Smart Campaigning Wins Elections.

Hawaiian politics at the local level can produce some remarkable characters and, while I can’t prove it, I’ll bet that we have more than our fair share. 

Richard Kageyama was always known as a bit of an eccentric. He served on the Honolulu Board of Supervisors, the City Council, and in the state legislature on and off for many years. When appearing before any kind of a public gathering, he would often begin his remarks with a resounding “Fello-o- o-o-w students…” 

He thought it was funny and that it would amuse and relax his audience, but in the several times I saw him use that opener, the reaction was just confusion. 

However, Kageyama did have a remarkably effective tactic to win votes during his re-election campaigns. From the Public Works Department, he would obtain a schedule for all the street repairs in his Council district. On the day before work was scheduled to begin, he would go up and down the very street knocking on doors. When a resident appeared, Kageyama would introduce himself and say he had been walking through the district and couldn’t help but notice that there were quite a few potholes in the street. 

“Would you like me to get those fixed for you?” he would ask. 

The startled homeowner would, of course, say yes, whereupon Kageyama would scribble something on a little notepad and say, “I’ll have them here first thing tomorrow morning!” 

And the political pundits could never understand how Kageyama managed to get re-elected year after year.