Friday, November 7, 2014

Musings: Picking through Leftovers

A kind and thoughtful North Shore woman called me a week before the election, feeling really sad about how Dustin Barca's mayoral candidacy was playing out.

He's not a thug, she told me. He's got a good heart, and all the kids look up to him. If only he'd reached out a year ago to folks who were politically akamai, learned the ropes, better understood the process, perhaps things would have turned out differently, better.

As we talked, I felt myself soften a bit toward Dustin. Yes, he is an uneducated young'un — though not so young that age can excuse everything — and perhaps he harbored a few regrets that his impulsive “all you corrupt fukas, this shit's over, I'm running for mayor already!” launched him on a very public, and often unsympathetic, campaign trail.

He must be relieved he didn't win,” a friend observed. “ I think he's pretty much anti-social. Anybody who can get in a ring and beat the shit out of somebody isn't much of a people person. Every time I saw him on the campaign trail, he looked very uncomfortable.”

I don't think any of us who understand government could imagine Dustin actually showing up to work at the Round Building every day, or regularly putting in the 14-to-16-hour shifts that are typical for the mayor and his top staff. Being mayor involves a lot of tedium, paperwork, drudgery and brutal hours.

Still, if Dustin was seriously interested in politics, he likely could've won a seat on the Council. That would have been a good way to learn how politics and government actually work. But going straight for mayor — on a mission from God, no less — displayed a level of egoism that doesn't quite jibe with public service. Just look at Councilman Gary Hooser.

It was hard not to think, as Dustin secured a Fightland video, coverage in Surfer and other national magazines and an RVCA sponsorship, that he was using the campaign primarily to promote himself and his sponsors.

Dustin also made a big mistake in believing he was running against Syngenta, BASF, Dow and Dupont-Pioneer, when his actual opponent was Bernard Carvalho Jr., a local boy, a Native Hawaiian with a lot of supporters and many years in public service.

And despite all of Dustin's talk about love, his admonitions to “keep it respectful,” the reality has played out quite a bit differently. His campaign lacked any of the traditional decorum, employing disrespectful social media memes, defacing road signs and public property, stealing and destroying opponents' signs and banners.

He never called Mayor Bernard, the hands-down victor, to offer his congratulations on election night, never gave a concession speech. Instead, all we got was more shouting bravado in an “I'm gonna take my marbles and go home” rant on Instagram:
"Arming and farming?"

Still, Dustin is absolutely right when he says folks need to come together as communities to take care of their problems themselves. That's why I feel a little sick every time I think of how he and Council candidate Felicia Cowden blew $110,000 on their ego-driven runs — neither had a prayer of getting elected — when that time, energy and money could've been spent actually doing something to help the North Shore, which is the only place they had any solid support.

If Dustin still wants to pursue politics, he needs an education in civics and effective campaign strategy. If he wants to be a role model for the kids, let's hope he first gets some mentoring in basic courtesy, respect and good sportsmanship — all of which are missing from his latest sore loser post:

Btw, Dustin, you didn't get 40 percent. You got 34 percent of the 57 percent of the registered voters who cast ballots. So don't be getting a swell head. 

I finally had a chance to check out the precinct reports, which start on page 235 and tell an interesting story. It's no surprise that Dustin Barca, Felicia Cowden, Gary Hooser, Mason Chock, Tim Bynum and even Jay Furfaro did well in Hanalei and Kilauea, stronghold of the anti-GMO “red shirts” brigade. Arryl Kaneshiro, Darryl Perry and Arthur Brun, all perceived as pro-GMO, had an abysmal showing there

In Anahola, things started to change. Mayor Carvalho emerged victorious there, and Dustin never again prevailed.

Continuing around the island, the anti-GMO candidates got mixed results in Kapaa, dropped again in Lihue and Hanamaulu, rallied a bit in Koloa, then steadily faded through the westside, where Felicia was dead last in Waimea.

Though we keep hearing the anti-GMO folks deny the island is divided, the precinct tallies prove otherwise.  They also make a very good case against districting. We need candidates who can represent the entire island, not just their echo-chamber.

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

One can say he's not a thug but I can smell sociopath from a mile away. This is from Mrs. Gray. The wife of the man he slashed and showed no remorse. If anyone wants to read it.
https://www.facebook.com/cindy.amolschgray/posts/10204433745346651:0

Anonymous said...

Can someone please tell me what a "Heiau fishpond" is?

And I suppose Dustin will be taking credit now for all future accomplishments since he "is on everybody's ass."

