Expensive business

One of the unfortunate truths about seeking or holding elective office today is that the main function is raising money for campaigns.

Brian Schatz has been a senator for a quarter-of-a-year now and already we are receiving almost daily solicitations from him to contribute to his 2014 campaign.

Mind you, he has reason to be running hard. Reports have circulated that Rep. Colleen Hanabusa is eyeing his Senate seat or a run for governor in 2014. Other reports say that our freshman representative – Tulsi Gabbard – may run for Schatz’s seat if Hanabusa chooses not to.

All of which begs the question: “When do these people have time to do their work as legislators?”

If gearing up for campaigns – whether to win a new seat or protect an old one – is the 365-day-a-year job it appears to be, it is no wonder that government is such a mess.

And what will be the result if some of the above speculations come to pass?

Let’s say Hanabusa challenges Gov. Neil Abercrombie in 2014 and Gabbard decides to try to wrest Schatz’s Senate seat from him. We will have four very distracted people in our highest elected offices – only Sen. Mazie Hirono will be able to give full attention to business.

And don’t forget, if either of our House incumbents decides to challenge Abercrombie, she will probably resign from Congress. Abercrombie decided he couldn’t run for governor while serving in Washington. That could mean another special election and more chaos.

While the possible races are speculation, the fundraising is not. Look for solicitations in your mailbox or email very soon if you have not already received some. Politics is a very expensive business.

It is just too bad that our representatives have to spend more time running than governing.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.