IMR: 1998: November: 03 — Tuesday, 4:29 p.m.
Our Apartment, Makiki, Hawai`i

Jen and I are waiting for a guy from our building's management company to come by and carry out the annual inspection. We're looking forward to showing him the bedroom door that's been so badly eaten by termites it bends in the middle like paper.

We just got in from doing our civic duty, which was no bother given that our polling place is fifty yards away.

Though I'm not proud of it, I voted for Cayetano. My student I.D. card will probably be revoked. On the other hand, it felt good — after a week of last-minute activism — to color in the "No" bubble on the proposed legislative restriction on same-sex marriage.

Here, hacked out in a set of rudimentary tables that I assembled this morning at work, are my voluminous thoughts on today's elections. I include "Four Months Ago" because, frankly, many things changed in the community and in my head between then and now.

(Obviously, since I voted for Cayetano. Oh my oh my.)

Governor:Four Months Ago:Today:
My Vote:Frank FasiCayetano/Hirono
Polls Say:Lingle/LiuDead Heat
I Predict:Lingle/LiuCayetano/Hirono
My earlier vote for Fasi, obviously, was a throwaway. I just figured we owed the guy some jollies after all he's done. Otherwise, I would have gone with Linda Lingle and Mike Liu simply because they're not Cayetano. But then Liu lost out to Christian Coalition flunkie Stan Koki, and frankly, some of Linda's shine started to fade. As a college student who has seen the UH budget slashed and watched tuition jump 70 percent, Cayetano is certainly no friend of mine. But he's done a decent job overall of cleaning up the mess Waihe`e left behind, and I'll be damned if I let someone like Koki get within a heartbeat of Washington Place.

Same-Sex Marriage:Four Months Ago:Today:
My Vote:NoNo
Polls Say:YesYes
I Predict:YesNo
Our judicial record is notoriously liberal, but our citizenry is very conservative. I think the crucial days of this race were the last two weeks, when the campaigning on both sides got extremely aggressive, but only one side got hateful. (Comparing gay people to dogs?) With all the local, grass-roots groups urging a "No" vote and a substantial backlash against Rev. Marc Alexander and his bigoted cohorts, I'm cautiously putting my money on "No." But I'm not holding my breath, either.

U.S. Representative:Four Months Ago:Today:
My Vote:Quentin KawananakoaNeil Abercrombie
Polls Say:Neil AbercrombieNeil Abercrombie
I Predict:Neil AbercrombieNeil Abercrombie
I honestly think Quentin might have had a chance, if he didn't withdraw. I'm not nuts about Abercrombie, and this race was so ugly I was considering just leaving my ballot blank. Ultimately, Neil got my vote simply because Gene Ward is too spooky. (But only half as spooky as Stan Koki.) Besides, it was only too obvious the guy was using the old "I have a family" card to the extreme... not a single photo of him failed to include his local wife and their cute Asian baby.

U.S. Senate:Four Months Ago:Today:
My Vote:Dan InouyeDan Inouye
Polls Say:Dan InouyeDan Inouye
I Predict:Dan InouyeDan Inouye
The man might as well have been running unopposed. (Jackie who?) Even folks who don't like Dan find it hard to argue with the big bucks he flings back over the Pacific.

State House:Four Months Ago:Today:
My Vote:Sam AionaSam Aiona
I Predict:Sam AionaBrian Schatz
Even though Aiona is a Republican, it looked like he was on his way to reelection. I didn't know much about his record, but at least he had one, and charisma was a factor in my vote. But lately Schatz has been making a lot of noise, and the anti-incumbent tide may just wash Aiona out. (Jen was always marveling at how young Aiona was, until she found out Schatz, 25, was even younger.)

City Council:Four Months Ago:Today:
My Vote:Andy MirikitaniAndy Mirikitani
I Predict:Russ FrancisRuss Francis
I'll be the first to admit that Mirikitani has his quirks. Heck, folks say that whole family is just a little strange. But I think we need a little of that in politics (see Frank Fasi). And I don't remember him saying anything that's really annoyed me, and when it comes to the City Council, that counts for a lot. But, sadly, I have no doubt the voting public will go for the one-time football hero and TV sports anchor instead.

After the inspection is done, we're going to swing by campus to pick up William and head down to Cayetano headquarters on South King Street. We've had a standing invitation for dad for some time, and now that I've actually voted to keep his boss in office, I don't feel weird about showing up. Hell, the least I deserve for my grudging support is a small plate of cold, greasy food.

[ Picnic ]On Saturday, a handful of Ka Leo survivors assembled in Wai`anae to catch up with Greg, one of the few who escaped to the Mainland.

