Ed in '08: Hawaii Board of Education (1)

Three candidates filed petitions with the State of Hawaii Office of Elections for the Honolulu seat on the State of Hawaii Board of Education. The incumbent, Denise Matsumoto, seeks another 4-year term. Carol Mon Lee and Malcolm Kirkpatrick will compete with Denise Matsumoto for the office. In Hawaii, School Board contests occur at the same time as primary and general elections for other offices. The Hawaii Revised Statutes provides that:...
§13-1 Board members; number.
(a) The board of education shall consist of thirteen members who shall be elected by the registered voters of two at-large school board districts as follows:

First school board district: the island of Oahu, comprised of the 11th through the 48th and a portion of the 49th (that portion found on the island of Oahu) representative districts, and the

Second school board district: the islands of Hawaii, Maui, Lanai, Molokai, Kahoolawe, Kauai, and Niihau, comprised of the 1st through the 10th, a portion of the 49th (that portion found on the island of Kauai), and the 50th and 51st representative districts.

(b) Ten members shall be elected at-large from the first school board district. Of the ten members elected at-large from that district, one shall be a resident of the third departmental school district (Honolulu), one shall be a resident of the fourth departmental school district (Central Oahu), one shall be a resident of the fifth departmental school district (Leeward Oahu), and one shall be a resident of the sixth departmental school district (Windward Oahu).

If you think this is complicated, just browse the rest of the "Education" statutes in Hawaii Revised Statutes.

Anyway, I'm in this contest. I recommend the experience of campaigning for elective office. Once the Office of Elections verifies the signatures on a citizen's petition for a place on the ballot, the volume of mail delivered to that citizen rises dramatically. Printers and others with specialized advertising expertise offer their services. Various charitable organizations solicit donations (wait a minute. I'm the politician. Aren't you supposed to bribe me? Oh, maybe that's after I get elected.). I suppose the idea is that the organization's officers will recommend a vote for the candidate who makes the largest donation. Newspapers and interest groups mail candidate surveys. So far this cycle I have received surveys from The Honolulu Advertiser, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, the Family Forum, the Hawaii State Teachers' Association, and the Hawaii Rifle Association. In prior elections, the Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgendered Task Force and the Ka Lahui native Hawaiian organization sent surveys. This is fun. For a $25 filing fee I get to criticize the Hawaii DOE in public and the news media get to ignore the criticism I deliver at public forums.

The Office of Elections provides to candidates a platform for a public profile, and I wrote this...

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