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EDITORIAL: The Super PAC Attack – The PAC and the common man

We hear Super PAC’s (Political Action Committees) on the news, and in the past we associate them with mainland politics affecting mainly mainland races. During the 2012 election PRP aka Pacific Resource Partnership injected the power of the PAC in the governor’s race against anti-rail candidate Ben Cayetano. It ended up being a dirty display of politics which PRP later apologized for in lieu of a dropped libel lawsuit filed by Cayetano against the PAC. Not to mention a big “sorry” payment of $125,000 that went to local beneficiaries. At the end of the day, Cayetano was defeated in his bid for Gov. But who takes the credit for the defeat?

Photo: Laa Poepoe
PAC Trash at the Post Office. Photo: Laa Poepoe

There is really no way to know the true effect of money in politics the same way there is no true way to know how many radio listeners there are at any given time. (I used to be in this (radio) business; 200 written diaries to speak on behalf of 140,000 people? Come on!) The stinging truth rang true in the most recent Primary where Abercrombie was smashed, not defeated, but smashed by his opponent who in comparison was outspent 10 to 1 with a 67% to 32% lead. These are two examples of money and its influence or the lack thereof.

Jeff Koterba Color Cartoon For Feb 2012 "Super Pacs"

Now for the first time, the PAC’s pipelines of funds have made its way to the local races of our county with surprising effect. With the spending of uncoordinated ads in your mailbox, on the radio, and on television, can the claws of a PAC grasp and influence the people of Maui? On complex issues such as GMO and the return of term-limited candidates, I think PAC influence is received the same way an unsolicited telemarketing call is; cold, with little effect to truly influence.

My belief is that campaign influence cannot be bought and nothing is a substitute to old fashion campaigning; coffee hours, public appearances, and shaking hands with everyone you encounter.

The Supreme Court has made Super PAC’s the law of the land so it is truly out of everyone’s control, with the only hook being proof of coordination as a violation of the law. To quote an excerpt from my Urban Dictionary, “Don’t hate the playa, hate the game”. People shouldn’t get upset with the candidate beneficiaries, targets, or at the people that fund them. The battle against PAC’s comes from within, with the ability to discern fact from fiction and taking on the responsibility to do your own independent research. You fight back against the PAC by being your own political advocate.

super pac tuesdayOn Tuesday, people from all over this county will help decide who to send to office and what ballot issues matter to them. We could attempt to shame you with images from foreign countries of people waiting in endless lines at polling places to exercise their newly granted right.

But the most cogent argument is that, purely and simply, voting matters. PAC’em. Vote.

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About Neldon "AZD" Mamuad

Neldon "AZD" Mamuad
Neldon "AZD" Mamuad is a pioneering social media entrepreneur who created MAUIWatch to solve the problem of breaking news on Maui. He has a 10-year pedigree running successful broadcast properties on Maui. He created KJMD-FM (Da Jam 98.3) in 2002 and hosted the widely popular "Big Phat Morning Show". Neldon is a local politco, event technologist, and involved with various community organizations. He was formerly Chairman of the Maui County Liquor Control Commission in 2014.

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