|What do Peter Parker and Ed Case have in
common? What would Ed replace the Democrats Donkey with (no it's not Mr. Ed)? What would Ed do with Steve Case's checkbook? Find out what Ed Case all about and why he thinks he should be your next
Governor by peeking in on our little chat with the candidate and his wife,
1. First thing is first... Where is your Favorite Place to grind?
Camelia Buffet, but I can't got there every week. I'd put on too much of the weight that I'm working hard trying to keep off.
2. A Summer movie pick?
I grew up with Spiderman comics, so I would like to see that. I
want to see how Peter Parker does on screen.
3. You're an avid reader. Name your all-time favorite book.
Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged." She had a philosophy of integrity, achievement, and individuality. You're responsible for your life and you make your own destiny.
4. Where is the best place to be?
South Kona, a place called Kapua... very rustic, no electricity...one of those special places in Hawaii. I might get down there for one day this Saturday.
5. And your beach is... ?
I'm a body surfer, so my action is at Point Panic, but nowdays it's Hapuna Beach on the Big Island.
Hawaii411: Any relation to Steve Case (of AOL)?
Ed: He's a cousin. His father and my father are brothers.
Hawaii411: Do you get asked that a lot?
Ed: I'm going to wear a T-shirt saying, 'I am Steve Case's cousin.' (laugh) On the other hand, I sent him a shirt saying 'CASE GOVERNOR.' I told him he better watch out when he wears it because people might think he's changing careers.
Hawaii411: If you had Steve Cases' checkbook, and could put one million dollars into any part of the Hawaii's state budget, where would it go?
Ed: I would contribute it towards the preservation of an endangered shoreline. I would invest it in the purchase of some endangered shoreline in this state so we could preserve it for all of us.
Hawaii411: Did you always want to be a politician?
Ed: No, I didn't come to politics until my early 20s. I didn't grow up thinking I'm going to be a politician. To me politics happened as a fluke in life. Life takes you in some funny directions. One thing I've learned in my almost 50 years... When I was in my 20s and 30s, I was really out to control everything in my life, but now I realize that the best things in life sometimes just happen on their own, and you have to be open to it. When it comes, you gotta roll with it. What happened with me and politics was, I was going to school on the east coast, and I was in my last semester of college, and looked at what my friends were doing...law school, med school, business, and I said to myself, 'I don't want to do any of that. I'm not ready for that.' I was 22 years old and had things I wanted to do before I settled into my professional life.... There were two things I wanted to do - one was to go off to Colorado and be a waiter/ski bum, that would get me through winter and spring. The other possibility was that there was a lot of action off the coast of Louisiana in the oil rigs. They were paying awesome money. I had done some labor growing up in Hawaii... and I was pretty used to getting paid for hard work, so that's what I was going to do. One day I went into career counseling at school and looked up on the bulletin board and it said, 'Summer internships in Washington D.C.' I thought, 'That's kind of cool. What if I work in D.C. in one of the Capitol Hill offices for the summer? Then I can decide what to do.... I went down and by fluke, I got a job with Sen. Spark Matsunaga. I loved it. From the moment I walked into the office, I thought, 'Wow, public service, that's for me.' So I worked for Matsunaga for three years. From then on, it was elected public office for me.
Hawaii411: So that picture of you and Spark Matsunaga from your website… What's with the plaid pants?
Ed: (laughing) Hey, that's what everybody was wearing in the 70s. That was the action back then. It's not just the plaid pants… You missed the corduroy jacket, the wide tie, and the hair.
Hawaii411: How 'bout the retro look for this election?
Ed: If it get's the 70's vote, I'll do it.
Hawaii411: As a kid, did you ever want to be fireman, policeman, or pro ball player?
Ed: You know it's funny, as a kid, I don't remember thinking I want to be this particular thing. I just wanted to let life go on exactly as it was in Hilo. I don't think I thought much about the future.
Hawaii411: When all is said and done, and you're out of politics, and work, what do you want to do?
Ed: I think I'm going to be working until way later in my life. You try to live life to the fullest. My mission is, 'Seek knowledge and do good.' As long as you're giving back to your community, you can't go wrong. This idea of sitting back and doing nothing at the end of my life – It’s really not going to be an option. I think I will be working in public service until I die.
Hawaii411: Now you mentioned that you'd like to see Spiderman, and you grew up reading Spiderman. Did you realize that you married your Mary Jane Watson (Peter Parker's romantic interest)?
Note: Ed married the former Audrey Nakamura, who he pined for during his intermediate and high school years at Hawaii Prep Academy. Although they were interested in each other during those years, they never let the other know, and ended up getting together 30 years after high school. They now live together with their four children (two from each former marriage).
Ed: Hey, there you go. I never thought about it that way, but you're right.
Hawaii411: Do you think it was meant to be or just a funny coincidence?
Ed: Pure Destiny. We both believe that it was just destiny, because we love each other so much, and we fit each other so well. The beauty of it is when you have that crush on somebody when your 12-13 years old, and meeting them thirty years later and thinking, 'I still love the same things about this person now, that I loved then.' It's awesome. It's the luckiest thing that ever happened to me.
