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Hanabusa: Age should not be part of Senate race

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 12:18 p.m. HST, Mar 18, 2014

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa of Hawaii said the way her competitor's allies have made age an issue in her run for U.S. Senate is insulting to voters.

Hanabusa is running against Sen. Brian Schatz for the seat that opened when Sen. Daniel Inouye died in 2012. Schatz was appointed to the seat by Gov. Neil Abercrombie, and the Democrats will face off in a primary in August. The election will likely be decided then in the heavily Democratic state.

In appointing Schatz, Abercrombie said that Schatz, 41, would have the chance to build seniority over decades in the U.S. Senate. He has said Hanabusa, 62, would not because she is too old.

"What you're saying is, their vote doesn't matter," Hanubusa said in an interview with The Associated Press. "It's almost like saying that somebody would be anointed for 40 years."

"I don't know of any elected official who can guarantee that they'll be in office for 40 years, which is, I think, the number that Abercrombie has used in the process," Hanabusa said.

Abercrombie, who is running for re-election as governor this year, did not respond to a request for comment.

Schatz's campaign, which has raised the issue of Schatz's ability to develop seniority, declined to comment.

Until two years ago, voters in Hawaii were used to seniority, with Inouye serving since 1963 and Sen. Daniel Akaka serving multiple terms before he retired in 2012. In campaigning to serve the rest of Inouye's term, Hanabusa and Schatz are both looking to distinguish themselves from one another after emerging as rivals in the same party.

The age comments are especially insulting toward women, Hanabusa said, because women often make choices to delay portions of their careers as they balance other demands in life.

"Imagine if you had children, on top of everything else, and you're trying to establish a profession, plus do well in politics and so forth," Hanabusa said. "Something gives, you know? I'd love to think that I'm a super human being, but I'm not. We make choices, and those are the choices that we make."

Hanabusa does not have children. She chose to establish herself as an attorney before running for political office, she said.

Schatz has raised twice as much in campaign funds as Hanabusa. He had received $3.4 million at the end of 2013 and had spent about $996,000, according to the Federal Election Commission. Hanabusa had raised about $1.6 million and spent about $812,000 as of Dec. 31.

Even so, Hanabusa and her campaign staff are encouraged by the state of the race and believe it will be decided by the "ground game," she said. As long as they can afford to compete for television air time before the election, they will be fine, she said.

"What concerns me is whether we have enough funds to be on the air, and we do," Hanabusa said.

Hanabusa said plans to distinguish herself from Schatz based on her record as a strong advocate for the military and for refocusing the country's military and economic interests on the Asia-Pacific region.

Hanabusa plans to fight for more than $200 million in military funds to Hawaii that were slashed from the federal budget, she said. She also would say no to any proposed closure of military bases on Hawaii, she said.

"The president's budget for the Department of Defense is not what we want for Hawaii," Hanabusa said.

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bully106 wrote:
the gov said that???? that's it.... he's gone. he's a ding dong. as far as the senatorial race, may the best -- not the youngest -- win!
on March 18,2014 | 11:19AM
MoTown808 wrote:
If Colleen wins and serves in the senate for 40 years, she'll be 102. If Brian wins and serves in the senate for 40 years, he'll be 81.

Hmmm. Who is most likely to be living in 40 years and still able to serve Hawaii in the Senate?

Age should be a factor for voters to consider, unless Hanabusa wants a repeat of losing two senior senators at the same time. She is only four years younger than Mazie. If Hanabusa and Hirono are planning on being career U.S. Senators, why would we want two people of the same age in those offices? They could very well retire, pass away (God forbid), etc., at the same time. This is exactly what happened with Senators Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka.

