THE BLOG
02/28/2008 03:29 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

DNC Hawaii Superdelegates

HuffPost's OffTheBus members produced these superdelegate profiles as part of its Superdelegate Investigation. You can find all profiles here.

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Richard Port
Hawaii

Basic bio
* Port is a retired Department of Education official. http://starbulletin.com/96/07/16/editorial/editorials.html
* Has served on the board of directors for the Yacht Harbor Towers for over 18 years, three times as president. http://hawaii.gov/dcca/areas/real/condo_ed/condo_min/crcmin_2001/crc0102.PDF

Involvement in the Democratic Party
* Is a former chairman of the Hawaii Democratic Party. http://starbulletin.com/2007/12/13/editorial/commentary.html
* Democratic National Committee member. http://starbulletin.com/2007/12/13/editorial/commentary.html
* Elected a Democratic National Committeeman in May 2004. http://starbulletin.com/2004/05/31/news/story6.html
* Resigned as chairman of the Hawaii Democratic Party in 2002 before his term was finished. http://starbulletin.com/98/04/30/news/story6.html
* Blamed two key Democratic senators for "many of the problems" during the 1996 legislative session. He held Senate Consumer Protection Chairman Milton Holt responsible for the failure of no-fault auto insurance reform. Port also accused Senate Ways and Means Chairwoman Donna Ikeda of running her panel like a dictator. http://starbulletin.com/96/05/01/news/story3.html

Political interests and issues
* Was legislative committee chairman of Hawaii Independent Condominium & Cooperative Owners in 1999. http://starbulletin.com/1999/02/26/news/story10.html
* Served as the spokesman for Save Our Star-Bulletin, formed to fight the closure of the newspaper. http://starbulletin.com/2002/03/15/news/story3.html
* Joined the Peace Corps because he was inspired by JFK and he felt "cheated" when Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. http://starbulletin.com/96/08/23/news/story2.html
* Became politically active in 1968. http://starbulletin.com/96/08/23/news/story2.html
* Served as spokesman for Citizens for Competitive Air Travel. http://starbulletin.com/2002/02/12/business/story2.html
* Rainbow Coalition member. http://starbulletin.com/96/06/06/editorial/letters.html
* "Instead of requiring sprinklers in high-rise concrete buildings, our City Council needs to review its priorities and do something about requiring sprinklers in wooden residential structures." ...Richard Port, January 2005 http://starbulletin.com/2005/01/03/editorial/letters.html
* Opposed the bus rapid-transit alternative which would create two dedicated bus rapid-transit lanes on Kapiolani. http://starbulletin.com/2000/10/13/news/story9.html

Involvement in 2008 Election - Campaign Appearances, Statements
* Port, a Democratic national committeeman and one of Hawaii's superdelegates, said, "My support for Hillary Clinton is probably going to cost me my re-election but I feel it's a matter of principle." http://starbulletin.com/2008/02/24/editorial/letters.html
* Is voting for Clinton and won't change his mind. He is solidly for Clinton. "I have a long history of trying to do everything I can for women in the Democratic Party. Hillary is the most experienced candidate." http://starbulletin.com/2008/02/13/news/story12.html
* "Even if they offer to make me secretary of state, I'm not changing my vote." http://starbulletin.com/2008/02/13/news/story12.html

Contribution to Candidates
* $500 to John Kerry 2004
* $200 to John Kerry 2003

Previous Campaign Work
* Called every one of the 29,000 registered Democrats in the state in 1996 (for Clinton). http://starbulletin.com/96/07/01/editorial/borreca.html
* Was recruited to Democratic ranks by U.S. Rep. Patsy Mink and enlisted on Robert Kennedy's presidential campaign. http://starbulletin.com/96/08/23/news/story2.html
* Lead the Kerry campaign in 2004. http://starbulletin.com/2004/01/29/news/story16.html

This profile was produced through HuffPost"s OffTheBus Superdelegate Investigation. All profiles will be donated to the Superdelegate Transparency Project. If you have information that should be added to this profile, please join the Superdelegate Transparency Project and update the profile there.

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Dr. Marie Dolly Strazar

Hawaii

Dr. Marie Dolly Strazar sets a standard that all super delegates would do well to follow. For the past thirty years, she has volunteered her time, energy and wisdom to the Democratic party. She has held unpaid positions from local precinct officer to secretary of the state party to her current position as Democratic national committee woman for the state of Hawaii. At one time, she worked tirelessly every weekend to maintain the party's headquarters and their data base. It is her status as national committee woman that makes her one of the nine independent super delegates for Hawaii.

