Contact: Gautam Dutta (202) 236-2048
ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN DEMOCRATS EXPRESS OUTRAGE AT DCCC FOR OUTSIDE INTERFERENCE IN HAWAII SPECIAL ELECTION
Asian Pacific American PAC Endorses Colleen Hanabusa as Best Candidate to Retain Obama’s Hometown District
WASHINGTON D.C. (APRIL 8, 2010) – The Asian American Action (AAA) Fund strongly urges the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to remain neutral in the upcoming special election in Hawaii’s First Congressional District and expressed outrage at recent news reports that the DCCC is actively influencing the election. The AAA-Fund is a Democratic PAC with local chapters across the country devoted to strengthening the participation of Asian Pacific Americans in the political process. AAA-Fund executive director Gautam Dutta said, “The DCCC should focus the party on uniting Democrats and keeping this seat blue rather than dividing us and helping us defeat ourselves. It is unseemly for party officials to step into a special election with more than one Democrat, particularly in a district where 58% of the population is Asian Pacific American. Imagine the disgruntled reaction were the DCCC to step into a contested special election in a predominantly African American or Latino district.”
After interviewing both Democratic candidates, the AAA-Fund unanimously voted to endorse Hawaii Senate President Colleen Hanabusa in this race. Dutta said, “We believe she is an outstanding candidate who has already broken racial barriers, just like President Obama, by becoming the first Asian Pacific American female to ever preside over a legislative body in the United States. Senator Hanabusa has consistently upheld Democratic ideals which are in line with Hawaii values. Hawaii voters value candidates like Hanabusa who keep their local roots strong, their ear to the concerns of Hawaii voters and their campaigns home grown. They do not appreciate interference from Washington D.C.” AAA-Fund has chapters, board members and supporters from across the country, including in Hawaii.
The AAA-Fund notes that Asian Pacific American voters, previously once majority Republican, have steadily been trending Democratic over the past few election cycles. A poll conducted by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund found that Asian Pacific Americans voted 76% to 23% for Barack Obama over John McCain in the 2008 presidential election. Dutta said, “Asian Pacific American votes cannot be taken for granted and the DCCC’s actions risk alienating this critical bloc of voters and donors.”
In addition to being the first Asian Pacific American female to preside over a legislative body, Hanabusa is the first woman to preside over either chamber of the Hawaii State Legislature. Hanabusa’s progressive record shows her to be the best candidate to replace Rep. Neil Abercrombie. In heavily pro-union Hawaii, Hanabusa has a 100% rating from the Hawaii State AFL-CIO, as befitting her 30 year career as a dedicated labor attorney. Last year, Hanabusa voted for a bill (HB 952) that allows for majority signup (state version of EFCA) for some Hawaii workers, and successfully ensured that it not only passed the Senate, but also overcame the Governor’s veto. She also voted for a law to increase penalties for companies that commit wage and hour violations on public works projects.
The AAA-Fund is a Democratic political action committee whose goal is to increase the voice of Asian Pacific Americans (APA) on every level of local, state and federal government in America. To achieve this goal, we address the chronic under-representation of APAs as campaign volunteers, campaign contributors, and candidates for political office. The AAA-Fund has endorsed candidates across the country. For more information, go to AAA-fund.org and read our award-winning blog at AAA-fund.com.