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Saturday, April 03, 2010
As “momentum shifts to Djou”, Hanabusa’s “boldly deceptive” campaign implodes: Ads, mailers pulled
By Andrew Walden @ 2:43 PM :: 8189 Views :: Maui County, Education K-12, Energy, Environment, National News, Ethics

by Andrew Walden

Colleen Hanabusa is raising the white flag of surrender after being hammered for over one week on her absurd claim to have cut legislative salaries when in fact she supported raising them 31% to make Hawaii home to the most highly paid part-time legislators in the nation.   In 2008 Hanabusa said, “Legislators work very hard and deserve the raise.”  But in an April 2 email to her supporters, she writes: 

And while I continue to stand behind the accuracy of the ad, I understand that there are those out there who have been concerned with the commercial’s content. I hear you loud and clear.

In listening to you and in consultation with members of my campaign, I have decided to discontinue running the ad.

Brochures and other materials prepared for the campaign that deal with similar issues are also in the process of being carefully reviewed.

The use of the Legislative-salary-cut language in Hanabusa mailers indicates that she intended to make this “bold deception” a central theme of her campaign.  In response, Hawaii GOP Chair Jonah Kaauwai blasted Hanabusa’s “disrespectful” attitude towards voters:

“Senator Hanabusa’s disregard for the truth in her television advertisements is downright disrespectful to the voters of the 1st Congressional District.  It is disappointing that Senator Hanabusa would think that people of Hawaii would be so easily mislead.”

Derek “I am not a Democrat” Depledge does his best at damage control, but has very limited material to work with:

State Senate President Colleen Hanabusa announced today that she is pulling a campaign advertisement for Congress where she stated she had cut legislative salaries.

The ad was attacked by her political opponents, newspaper columnists and political analysts as deceptive because while it is true that Hanabusa backed a 5 percent pay cut last year, it came after lawmakers received 36 percent raises.

Many insiders (Hanabusa operatives want you to) believe that much of criticism of the pay raise has been overcooked, but even some Democrats who want Hanabusa to do well think the ad was an amateurish mistake.

Perhaps more ominous (why is it “ominous”, Derek?) however, is chatter out of Washington, D.C., that Democrats are getting nervous about the possibility that Hanabusa and former congressman Ed Case will split the Democratic vote in the special election and hand the seat to Honolulu City Councilman Charles Djou, a Republican.

National Democrats are tempted to pick a favorite, sources say, and perhaps get the White House involved to avoid the embarrassment of losing in President Obama's hometown urban Honolulu congressional district.

But the Dan’s won’t let them pick Ed Case, so they are stuck with Larry Mehau associate Colleen Hanabusa.  (Meanwhile, you can watch the national Dems gnashing teeth here:  Dems Wary Of Hawaii Special Election.)  The article points the finger at Inouye, while pretending to point the finger at Obama, who, perhaps retaliating for Inouye’s support of Clinton in the Primary, washes his hands of the mess caused by Inouye’s retaliation against Ed Case and Neil Abercrombie:

Case led in the last public poll, but that was nearly three months ago. Privately, Democratic strategists sense a momentum shift for Djou.

"The onus is on the White House. ... Can you imagine how bad it would be messaging-wise if we lost Obama's home district after losing Massachusetts?" one strategist said.

White House officials did not respond to requests for comment.

SB: Hanabusa pulls ad heralding pay cuts (Hanabusa Fundraiser set to conflict with Abercrombie fundraiser)

Hanabusa, meanwhile, is planning to hold a major fundraiser April 20 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye's political apparatus is helping to sell tickets.

The last-minute fundraiser is privately upsetting Abercrombie's gubernatorial campaign because he had been planning for several weeks to hold his own fundraiser at the Royal Hawaiian on the same night.

Abercrombie's campaign would not comment on the Hanabusa fundraiser, which had originally been scheduled for March 13, but supporters worry that because Inouye is pushing for Hanabusa, it will detract from the Abercrombie event.  (Which is exactly the purpose.  Inouye is using Hanabusa to take a stab at Abercrombie.) 

