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Saturday, May 07, 2022

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Saturday, May 7, 2022

Congressman Kai Kahele, who has deep roots in Miloli'i, announced Saturday, he will run for governor.
He launched the campaign at the Boys & Girls Club in Hilo. Photo from Team Kahele
 CONGRESSMAN KAI KAHELE IS RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR. He made the announcement on Saturday, 98 days before the Aug. 13 primary election. The venue was the Boys & Girls Club in Hilo. He said through a grassroots campaign he will voluntarily participate in Hawai'i's public funding program, will turn down any donations over $100, and will reject donations from big funders, including unions, corporations and Political Action Committees. He promised that if elected, he would initiate a comprehensive campaign reform, term limits and a program for "Restoring Trust in the Public Trust."

Kai Kahele promised a grassroots campaign in 
his run for governor, with donations no larger
than $100 each. Image from Team Kahele
     Kahele  runs on the Democratic ticket against frontrunners Lt. Gov. and physician Josh Green and former Hawai'i First Lady, businesswoman 
Vicky Cayetano.
    Kahele pledged to work for a "Hawai'i where everyone matters, from grocery store cashiers to teachers, refuse workers, restaurant workers, everyone; where the government is truly the people's government, your government."
    He said he is "running for governor because this election up until today is being owned and controlled by big money, lobbyists, cynics, special interest, and corporations, wealthy donors from the mainland who want the economic and political life of this state."
   Kahele said, "Corruption and big outside money is like jet fuel in our aquifer. We have to clean it up. And so today, I have one clear message for those who think they can buy our government. 
Hawai'i is not for sale!"
    Kahele promised to further harness renewable energy in Hawai'i to make the state independent from oil.
    He promised to comply with a condition of statehood in 1959 that obligates Hawai'i to administer the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act and make use of 1.2 million acres of Native Hawaiian lands for "public housing, education, infrastructure and the betterment of the conditions of Native Hawaiians." He said the promises have been "largely neglected."

    Kahele pointed to "Duty, Honor, Country," three words from General Douglas MacArthur that were recited often by Kahele's father, the late Gil Kahele, who was a marine and state Senator. Kai Kahele said the words encapsulate "what you could be, what you can be, and what you will be." He talked about his military career as a pilot, including combat airlift missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and his service in the Hawai'i Air National Guard.
    Kahele, who grew up in Hilo and Miloli'i, said he has talked to thousands of people in Hawai'i over the last 16 months. He said he has been told about a "distaste for business as usual politics, the corruption and your belief that your voice no longer matters, sold out to the highest donor. I hear you. Throughout our islands so many families are struggling to get by. Parents are forced to work multiple jobs and extra hours; pay over half of your monthly income to your mortgage or rent; barely have enough for food, gas, healthcare or to pay your utilities; have no idea how you're going to send your kids to college. You're basically holding on for dear life, month by month, day by day, just trying to get by.

Congressman Kai Kahele talked about his military service during
 the launch of his campaign for governor. Photo from kaikahele.com
    "At the highest level of our state, we need a leader who understands your struggles, who can bring people together, who is not beholden to lobbyists, special interests, corporations or wealthy mainland donors. You, the people of Hawai'i deserve a governor who understands our island values of kindness, respect, inclusiveness and aloha, a governor who will be a catalyst for change, a governor who will be compassionate, who will listen but who will also be decisive; a governor who can communicate with clarity and purpose; a governor who can give people hope and inspire the next generation of 'oiwi leaders, a governor who will fight for Hawai'i and all of its people. And that is why I stand before you today a proud native Hawaiian, a combat veteran, someone who has dedicated my life to fighting for the people of Hawai'i, here in my hometown of Hilo, with the hope and dreams of generations who came before me to unite around a greater vision for Hawai'i, to humbly and proudly announce my candidacy for governor for the State of Hawai'i."
    Kahele announced a ten point plan for campaign reform and a program to restore the pubic trust. They can be read at www.kaikahele.com.


See The Ka'ū Calendar May edition at
www.kaucalendar.com, on newsstands and in the mail.