Former U. S. Congressman Ed Case and former Governor Linda Lingle have already set their first debate after the August 11 primary, even though both have to win their Primary election in the upcoming U.S. Senate race.
The Maui Chamber of Commerce will host the event on Wednesday, August 15 – four days after primary.
Case is running in the Democratic primary against Congresswoman Mazie Hirono.
Hirono was also invited, but has not accepted the invitation.
Case points out that Hirono has turned down invitations to participate in several local business group forums including the very first invitation from Smart Business Hawaii in January 2012 as well as subsequent invitations from several of the various Chambers of Commerce.
Case also has been critical of Hirono’s unwillingness to debate him, either on statewide network television or other public forums.
Case essentially ignored Hirono in his announcement yesterday, and focused on his would-be opponent Lingle saying:
“There are major differences between Linda and me that voters deserve to consider. With growing our economy, helping our small businesses and maintaining and creating good jobs our number one priority, the Maui Chamber’s debate is a great one to start with. But real debates aren’t just about substance, they’re about leadership. I’m ready to fight for our future, all of our futures. It’s not going to be easy, and these debates with Linda will be about who can get the job done, over the next generation. I look forward to many real debates with Linda throughout the general. I’m sure she, like me, will accept all reasonable opportunities to reach voters including statewide televised debates on our main stations.”
Hirono’s campaign spokesperson Carolyn Tanaka responded yesterday, attacking Case, and defending Hirono, noting Hirono has appeared in four forums with Case and agreed to a fifth (that event with the Oahu Democratic Party was postponed).
Tanaka also took another slap at Case: “If this event were to take place, there is little for Ed Case and Linda Lingle to debate given how much they agree from raising the retirement age for Social Security to supporting President Bush’s decision to go to war in Iraq, to Ed Case’s opposition to President Obama’s Jobs Act and Linda Lingle’s continued silence against existing proposals to create jobs here in Hawaii and across the country. It would not be much of a debate-more like a family reunion.”
Lingle is running against former state Senator John Carroll. Hirono, Case and Carroll all recently appeared in a tourism related forum sponsored by the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association. Lingle, who has not agreed to debate her Primary opponent, did not attend the tourism exchange saying she planned to wait until after August 11 to appear in joint forums.