""My extensive involvement helped me to learn how citizens can affect the political process...even at the lowest levels," states Dr. Strazar. Dr. Strazar believes that grass root involvement in the political process can impact legislation on a national and state level.

Despite the election results favoring Senator Obama in Hawaii on February 19, Dr. Strazar remains uncommitted regarding her selection of a democratic nominee for president. "I really like the top two candidates. Our problem is that we have two really good candidates." Dr. Strazar is closely watching both candidates. She wants to see how the American people, not just Hawaiians, respond to the candidates despite the fact that the state House has a resolution that urges Hawaii's super delegates to follow the results of the state Democratic caucus. According to Dr. Strazar, her ultimate choice will depend upon how the America people respond, not just Hawaiians. She believes she will be able to make a decision after the elections in Texas and Ohio, but she will not decide until she feels stronger about one candidate over the other. Dr. Strazar takes her decision seriously and has her eye on the ultimate prize. "I want us to win come November,"" she said.

Both Senator Obama and Clinton's campaigns have contacted Dr. Strazar, but not the candidates themselves. She has not been "barraged" with telephone calls, having received eight to ten calls since December. "I was impressed with how polite they were," indicated Dr. Strazar. ""They wanted to educate and inform me about the candidates and to make themselves available for any questions I may have."

When asked about whether the delegates from Miami and Florida should be allowed to vote at the national Democratic convention, Dr. Strazar indicated that she sat in on the rules committee meetings from the very beginning. There were extensive discussions regarding the formation of the rules for the DNC and they should be followed. "Every effort was made to be fair," she said. "I am a rules person. You don't change the rules in the middle of the stream. When confusion arises, look to the rules." She applies the same principle to the rules related to super delegates and doesn't believe they should be changed either.

Dr. Strazar has worked on every presidential campaign for the past thirty years, whomever the Democratic nominee. "I am not a big financial contributor, but I give a lot of time."

~~ written by Lecia Shorter; information comes from an interview with OffTheBus in February 2008

This profile was produced through HuffPost"s OffTheBus Superdelegate Investigation. All profiles will be donated to the Superdelegate Transparency Project. If you have information that should be added to this profile, please join the Superdelegate Transparency Project and update the profile there.

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Joshua Wisch
Vice-chair, State Democratic Party
Hawaii

Basic Bio
* Is an attorney at Chun, Kerr, Dodd, Beaman & Wong and a member of the American and Hawaii State Bar Associations. http://www.politicalbase.com/people/joshua-wisch/30530/
* Attended high school in Ohio. http://starbulletin.com/2004/07/19/news/story1.html
* Wisch received a Bachelor of Science from Carnegie Mellon University in 1997, with a major in Public Policy and Management and a Minor in Japanese. http://www.zoominfo.com/people/Wisch_Joshua_976692310.aspx
* Received a Masters of Science from Carnegie Mellon University the same year, both degrees received with honors. http://www.zoominfo.com/people/Wisch_Joshua_976692310.aspx
* Earned a Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the Georgetown University Law Center in 2002. At Georgetown, he was a member of the Moot Court Team, Administrative Editor of the Georgetown International Environmental Law Review, and received the CALI award for his studies in Japanese/U.S. Comparative Law. http://www.zoominfo.com/people/Wisch_Joshua_976692310.aspx


Involvement in the Democratic Party.
* Vice-chair of the Hawaii Democratic Party. http://www.politicalbase.com/people/joshua-wisch/30530/
* Term as Vice Chair of the Hawaii Democratic Party ends before the August convention. The Vice Chair of the Hawaii Democratic Party will be elected at the state convention in May 2008. http://www.superdelegates.org/Joshua_Wisch
* After Dean quit the race [in 2004], Wisch stayed involved with the local Democratic Party and was offered the position of organizing the state House Democratic campaigns. He left his job as an attorney with Cades Schutte to work full time for the Democrats. http://starbulletin.com/2004/07/19/news/story1.html


Political interests and issues
* Is a Kailua Neighborhood Board Member and a volunteer with Hawaii Literacy. http://www.zoominfo.com/people/Wisch_Joshua_976692310.aspx
* Was a member of DFA Honolulu Meetup http://dfa.meetup.com/370/members/2009541/
* Wisch said he hopes to use his skills to elect more Democrats to the state House. "There really is a big difference between Democrats and Republicans, and you will see that during the campaign. The distinction will become crystal clear," Wisch said. http://starbulletin.com/2004/07/19/news/story1.html

Involvement in 2008 Election - Campaign Appearances, Statements
* Wisch is vice-chair of the Hawaii Democratic Party. http://www.politicalbase.com/people/joshua-wisch/30530/

