Kanoho Helm to challenge Kalani English for Senate seat

| May 16, 2012 | 5 Comments

As a result of his involvement with I Aloha Molokai — the group fighting proposed windmill developments on Molokai — Kanohowailuku Helm has decided to run against Sen. J. Kalani English for Hawaiiʻs 7th Senate District seat.

Kanohowailuku Helm, president, I Aloha Molokai, is attempting to unify the political parties in Hawaii by running as an independent against Sen. English in the 7th District.


A report yesterday in the Honolulu Civil Beat said that Helm, president of IAM, has pulled papers with the state Election Office to run as an independent against English, the incumbent Democrat. The 7th District includes Molokai, Lanai, Kaho’olawe, Hana and East and Upcountry Maui.

Helm is a local, a father of three, who comes from one of the most well-known and respected families on Molokai. The farmer, fisherman, musician and two-time Na Hoku Hanohano award nominee has just recently become involved in state politics.

IAM lobbied in opposition to SB 2785, the newly passed legislation creating the regulatory framework for an interisland undersea electric cable. The group tried to persuade lawmakers at the state capital and also started an international petition to fight this project, estimated to cost around $1 billion.

Helmʻs frustration with the political process can be seen in the two videos he has made regarding SB 2785. The first video questions why legislators would vote yes “with reservations” when they appeared to oppose the bill, which would require Hawaiian Electric Company customers to reimburse HECO for its infrastructure improvements.

The second video, also released on the Civil Beat, is titled, “Naming Names: Voter’s Guide Aims to Bring Common Sense To Hawaii.” Helm makes the case that the Democratic Party holds a monopoly over politics in Hawaii, which must change. Helm would like to bring together what he calls “small d” Democrats with Republicans.

Another Molokai resident will also challenge English for the senate seat he has held since 2000. Barbara Haliniak, of Kaunakakai, former president of the Molokai Chamber of Commerce, filed papers March 19 to be the Democratic nominee. She will face English in the primary election Aug. 11.

At the end of the Civil Beat column yesterday, the staff-written piece speculates about Helm’s future: “Could tiny Molokai with the charismatic Helm at the helm be the one to unite the dissidents into a new political force?”

Category: maui county, News, Sustainability

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  1. Hawaiiangirl says:

    Have had a condo on Molokai for 14 years but not my legal residence. If I could vote he would definitely get mine. I think if a person pays property taxes, that person should be allowed to vote in local and state election, not just legal residence state. But I am in the minority on that one.

  2. It is time for a CHANGE in democratic party, it is same old thing,and the legislaturers are to comfortable in thier seats.

    They all need to be VOTED OUT. Voters really need to think about these guys in office, they think they are ABOVE all of US.

    HOW MUCH HAVE THEY REALLY DONE FOR YOU.They have forgotten who voted them into office ESPECIALLY OUR MAUI COUNTY POLITICAINS IN OFFICE.

    LETS VOTE THEM OUT AND BRING A FRESH NEW BEGINNING OF COMMON SENSE LIFE DECISONS FOR HAWAII’S COMMUNITY.

  3. PaiaGirl says:

    The Democratic party in Hawai’i has been infiltrated by Republicans who know they can’t get elected as Republicans. Don’t judge the party by these DINOs like Ed Case, Mufi Hannemann, Joe Souki, Calvin Say….

    Kanoho Helm has the respect and the passion to win many votes.

    However, be aware that Kalani English is most likely caught in a squeeze play and is trying to serve all of East Maui, Moloka’i and Lana’i in the face of a majority of Senators who are from Oahu and are out to exploit us.

    I agree that the lepo politics at the Legislature needs a cleaning. However, once anyone is elected, they have to do the best they can with REALITY – and reality is that we are outvoted by corporate minions who do not have the peoples’ best interest at heart.

    Even Kanoho will have to make compromises to get anything out of the Oahu politicians.

  4. Susan Osako says:

    From my interactions with Kanoho Helm, I have seen an extraordinary man who is the exception to the rule when it comes to politics. He is that amazing person who is able to maintain a directness and honesty in all discussions grounding everyone else in the room (State Senate). Once or twice in a lifetime will we have to opportunity to vote for and put in office one such individual. Do not let this chance go by without voting. It may be your only chance.

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