on March 18,2014 | 01:01PM
hybrid1 wrote:
Schatz is a lowly college graduate with a BA degree and achieved nothing in the Hawaii State House of Reps during his eight years (Hanabusa got a Law degree passed the Bar, was an outstanding labor attorney and rose to be Senate President during the same 8 years). This proves that Schatz will probably continue to be non-productive and be voted out of office after a single term....which won't happen because former Senate President Hanabusa, now Congressional Rep. Hanabusa, will win the senate race in 2014!
on March 18,2014 | 02:48PM
localguy wrote:
Clearly a certain female bureaucrat is a legend in her own mind.
on March 18,2014 | 03:12PM
itoboy wrote:
I'm voting for Schatz with the biggest factor being Hanabusa's failure to properly supervise and take responsibility for what appears to be the illegal coordination between her deputy chief of staff and what is supposed to be an independent campaign expenditure by drug lobbyists, a possible violation of FEC regulations. Don't take my word for it, read this Washington Post article July 2013: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/congressional-aide-described-campaign-offer-by-drug-lobby/2013/07/27/cd1f9648-f60e-11e2-a2f1-a7acf9bd5d3a_story.html She blames it on her staff, but isn't she responsible for the actions of her staff? What happened? And what is she doing to ensure it doesn't happen again? We don't know because she cares more about placing blame than anything. I am also disappointed in her voting record and lack of accomplishment since becoming a Congresswoman. I voted for Hanabusa in the 2010 special election over Djou and Case. I voted for her again and even helped her campaign against Djou in the 2010 general, and same with 2012 again against Djou. 3 times I voted for her, but no more. Regardless of age, she's been in politics for too long.
on March 18,2014 | 05:02PM
serious wrote:
I am putting this post here so it gets attention: This is the stupidest argument I have ever seen! Seniority doesn't mean a darn. We have the Jones Act that gives us the highest cost of living in the USA. We had Uncle/sen Dan as the highest ranking guy in the Senate. Had the Ways and Means Committee--controlled the $$$ he could have squelched the Jones Act in a minute--but what did he do with his Greatness??? He made the Fed's give $135,000,000 to HIS bank to keep it afloat. Look it up. Just another Democratic --the heck with the people--just get elected!
on March 18,2014 | 02:51PM
PCWarrior wrote:
Schatzy comes off like a little snotty wize keed when he really ain't done much of nothing. Remember boy: we never voted for you. Be humble or you going be gone.
on March 18,2014 | 03:41PM
boolakanaka wrote:
Your logic is based on the rather large assumption that Mr. Schatz could retain the seat for the next 6-7 races. The reality of elections in contemporary politics, is that there are no sure shots and each election is crucial. That said, as citizens we should decide who will be the best representation for the state in real-time--not, who might have seniority in 18-24 years--which is what he would be looking at right now.
on March 18,2014 | 03:54PM
entrkn wrote:
Hanabusa has been trying to get credit for all the military spending in Hawaii but she didn't have anything to say about the $200 million cut in spending next year...
on March 18,2014 | 04:25PM
DiverDave wrote:
Only answer to Hanabusa: But, beauty before old age!
on March 18,2014 | 01:31PM
Wazdat wrote:
YES it should. Why hire someone who is about finished with their career and won't get any seniority?
on March 18,2014 | 11:27AM
boshio wrote:
OK, than lets just say Hanabusa is too old to run any more. Or, lets say, "you can't teach an old horse new tricks to be effective in congress.
on March 18,2014 | 12:28PM
DAGR81 wrote:
I would rather have 12 good years with Hanabusa than 30 years of schatz fumbling around and rallying the Senators to pull allnighters to discuss nothing of any consequence.
