Primary Voting Guide

Here comes Primary Election Saturday!

I don’t endorse candidates. But I can share some of the things that guide me. It has nothing to do with party preference. I like the open primary because nobody at the polling station or at the City Clerk’s office knows which party’s ballot I chose.

Here’s who gets my votes, or doesn’t:

* A candidate I think can do us the most good, regardless of whether that candidate has or does not have the blessing of other political figures or unions.

* A candidate who keeps his religion or divine guidance wishes in the church and in the home. I don’t care a whit what his or her religion is, or if he/she has one or not.

* I don’t care if a candidate has been against same-gender marriage, but since that’s now the law in Hawaii, I expect all to honor the law.

* I’m wary of a candidate’s source of campaign money. Yes, it takes money to get your message out, and I don’t begrudge that. But too much out-of-state money or eye-popping amounts by one PAC or by bundling turns me off. Harry Kim (D) won the Big Island mayor’s race by only taking $10 donations and Bernard Akana (R) won that same race with almost no donations. So if voters truly like you, it’s doable without millions. I do consider that.

* In the primary, we’re restricted to one-party voting. In the general, it’s open season and I have no problem crossing party lines to vote for the best person. A two-party mix in the Legislature is a good thing.

* Don’t tell me how you were raised poor. You’re not poor now. Tell me how you’ll make all of our lives better.

* I’m going to pay more attention this year to who’s a veteran running for Congress because we only have 90 vets in our Senate and House out of 535 voting members. Easy to vote yes for war but no for benefit funding. I won’t vote for somebody just because he or she is a veteran. But all else being equal, I will vote for a veteran.

* Most office-seekers emphasize jobs and growth and never address the harmful effects of unrestricted growth. Would you be willing to accept a diminished lifestyle with fewer luxuries, or do you prefer the chase for the dollar? Will your officer-seeker discuss that? Or is it simply “I’m for jobs and growth”?

* Where does a candidate stand on dues for public and/or quasi-public employees? What if you prefer to negotiate for yourself or object to a union’s political motives?

* I’d likely not vote for anybody who says he/she is an immigrant rather than a local and therefore better understands Hawaii’s immigrant population.

* Finally, I’ll vote for candidates who stand firmly against developer exemptions to the General Plan, sustainable communities and Special Districts.