County Councilt

TWENTY-FOUR Council Candidates
VOTE for no more than SEVEN
Top FOURTEEN advance to Nov
TEN will not make the cut

YOUR VOTE CAN make the difference.

Because Kauaʻi is a small island, local elections are usually pretty close. In the 2018 Primary, 20-22k voters will participate. With the council of 24 candidates, the vote will be predictably close. Certainly less than 100 votes will separate several candidates, but sometimes races are even tighter. Every our local elections, your vote really does matter.

1998, the council race was extremely tight, so close in fact that LITERALLY ONE VOTE seperated THREE candidates fighting for the bottom of the ballot. Two TIED for 13 & 14 place with 1,996 votes. They made the cut. The next runner-up was ONLY ONE VOTE shy with 1,995 votes. If only ONE MORE VOTER made the extra effort to vote that day, the outcome would have been different, however, for #15, their race was pau. Don’t be the voter who did something else that day.

Vote like it matters.
Cuz it duz, Cuz.

The Primaries are important — they decide who will be on the ballot in November. Twenty-four compete. Ten will not make the cut. Only the top fourteen advance. Don’t fail to get your ballot into the box. YOUR vote CAN be the one that makes the difference. Local elections are that close.

While 24 might seem like a lot (2002 had 29 candidates), donʻt get yer panties in a bind; we can go thru the list together. Iʻll give you my quick take — I can honestly and enthusiastically support 6 candidates, and a couple more worth considering. But there are lots of candidates worth being on the ballot, so don’t hesitate to vote for the ones you like.

That’s what local grassroots democracy is all about.

To Plunk, or Not to Plunk
Although many folks “in the know” discourage using all 7 of your votes, saying you should ‘plunk’, meaning only vote for a short list of perhaps up to 3 candidates. While there is some merit to this strategy, I do not fully agree. For a more in-depth look at this, check out the STRATEGIES section.

The aurgument FOR plunking is pretty simple. Advocates of plunking aurgue you do not want candidates you _somewhat_ support to bump out candidates you _really_ support. Which is true. By using all 7 of your votes, you could be – in effect – voting against yourself. “Diluting” the impact of your own vote. While this is objectively “more true” in November, it is is objectively LESS true in the Primary, because the 14 top-vote-getting candidates advance to General Election. In a nutshell, this strategy is all about playing it safe — minimizing the potential negative outcomes.

While playing it safe is certainly a sound basic approach — especially if you if you have low information about the candidates, and how they are likely to perform in the election — it also misses out on the flip side of minimizing the negative, which is maximizing the positive. The more knowledge you have about likely outcomes, the less risky it is to maximize potential positives. And that is what this is all about: empowering you with information so you can maximize your impact in local elections.

Philosophically, I think it is good to vote for ALL the candidates that genuinely sound good to you. Especially in the Primary, where we should be striving to get as many decent candidates as possible into the General Election in November. The more we get too caught up in thinking, re-thinking — essentially trying to game the system — It is my feeling that this somewhat pragmatic, yet somewhat cynical tactic is also somewhat dishonest, in that you are beginning to drift away from what you genuinely feel.

However, even from an analytical perspective, the _informed_ voter can still pragmatically vote with confidence for out to all 7 of your votes, with little risk you might be diluting your vote. Here is why: In the Primary, with 14 candidates advancing, there are effectively 2 separate elections going on — the race at the top, and the race at the bottom.

Not all candidates are equal. Some candidates begin the race with strong name-recognition. Like it or not, this is still the number one factor in getting elected, no matter what policies they may hold. These are the incumbents, those who have been active in the public, those who come from large long-time local families, and the well-funded. These folks are not just trying to make the cut, they are vying for “pole positions” at the top of the ticket.

Whether they come in top seven, or perhaps the bottom, these candidates are pretty much no matter what, guaranteed to advance. These candidates WANT your vote. Should you still vote for them even though they don’t literally don’t “need” your vote to advance? Absolutely! Your vote demonstrates the extent of support for them, and strengthens their standing, gives them political “clout” against other strong candidates who may not hold you views, or share your values.