Contributions to Candidate
* $25, Howard Dean, Q1/2004 http://fundrace.huffingtonpost.com

Previous Campaign Work
* In 2004, was chairman of Hawaii for Dean http://www.superdelegates.org/Joshua_Wisch
* Stood by his candidate and the supporters in 2004. "We have a lot of supporters and [a] lot of those [supporters] want to come out next Tuesday. But this adds a different dynamic. We don't know what will happen," Josh Wisch, chairman of Hawaii for Dean, said following Dean's withdrawal Wednesday. "We're going to try to do as well as we can here." Of Dean, he said, "This is a man who has single-handedly reenergized, redefined, and restored the backbone of an entire national political party. That needs to be heard at the convention. We're going to help him get some delegates." ...Boston Globe, February 20, 2004 (after Dean dropped out of the race) http://www.boston.com/news/politics/president/kucinich/articles/2004/02/20/dean_kucinich_could_be_factors_in_islands_caucuses/

Connections to Politicians, Leaders on State Level
* U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono has appointed Kailua resident Joshua Wisch her district director for field services. 2/06/2008 http://www.midweek.com/content/columns/wahanui_article/waha_nui999/
* While going to law school, Wisch worked in Congress for the late U.S. Rep. Patsy Mink and worked on her last campaign in 2002. http://starbulletin.com/2004/07/19/news/story1.html

This profile was produced through HuffPost"s OffTheBus Superdelegate Investigation. All profiles will be donated to the Superdelegate Transparency Project. If you have information that should be added to this profile, please join the Superdelegate Transparency Project and update the profile there.

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Beverly "Jeani" Withington

DNC - Interim Chair

Hawaii


Basic Bio
* Withington is a Family Law attorney in private practice in Hilo, HI.
* Has been involved on many state and local community boards as follows:
o Board of Directors-Hospice of Hilo
o Soroptimist Club of Kona
o Advisory Board-University of Hawaii-Hilo for the BSN Program
o Former Deputy Corporation Council, Family Support Division, County of Hawaii
o Advisory Council-Home Softly Monitoring Program http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2002/commreports/GM337_SSCR3568_.htm
* Withington's academic achievements are as follows:
o Received degree as a registered nurse in 1956.
o Received Bachelors of Arts in Social Science in 1982 from the University of Hawaii at Hilo
o Received Bachelors of Science degree in Nursing in 1982 from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
o Received Juris Doctor degree in 1986 from the William S. Richardson School of Law in Hawaii. http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2002/commreports/GM337_SSCR3568_.htm, http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2006/commreports/GM349_SSCR3666_.htm


Political interests and issues
* 1998 - Elected as Chairwoman Hawaii County Democratic Party
* Withington is shown as a member of the 2004-2008 Hawaii County Democrat Party, State Central Committee-District 2. http://www.hawaiicountydemocrats.org/demo-contacts.htm
* Withington is in her 2nd term as an appointed member of the Board of Registration-Island of Hawaii, with the current term ending 6/30/2010. This board is appointed to hear and make decisions regarding appeals from a voter challenge or a decision made by the clerk regarding voter registration. http://hawaii.gov/elections/factsheets/fspo400.pdf, http://hawaii.gov/gov/team/boardscommissions/Directory%20Updated%2012-1-07.pdf/download (Page 155)


Involvement in the Democratic Party
* Withington currently serves as interim Democratic Chair since the resignation of Mike McCartney in October 2007. Will serve in the interim position until the Hawaii State Convention in May 2008. http://dkosopedia.com/wiki/Jeani_Withington
* At 71, Withington is the first party chairperson from outside Oahu in the history of the state party. http://starbulletin.com/2007/10/07/news/story08.html
* There are potentially 2 other people who will run for the Democratic Chair position at the May convention, they are:
o Brian Schatz, a former State Representative-District 25 and currently the spokesman for the Obama campaign.
o Annelle Amaral former Hawaii State Representative, and current Democratic Chair Oahu County Democratic Party.


Involvement in the 2008 Election
* As a superdelegate Withington remains uncommitted. Believes it is "her job to promote all of the Democratic candidates." http://starbulletin.com/2007/10/07/news/story08.html
* Withington's involvement is limited regarding candidates. Has stayed neutral in all news accounts that I have read.

This profile was produced through HuffPost"s OffTheBus Superdelegate Investigation. If you have information that should be added to this profile, please send an email to campaigntrail@huffingtonpost.com with "superdelegate profile" in the subject line. All profiles will be donated to the Superdelegate Transparency Project.

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