Case Tries to Shake Up Quiet Senate Race

Hannemann campaign

With the primary election less than five months away, Ed Case is trying to get Mazie Hirono to come out of her protective congressional bubble.

In his latest effort, he accuses Hirono of campaign tactics in the U.S. Senate race comparable to the muddiest exchange in the 2010 Democratic gubernatorial primary.

The strategy didn't work. Hirono basically continued to ignore him.

In a letter Wednesday to the congresswoman titled "Take Back Your Compare and Decide Letter," Case, a former congressman, said:

Today your campaign sent out an email saying that you are "the only candidate in this race that has overcome real challenges, the only candidate who knows how important a strong ohana is for success."

Do you think that? Do you embrace that?

Case excerpts a quote from an unidentified Hirono supporter that was included in an invitation to Hirono's Honolulu campaign headquarters opening this Saturday.

In his letter, Case defends his background and experience to be senator and states, "Your ohana comment is just plain offensive. Are you saying your ohana is somehow better than mine, or that you appreciate them more than I do mine?"

Case then says this:

Folks recognized Compare and Decide from the '10 Governor campaign as an attempt to fan the fires of division and prejudice to divert voters from what really counted. Are you trying to do the same?

"Compare and Decide" was the title of a political mailer issued by Mufi Hannemann's campaign that attacked his Democratic opponent, Neil Abercrombie.

The mailer presented the former mayor as a younger, more educated, more experienced and more locally rooted candidate than the former congressman.

The mailer was immediately denounced by Abercrombie and others, and it likely contributed to Hannemann's primary election loss to Abercrombie by nearly 22 percentage points.

Case's attack on Hirono may not reach that level. But it does show that he is anxious to draw attention to what has been a fairly quiet race since he and Hirono announced they were running for Sen. Daniel Akaka's seat a year ago.

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