Schatz campaign touts his position in memo


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The memo points to Schatz's money edge — he has more than $2 million for the race to Hanabusa's $770,000 after outraising her the last two fundraising quarters — as well as endorsements from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), The Sierra Club, MoveOn.org and a bevy of local unions.

"With decisive advantages in money, endorsements, organization, and manpower as well as an ideology more in tune with primary voters, Schatz is well-positioned to win the  Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate," says the memo.

The memo argues that Hanabusa "has failed to meet nearly every expectation and benchmark it initially set," including predictions that organized labor would back her in the race, and claims that 28 of the 33 unions who have endorsed in the campaign are backing him.

It also paints Schatz as the more liberal candidate, arguing that ideology will trump Hawaii's racial politics in determining who will win the race. Hawaii Democratic politics have long been influenced by divisions between white, Japanese and Native Hawaiian voters.

"As Hawaii's electorate has moved to the left, progressive candidates, regardless of ethnicity, have won every major contested Democratic primary race since 2002," argues the memo. "Although some pundits have theorized that ethnicity determines Democratic primaries, recent history clearly demonstrates that progressive ideology is the more dominant factor."

Hanabusa's campaign fired back.

"There's a lot more to winning over voters in Hawaii than this sort of cynical and mechanical political calculation. The Schatz campaign seems to have forgotten that Brian was appointed to his seat by Governor Abercrombie, and the people of Hawaii have yet to express their opinion about who can best serve them in the United States Senate," said Hanabusa spokesman Peter Boylan.

"In Hawaii, raising the most money or getting the most endorsements doesn't always win the race. The voters are smarter than that. Nor do Hawaii voters cast their ballots based on identification with a particular ideology. It's more accurate to say that they have preferred highly-qualified candidates who reflect their core values."

Schatz, Hawaii's former lieutenant governor, was appointed by Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) to the Senate following the death of longtime Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) despite Inouye's deathbed request that Hanabusa be named to the seat. She decided earlier this year to run against Schatz.

The DSCC, which always backs incumbents, touted his campaign as well.

"It's clear that Sen. Schatz has put together a superior campaign organization. His impressive fundraising and endorsements are indicators of that," said DSCC spokesman Matt Canter.

This post was updated at 11:45 p.m.