Then, there are the lesser known or ‘weaker’ candidates. Not weaker because what they are putting forth sounds weaker to you, but because these are simply lesser known candidates. These are often 1st timers, folks who may be well-known inside their communities, but not so much around the rest of the island, and those running on a shoe-string – with very little, or perhaps even no funding. These folks are long shots. They realistically have a low chance getting elected — but anything is possible. However, if they don’t get support from people like you who do agree with them, they will NEVER make even the top 14, and so be out of the race. These folks NEED your vote.

with links to more detail, candidate website, and interviews in Civil Beat and TGI. My opinion is just that — itʻs not gospel. Iʻmjust shootin from the hip, and maybe crackin a joke or two. Why so serious? Itʻs only democracy!


Dom ACAIN — westside guy. community organiser. has a grip on the big picture. wise. amakua is pueo. VOTE FOR DOM!

Kanoe AHUNA — ran against Ron Kouchi 2016, married to Dan Ahuna Kauaʻi OHA Rep. Looks great on a banner. Sometimes returns phone calls.

Juno APALLA — 2nd run for council, almost whispered her way on 2016, and can still sometime turn a good phrase… not really sure what she stands for

Arthur BRUN — reformed ice-head, worked for chem. co, seeking 2nd term. hmmmm.

Mason CHOCK — former fireman, Leadership Kauaʻi, got his head screwed on straight. shows up. deservedly seeking 3rd term. rock solid. VOTE FOR MASON!

Felicia COWDEN — ran strong 2014, Akamai Mom, KKCR Host, Ho’ike TV, Indefatigable FB Live vlogger. might know better than you, but Everyone loves her VOTE FOR FELICIA!

Ted DALIDIG — political family name, but donʻt know nothin about him

Billy DECOSTA — love this guy, some great ideas, some a bit silly. you might not agree with everything he says, but refreshingly he tells the truth, and looks great in a salmon shirt. VOTE FOR BILLY (maybe)

Norma DOCTOR SPARKS — 2nd time running. A lawyer, not a Doctor. easy to overlook, but ridiculously over-qualified, get her on council already! VOTE FOR DOCTOR NORMA!

Luke EVSLIN — smart, earnest, enviro-wonk, great heart, superb paddler, terrible solar system designer… will likely do well in primary, but is he ready? when he can pass the 60′ test, he’ll get my vote.

Victoria FRANKS — seems nice enough, but don’t have a good read on her

Richard FUKUSHIMA — know absolutely nothing about him

Cecelia NAPOHAKU-HOFFMAN — tremendous heart, very brave. strong on culture, weak on issues. Love & encouragement!

Shaylene ISERI — to listen to her today, she sounds great; was unforgivably vicious to tim bynum, and a financial liability to the county for her recklessness. great taste in footwear

Ross KAGAWA — 3 term angry council incumbent & part-time high school drivers ed teacher. often incomprehensible. will be termed-out in 2020, pushing to end term-limits. gee.

Arryl KANESHIRO — incumbent, seeking 3rd term. name rhymes w/his dad. best campaign logo by far. employed by Grove Farm as CPA

KipuKai KUALIʻI — i really like KipuKai. but not on council.

Wally NISHIMURA — hard-headed young man. a fighter. serious. 27 yr old, happily married w/four kids… but never smiles.

Adam ROVERSI — is awesome! paddle coach, fine legal mind, grounded. respectfull. clear thinker — will be a great asset on the council. VOTE FOR ADAM!

Roy SAITO — owns the gold shop by old big save. level headed. no chance.

Shirley SIMBRE-MEDIEROS — one badass auntie. tough, but on what?

Milo SPINDT — surprisingly polished, very informed on issues. not sure i trust

Harold VIDINHA — Tupuna from Niʻihau, retired combat vet. salt of the earth, Focused on da basics. VOTE FOR HAROLD!