Over at a friend's house, rainy afternoon, I spot his mail, piled on the kitchen counter.
“I see you haven't opened your KIUC ballot yet, either. Who are you gonna vote for?”
“Let's see what they got to say for themselves.” He rips open the envelope, scans the glossy KIUC Board of Directors Election Guide, flips it over, expands it to all four panels, flips it over again.
“All the Filipinos gonna vote for him,” he says, stabbing a finger at the picture of Phil Tacbian. “Oh, there's David Iha. All the educators gonna vote for him. He was the KCC chancellor, you know.”
“Who's this guy?” He points to Neal Chantara.
“Smart meters. But he's asking the two people who were gonna vote for him to cast their ballots for Jimmy, Jonathan and Adam instead. You know, the guys who just lost the opt-out fee election.”
“Adam Asquith. Oregon State. It says he is a mahi'ai kalo, hoa'aina ha'aha'a — a taro farmer, a humble steward of the land,” my friend translates. “Oh, and a Hawaiian patriot. OK, you know he's goin' for the local vote. Look, his photo even get one extra dark tint.”
“Chuck Lasker. Self-employed. Doing what? For sale to the highest bidder?”
“Is that what self-employed means to you?” says I, self-employed, slightly affronted.
He laughs, ignores the question.
“I know this guy.” He is staring at the photo of DJ Jackson. “Oh yeah, he helped me when I had my dive accident. See, he's an ER nurse.”
“He's also the director of Malama Pono, and a friend who worked for him did not have good things to say.”
“That's the PMRF guy,” he says, pointing to Stu Burley. “Swabbie. He was on the board before.”
“What do you really know about Peter Yukimura?”
“Businessman. Isn't he on the board now?”
“Interesting how they don't have the incumbents clearly labeled. Just the code, 'nominated by nominating committee,' which means a group of board members picking each other and past board members. But the other guys only gotta get 25 signatures to run. Anybody could do that.”
“Hmmm,” says my friend. He is looking at the photo of Daniel Erickson. “Masters in science. But what does he do?”
“Who is he?” I lean over my friend's shoulder, read the blurb. “It says he works at KCC.”
“But who is he?” asks my friend.
I shrug, shake my head. “As you can see, I'm not really keen on any of these boys, old or new.”
“Yeah.” He tosses the paper back onto the counter.
“So where does that bring us?”
“Back to the old boys?” he asks dubiously, and then laughs. “Well, they do already know how the whole system works.”