COMPAC had good reason to release endorsements early

Last week the Chamber of Maui Political Action Committee (COMPAC) released its endorsements for county and state races, leaving some to question why the rush since the process was still underway and the committee’s full report not yet done. It is a good question and one that we appreciate people asking because it shows their interest in COMPAC’s endorsements.

The answer is simple. The county and state endorsements for the general election were shared early to be responsive to those running. COMPAC was scheduled to interview all candidates the week of Aug. 11-15, but Hurricane Iselle had other plans. In fact, the week before that we were not even sure if the interviews could be held as scheduled due to first Iselle and then Hurricane Julio, which was expected to hit Aug. 11. Thankfully, Maui fared far better than initially anticipated with Iselle, and Julio was a nonissue. So, the COMPAC process was on.

Unfortunately, the Big Island was not as lucky and many were left dealing with damage and finishing a primary election. Congressional candidates went there to help. Given this, COMPAC moved forward with the interviews for the county and state, with interviews concluded on Aug. 15 as planned. Meanwhile, COMPAC kept in touch with those running for the U.S. House and Senate seats.

Candidates in county and state races were understandably anxious to hear the results and many were checking in with COMPAC to see if a decision had been made. At first, they were told that COMPAC needed to complete its process, as we have customarily done, before releasing the results. However, we realized that those running for the congressional seats were still busy helping the residents of the Big Island and needed more time. It was important work and we needed to not rush them. Given this, it looked like the results would not be released until mid-September.

While a mid-September date worked well for COMPAC, it did not work for many candidates who were waiting for the results to move forward with campaign materials and public relations efforts. They were holding up their efforts until they learned about their endorsement.

Therefore, given the unusual situation and wanting to be responsive to those running for office, COMPAC modified the process and released the known endorsements earlier this year.

COMPAC thanks all who agreed to be interviewed and is pleased to share these “business-friendly” endorsements for county and state offices in the 2014 general election:

* Governor – James “Duke” Aiona.

* Senate District 6 (South and West Maui) – Roz Baker.

* House District 8 (Wailuku, Waikapu, Kahakuloa) – Joe Souki.

* House District 10 (West Maui, Maalaea, north Kihei) – Angus McKelvey.

* House District 12 (Upcountry) – Richard Pohle.

* Mayor – Alan Arakawa.

* County Council, East Maui – Bob Carroll.

* County Council, Kahului – Don Guzman.

* County Council, Makawao-Haiku-Paia – Mike White.

* County Council, Molokai – Stacy Crivello.

* County Council, South Maui – Don Couch.

* County Council, Upcountry – Gladys Baisa.

* County Council, Wailuku-Waihee-Waikapu – Joseph Blackburn.

* County Council, West Maui – Ka’ala Buenconsejo.

COMPAC’s purpose is to identify candidates whose views are most aligned with Chamber of Commerce’s positions and values and to endorse those deemed to be the most “business friendly” in an election season.

Interviews for the U.S. House and Senate candidate will be done shortly, with the resulting endorsements to soon follow. In the meantime, please share these “business-friendly” candidates with family and friends and help elect them on Nov. 4.

* Pamela Tumpap is president of the Maui Chamber of Commerce.