William, Kim, and Donica were there. Even Todd and his girlfriend graced us with their... stable presence.

The only one missing (besides Judy) was Martha. We comemmorated her absence in sharing tales of past events she'd missed — Donica's birthday, our wedding reception — usually for the most bizarre reasons.

It was a short picnic. Only moderately longer, I wager, than the time we spent on the road getting there (in trying to find the park, we overshot and made it halfway to Ka`ena Point). Still, it was fun, and the discussion was animated. Not surprisingly, talk turned frequently to the good old days, and more directly to how much things back at the old rag had changed since. The food, which ranged from fried noodles to Whoppers, was good.

The low point had to be when a dog got nailed by a truck while crossing Farrington Highway. (I didn't see it, but heard the thunk and saw the resulting mayhem.) A regular occurance, according to Kim, but still rather unsettling.

The high point, by contrast, was when William turned a major problem into a tasty entree. He showed up with fish fillets expecting a barbeque, only to find no one had brought a grill. So he went to buy a grill... and then struggled for half an hour to light it. He did get it lit, eventually, but it went out five minutes later.

So, with raw fish, miso and Mirin in hand, he set about assembling a delicious plate of poke. And it was really good. Though everyone was a little skeptical, they were quickly won over. I hope we forget the grill more often (as long as William doesn't bring chicken).

But Greg, the big wuss, wouldn't risk more than a tiny bite. Considering the other kinds of things that man puts in his mouth...

Um. I didn't write that.

You know, on second thought, I don't want to wait for the inspector. He was supposed to have been here 40 minutes ago.

Tuesday, 11:14 p.m.
Our Apartment, Makiki, Hawai`i

[ Ben H.Q. ]Things at Ben Cayetano's headquarters were interesting enough. I kept my cool, found good parking, we stole chairs and set up our own little corner in the back of the tent, and we got in line early for food. Didn't see dad, but we had fun playing "Name That Television News Reporter."

But Jen got a headache and the family beside us was having some kind of internal meltdown, so we took off just before the first returns came in. People were cheering as we drove past, so it was obviously good news.

Since then, there have been two returns, and the just-about-final return is expected in about two minutes. Tedious as it may seem, I've been watching the numbers and analyses all evening.

So far, it doesn't look good for the "No" camp. I'm honestly surprised. I was expecting at least a close race, but instead the "Yes" camp has outpaced them by more than 2-to-1.

The gubernatorial race is living up to its billing as one of the tightest contests ever. Fewer than 5,000 votes separate Cayetano (who is in the lead) from Lingle, so this last count could take it anywhere.

I guess it goes without saying that Dan Inouye is keeping his job. So is Neil Abercrombie, though I think Gene Ward still got more votes than anyone expected.

The Aiona/Schatz race is very tight, a difference of two dozen votes, as is the Mirikitani/Francis.

So far KHON/FOX2 has been the quickest to get the numbers up, so I'll stick with Joe and pals. Hey... is that Linda Aragon in the background? And that is definitely Cora Iezza. Small world.

(Why is there maple syrup on this remote control?)

Oop, here we go.

Cayetano has 190,975, Lingle has 180,706. On the same-sex marriage issue, "Yes" has 269,617, "No" has 119,389 (plus 7,904 blank). For State House, Schatz has 3,821, Aiona has 3,338. On the City Council side, Mirikitani has 12,060, Francis has 11,298.

Good news, I guess, in the governor's race. Koki can go back to thumping his bible, and my dad keeps his job. The same-sex marriage vote, however, is very disappointing. I guess I was really overestimating the electorate. I mean, I figured people would vote "No" just because the "Yes" commercials were so annoying. Looks like the youthful Schatz will replace Aiona in the State House, but the ever-colorful Mirikitani will keep his seat in the City Council.

I won some and lost some, but all in all, this has unquestionably been one of the most interesting election years in a long time. From before the primary, I was more interested in what was going to happen at the polls than I've ever been... and this is as a pseudo-journalist, for whom cynicism is a major part of my worldview.

It's times like these that my silly plan to run for office "just because" looks almost appealing. Hell, nine city councilmembers got to keep their seats tonight simply because no one ran against them. We can't have that.

From the "stick to the issues" department, this final, random thought. Jen says she voted for Schatz because of his position on crosswalks. Literally. The corner of Ke`eaumoku and Wilder has been a popular spot for signwaving, especially by Schatz and Aiona. Jen, who walks regularly to the park, says Schatz supporters didn't block pedestrians, while Aiona's people did.

That reminds me. Something's gotta be done about these sign wavers. If private businesses can't pollute the landscape, why can politicians?


© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: · Created: 3 November 1998 · Last Modified: 6 November 1998