The Abercrombie campaign mailed out 5,000 invitations to Democratic supporters two weeks ago. The Inouye invitation to the Hanabusa event came out Thursday….

And of course they are both competing for the allegiance of the same group of 1,000 or so lawyers and contractors who eat from the public trough and contribute to old-boy campaigns.

ADV: Hanabusa will pull campaign TV ad

U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, the state's leading Democrat, sent a fundraising appeal Wednesday on Hanabusa's behalf that said the state Senate president is in a "tough fight."

"Colleen is a fighter, a reformer, a team player," Inouye wrote. "She is a quick study, and when she gives you her word, you can take it to the bank. Colleen does not forget her friends.”

Friends?  Here are some articles which take a look at her friends—remember NONE of these stories has been included in the campaign coverage by Hawaii’s so-called media--even though the Cayetano story has been out for over one year, the Pali shooter story has been out since 2004, and the Honolulu raceway has been the subject of continuous coverage since 2006—while all the while carefully skirting the role played by Hanabusa and her husband.  Maybe Colleen Hanabusa “does not forget her friends” but the Hawaii media wants to forget Colleen’s friends.

Fireworks, dirt, and stolen trucks: Colleen Hanabusa and the Honolulu Raceway Deal, Hanabusa, Souza tied to Pali Golf course shooters’ mob, Cayetano: Hanabusa's Broken Trust connections lead to Ko Olina 

Hanabusa Ad Misleadingly Claims She “Cut Legislative Salaries”, VIDEO: Hanabusa campaign ad nailed for Legislative pay raise “deception”, Hanabusa: “Legislators work very hard and deserve the raise”

---30---

Statement by Jonah Ka’auwai, Hawaii GOP Chair 4-2-10

HANABUSA’S DISREGARD FOR THE TRUTH A SIGN OF HER CHARACTER

HONOLULU—Hawai'i Republican Party Chairman Jonah Ka'auwai made the following statement today about the Hanabusa for Congress Campaign pulling it’s dishonest televisions ads:

“Senator Hanabusa’s disregard for the truth in her television advertisements is downright disrespectful to the voters of the 1st Congressional District.  It is disappointing that Senator Hanabusa would think that people of Hawaii would be so easily mislead.

“Ed Case should recognize that being disingenuous has consequences and should stop trying to pass himself as a fiscal conservative.  The people will hold Case accountable for his record of voting for higher taxes and increases in wasteful government spending.  The people of Hawaii deserve leadership they can trust.

“The only candidate in this election that can be honest about his record is Charles Djou.  If people want honest representation in congress that will bring fiscal accountability and reign in reckless spending, their only choice is Charles Djou.”

  *   *   *   *   *

Email from Colleen Hanabusa 4-2-10

Aloha _____,

Your support means the world to me and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for making this campaign about hope for Hawaii’s future generations.

In recent days, you may have seen news reports about one of my campaign commercials. It’s important you hear directly from me on this issue.

Let me be clear. At no time was it ever my intention to be misleading with any television commercial.

And while I continue to stand behind the accuracy of the ad, I understand that there are those out there who have been concerned with the commercial’s content. I hear you loud and clear.

In listening to you and in consultation with members of my campaign, I have decided to discontinue running the ad.

Brochures and other materials prepared for the campaign that deal with similar issues are also in the process of being carefully reviewed.

I take pride in my record of listening to people and working collaboratively with others to craft workable solutions. During my 12 years in the State Legislature, this is how I have been able to pass reform measures on education, public safety, and campaign finance, to name a few issues.

I've heard you on this matter and that's why I’m taking action.

This campaign is about much more than a 30-second television spot. It is about you, the people of Hawaii, and issues that you care deeply about including building a vibrant economy for the state and creating jobs.

I'm more committed than ever to do that in Congress and that's why I'm running to fill the First Congressional District seat.

Warmest regards,
Colleen Hanabusa

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