on March 18,2014 | 04:27PM
itoboy wrote:
Schatz tackles more meaningful issues than Hanabusa's attempt to change the date of Memorial Day and appear on national television making "big body" without even being prepared and then looking like a fool - remember the Bill O'Reilly show? Didn't see it? Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeP5I3KUlkk What an embarrassment to Hawaii!
on March 18,2014 | 05:09PM
egghead wrote:
of course it's part of the race.....another thing to be considered in making a decision.
on March 18,2014 | 11:29AM
HealthyandHappy wrote:
Which Democrat will sell out Hawaii's people faster?
on March 18,2014 | 11:32AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Hanabusa is old enough to be Schatz's mom and Abercrombie is old enough to be Schatz's grandfather.
on March 18,2014 | 11:35AM
boshio wrote:
Exactly, thats why both Hanabusa and Abercrombie must go.
on March 18,2014 | 12:29PM
loquaciousone wrote:
We should take care of our Kupuna and retire them to the pasture.
on March 18,2014 | 12:41PM
DaMenace168 wrote:
They're both more like wounded race horses that needs to be put down for good!!!
on March 18,2014 | 04:07PM
Mythman wrote:
Grandpa Neil, show us your birth certificate.
on March 18,2014 | 12:55PM
lowtone123 wrote:
I thought the troll WAS Schatz' grandfather.
on March 18,2014 | 01:19PM
DAGR81 wrote:
Consider this...with schatz there is absolutely nothing to build on.
on March 18,2014 | 11:36AM
Rite80 wrote:
Actually Schatz has made great progress in the senate to get Hawaii's issues heard. It is Hanabusa who would has nothing to build on.
on March 18,2014 | 11:51AM
slowroll323 wrote:
on March 18,2014 | 12:10PM
boshio wrote:
on March 18,2014 | 12:29PM
DAGR81 wrote:
You are getting confused by all of schatz's campaign releases...they are self-serving statements based on fiction and not facts.
on March 18,2014 | 04:31PM
itoboy wrote:
DAGR81: I haven't read any of Schatz's campaign releases, but I have read about the time, when she was senate president, she pushed for and got a 36% pay raise in 2010 while the economy was reeling and state workers were getting furloughed, laid off, or pay cuts. Then, she tries to act like the good guy, when she really was the one pushing to give herself a raise. Don't take my word for it, read this article: http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2010/Mar/31/op/hawaii3310321.html
on March 18,2014 | 05:24PM
boolakanaka wrote:
Please list those examples.....issues being heard is a far cry from getting legislation drafted, heard, and passed.
on March 18,2014 | 03:57PM
Barefootie wrote:
The Problem with Hanabusa is that 'she puts herself first, before her constituents' in political matters! While Senate president, she voted for a wage increase for the State legislature, while the State of Hawaii was going through a financial recession; that's not the type of leadership our State needs, we don't need another 'Inouye wannabe' we need someone who will work for all of us in the State of Hawaii, and not just 'special interests' like some do!
on March 18,2014 | 04:30PM
eoe wrote:
Sure it should be an issue. The same way we all said we needed to inject some youth into the senate and lo and behold Akaka and Inoyue both leave same time and now 500 million is being vacuumed out of our economy due to junior senators. Congrats, machine.
on March 18,2014 | 11:42AM
eoe wrote:
Sure it should be an issue. The same way we all said we needed to inject some youth into the senate and lo and behold Akaka and Inoyue both leave same time and now 500 million is being vacuumed out of our economy due to junior senators. Congrats, machine.
on March 18,2014 | 11:43AM
Rite80 wrote:
Of course age is a factor but the bigger factor is Hanabusa's ties to the conservative wing of the Democratic Party which often sides with republicans.
on March 18,2014 | 11:47AM
DAGR81 wrote:
Why is this an issue?
on March 18,2014 | 03:35PM
Kahu Matu wrote:
