by Andrew Walden
Duke Aiona is calling for Neil Abercrombie to agree to a series of six proposed debates. Yesterday, Aiona’s campaign hand delivered a letter proposing a debate schedule to Abercrombie’ campaign HQ.
The Star-Advertiser’s editors endorsed the call for debates, writing:
We like that Aiona has already challenged Abercrombie to six debates, which will serve to enlighten. He's taken the offensive to call for specifics on balancing the budget, growing the economy and jobs, and revamping education. For his part, Aiona vows a "clear path" on how the GOP will lead the state. We can hardly wait -- frustrations linger over Furlough Fridays and legislative stalemates -- and will be listening intently.
Neil Abercrombie’s answer? “It’s not my job”
From today’s West Hawaii Today:
"We had full participation in our primary," Abercrombie said, then took the chance to comment on his Republican counterpart, Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona. "That cannot be said about the opposition. The lieutenant governor has been aloof."
He referred to Aiona's decision not to participate in any forum or debate prior to the primary election. Further, Abercrombie said, "it's not my job to make up for the time he's missed. That's not my fault."
Aiona on Sunday called for six debates, once weekly between now and the Nov. 2 General Election….
Hannemann did not attend Monday afternoon's rally but sent his apologies through Democratic Party Chairman Dante Carpenter.
From today’s Hawaii Tribune-Herald:
Aiona has recently made a public call for six hour-long debates on specific issues. Abercrombie said he and Schatz have been at "innumerable" debates, discussions and town meetings, listening to what people want in the next governor.
"To the best of my knowledge, the lieutenant governor has avoided all of that," Abercrombie said. "We've had several forums over here (on the Big Island). I have yet to see the lieutenant governor."
"He's late to the game," Abercrombie said. "Brian and I don't have to introduce ourselves to anybody."
So Abercrombie’s argument is that since Aiona is not a Democrat and did not participate in the Democratic Primary events, Abercrombie is not going to debate him. This is the arrogant logic of the one-party system which many thought died with Mufi Hannemann’s campaign. Apparently Neil Abercrombie intends to continue it.
HFP: Shapiro tells Hawaii media how to spin debate story
Aiona Campaign responds: Hanohano: Abercrombie is ducking debate challenge
Here's how the Democrat media covers it: Abercrombie: Aiona's been 'aloof' from debates