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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, April 9, 2010

Ethnicity raised in Isle campaign

By Herbert A. Sample
Associated Press

An Asian-American political group yesterday urged the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee not to take sides in the special election for Hawai'i's vacant 1st Congressional District seat.

The Asian American Action Fund, a self-described Democratic political action committee based in Washington, D.C., said it would be unseemly for the DCCC to favor former Rep. Ed Case over state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa.

Case is Caucasian-American; Hanabusa is Japanese-American. Both are Demo-crats. Honolulu Councilman Charles Djou is the lone major Republican in the race.

"What we're saying is that Hawai'i is a state that's 58 percent Asian-American and the DCCC should be very sensitive to that fact," said Gautam Dutta, executive director of the action fund.

Andrew Stone, a spokesman for the DCCC, issued a statement in response: "The DCCC is focused on Charles Djou and making sure voters in Hawai'i know about his record of supporting corporate special interests over the needs of families in Hawai'i, like his attempts to eliminate taxes on big insurance companies and his opposition to tax cuts for middle-class families in Hawai'i."

Hanabusa and her allies have spent several days fighting off reports the DCCC favors Case as more electable in the winner-take-all election. Case has not addressed the reports.