Former Campaign Chief In Town To Back Cayetano

Michael Levine/Civil Beat

Bob Watada, well-respected former executive director of the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission, flew in from Oregon to set the record straight about the illegal contributions Ben Cayetano received during his 1998 re-election campaign for governor.

Watada, in from Oregon, was the guest of honor at a press conference held Tuesday morning at Cayetano's call center at Ward Shopping Center downtown. He said it would be hard to find a more honest politician, and criticized the Pacific Resource Partnership for what he said is a "fraudulent, bogus" ad containing claims about some of the darker elements of Cayetano's past.

Also contributing defenses of Cayetano and criticisms of PRP were Rep. Della Au Balatti, a former member of the Campaign Spending Commission appointed by Cayetano; Paul Kuramoto, former chair of the Campaign Spending Commission; and Hilton Lui, a former FBI agent and a former investigator for the CSC.

"A blatant lie and mistruth being spread by PRP's commercials is that Gov. Cayetano somehow kept the money his campaign committee received," Au Belatti said.

Lui said it's "very unfair" to focus on Cayetano when he was only one of many politicians who were found to have received illegal campaign contributions.

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