Hawaii Independent Party

Mufi Hannemann wins endorsements of two major unions

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Hawaii Independent Party candidates Mufi Hannemann and Les Chang accept the endorsements of SHOPO and the Hawaii Sheet Metal Workers Union. (seated from left : Art Tolentino with the HSMW, Les Chang, Mufi Hannemann, Tenari Ma‘afala of SHOPO.

Honolulu, Hawaii – Hawaii Independent Party (HIP) Gubernatorial Candidate Mufi Hannemann picked up a pair of highly coveted union endorsements today. The State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers (SHOPO), and the Hawaii Sheet Metal Workers Union, Local 293 (HSMW) combined forces to throw their support to the former Honolulu mayor during a news conference held at the SHOPO Headquarters in Kalihi.

SHOPO, is an independent Police Union and exclusive representative of about 2,900 police in Hawaii. President Tenari Ma’afala said, “Our police officers support Mayor Mufi Hannemann because he has been an outstanding champion for public safety and law enforcement in the State of Hawaii throughout his career. He leads by example and during his tenure as mayor, Honolulu was consistently named as one of the safest big cities in America based on FBI crime statistics. He is also a humble people person who seeks and values our input consistently, thanks our men and women in blue for the job that they do and genuinely cares about our officers and the welfare of their families,” said Ma’afala.

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Mufi and Tenari Ma‘afala of SHOPO

Hannemann gratefully accepted the SHOPO endorsement, saying, “My running mate Les Chang and I pledge our full support to work with these dedicated men and women in uniform, who put their lives on the line daily to protect the health and safety of the people of our great state and who help ensure our quality of life. As governor, I will work doubly hard to support initiatives that drive down crime rates and provide a stronger boost to the state-wide ohana of first responders,” said Hannemann.

Hannemann was also endorsed by The Hawaii Sheet Metal Workers Union. “Local 293 proudly endorses and supports Mufi Hannemann as our next governor. The residents of Hawaii can be confident that the Hannemann/Chang ticket will work tirelessly to make sure that Hawaii is a great place to earn a living, to support our families, and raise our children. Mayor Hannemann has long been a strong advocate for the working class. His leadership on rail and transit oriented development which will lead to thousands of jobs that will benefit all of us has been extraordinary! Needless to say, rail would not have happened without him,” said Art Tolentino, HSMW Business Manager/Financial Secretary/Treasurer.

” I appreciate this early endorsement very much and thankful that Local 293 is expressing it strongly now, stated Hannemann. “Les Chang and I grew up in working class families and neighborhoods where it was all about hard work and sacrifice and that’s what the Sheet Metal worker represents. They can count on us to never forget our roots and always strive to bring about good meaningful jobs as we have done in the past wherever we have served.”

Mufi Hannemann filed nomination papers on Tuesday with his running mate Les Chang, who is a decorated Air Force veteran.

Why The Hawaii Independent Party?

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By Mufi Hannemann

After much thought and contemplation, I believe it is time for me to resign from the Democratic Party of Hawaii.

It is an extremely difficult decision because the Democratic Party revolutionized Hawaii. It made our society more equitable, more fair, and more inclusive. It made these islands a better place for all of us.

But just as the national Republican Party has often been dominated by its far-right ideologues, the Democratic Party has its share of those who advocate partisan extremism. The party activists’ unsuccessful bid to eliminate Hawaii’s open primary system, which they are still challenging; their threats to expel Democratic public officials and members who do not toe the party line; and their other ‘true believer’ rhetoric goes against everything the party has stood for since its rise to power in the 1950’s.

Rather than becoming a unifying force for the greater good of all Hawaii, the party is now divided, with many members unhappy over the abandonment of the values of inclusion espoused by party leaders like John Burns, George Ariyoshi, Dan Inouye, Patsy Mink, Spark Matsunaga, John Waihee, Ben Cayetano, Daniel Akaka and so many others.

Growing up in Kalihi, I fondly recall the Democratic Party of my youth, when it clearly championed the little guy and prioritized the needs of the working class. Everyone felt welcomed because it was all about encouraging people irrespective of their ethnicity, education, or social status to pursue the American Dream.

I believe most Americans are fed up and frustrated with the partisanship that has paralyzed Congress and many state and local governments across the nation. They’re tired of the bickering that has stymied our progress on the economy, our education system, our quality of life, our aging infrastructure, and meaningful reforms affecting everything from business to the social safety net for those whom it was intended to help–especially our seniors, to campaign reform.

Greater numbers of Americans are identifying themselves as independents. In my discussions with the Hawaii Independent Party it is clear that HIP wants to bring energy, new ideas, and creative members to help shape public policy beyond the 40-plus percent who identify themselves as Independents, but for the state as a whole.

We need to bear in mind that it is the role of elected officials to reflect the will of the people and the values that are inherent in the community. This philosophy and perspective should always supersede a political agenda. Government leaders shouldn’t rule over the people; government leaders should serve them.

If one is interested in being dominated by party politics there are lots of choices to maintain the status quo, but if your focus is putting what is best for Hawaii’s people first, the answer can be found in the clear choice that the new Hawaii Independent Party will offer. That’s the big idea behind HIP and why I am motivated and want to become part of their movement and cause.

I am officially running for governor of Hawaii

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Honolulu – April 24, 2014 – Today Mufi Hannemann officially accepted the invitation of the newly formed Independent Party of Hawaii to run for governor of Hawaii.

Press Release – 4/24/14 – Mufi Hannemann Runs for Gov 


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