Republican Honolulu City Councilman Charles Djou appears poised to capture the heavily Democratic 1st District next week as a result of a three-way contest in which a split Democratic vote is making it increasingly unlikely that either former Rep. Ed Case or state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa can win enough votes to capture the seat.
At the heart of the Democratic predicament is the role played by Inouye, a veteran of nearly a half-century in the Senate and the undisputed heavyweight champion of Hawaii politics.
Inouye’s outspoken and unflinching support of Hanabusa, even as Washington wanted to throw its weight behind the better-known Case in an effort to concentrate the Democratic vote behind a single candidate, has led national party officials to retreat from the contest and leave it to chance.
In March, the House Republican conference voted to forgo earmarks, in an effort to recapture the party's reputation for fiscal restraint. From the standpoint of national politics, that position makes sense. In some cases, things look different from the local standpoint. The Washington Post reports:
But Republican leaders acknowledged that 10 to 20 of their members have not withdrawn their requests . And several GOP lawmakers do not agree with the moratorium , complicating the party's effort to portray itself as a force against wasteful spending.
Four Republican lawmakers have publicly said they will not comply with the moratorium. That group includes a senior member of Oberstar's committee, Rep. Don Young (Alaska). The others are Reps. Anh "Joseph" Cao (La.), Henry E. Brown Jr. (S.C.) and Ron Paul (Tex.).
Young and Paul were the first to submit earmark requests in violation of the moratorium, followed by freshman Cao.
"This doesn't change anything as far as Congressman Cao is concerned," his spokesman, Taylor Henry, said Friday. "He never said he was going to go along with the conference. He certainly doesn't intend to change that now."