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Maui’s Kaniela Ing Announces Bernie Sanders Endorsement

March 22, 2016, 4:37 AM HST (Updated March 22, 2016, 4:37 AM) · 7 Comments
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Representative Kaniela Ing of Maui takes to social media last night to become the only State Representative and only Asian/Pacific Islander (API) Legislator to veer from Hillary Clinton and endorse Senator Bernie Sanders for the Hawaiʻi President Preference Polls.

The announcement came as Jane Sanders, wife of Berie Sanders, visited Maui for a meet and greet event last night at the Maui Tropical Plantation.

“Hope for a Generation: Why I’m Endorsing Bernie Sanders,” said Rep. Ing in a press release statement.

As the youngest legislator in Hawaiʻi, and as a first-generation college graduate from a working-class family, Rep. Ing said, “I understand the frustrations that today’s young people have towards their government.”

According to Rep. Ing, Campaign finance reform must be a priority for the next President. “I have experienced firsthand how upward mobility has dithered in our nation, and how big money has corrupted our democracy and allowed this to happen,” he said.

As a Democrat facing his own Primary challenger, Rep. Ing said he has been advised to stay neutral in Presidential politics, but said, he “cannot remain neutral any longer.”

“This election is too important. That’s why today I’m endorsing Senator Bernie Sanders to be the next president and commander-in-chief of the United States–the only candidate walking the talk to get big money out of politics,” he said.

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“Since coming of age, my generation has witnessed partisan gridlock, incivility, and failed policies that favor big-money special interests. We are a generation of hope living in a time of fear. And for the first time in America’s history, our generation may not be better off than our parents, which is antithetical to the American Dream,” said Rep. Ing.

Rep. Ing also discussed the financial burden associated with college education, the trials of starting a family, climate change and wage parity.

“I viewed a college degree as my ticket to the middle class, but it feels more like a never-ending bill. We’re looking to start a family but may be forced to choose between a paycheck and bonding with our newborn. Climate change may soon flood the South Maui neighborhood I live in, but its being ignored by politicians beholden to corporate polluters. And my partner is still getting paid less than men do in her line of work,” he said.

Rep Ing continued saying, “But debt-free college, paid family leave, equal pay, GMO labeling, pesticide regulation, indigenous rights, even peace and prosperity abroad…whatever issues matter to us, the people’s work will be undermined so long as the extremely wealthy remain in control. Campaign finance is the one reform that will make all other reforms possible,” he said.

In expressing his support for Sanders, Rep Ing noted that the Democratic presidential candidate has run a campaign funded by small donations averaging $27.  “Like myself, he will fight for clean elections and ending unlimited campaign spending. Because Bernie believes that elections should be carried by big ideas, not big donors,” said Rep. Ing.

In urging others to join him in his support for Sanders, Rep. Ing said, “Together, we can bring about a revolution at all levels of government, and secure a future of hope for my generation and those to follow.”

The Hawaiʻi caucus for the Democrats takes place this Saturday March 26, 2016.

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