Hirono Won't Debate Case On Top TV Networks
UPDATED 4/20/12 2:30 p.m.
U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono's decision not to accept any debates on major television networks has prompted her opponent to call the decision "an insult to Hawaii voters."
Ed Case accused her of avoiding statewide public discussions on the issues.
Hirono declined debate offers from Civil Beat-KITV, KHON and two debates with Hawaii News Now-Honolulu Star Advertiser — that is, network TV stations, the state's daily newspaper and its leading online news agency.
Case and Hirono are vying to be the Democratic nominee for the first open U.S. Senate seat from Hawaii in more than a generation. The primary is on Aug. 11.
In a statement, Case had this to say about Hirono's decision:
This schedule is shibai. In cherry picking just a few with the least possible exposure, they're fooling nobody. This is plain and simple about avoiding any real statewide public discussion at all costs and is typical of what's wrong with DC today.
Hirono's campaign declined Civil Beat's request to speak with the candidate or to explain on the record why it was skipping network TV.
Case had previously accepted those debates as well as five other debates or invitations to joint apperances.
On Thursday, the Hirono campaign released a list of debates and joint-appearances where she agreed to appear:
• Hosted joint forum by Oahu County Democrats in advance of Hawaii Democratic State Convention, May 25
• Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association, May 29
• Debate hosted by Maui AARP, June 12
• Radio debate on Hawaii Public Radio, June 13
• Televised candidate forum hosted by PBS Hawaii, June 14
In a press release, Hirono said, "I'm pleased that these debates and joint forums will include a neighbor island debate, and sponsorships by public radio and public television."
The press release also stated, "These debates and forums are in addition to Congresswoman Hirono's grassroots discussions and coffee hours with voters across Hawaii."
Case, who previously accepted the invites from the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association and PBS, said he will accept the other three debates with Hirono, too.