Don't have age effect one's vote. That shouldn't be a problem since voters don't seem to let incompetence, waste, or selfish financial interests to effect their vote. We keep getting the same old politicians who do the same old dumb, wasteful, self-serving things. When will Hawaii wise up.
on March 18,2014 | 11:55AM
localguy wrote:
Colleen, Colleen, Colleen. Age is an issue when the person willfully fails to be relevant to today's world, as in living in the past, refuses to accept change, can't learn new ideas and concepts, fails to learn from past mistakes, keeps repeating them. Can you take a hint Colleen???
on March 18,2014 | 12:15PM
boshio wrote:
You mean, like a old horse?
on March 18,2014 | 12:30PM
localguy wrote:
Exactly. Out to pasture, spend their final years eating grass, doing nothing. Kinda like when they were a bureaucrat.
on March 18,2014 | 03:09PM
Barefootie wrote:
Hey, your talking about Hanohano, ain't ya! Naw, Coleen ain't like that, she goes where the money's at, which is why she moved from representing the Leeward Coast, to Hawaii Kai, where the 'poltical affluence' is more apparent and prominent!
on March 18,2014 | 04:34PM
LadyNinja wrote:
Colleen Hanabusa, if age is not meant to be a factor, then perhaps you might want to consider issues for Hawaii that actually make sense as well as have a platform that does not dehumanize Senator Schatz as you did in the race with Charles Djou. It has always been about you and you only. Whereas, Brian Schatz offers votes a fresh new platform, away from the old boy, old girl tactics that you are trying to promote. Stop your name calling and patting yourself on the back. I hope and pray that YOU do not get into office and that Schatz retains his Senator role. You have done absolutely nothing for Hawaii except ride on tailcoats of others. You love yourself too much and try to glorify yourself in the media. Take a humble approach to life, like the Japanese women have done.
on March 18,2014 | 12:15PM
itoboy wrote:
LadyNinja: Well said.
on March 18,2014 | 05:12PM
LadyNinja wrote:
Thank you, itoboy!
on March 23,2014 | 10:30AM
juscasting wrote:
" Age before Beauty" you guess who's name fits Where!
on March 18,2014 | 12:22PM
LadyNinja wrote:
Whose Beauty? Certainly not Hanaboosa.
on March 23,2014 | 10:30AM
kiragirl wrote:
Vote R then no problems.
on March 18,2014 | 12:27PM
toobn wrote:
Hanabusa has been a "Do-Nothing" Representative. Schatz is seen as a rising star in the Senate by his colleagues, even getting appointed as Chair of the Tourism Development Committee as a Freshman Senator. Unheard of! In the Senate with only 100 members and 6 year terms, seniority is more important than in the House. If Hanabusa gets in it's a big step backwards for Hawaii.
on March 18,2014 | 01:05PM
false wrote:
Come November, all the D's will be replaced by R's as senate committee heads when the R's take over. Hawaii loses, whoever is there now.
on March 18,2014 | 05:10PM
LadyNinja wrote:
Agreed, toobn.
on March 23,2014 | 10:30AM
primo1 wrote:
Hanabusa shouldn't worry about people not voting for her based on her age - people won't vote for her simply because they don't like her.
on March 18,2014 | 01:08PM
LadyNinja wrote:
Yup, well said, primo1.
on March 23,2014 | 10:31AM
Rogerk44 wrote:
Ms. Hanabusa you have our vote, not to worry.
on March 18,2014 | 01:10PM
Barefootie wrote:
right, Rogerk44, and the 'Check' is in the mail....................
on March 18,2014 | 04:35PM
localguy wrote:
Now she has two votes, hers and yours. Off to a great start.
on March 18,2014 | 04:41PM
MakaniKai wrote:
Older, middle aged, children, no children…………..no mattah sad thing is these two are our choices !!!! Auwe !
on March 18,2014 | 01:20PM
pridon wrote:
Both of these astute candidates are Hawaii's best argument for term limits. WE don't need anymore senile senators.
on March 18,2014 | 01:23PM
Barefootie wrote:
Yea, we still have Mazie and Neal to deal with!
on March 18,2014 | 04:36PM
st1d wrote:
"What you're saying is, their vote doesn't matter," Hanubusa said"

