Hirono: Negative campaigning has no place in Hawaii


Negative campaigning seems to be commonplace in the 2012 elections, however, mudslinging should have no place in Hawaii politics, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Mazie Hirono said Thursday during a party rally in South Kona.

“I am disappointed they are putting in such negative ads,” Hirono said following a Democratic Party of Hawaii-sponsored rally. She criticized the proliferation of “very nasty and very personal” ads. “I don’t think it has a place in Hawaii.”

With less than two weeks remaining until the Nov. 6 General Election, Hirono, who faces Republican Linda Lingle for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Daniel Akaka, said the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has already spent $1.2 million and will spend another $250,000 on negative campaigning she said likely “won’t work.”

She anticipates one PAC, for which she did not have the name available Thursday, will pump $315,000 into another negative advertising campaign during the final 10 days.

The sole purpose of the ads, Hirono said, is to elect Republicans to four seats in the Senate to give the GOP control of both houses of Congress. If a Republican wins, she said, Sen. Daniel Inouye would no longer chair the Appropriations Committee, Obamacare would be repealed and a Republican agenda would likely move forward.

Hirono, when asked, said she does not use negative campaigning but rather offers comparisons that give people the ability to learn and choose.

The “Lingle (campaign) has been very negative and attack-oriented against me,” said Hirono. “But, I know I have support from grass-roots groups and people, and we will work to the end to win the race.”

With that said, Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz told supporters to not only vote, but to engage and seek out others to vote for the party. He said the final 10 days of the election will feature the “most negative campaign ads in a federal race that you will ever see.”

“There is no doubt there will be a final push,” he said about the Lingle campaign.

Scores of Hawaii Democratic Party supporters came together Thursday to muster votes and enthusiasm for the party during the rally at Konawaena High School. Today, the candidates to take the road for an East Hawaii bus tour that includes stops scheduled in Laupahoehoe, Honokaa, Pahoa and Hilo.

Attending the Kona rally were Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Schatz, and candidates including Hirono, Malama Solomon, who is seeking the state Senate District 4 seat, and Nicole Lowen, who is seeking the state House District 6 seat. Also present were Harry Kim, who is running for Hawaii County mayor, several candidates for the Hawaii County Council and a candidate for the county Office of the Prosecuting Attorney.

Kailua-Kona resident and lifelong Democratic Party supporter Mamie Bramlett came to the event to get a better look at the candidates and process. The Georgia native expressed disgust with the overall tone of some campaigns, especially on the national level, this election. Further, she said she doesn’t approve of the amount of spending on that type of campaigning.

“It’s dirty, it’s not American, and it’s turning people off from voting,” Bramlett said.