Hawaii411: After you were divorced and prior to meeting Audrey again, did you ever think
Ed: Maybe remotely, but we hadn't talked to each other in 30 years. For me that was a real difficult time. After I separated from my first wife and was divorced, I wasn't thinking of getting back into a relationship.
(Ed's wife Audrey joins us to talk about Ed, their courtship, and family life)
Hawaii411: How is the 'Brady Bunch' life?
Ed: It's pretty crazy. First of all, we have four teenagers and when you have four teenagers in the house, that can be crazy. What's amazing that they all get along well.
Hawaii411: Audrey, we heard that you actually liked Steve when you guys were growing up...
Hawaii411: Oops. (Note: this was the start of an embarrassing series where I kept referring to Ed as 'Steve.' My apologies to Ed on this. I guess I was thinking about Steve's checkbook, and AOL, and how nice it would be for some big computer company to pay us big bucks for our Hawaii411 website).
Hawaii411: So what was your courtship like, the first time around?
Ed: I don't think you can call it a courtship, it's like we missed in the night.
Audrey: When we were young, I don't think we had a courtship. He ignored me. When ever I tried to start a conversation, he just sort of like, was speechless, so you know...
Ed: I was clueless. I'll admit now, that I was clueless. I just walked into 7th grade, and had this incredible crush on her right away, and carried a candle for a number of years...
Torch, not candle - torch. (laughs)
Ed: (laughing) Okay, torch. I mean it (the crush) was intense. I was preoccupied. Lucky thing I got through 7th and 8th grade, but after a couple of years, you start to think maybe the person isn’t interested. I kind of started looking the other way, and apparently she started having feelings towards me. I guess I had to get past puberty before she got interested.
Audrey: Well, I was at my full height at 12 and 13 and he was shorter than me.
Hawaii411: Hey, there's nothing wrong with short guys...
Ed: So you're saying that if I was still shorter than you it wouldn't work.
Audrey: I was always plagued by this height thing...
Ed: I don't think it was my height, I think it was my high voice.
Audrey: Plus he was always grinning at me. It was really kind of frightening (laughs)
Hawaii411: So how did you two run into each other again?
Audrey: I was working the soccer tents at a tournament, and a mutual friend of ours had brought his son over from Kauai, and we got to talking and he said you have to come to our 30th reunion.. I said, 'No ways, man I don't want to see those guys.' (Laughs)
Ed: She was part of the lost generation from our class. Classes have those that stay involved and those that say...
Audrey: … I'm outta here. My girlfriend from my same group was on Kauai and we started e-mailing, calling and she said, 'I'll go if you go.' So we went... and almost didn't go to the reunion event because we were having so much fun by ourselves. We went to a pre-reunion dinner at Harry's place, and everyone knew there was something going on. You know...
Ed: We didn't quite know.
Audrey: We were just starting to get to know each other again.
Ed: But everybody else was saying, 'There's some magic there.'
Audrey: They saw it, but we didn't feel it for months later.
Hawaii411: Are you going to complete a true 'Brady Bunch' Ohana, with two more kids, a maid, and a dog named Tiger?
Ed: No, we're going to add grandchildren. That's what we're going to add at this point.
Audrey: Well, I want a dog.
Ed: That's right, we got a dog coming.
Hawaii411: You have two sons named David, how do you distinguish between the two when you call them?
Audrey: It's great, I get two responses.
Ed: She asks for one and gets two helpers. We call one of them David the Elder, and the other David the Younger.
Well, you say that, I call one Big David.
Ed: Well, Little David doesn't like being called Little David.
Hawaii411: Audrey, how is the transition to political life for you?
Audrey: It's been interesting. I've always worked behind the scenes - potlucks, driving things back and forth. Being in the forefront has been kind of exciting. I haven't burned out yet.
Hawaii411: At the end of Ed's political career are you going to pull a Hilary Clinton or Elizabeth Dole and run for office?
Audrey: No way. I've got too many kids at home, and that's the priority now.
Ed: I don't know, the end of run could be after they leave (for college). It could be before they leave (laughs). We don't know.
Hawaii411: Thank you Audrey.
Hawaii411: You worked with Spark Matsunaga - is he your political role model?
Ed: We'll two that I've known, and two others that I never got to meet. I'll elaborate on that. Matsunaga taught me the basics of public service. I was very lucky to work for Chief Justice William Richardson for one year too. I just got the best of both worlds. Similar lesson, but slightly differently applied. Those are two role models that I've worked with. Beyond that, I'm a great aficionado of history, especially political biographies. I read a lot of Winston Churchill and Harry Truman. They're my two political mentors who I never knew.
Hawaii411: How about personal role models?
Ed: My parents.
Hawaii411: Name three of Hawaii's top issues/pressing needs.
