Mazie Hirono, Linda Lingle, Ed Case

Battle of the U.S. Senate Candidate Polls

Hawaii Democratic Congresswoman Mazie Hirono released an internal poll today that shows her 18 points ahead of former Congressman Ed Case (2002-2007) – or 54 percent to 36 percent – among likely voters in the U.S. Senate Democratic primary. Ten percent did not support either candidate.

The announcement followed the endorsement last week of Hirono by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, whose Chairwoman Patty Murray, said: “I’m supporting Mazie, and I believe she’s going to win.”

Hirono also has the backing of Hawaii’s Senior U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye.

But as in any major election, there is a battle over poll results.

Her poll comes after Case released his own internal poll this summer showing him leading Hirono by 16 points.

Both claim they would fare better against former Republican Gov. Linda Lingle in the general election.

No surprise Hirono’s poll showed her favored among Hawaii Democrats over Republican challenger Lingle.

Case’s poll showed he could beat Lingle, but Lingle could win the election if running against Hirono.

Both candidates are well-known Democrats. Hirono’s poll shows her with a likeability rating of 72 percent and Case at 61 percent.

The Benenson Strategy Group conducted the survey of 800 likely Democratic primary voters for Hirono between Nov. 15-19; the Merriman River Group managed Case’s poll in July.

Hawaii Five No!

Many Hawaii residents were thrilled the Hawaii Five-O series from the 1960s and 1970s was revived and Hawaii once again has an ongoing television series showcasing the culture and beauty in the islands.

But Steffan Tubbs, a morning news co-host with Newsradio 850 KOA in Denver, Colorado, and a board member with The Greatest Generations Foundation, had an experience at the National Memorial Center of the Pacific that may embarrass fans and erode a bit of the good will the show producers have developed here.

His piece, which is reprinted in its entirety with permission in Hawaii Reporter, details an encounter between 23 World War II veterans and a Hawaii Five-O crew that was actively filming a scene at the sacred cemetery, where hundreds of veterans are buried including those who died in WWII.

Ironically, the production was filming a fictional scene where Steve McGarrett visited his father’s grave at Punchbowl – the WWII veterans were actually visiting their friends’ grave sites.

Here are some highlights of his piece: Within 30 minutes of our arrival, we conducted a small ceremony that began with the presentation of the Colors by the University of Hawaii Army ROTC. The National Anthem followed. I emceed the event and looked out on men who had been injured December 7, 1941 – they represented the USS Arizona, Tennessee, St. Louis, Pennsylvania, Lexington, Medusa, Sacramento, Antares, Maryland, West Virginia, Stoddard,  Tanney,  Vestal  and Pyro. This group of men also represented Ft. Kamehameha, Kaneohe Naval Air Station, Hickam Field, Schofield Barracks, Fort Shafter and Ford Island. At least eight were in wheelchairs. Average age: 91. The others sat in plastic chairs underneath a large, temporary tent. The cemetery representatives could not have been more respectful and there to assist.

Three hundred yards away and clearly visible to them, no one on the CBS production stopped for the anthem or any part of our program. This included the ending of our presentation – Taps and the moment of silence. I was perturbed, but because our veterans faced me, they couldn’t see the disrespect. The ceremony ended and several men hopped on golf carts to visit their fallen comrades buried in other parts of the cemetery.

I decided to take a closer look at the production area from the public thoroughfare and walked closer to see catering trucks, grips, associate directors, production assistants, lighting workers, countless minions and the lead director – a Hollywood-looking middle-aged man wearing a black “AD/HD” t-shirt, a play off the rock band “AC/DC.” I stopped well behind the cameras and out of view when a local production assistant politely told me to keep moving. I was not happy and told her we had WWII vets who would likely be in the area. I was told, “Sorry, sir. We rented this part of the cemetery today.” My blood started to boil, but I remained calm and moved on. As I stood behind the tent, the director yelled at everyone to: “Get out of the line of sight! If you don’t belong here, clear out!”

Walter Maciejowski, 90, from Massachusetts soon caught up and I quickly tried to run interference so he wouldn’t get yelled at as he stood there in his cream-colored Pearl Harbor Survivors cap. Walter was clueless and was just amazed at the technology. He whispered in my ear as the scene was about to begin 75 yards away. We both stood exactly where the director had told me to stand.

It gets worse.

The TGGF program had brought 24 red roses to place at the gravesites on the opposite side of the Punchbowl. The program crew actually had one of their men wearing a backpack and earplug walk through – infiltrate – our rose-laying ceremony hushing everyone.

It was a disgrace.

We loaded our bus after the roses were placed and the vets climbed on and took their seats. Our oldest Pearl veteran 96, youngest 88. One of our crew guys asked the production guy in the backpack if, as we left, one of the actors could take two minutes to hop aboard during a break in shooting to say hello to our veterans as we drove past. Word came about three minutes later via an earpiece, “No.”

That didn’t surprise me.

I stayed at the front of the bus with Tim Davis, president and founder of TGGF. He told me to let the vets know what had happened, but I’d already made up my mind I most certainly would. I took the bus microphone and informed the vets in a nutshell what happened. Many of them booed, and then I told them as we drove by, if they felt the urge, to give the CBS crew a one-fingered military salute.

We rolled past and about half our veterans flipped everyone off as we rolled out of the Punchbowl. We all had a good laugh and most agreed we should write CBS and boycott the show and its sponsors.

Having been in the news business nearly 22 years, I understand how the crew was just doing a job and there’s big money involved. Shows have to be shot, actors coddled and issues down to rain and daylight come into play. And then, there’s common sense and respect.

Of all the weeks of the year – Pearl Harbor week – where fewer than 200 arrived on Oahu for their final goodbye, this was the time for CBS, Hawaii Five-O and the average American to rise up and go the extra mile to accommodate these men. To show respect. To say thank you.

Production on such a grand scale isn’t free. To that I say: neither is freedom.

Homestead Tax Exemption Challenge Goes to Supreme Court

Currently only “native Hawaiians” on homestead land are entitled to county property tax exemptions.

Today the U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether to review Corboy v. Louie, a case that challenges this exemption.

The Hawaii Supreme Court’s already dismissed the lawsuit, saying the 5 challengers do not have standing.

See more about the story here

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  1. […] Battle of the US Senate Candidate Polls; Hawaii Five No! Homestead Tax … Currently only “native Hawaiians" on homestead land are entitled to county property tax exemptions. Today the US Supreme Court is considering whether to review Corboy v. Louie, a case that challenges this exemption. The Hawaii Supreme Court's already … Read more on Hawaii Reporter […]

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