Nevermind the fact that the mayor and his team work and have been working tirelessly for the past 6 years to accomplish these goals. In real life things take time and effort.

How about this Dustin, if you want to help, be a helper. Try working with the people you menchoned instead of criticizing them and burning all bridges needed for future success. Sabotaging your relationships and self doesn't serve your higher purpose that you claim to be driven by. You don't need to be Mayor to accomplish things. Let's see if you can be instrumental in doing just one thing worth noting for the community. Just one thing. Let's see it! Cause so far your just a hype man and a social media sensation which doesn't translate into reality.

Also, correct people when they call you kanaka. Why would you want to mislead people to think you something your not?

Anonymous said...

@9:49 wow! Read it. Thanks for posting link.

Anonymous said...

Can someone explain why the people who live on the westside don't elect the people who want to save them?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Barca's future is probably not to be in any political or administrative position, unless he polishes his verbal skills, written communications, social interface and sets broader community goals. Gentling his overall disposition and demeanor might improve his happiness, and those who come in contact with him. Work to do, Mr. Barca.

Anonymous said...

"Better waist management?" Are we all going on diets now?

Anonymous said...

Lol he is not even Hawaiian ... He is the new Bula'ia ... But Bula'ia was Hawaiian

Anonymous said...

Isn't Lorilani Torio the membership director for Hooser's HAPA? Is this the kind of behavior they "like" and support?

Anonymous said...

I see Jonathan Jay's already touting district races for council on his FB page, so figure that will be the drum they're beating next. He also incorrectly states that all of the candidates come from Lihue or East side, with the exception of Felicia. As usual, he's wrong in a loud voice. Plus it's "exhausting" having to campaign all over the island. Yeah, hard work is hard you lazy fuck. So much for coming together. Yeah, it's hard going into areas where people don't know you or trust you. But that's how you find out what's going on outside your little neighborhood, that's where you hear voices that might disagree with you.
And isn't Furfaro from Princeville? So the North Shore does have a rep, who just happens to be the council chair. Get your facts straight JJ, although why start now ...

Anonymous said...

10:20 AM. Take some time to analyze the inherent arrogance of your post and I think you'll be able to answer your own question.

Anonymous said...

Everyone should read that link 9:49.

https://www.facebook.com/cindy.amolschgray/posts/10204433745346651:0

Anonymous said...

Of course Dustin is jealous of Mauna Kea Trask. He's everything Dustin is not: smart, successful, educated, handsome, important, pono and kanaka.

Anonymous said...

Wow after reading this how the heck is this guy getting 8000 votes there should be a minimum standard to run for mayor .... He is a joke pounding poi on Election Day wow ke Akua has spoken what are you going to do now ?
"ALL BARCA NO BITE"

Anonymous said...

10:20am Because westside people smart, they don't listen to mainland and northshore haoles who want to tell them what to do or what's best for them. Idiot, stupid question. Slap yourself.

Anonymous said...

I'm sad too. We should all be sad. What this anti-GMO disinformation campaign has done to all of us is beyond belief. Hawaii wasn't a perfect place before, but any sense of a cohesive, kind, and caring community has been destroyed. It makes me sick.

Anonymous said...

Dustin came to my house when he was campaigning. He was polite and well spoken. I didn't vote for him but he did not come across as a thug or a phony. I give him credit for putting himself out there and being willing to take shots from his critics, some of whom are kind of chicken shit.

Anonymous said...

12:02 karma, Dustin was chicken shit during 2491, calling Councilmembers, Mayor, County Attorneys names, threatening them in his testimony. But you feel sorry for him now? And look now, the Bill is Invalid. Who started all this shit? Hooser, Bynum, Barca, Chock, Yukimura, Furfaro, Nadine Nakamura, Sol Khan, Kubo, and all those fake redshirts who make Pinochio look normal. Now you feel sorry for them. They fucked up this whole island. Gone are the days of peace and harmony. At little consolation is Biotech Babe Nomi, real life comedy.

Anonymous said...

10:20 don't slap yourself, slap anyone around you because they must be stupid to be hanging around you.

Anonymous said...

It's truly scary to think that 34% of those who voted drank the fact-free GMO Kool-Aid and voted for Barca, because that's the only reason anyone could possibly have felt he would represent their policy preferences.

Anonymous said...

Regarding HAPA and Gary Hooser's position and his re-election to the County Council, isn't there a definite CONFLICT OF INTEREST there? How can Gary vote on anything subject matter that HAPA testifies for or against?

