Brian Schatz on Principles & Values



Condemned with IFFY award for running "Issue-Free" campaign

OnTheIssues attempted and failed to compile the issue stances of this candidate--which means the candidate actively sought to hide issue stances from the internet, the news media, and the voters. OnTheIssues undertook due diligence--including writing to the campaign--and got no response. We will eventually infer the candidate's issue stances from a future voting record--but voters should demand to know about the candidate's stance on their favorite issues (and then send them to us!)

We consider "issue-free campaigners" to be untrustworthy of holding elected office--the IFFY award means they are "iffy" officeholders. Just having a "vision" is not enough--voters need to know how the candidate will actually vote on key issues. Issue-free candidates run their campaigns by mouthing platitudes like "How 'bout them Cubs?" and claiming "I respect motherhood & apple pie!" That is an insult to their constituency--and voters should complain loudly and often. We already have--join us!

Source: Senatorial IFFY disendorsement by OnTheIssues.org , Oct 31, 2014

Endorsed by progressive group "Democracy for America"

Democracy for America, the liberal group founded by former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, is endorsing Sen. Brian Schatz in his primary against Rep. Colleen Hanabusa. Schatz is the first Senate candidate the organization has endorsed this election cycle--and the second incumbent, as they're also backing Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) in his primary against Democrat Ro Khanna. Democracy for America is latest national liberal group to back him in the race, which could help Schatz shore up his claim that he's the more liberal candidate in the race.

"Senator Brian Schatz isn't just a reliable vote for progressives in Washington, D.C., he takes it a step further and organizes other Senators to join him. Whether it's fighting on the front lines against climate change, defending a woman's right to choose, or expanding Social Security, Brian Schatz has proven he's a true progressive leader," Democracy for America's Executive Director says.

Source: The Hill magazine: AdWatch on 2014 Hawaii Senate race , Feb 18, 2014

Elected to the state House in 1998 at age 26

Schatz was elected to the state House in 1998 at age 26. He attended Pomona College in California, majoring in philosophy. He is also married and has a two-year-old son.

His term as the Makiki Tantalus state senator ends this year. People have called Schatz a rising star among Democrats, an environmentalist, and a breath of fresh air.

Others say he's too young. "There are plenty of 33-year olds that don't belong in the U.S. House, plenty of 75-year olds that don't belong in the U.S. House," Schatz said. "I don't think age is anything to do with it. it has more to do on what your values are, what your skills are, and what you bring to the table."

Source: KHNL profile , Sep 13, 2006

What's good for election victory may not be good for society

Both parties have become so singularly focused on elections and re-elections that the public sometimes feel politics is like watching a sporting event--interesting, but ultimately inconsequential. But the average citizen loses in this proposition, because what's good for short-term election victories is usually not what's good for our society in the long run. I offer these suggestions for what we Democrats should do to revitalize ourselves.
  1. Think 10 years in advance.
  2. Stop waiting for a political messiah.
  3. Plan for succession.
  4. Help the middle class.
  5. Give the next generation reasons for hope.
Hawai'i has many people who believe in progressive values--opportunities for all, environmental protection, civil rights and an important role for government to support and foster these values in our lives. Democrats who want to be relevant in the 21st century must define, envision and achieve a new balance of economic prosperity for all.
Source: Honolulu Advertiser column by Rep. Brian Schatz , Oct 14, 2005

Religious freedom means no religious registry.

Schatz signed opposing a religious registry

Press Release from 9 Senators: [Cory Booker and 13 co-sponsors] introduced legislation that would block a registry of people based on their religion, race, age, gender, ethnicity, national origin, or nationality. "Religious freedom and freedom from discrimination are fundamental rights central to the very idea of being an American," Sen. Booker said. "Forcing people to sign up for a registry based on their religion, race, or national origin does nothing to keep America secure. It does, however, undermine the freedom of religion guaranteed by our Constitution and promote the false notion that people of certain faiths and nationalities are inherently suspect. Our legislation would block Donald Trump and subsequent administrations from infringing on religious liberty by creating an immigration-related religious registry."

National origin-based immigration registry systems have proven ineffective at combatting terrorism and strengthening national security, but effective at instilling fear in certain communities. The George W. Bush-era National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), registered over 83,000 individuals from 24 Muslim-majority countries, but yielded zero terrorism convictions.

Opposing argument: (GovTrack.us's analysis of S.54): President Trump pledged during his campaign to institute a temporary ban on all Muslim immigration and Syrian refugees "until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on." He made good on much of that promise with an executive order suspending America's refugee admission program for 120 days and banning all entry from seven majority-Muslim countries for 90 days. Trump has defended a Muslim registry as necessary to national security. "They have to be [registered]. It's all about management. Our country has no management," he said when first proposing the idea in 2015. Trump reiterated his plans as president-elect in December.

Source: S.54 & H.R.5207 17-S0054 on Jan 5, 2017

Question Trump on Emoluments clause.

Schatz signed questioning Trump on Emoluments clause

Excerpts from Letter from 17 Senators to Trump Organization: The Trump Organization's continuing financial relationship with President Trump raises concerns about whether it is a pass-through for income that violates the Constitution's two Emoluments Clauses: Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 on foreign Emoluments; and Article II, Clause 7 on domestic Emoluments. Please answer the following questions to help Congress understand:

Legal Analysis: (Cato Institute, "Emoluments Clause vs. Trump Empire," 11/29/16): The wording of the Emoluments clause points one way to resolution: Congress can give consent, as it did in the early years of the Republic to presents received by Ben Franklin. It can decide what it is willing to live with in the way of Trump conflicts. If it misjudges public opinion, it will pay a political price at the next election.

FOIA argument: (ACLU Center for Democracy, "FOIA Request," 1/19/17): We filed our first Freedom of Information Act request of the Trump Era, seeking documents relating President Trump's conflicts of interest relating to his business connections. When Trump took the oath of office, he didn't take the steps necessary to ensure that he and his family's business interests comply with the Constitution. Some have even argued that upon taking the oath of office, the new president is already violating the Emoluments Clause.

Source: Letter from 17 Senators 17LTR-EMOL on May 18, 2017

Certify 2020 Presidential election as fully & fairly counted.

Schatz voted NAY blocking certification of the Electoral vote

Explanation of 1/6/21 Electoral Certification, by Emily Brooks, Washington Examiner:Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Paul Gosar led an objection to counting Electoral College votes from the state of Arizona, the first formal objection to state results in a series of moves that will delay the certification of Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election over President Trump. Cruz is advocating for an `emergency 10-day audit` of election returns in disputed states. The usually ceremonial joint session of Congress that convenes to count and accept Electoral College votes will be put on hold as the House and Senate separately debate the objection.