Editorial | On Politics Democrats’ party in May will bring all kinds of fun By Richard Borreca firstname.lastname@example.org April 3, 2016 Mahalo for supporting Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story! Hawaii’s Democrats keep on proving why they are just so much fun. For instance, who knew they had a “magic button”? Read more Mahalo for reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser! You're reading a premium story. Read the full story with our Print & Digital Subscription. Subscribe Now Read this story for free: Watch an ad or complete a survey Log In Already a subscriber? Log in now to continue reading this story. Activate Digital Account Print subscriber but without online access? Activate your Digital Account now. Hawaii’s Democrats keep on proving why they are just so much fun. For instance, who knew they had a “magic button”? In this case, it is a button that makes “superdelegates” appear. Two nights before the Hawaii presidential preference poll, Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui went to sleep, probably thinking he was an OK guy, but not suspecting that in reality, he was super, a Democratic Superdelegate. Then, according to a report by Kevin Dayton, Star-Advertiser Capitol bureau chief, the party discovered it did not have 34 delegates to the Democratic National Convention, it had 35. Because Tsutsui is the chairman of the Democratic Lieutenant Governors Association, the Democratic National Committee announced that he is counted as a superdelegate. Superdelegates are important because Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has a lot of superdelegate votes, plus a lot of pledged votes, while Vermont’s Sen. Bernie Sanders, the other major candidate, needs both pledged delegates and superdelegates. The Hawaii preference poll gave Sanders 17 pledged votes and Clinton eight pledged votes with 10 superdelegates up for grabs. Just to make things fun: The superdelegates are unpledged, but they are free to declare their support for one candidate, but there is no rule saying they can’t switch and vote for someone else. Here’s Clinton’s superdelegate breakdown in Hawaii: Democratic National Committee members Jadine Nielsen and Russell Okata, U.S. Sens. Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono, and U.S. Rep. Mark Takai. Sanders has one Hawaii superdelegate, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. No political stink eye or threat will make those folks change their vote. Missing from the Hawaii tally are Gov. David Ige, Tsutsui, plus the Democratic Party chairperson and vice chairperson. Those two leaders will be selected at the state Democratic convention in May. Now Sanders Democrats have until May to get Ige and Tsutsui over to their side and then elect their own party chair and vice chair. For various political reasons, both Ige and Tsutsui want to think this thing through. First, the Hawaii Democrats went 70 percent for Sanders. So there is the “listen to the grassroots” argument to be made for Ige and Tsutsui picking Sanders. The other side of the coin is that Clinton looks very close to winning the nomination and she and her apparatus have both a detailed and long memory, so do you really want to irritate the former secretary of state? The question gets even more troublesome for Tsutsui because he is thinking about running for mayor of Maui and Maui went 79 percent for Sanders. Two House districts went for Sanders: the 13th, which is Lanai, Molokai and Hana, went 83 percent for Sanders; so did House District 12, which is Upcountry Maui. So precisely how much you want to ignore the voice of the people or the voice of Clinton is still an unmade decision for the Capitol’s fifth-floor gang. The other pending fight recalls the 2008 convention when Hawaii’s Barack Obama delegates voted in Brian Schatz, co-chairman of the Obama campaign, as party chairman, ensuring another Obama superdelegate vote. In May, when the party state convention delegates pick the chair and vice chair, it will be a measure of the strength of the new Sanders wing of the Democratic Party. Richard Borreca writes on politics on Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays. Reach him at email@example.com. Previous Story Lieutenant governor gets super new job Next Story Popular vote goes only so far in U.S.