Hawaii Mayoral History

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Hello Jeri,

Aloha to thee. So sorry to hear of the spider bite(s). I keep hearing the ads for * Carnivora * to remove unwanted cells from the body – maybe that can remove any lingering toxins from you? Just a hopeful, helpful thought. I wish you speedy recovery!

Did you ever see what www dot ganja-juice dot com is? Maybe a helpful tonic. Please lemme know. Thanks.

Yes, the election of Paul Dolan would be a great and useful gift to me! I love that guy for his smart, principled and courageous stand. Go, Paul, GO! Thank YOU for supporting him! What a blessing he would be.

Share ran to bring attention to supporting the Peaceful Sky law in the Mayor’s race. Now she tells me that Dominic Yagong is publically supportive of it, too. If true, that’s great. See her latest interview at Big Island Chronicle, or Weekly.

In 1992 Bernard Akana WON as Mayor as the MOST unlikely candidate in island history. His name was first on the election alphabetically. He was a retired sugar cane worker who it appeared could hardly read and write English. He spent zero money and had zero ideas, zero campaign except to wave and smile on the corner, but people felt to give him a chance as a joke and a poke at the system. He WON! :-O It was SO excitiing to witness. Fortunately his wife had social service connections and lots of good-hearted people volunteered to fill seats to help Bernard who didn’t know a flippin’ thing. He died of a heart attack about 6 months later, R.I.P.

All the best to you!

Roger

OK, Bernard Akana.

Dante Carpenter, native Hawaiian, was elected Mayor in 1988. I liked him personally and he treated me with respect as a pro-Cannabis activist which I really appreciated then and now. It was the go-go years of huge Japanese investments in Hawai’i; TOO huge. It was like they were taking-over the state with tons of yen, and reportedly they (Yakuza-mafia) brought the ‘meth’, too. Dante was/is a pretty slick and out-spoken guy, flashier then most, especially back then. I zero hold it against him, but many did. He’s right now the Chairman of the Democratic Party, or possibly the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, very powerful positions, which ever it is. He moved from Hilo to Honolulu after he lost the election. He’s a player, a mover and shaker. In 1990 or so he purchased a new Lincoln Continental as the official Mayor’s car at a time when there were ZERO fancy cars on the island except for rentals. It was a symbol that people really talked about and hated, for whatever reason. I think Dante wanted to pick-up VIP’s at the airport and make them feel special … whatever, locals hated it and said so at every opportunity that I overheard. In many other jurisdictions it wouldn’t have even been noticed. When he came-up for re-election in 1992 there became a popular, grassroots movement called A-B-C, “Anybody But Carpenter” for Mayor. :-O Who really started it? I zero know, except it was talked about a lot that Dante was too flashy for locals, too ‘something’ to be re-elected, and anyone else would be a better choice. Careful what you ask for. Slogans have power!

As far as I know, Bernard Akana was a retired, local sugarcane worker with a sweet personality back in the day. He was known to hang-out virtually all day at the former mall (now the Hawaii County offices of D.M.V., Prosecutor, etc.) and drink coffee and visit with a local group of guys who spent their time in the air conditioned mall talkin’ story. Bernard loved to talk local politics and at some point he ran for Mayor, and God bless him for doing it. He spent zero money, had zero campaign events, etc. and he got almost zero votes, but he was rumored to be doing it for the love of the people and wanting to help-out. He seemed to have zero enemies, zero new ideas, etc. Just a big smile.

In 1992 Bernard ran again the same way. He would stand on the side of the road somewhere before the election and just wave at people and smile. Simple guy, simple strategy. People loved it, but he had zero chance of actually winning … until … A-B-C. I remember the election pretty well where Bernard’s name AKANA was top of the candidate list for Mayor because of the alphabet. A – first in line. So many people opposed Dante Carpenter that I think they gave their vote to Bernard as a joke, and a poke at the political system, never thinking that he would ever win the thing. But win it he did! The morning after the election the island was buzzing with crazy excitement as Bernard Akana was elected the new Mayor! Holy flippin’-moly! It shocked everyone, especially Bernard. He seemed to zero know what to say, or what to do … except keep smiling and waving, but looking all nervous now.

Fortunately for Bernard, and for the island, Bernard was married to an educated haole woman I think named Ina. Ina was a social worker and well-connected to many other social workers on the island. Apparently she put-out the call to her network for volunteers to help staff the county offices and many people showed-up and took seats and did the jobs with a smile. It was a very happy and exciting time, as I remember it. Something totally new and unexpected was happening politically on the big island. No longer would the Japanese get VIP treatment to come here and buy the place. No longer would fancy Dante do his deals with his insiders. It was a new day on the island and it felt terrific to manyof us.

Aaron Anderson and I made an appointment to see the new Mayor as he promised an open-door policy and we took him up on the offer. Of course we wanted to end the marijuana eradication program and promote a Cannabis hemp economy so we took our show and tell stuff to the meeting with Bernard the Mayor. In the Mayor’s nice office. It was fun, but kinda sad because Bernard seemed to hardly know what to say or think or do. In the room with the Mayor was some local guy who I didn’t recognize who oversaw the whole meeting and listened to every word spoken. I think he made sure that the Mayor didn’t say or promise anything to us! We spoke our piece, we showed our hemp samples and printed handouts, and Bernard just smiled and thanked us for coming. End of meeting. It actually seemed that Bernard hardly understood a word we said. Oh well … so much for trying that. He was nice, that’s all.

About six months later dear Bernard died of a heart attack in office. His assistant, Larry Tanimoto, a local golf coach, and teacher immediately took-over as the temporary Mayor. A special election was soon held to fill the Mayor’s seat and I think Lorraine Inouye won and was Mayor for the rest of the term of office taking the island politics back to the insiders and old-boy-girl ways; politicas as usual. Sad.

Bernard Akana – R.I.P. He tried, he succeeded, then he left the planet a winner. Big island political memories.

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