nishihara is somebody from Japan and represents Japan’s interests goes so far beyond the pale that I’d be speechless – except that I never am.

Early this year I drafted a column suggesting we finance a tent city for the homeless at Sand Island policed and with outreach workers.

Sand Island is under-used as a park anyway.

Then I figured you don’t care that much about accommodating the won’t-go-to-shelters homeless, so I trashed the column.

Now City Councilman Stanley Chang has proposed my proposal!

But few of you seem very receptive, and the cost would be north of $70 million, so maybe it’s just as well that column never saw print.