Dawson said...

It's truly scary to think that 34% of those who voted drank the fact-free GMO Kool-Aid and voted for Barca, because that's the only reason anyone could possibly have felt he would represent their policy preferences.

Even scarier is how people fall under the sway of political demagogues who play the strongman role. From local governments to nations, the crude, uneducated, demagogic strongman has powerful appeal in times of uncertainty and fear.

Popular approval of the passionate, often threatening acting-out of the strongman has empowered dictatorships large and small since the beginning of civilization. Their true appeal isn't their political message, it's the psychological comfort of having a berserker as warrior-protector of you and your tribe, and the fantasy of being able to sic him upon your real or imagined enemies.

Barca's behavior -- the core of his appeal -- is essentially no different.

Anonymous said...

He did not run "around the whole island." He didn't even run around the whole part that has a road. He rode around in a van, stopping periodically to get out and run a few feet for photos.
I had to swerve to avoid his photo crew sticking their camera into the road in Hanapepe, less than 10 minutes after my friends saw him flexing his biceps in Waimea, then climbing into the van and riding away.
Perplexing that we wouldn't vote for the guy after he came all the way out to save us like that.

Anonymous said...

ok, time to stop beating dead horse.

Anonymous said...

Kauai is too small for districts. It would only create more divide.

Dawson said...

ok, time to stop beating dead horse.

It's naive to believe that horses like Bynum and Barca die. Defeat just throws them off their stride. They'll be back at full gallop before you know it, more convinced than before of their own self-righteousness.

Anonymous said...

Agree on the dead horse, but better waist management is priceless.

But with Jay and Tim losing, didn't we already achieve better waist management? But yes, the Mayor might stand lose a few also.

Anonymous said...

10:20am Because westside people smart, they don't listen to mainland and northshore haoles who want to tell them what to do or what's best for them. Idiot, stupid question. Slap yourself.

November 7, 2014 at 11:41 AM
I was being facetious.

Anonymous said...

@ 1:26 PM
Agreed -- Hooser must recuse himself from any potential "conflict of interest" issues that come before the Council.
Hope whoever is Chair, will ensure that happens.

Anonymous said...

I can't help but wonder if some of the commenters are seed-company propagandists much as the Hooser/Bynum/Barca folks are anti-GMO propagandists. There are real and significant issues with GMO seeds and very real issues with the way that Monsanto operates and suffocates local farmers.

My understanding from reading this blog is that Joan objects to the way that the anti-GMO crowd has hijacked local politics in Kauai, not for the benefit of the island but for the benefit of outside interest groups. One can object to GMO seeds and to the way that these multi-national corporations operate and at the same time also object to the way that the Hooser/Bynum/Barca crowd has run a single-issue campaign while neglecting other issues that have a much greater impact on the health, safety, and environment of the island.

Anonymous said...

black is white and white is black and there is gray everywhere, it's all a muddled puddle.

Anonymous said...

That is for sure, the mayor bettah focus more on both waist and waste management. Barca should run for council in the next two years. He will win!!

Anonymous said...

November 8, 12:38pm
FWIW, My take-home from Joan's recent blogs is simply that we all need to engage in more critical thinking when it comes to these issues. She has an entire article on this.
For example, if you state that there are "are real and significant issues with GMO seeds," do you have facts that support your claim? Would you dismiss someone that disagrees as a propagandist?
I respect Joan's writing because even when I disagree, she provides well-reasoned, fact based opinions. She also has the intellectual honesty to adjust her views in light of new factual information.

For the record, I consider myself a strong advocate for the environment and I support biotech because research tells me that the technology can aid in environmental stewardship.

Anonymous said...

It's a Win, win!!

Don't like GMO's move to Maui and read food labels to your heart's content.

Anonymous said...

Barca has zero support outside the north shore and for that reason alone he would not win a council race. He was fortunate to benefit from a protest vote that would have gone to any potted plant who put his or her name on the ballot. He wouldn't get that in a council race.

Anonymous said...

Or better yet why don't we require all non gmo to be labeled, lot less costly in the long run.

Anonymous said...

11:26am Barca got more than 8000 votes. More than enough to land in the top 7. It was surprising that the mayor did not win in a landslide...he got the political machines behind him and huge campaign funds. The mayor cannot claim he has a mandate.

Anonymous said...

5:06 pm. "Barca got more than 8000 votes." He got 5000 of those by threatening to hit them in the head with a glass if they didn't vote for him.

