"Patent Reform" : Elmendorf Dems vs Labor & Inventors

This is an important issue that I don't think has been diaried about yet, re labor's opposition to the "Patent Reform Act of 2007" (aka "Infringers Protection" act), and a call for action to support labor and oppose this legislation.

This also out last Thursday in InfoWorld:

Opponents of legislation that would overhaul the U.S. patent system have enlisted new allies who may cause majority Democrats in Congress to rethink their support of the proposals.

Since late July, three labor unions -- the AFL-CIO, the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE), and the United Steelworkers -- have sent letters to lawmakers saying they oppose two current patent reform bills. Patent reform opponents say they hope their alliance with organized labor, which has a long history of supporting Democrats, will stall the legislation.

Steve Elmendorf, notorious in the netroots, has been hired to pressure the unions to back off their support.

There's more...

HI-Sen: Akaka vs. Thielen

From the Star-Bulletinbreaking news:

Hawaii's Republican Party has chosen state Rep. Cynthia Thielen to run against U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka in the Nov. 7 general election.
[...]
The Republicans were able to pick a candidate after Jerry Coffee won the GOP primary in the Senate race. Coffee, former Navy pilot and Vietnam prisoner of war, had withdrawn from the race over the summer because of a heart attack and heart surgery.

Thielen, a 16-year legislative veteran who represents Windward Oahu, is known as a strong environmentalist who was endorsed by the Sierra Club this year. Thielen ran unopposed this year and was automatically re-elected, so she will not have to give up her House seat to run against Akaka.

The Advertisernotes that:

Thielen is considered a moderate who could appeal to supporters of Akaka's Democratic challenger, U.S. Rep. Ed Case, who lost Saturday's primary.

FYI, Thielen has been a strong advocate for medical marijuana and the hemp industry. Her son Peter is a hemp activist.

There's more...

Vote Hawaii blog needs new management

The Vote Hawaii blog has been sort of group blog on Hawaii politics.

Peter Kay, who has been maintaining VoteHawaii.com, has announced that he is "taking a sabbatical" from the management of the site.

Peter had been primarily syndicating posts from my blog (on Hawaiian independence and Native Hawaiian issues) and also from conservative blogger Grant Jones. The fact that the two of us come from quite different places politically made for some interesting juxtapositions at times, and I think there's value to a group blog that offers a range of points of view on Hawaii politics.

Anyway, I am probably going to arrange with Peter to be able to continue syndicating some of my own posts there, but I wanted to put this out to readers here to see if anyone with an intererest in Hawaii politics might be interested in taking on the management of the blog, through managing syndications and/or posting original content.

What does it mean to be a Democrat in Hawaii?

Folks might be interested in this article in the independent MauiTime Weekly about the Democratic Party in Hawaii. It talks about the disconnect between the grassroots and the party leaders on one hand, and the elected officials on the other hand, with local and national issues.

Doug White at the Hawaii political blog Poinography.com also comments on the article.

Republican HI state Rep. resigns, convicted of sexual battery

Republican Hawaii state House Rep. Galen Fox resigned Tuesday upon being convicted of "abusive sexual conduct" for apparently fondling a woman sleeping next to him on an airplane.

He was the former Minority Leader for the Republicans.

As noted in the conservative online rag/blog Hawaii Reporter, surprisingly enough, this context:


"Fox is the third Republican in the last year who was convicted of a crime. Last fall, then-Rep. Brian Blundell, R-Maui, was convicted of sexual assault in the fourth degree for fondling an undercover police office in a Waikiki restroom. And a few months ago, Dalton Tanonaka, a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor and congress, plead guilty to federal charges related to his campaign finances."

More info and sources at Doug White's Hawaii political blog Poinography.com, plus possible collateral damage from the governor's office keeping his arrest under wraps for so long.

HI-01/Gov: Abercrombie closesr to run for Governor

Today's Honolulu Star-Bulletin has this story about Rep. Neil Abercrombie's possible run for Governor, which would open his seat for others:

U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie says he is close to making a decision on running for governor after spending the weekend in Hawaii weighing his chances.

While stopping short of declaring himself a Democratic candidate for governor, Abercrombie told the Star-Bulletin yesterday he has had a lot of encouragement.

"I will make a decision shortly. This is not something that is going to hang on," Abercrombie said.
[...]
"Everybody is interested and everybody has been very positive, no matter what decision I make."

To run for governor, Abercrombie would forgo running for re-election to Congress, where he has served for the past decade.
[...]
Other possible Democratic candidates for governor include Big Island Mayor Harry Kim and former Honolulu Police Chief Lee Donohue.

No speculation yet on who would run to replace him, but that will be interesting to monitor. Still very likely a reliably Dem seat, but would be good to get a progressive Dem to run.

HI-Gov: Rep. Abercrombie may challenge Lingle

In today's Honolulu Star-Bulletin, political reporter Richard Borreca writes that Congressman Neil Abercrombie "is now one of the most prominent Democrats being mentioned as a possible candidate for the 2006 governorship race" against Republican incumbent Linda Lingle.

Abercrombie has a relatively good record in Congress and would probably make a decent governor, in my opinion, and is popular and very well known so he could mount a strong campaign against Lingle.

I still like the idea of a Harry Kim candicacy, though. Here's a previous diary on the Hawaii Island Mayor's possible challenge to Lingle as well.

The question this raises that Borreca doesn't address is the opening this would leave in the House seat and who would step up to run for Congress in Abercrombie's place.

Help with local Dem party website (Maui)

A good friend of mine is about to become the chair of the Dem Party on Maui, and he just contacted me about helping out with their website.

I have noticed in the past a lot of discussion here about supporting and networking local party blogs, but I wasn't paying close attention to the details because it wasn't directly relevant to me.

But now I would like to ask folks here if you could give me a little help in this area, for instance resources for making local party sites effective, such as email list and blog tools and other features, and networks/directories where local party sites should be listed.

Any pointers and ideas are much appreciated.

Mahalo.

HI-Gov: Mayor Kim may challenge Lingle

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin has an article today about Big Island Mayor Harry Kim "thinking about running for governor as a Democrat next year."

Kim, who had been director of the Big Island civil defense for 16 years, actually ran for mayor first as a Republican, then ran for reelection as a nonpartisan, but says "I ran basically as myself."

Democrats--despite being the overwhelmingly dominant party in the state legislature and holding all four spots in Hawaii's Congressional delegation--have had a hard time coming up with a good candidate to field against Lingle, who is known as a moderate Republican and who was herself a neighbor island mayor (on Maui) before running for Gov. But after the dismal showing of state Republicans that she backed in last year's elections, I think she is now perceived as more vulnerable than previously thought, if the Dems can field a good candidate.

more on the flip...

There's more...

Please freep this poll

Please do us in Hawaii a favor and help freep this Star-Bulletin poll.

Akaka Bill

The U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs has approved the Akaka bill for a vote by the full Senate. Would you like to see the Akaka bill become law?

Vote NO here: http://starbulletin.com/poll/

For information on why to vote NO, see my previous dKos diary on the topic.

And for further background, please visit my blog.

So far with the poll up one day and about 400 votes, it is running over 80% against the Akaka bill, which is great, but we'd like to make sure it stays that way and push it even higher.

Mahalo!

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