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From the Bronx to Honolulu: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez brings the movement

The millennial Justice Democrat and New York Democratic primary victor calls for people power to carry the progressive movement across the country.

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Will Caron
LoPresti apologizes for taking down Maluafiti campaign materials

In a statement emailed to The Independent, the Senatorial candidate says he returned the materials later, but says he has no excuse for his behavior.

A video circulated on Facebook today shows Senatorial Candiate and current State House Rep. Matt LoPresti visiting a house and, before the door is answered, slipping a door hanger from his primary opponent, Alicia Maluafiti, under his clipboard before introducing himself to the residents. The entire encounter is caught on film through a hidden camera in the door. Audio is recorded as well.

The video, which was shared by Sabrina Dela Rama, has been viewed some 15,000 times as of publication. Dela Rama was also featured in The Independent’s recent expose on concerns over Maluafiti’s candidacy brought by multiple community members that have interacted with her over the past few years. Dela Rama shared several inflammatory and graphic posts celebrating the death of a Hawaiʻi nonprofit leader and the deaths of multiple Mexican citizens in an accidental fireworks explosion. In the latter post, Maluafiti joins in the celebration of the tragedy.

LoPresti says the incident at the door happened the same week that Senate leadership held a controversial open house for Maluafiti.

The video has also appeared on Hawaii News Now within hours of it being shared. HNN declined to report on the same basic story The Independent reported on yesterday despite conducting lengthy interviews with ʻEwa residents who shared similar stories.

The Independent requested a statement from LoPresti and was supplied with the following:

Political campaigns can be intense and emotions can cloud otherwise good judgement of even the best people. I sincerely apologize and have deep regret over my having taken some of those flyers. What that video does not show, however, is that the very same day I returned flyers that were taken—and that person’s neighbors can attest to me coming back and hand delivering my opponents flyers that same day. I was ashamed of stooping down to the level of those who had been making false statements, stealing my banners, and removing my own flyers for weeks up to that day, but it is still no excuse for me stooping to their level. I strive to hold myself to a higher standard every day in my public and private life. I failed that standard that day, but I immediately tried to make it right and do the honorable thing. We all fail sometimes, my failure was caught on camera, but I’ve been ashamed of what I had done since the day it happened. I am grateful for this opportunity to come clean and admit my own failures and promise to my family, my friends, my opponent, and to my community to keep on the high road in the future no matter how negative a campaign gets or how clouded my emotions become.

I reached out to the home owners in person and via telephone and apologized as best I could. Audio is attached. Video is also attached of my talking with the neighbors who remember me returning the flyer that same day.

Neighbors for whom I went back that same day and returned the flyer ... agreed to corroborate this fact and even said they were grateful for my honesty and would vote for me tomorrow. They said they were willing to speak to media.

If there was ever any doubt that this Senate race in ʻEwa is the most controversial one on Oʻahu, it might be time to lay those doubts to rest.

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Will Caron
Neighbors, employees, animal advocates express concerns with Maluafiti

Hostile confrontations, public verbal abuse, mismanagement of a nonprofit to the detriment of its animal beneficiaries paint a troubling picture about the candidate for State Senate.

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Will Caron
Colleen Hanabusa responds regarding stance on NextEra, renewable energy

The candidate for governor sent a prepared statement to The Independent via her communications firm. We have published it in full below.

In an email, Keith DeMello, Vice President of Public & Government Affairs, Public Relations Group for Anthology, a communications and public relations firm representing candidate Hanabusa told The Independent, “For the record, Colleen Hanabusa’s record on NextEra is clear. She opposed the NextEra merger at the time and she would do so again. While she was on the Hawaii Gas board, the board voted to unanimously oppose the deal.”

He also sent the following statement from Hanabusa herself:

I don’t think either the deal or the lack of a deal addressed the most important and fundamental issue: that Hawaii’s people pay more than double than on the Mainland. Fixing that is the most important thing.

My position is that the discussion needs to elevate beyond one entity. We should not ignore the fact that something isn’t working simply because we have targeted one company. David Ige opposed the merger but offered no solution as an alternative. The administration appears to be incapably or unwilling to do so and has established a pattern of reaction to events, rather than taking charge of them.

This includes the lack of a cohesive plan to reach our state’s energy goals. A State Auditor’s report found that, under the Ige administration, ‘The Energy Office’s specific contributions to advancing the State’s clean energy initiatives are unclear. It could not provide us with any documentation or other evidence to show a project’s expected contributions to the State’s clean energy goals, let alone the data that indicates the project’s progress toward those goals.

Background: http://files.hawaii.gov/auditor/Reports/2018/18-01.pdf

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Energy leadership

An artist captures the spirit of gubernatorial candidate Colleen Hanabusa's vision for Hawaiʻi's energy future.

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Will Caron
A vote for Kaniela Ing is a vote to protect our precious Island Earth

Why one wildfire ecology researcher and former wildland firefighter believes it is imperative that we vote for the candidate with the most robust plan to mitigate the effects of climate chaos.

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Tim Zhu
Governor’s race is about clean energy vs corporate profits

The 2016 NextEra deal is the fulcrum upon which the Hawaiʻi executive's race hinges.

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Evan Tector
Primarily Voting For Change

If change is your primary concern, show up to vote in the Democratic Primary on August 11, or take advantage of early voting and same day registration options: The Hawaii Independent's 2018 Primary Election Guides

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Evan Tector
Kauai County Primary Election Guide

Your one-stop guide for primary election races in the County of Kauai, with associated research and media links.

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Oahu County Primary Election Guide

Your one-stop guide for primary election races in the County of Oahu, with associated research and media links.

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