Obama’s sister to talk at Kaua‘i rally

Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama’s half-sister, O‘ahu teacher Maya Soetoro-Ng, is scheduled to speak at a rally in support of his candidacy later this month at the War Memorial Convention Hall in Lihu‘e, campaign officials announced this weekend.

“This coming election in November, the presidential election, is one of the most important in our lifetime,” state Sen. Gary Hooser, the honorary chair of the Kaua‘i for Obama Steering Committee, said in a phone interview yesterday. “The country has been in a George W. Bush direction for the last eight years and most people in the country, and most people in our state, would agree that things haven’t gone well under George W. Bush.

“We don’t want a continuation of that, which is what John McCain represents,” he said. “It’s important that people come out in support of Sen. Obama and his campaign to learn more about his agenda for the future.”

Soetoro-Ng will speak about her experiences growing up with Obama, Hooser said.

“There are important messages: Where did he come from? What are his life experiences? How did that shape him? Where do we go forward?” he said. “She certainly knows him better than just about anybody else.”

At the Sept. 28 afternoon rally, Sabra Kauka will be doing the opening oli, Ron Toki will be playing slack-key guitar, Ron Wiley of KQNG radio will be the master of ceremonies and there will be a special appearance by musician Willie K, the committee’s announcement said.

Doors will open at 1:30 p.m. and the program will begin at 2 p.m. The committee is suggesting a donation of $20.

No local events for Republican presidential candidate John McCain have been announced.

Dick Godbehere, who held a McCain rally last month, said Republicans might discuss potential ideas at the Republican Women’s Club of Kaua‘i event at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, at the Kalapaki Villas Recreation Center.

The club’s president, Suzanne Woodruff, said JoAnne Georgi, who is challenging Hooser for his District 7 Senate seat; Kaua‘i County Council candidates Ron Agor, Bob Bartolo and John Hoff; and mayoral candidate Bernard Carvalho are expected to attend the non-partisan event. Light pupu and refreshments will be served.

• Michael Levine, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 252) or via e-mail at mlevine@kauaipubco.com

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