Mufi vs. Neil: The Second Bloody Round08/17/2010
To the uncritical viewer, the campaign brochure that began popping up in Hawaii mailboxes over the last few days might well push an undecided voter to choose Mufi Hannemann over Neil Abercrombie for governor.
After all, the "Compare and Decide" mailer presents the former mayor as a younger, more educated, more experienced and more locally rooted candidate than the former congressman.
Hannemann also smiles in the brochure photos, while a photo of Abercrombie gives the appearance that he is in mid-shout.
But the brochure is also slippery and selective with the facts — even mean.
Abercrombie, for example, is said to have won first place in what is called the "Lahaina Whaling Days Beard Contest" — as if having a beard is a fundamental character flaw. (The contest, apparently, was some 40 years ago.)
More seriously, the brochure charges that "one of (Abercrombie's) key staffers served a Federal prison term for embezzlement." But the brochure does not explain that Abercrombie was not implicated in the crime, or that the staffer worked for other members of Congress, too.
Why is the Hannemann campaign resorting to such tactics with barely a month to go before the Sept. 18 gubernatorial primary?
Civil Beat looks at Hannemann's latest salvo against Abercrombie, at Abercrombie's response, and what it means for the campaign's last 30 days.