Richard Fale: The Wrong Choice in Hawaii Senate District 23

For more than sixty years, the time-tested advice in Dale Carnegie's book "How To Win Friends and Influence People" has carried thousands of adherents up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives, with simple lessons in developing effective relationships, primarily by being a good listener, and respectful.

Such counsel should also be heeded by anyone seeking to hold political office, because having strong relationships with colleagues, and constituents, is key to bringing home the bacon for one's district.

The residents of Hawaii's State Senate District 23, encompassing Oahu's north and windward shores, should be aware that one of the main candidates in the campaign to fill the shoes of former Senator Clayton Hee, has not learned anything from Dale Carnegie's simple advice.

Not only is the conservative Republican Richard Fale voluble and belligerent, he is often the most polarizing figure in the room.

A prime example, and his only real 'accomplishment' as a one-term representative in the state assembly, is the shameful, and unsuccessful, role he played in stirring opposition to traditional Hawaiian values in last November's Special Legislative Session on marriage equity.

Anyone who witnessed his hyperbolic and hateful antics at the state capitol, which earned him the title of 'Drama Queen' in local press, knows that his basic instinct is to be mean and combative rather than diplomatic and respectful.

His behavior in his own community is no different. At a recent North Shore Neighborhood Board meeting, he even managed to insult a group of local dog owners, primarily senior citizens, who were petitioning the board to help modify a 'no dogs' sign in order to get police to stop ticketing them while walking their pets in the neighborhood park.

After these residents touchingly described the important roles that their fuzzy companions play in their lives, Fale took the microphone and dismissively said: "Now that we're done with dogs, maybe we can work on issues of real importance."

Like a kid with Tourette Syndrome, he just canʻt seem to help himself from impulsively lashing out - not the best strategy for winning friends or influencing people.

The board voted unanimously to support the dog owners' petition.

As voters in Senate District 23 consider their options for ensuring that local needs are addressed in the state budget and legislative process -- that schools are funded, affordable housing provided, agricultural lands and jobs preserved, state roads repaired, beach parks maintained, coastlines protected, and rampant commercial development restrained, they would do well to think about Dale Carnegie's advice.

For if friendly and respectful relationships are the basis for personal, business, not-to-mention political influence and success, then Richard Fale - who senate insiders say doesn't even get along with Sam Slom, the only other member of the ineffectual State Senate Republican caucus - is clearly the wrong choice in the upcoming election.