Ed: Economic revitalization, controlling the cost of government, and public education reform - those are the three immediate and long-range problems that we have. If we can address, and I believe we can, all three of those areas, that's 75% of the problem right there. There's actually one that I think is broader in the big picture, but not quite as specific. That is bringing people back into government. I think most people just feel excluded from the government. We have a whole generation that really has no interest in government. I think that's a waste.
Hawaii411: I think Hawaii has one of the lower voter turn-out ratios in the nation.
Ed: That's right, and everybody asks why. I don't think there's any magic to why we have the lowest voter turnout, it's because we don't feel involved in our government. We don't feel the government is working for us. We don't think we can influence or impact our government. That's why I feel if you give the people a good candidate, it doesn't have to be me, it can be another good candidate - people will vote if they have somebody to vote for. If they don't have a choice, then you know, it's, 'I'd rather go surfing today.'
Hawaii411: As a Democrat, you guys have had a big shake-up in the race. How do you feel about Jeremy Harris leaving the race?
Ed: I think it was a big weight off of our Democratic Party. It think people were increasingly not at all happy with the choices represented by his candidacy. I think he was correct in his assessment that he would not have prevailed in the general election because he simply had too many problems. So him stepping out of the race, I believe, frees the Democratic Party to make a really good choice in the general election. Our candidacy offers, what we believe, what people are looking for in Hawaii, whether they are Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Greens, Natural Law, or non-partisan. We believe that we can come out of the Democratic Primary and win in the General Election, and to take it a step further, that we offer the only candidacy that can prevail in the General Election against the likely opponent. Our message is one that resonates with people. Our challenge is to get the message to the people.
Hawaii411: There's a feeling that even life-long Democrats are losing faith in the Democratic Party. How do you restore their faith?
Ed: First of all, I don't think life-long Democrats are losing faith in the party, or the principles of the party. I think they are losing faith in the people who have implemented the principles of the party. I think they believe that the public officials in are not doing what the people in Hawaii want them to do. To me, if they have a candidate who they believe will deliver on the principles of the party again, they'll elect that person. I don't think the principles are the problem, it's the people who are the problem.
Hawaii411: On a side note, as a history buff, can you tell us, how did the Democrats get stuck with the Donkey as their symbol?
Ed: I don't know. (smiling and shaking
Hawaii411: Maybe you can lead a change, change it to something cool.
Ed: How about something oriented towards Hawaii. How about the hawk? That's intense, it's local, it's macho. It's says “Let's go out there and get some stuff done!”
Hawaii411: Yeah, we gotta get rid of that Donkey.
Ed: Maybe that should be my campaign theme, 'Shock the Donkey.'
(Ed's homage to Peter Gabriel's 'Shock the Monkey')
Hawaii411: By they way, with what you and Audrey have said, you gotta see
Ed: The only problem is that I have no doubt that Audrey is far more beautiful than any Mary Jane Watson that I could ever imagine.
Hawaii411: That's good for some brownie points there.
Ed: You gotta put that on the website. That'll get me through the next couple of weeks. (smiles)
Hawaii411: You're likely opponent in the General Election is saying that she is the underdog. how do you feel about that?
Ed: I'm happy to hear that.
Hawaii411: What do you bring to the table that make you unique?
Ed: I have a far more diverse background. I have far more government experience than her. My political philosophy is much more representative of what most people in Hawaii believe in. My style is an
inclusive style. I believe in bringing people into government - it doesn't matter what party they belong to, what ethnicity they are, or whether they were born and raised here or not. I think that the issue of trust, character and integrity - I believe that we are entitled to that trust. We believe that the overall combination of those factors is a more complete combination than my opponent can offer.
Hawaii411: So on September 21, who should Hawaii vote for?
Ed: Ed Case. The other thing to observe is that many of the most important choices in Hawaii's political future will be made in the Democratic Primary on September 21. I believe that whatever party they're in, they should participate in the Democratic Primary, then they can go and vote for who they want in the general. The important choices are the ones to be made on September 21 first. After that worry about the general. If you like what were doing, come on over and vote for us in the primary. If you want a change and can't decide between me and the Republican opponent, get us into the General Election and we'll debate fully. You will have, in the General Election in November, a chance for change. We think we can earn your vote by then, but it's important to us to get to the general election.
Hawaii411: One last thing - where is your son David going to college?
Hawaii411: Father to son, what is your advice to David?
Ed: You've just been handed an opportunity that very few people have - the opportunity to get the best possible education in the whole world, the opportunity to learn, grow, and experience. Use it wisely and take advantage of it to the fullest. Treasure the time you have.
Hawaii411: Thank you Ed Case, and good luck.
Ed: Thank you.
Hawaii411 Conclusion: What we thought was going to be more of a political profile turned out to be a nice little love story as well (There’s movie material there, don’t you think?). Bottom line is that Ed feels sense of duty to Hawaii and wants to restore the public's faith in government. We wish him the best of luck in the both the upcoming election, as well as with life in
general. Thanks Ed, and thanks Audrey for sharing your stories with us.
Learn more about Ed Case by going to www.edcase.com.