yeah . . . basically, when both of them vote as rubber stamp apparatchiks a monkey could be substituted without making a difference. so, age is a factor.

on March 18,2014 | 01:26PM
Barefootie wrote:
No, they tried that and found that Abercrombie scored lower than the monkey did on Congressional Polls and so Abercrombie decided to run for Governor of the State of Hawaii instead, at least in that race, he had a clear path to victory!
on March 18,2014 | 04:38PM
false wrote:
Funny. Nice way to turn it back on him. Reminds me of what Reagan said about Kerry and his inexperience
on March 18,2014 | 01:56PM
false wrote:
Schatz is a Abs guy. I don't think he is a very good gov. so, no Schatz for me.
on March 18,2014 | 02:14PM
sluggah wrote:
What about competence? Oh yeah, neither qualifies then.
on March 18,2014 | 02:19PM
Grimbold wrote:
I am 70 and not an "offended voter" as Busa puts it. She is 3 years from where people normally get retired. Everything diminishes with age I am qualified to know it. So I am for younger blood in politics instead one entrenched left wing liberal lawyer like her .
on March 18,2014 | 02:34PM
americantaxpayer wrote:
Their age doesn't matter much in the voters mind. If it was a high priority and concern Ed Case would have been elected. Then again their age may be the only difference between them.......
on March 18,2014 | 02:38PM
Manawai wrote:
The idea that seniority alone equals a better ability to bring home the bacon is a myth not doubt a unionist mantra. In fact, one has only to look at the decades of service of Daniel Akaka to see that it is a fallacy. Mr. Schatz, you are no Dan Inouye and you never will be.
on March 18,2014 | 02:50PM
bumba wrote:
I WAS leaning towards giving Schatz my vote until I received an email from Norman Mizuguchi looking for support for Schatz. Mizuguchi was involved in the ousting of Marjorie Bronster, an act of revenge for her exposing as crooks the Bishop Estate Trustees. He was also involved with Gary Rodrigues, union thug and crook.
on March 18,2014 | 02:55PM
itoboy wrote:
bumba: Mizuguchi was senate president at the time, but don't forget that it was Hanabusa that spearheaded the ouster of Marjorie Bronster. Read this article: http://archives.starbulletin.com/1999/04/27/news/story3.html
on March 18,2014 | 05:43PM
localguy wrote:
Isn't that the same picture she used 20 years ago? A little Photoshop here, a little there............
on March 18,2014 | 03:13PM
localguy wrote:
Isn't that the same picture she used 20 years ago? A little P h o t o s h o p here, a little there...........
on March 18,2014 | 03:14PM
localguy wrote:
Isn't that the same picture she used 20 years ago? A little digital magic here, a little there...........
on March 18,2014 | 03:14PM
Mr_Ton wrote:
Brian Schatz sends the most irritating emails- very frequently- and always calls with pre-recorded messages. I plan to vote for his opponent just because of this.
on March 18,2014 | 03:27PM
wenshang wrote:
It isn't so much that age is a part of the race, but the potential to accumulate seniority is - Hanabusa knows that. Hanabusa thinks she is entitled to the job because she is the anointed one. That attempt by a Senator to usurp the authority of the Governor by anointing her was and is a tremendous insult to the people of Hawaii. You can also thank Hanabusa for her huge role in our pension fund deficit, the raid on the fund that she helped implement was positively evil.
on March 18,2014 | 03:43PM
inverse wrote:
Women live longer than men so the age gap is not such a big a deal given Hanabusa is expected to live longer than Schatz. Also wasn't 83 year Pat Saiki put in charge of the Repub party so it is expected an 80 plus year old Hanabusa can still be able to function with all her marbles at that age. Schatz at 80 plus years of age is another story...
on March 18,2014 | 03:55PM
DAGR81 wrote:
schatz at his current age is another story.
on March 18,2014 | 04:46PM
scooters wrote:
Maybe these two idiots won't be elected. Maybe a Republican could raise to the top this time.
on March 18,2014 | 04:01PM
can wrote:
I going with the tide ladat.
on March 18,2014 | 04:07PM
entrkn wrote:
I'm older than Hanabusa and age makes a HUGE difference in who Hawaii sends to the US Senate. If we don't pick younger people who will serve in the senate for a long time, we can't see past the ends of our noses. Senator Schatz will serve Hawaii in the US Senate for a long time and he is already serving us extremely well. Hanabusa could never become the Senator that Schatz already is and will be long after Hanabusa and I are gone...
on March 18,2014 | 04:18PM
Barefootie wrote:
Ms. Hanabusa, your the only politico acting like an 'annointed one' in Hawaii Politics! You wanted Senator Inouye's seat so bad, you were willing to sell out your constituents for it! One thing you always forget, Ms. Hanabusa is that the Hawaii voter has a very long memory about Hawaii Politics and who did what and when did it happen; Remember you voted as State Senate President to raise your salaries during a financial recession, while the citizens of our State were suffering. That does not show the type of leadership Hawaii needs in it's Federal legislators; at the very least, Senator Schatz comes in with a unblemished record and no political baggage like Hanabusa and Hirono contniue to carry with them, no matter where they go!
on March 18,2014 | 04:23PM
Poipounder808 wrote:
You ever wonder why Hanabata keeps her husband in the shadows? Talk about skeletons...
on March 18,2014 | 04:28PM
itoboy wrote:
Poipounder808: Skeleton? You mean like this one: http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Mar/03/ln/ln01a.html/ And like this one, too: http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Mar/04/ln/ln03a.html
on March 18,2014 | 05:41PM
asiasky wrote:
Nobody should be in office for 40 years. What are we promoting, professional politicians? We want a statesmen. This is definitely an argument for term limits.
on March 18,2014 | 04:36PM
pueohonua wrote:
The bottom line is this isn't a "permanent" job! Its about qualifications. Schatz is a young punk! He hasn't accomplished NADA. Abercrombie insults the Hawaii public. He has everything to gain should Schaztz be elected. After all he appointed Schatz as the replacement to Inouye. Hanabusa is a "leader". She has proven that already. No one lifted her up by the boot straps to accomplish what she has. Special interest groups like HGEA want Schatz. Hanabusa is her own person. Please don't insult the voters with diversionary tactics. Put a ledger up and see for yourselves who is more qualified. A trained labor attorney, former President of the Senate or someone who is a "social" climber. Wake up Hawaii! We need brains, insight and EXPERIENCE!
on March 18,2014 | 05:58PM
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