Of course I can't prove it but it's his responsibility to prove it's not true.

Anonymous said...

Votes in a one-on-one mayor's race do not translate into equivalent votes in a free-for-all council race where people are far more selective with their votes. Note how many unused votes in council races. In a council race, Barca wouldn't get those voting against his opponent, he would only get those who believed in his ideas and character, both of which are zilch.

Anonymous said...

November 8, 2014 at 5:30 PM
LOL! I LOVE your comment. Simple and straight forward way to explain this whole GMO/Pesticide issue.

Anonymous said...

Crips, Blood, MS13, and Barca. Let's be honest and call a thug a thug. When your supporters are surfing thugs like Chava Greenlee and the anti-GMO eco terrorists, you voter base isn't much different from the candidate. I can't imagine that 34% actually supported Barca. My unscientific estimate is that half of those who voted from Barca were anti-Carvalho not pro-Barca. The rest were simply following this northshore "Jim Jones" and his mission from God, or identified with his subculture persona.

Nohu Pinao said...

Joan, your suggestion that Dustin might have won a council seat and would have learned much from the experience was excellent. I know you think poorly of Felicia, but wasn't she doing exactly what you suggested for Dustin? As humans we are all flawed. I think it takes courage to be willing to endure a political campaign. I believe most people stepped forward well intended. Personally I am glad that people care so much that they show up for demonstrations, hearings, campaigns, and elections. It's democracy. And Joan, you are an important part of that process. I turn to you for information I cannot get anywhere else. I want to be as informed as I can. I think we are the better for all that has happened. I celebrate our voices, all of them. I am grateful for everyone who cares. What is that old saying about apathy?

Anonymous said...

Want to comment on the Maui vote Joan? How is it that over 50% of the Maui voters passed the anti farming initiative? Is there that many crazy people on Maui? Monsanto spends $8,000,000 and loses? How can this be? Facinateing. Regardless of the language of the proposal and its legal viability, it seems pretty amazing that over half of Maui voters chose to send the gmo companies packing. Maybe we will see the fistees and Barca all moving to Maui?

Anonymous said...

Maui County’s population is 36% “white alone”- say 58,000 and not a whole lot of them are Hawaii born- just like the north shore of Kauai. About 23,000 Maui voters voted for the initiative and 22,000 voted against it. Anyone looking at video of Kauai and Maui’s council hearings, and by the way Maui’s were quite decorous compared to ours, would justifiably come away with the impression that this issue was a primarily haole issue as is borne out by the precinct vote on Kauai where red-shirt candidates ran up impressive majorities but collapsed outside those precincts of concentrated whiteness. You simply cannot dispose of race and short duration of tenancy as drivers in this issue. If I had the time or the inclination, my guess is that the votes for the initiative came from the Haiku, Makawao, Kula, Kihei and Lahaina precincts. Maui has “tipped over” into an offshore enclave of suburban mainland values and Kauai is lamentably fast on the way there. When the turnout is low as was the case this time, single issue, motivated voters tend to be over-represented. However, the slog through the federal courts may teach us all a lesson on mainland versus Hawaii ways of doing things. You can talk about malama and ‘aina and aloha all you want, but if you do not start there, you are pissing into the wind. And we are getting a face full thanks to the Council’s inability to grab hold of the situation and reset the dialogue to include all parties in respectful discussion from the beginning and leaving the rudder in the hands of zealots.

Anonymous said...

So I get that most of the yes votes were white. What does that matter? Does the color of their skin or origin of their birth discount their opinion on this? Was the Maui initiative a victory for the zealots? Could the zealots be correct and Maui is better off without Monsanto? Maybe we should "weight" the votes and give local born nonwhites 1.5 votes and give mainland born .75?

Anonymous said...

Of course it matters. The zealots could be wrong and the rest of us better off without them. With notable exceptions, they don't add a lot by their presence; think tickets- not votes. We'll find out about correctness when the courts have weighed in, won't we? I guess Maui and Hawaii Island will be making appearances in the federal district court in Hawaii before trooping on to the the 9th Circuit to join Kauai. You might like paying the tab, but I resent it.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"Can someone explain why the people who live on the westside don't elect the people who want to save them?"
November 7, 2014 at 10:20 AM


Answer: Because they're smart enough to know that the Anti-GMO crowd are all a bunch of bullshitters and self-aggrandizers. Westsiders think vs. follow. Baaaaa...!!!!