Abercrombie speaks out against attack ads

 UPDATED 1:21 PM HST Nov 01, 2012
Abercrombie Letter Attack Ads
HONOLULU -

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has seen enough of TV commercials, radio spots and fliers that attack a political candidate's personal integrity.

In a letter issued Monday on Democratic Party of Hawaii letterhead, the governor lashes out against political action committees, or so-called super PACs, that have been launching blistering ads aimed at specific candidates.

"As Democrats we do not need nor have any association with these attack tactics," Abercrombie wrote.  "We have not sought anyone's assistance and no other group speaks for us," he went on.  "We reject these actions as an insult to Democrats and Republicans alike."

Asked Wednesday if his letter was the result of the Pacific Resource Partnership media blitz against Honolulu mayoral candidate Ben Cayetano, Abercrombie did not hesitate.

"It's not the only one that's involved in negative campaigning," Abercrombie said of PRP, "But there's no doubt in anybody's mind as to what constitutes attacking people's personal integrity.

According to campaign spending records, PRP has spent more than $2.8 million in its effort to keep Cayetano from claiming victory Tuesday during the past five months.  Cayetano, a former two-term Democratic governor, has vowed to kill the city's $5.3 billion rail project, which PRP supports. Pacific Resource Partnership is funded by the Hawaii Carpenters Union and its 240 signatory contractors.

Meanwhile, two super PAC's supportive of Cayetano's candidacy, Save Our Honolulu and Defend Truth, have spent more than $235,000 since the early part of October to try and drive down the favorability ratings of challenger Kirk Caldwell, the former acting mayor and managing director.

Abercrombie, who made it clear he's speaking out in his capacity as the head of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, said he's concerned about how negative campaigning will impact the next generation of politicians.

"What it's really a question of is whether that kind of approach really demoralizes the voting public, (and) makes it seem as if even the desire to serve in public office is associated with some kind of sordid, even criminal activity," said the governor.

Do you want to print this page now?