REPORT FROM THE CAYETANO CAMPAIGN FOR MAYOR – The phrase “hitting a new low in politics” is usually an exaggeration. But in this year’s race for Honolulu mayor, that statement appears right on the mark, unfortunately.
Pacific Resource Partnership (PRP) and other pro-rail special interests are spending huge sums of money to spread lies and innuendo in an effort to damage the reputation of Governor Ben Cayetano. Read the truth:
PRP alleged he knowingly accepted illegal campaign contributions for one of his gubernatorial campaigns.
The truth is, when informed in 2005 that people had given contributions under false names or given more than the limit, Governor Ben returned all remaining funds and was cleared of any wrongdoing by the Campaign Commission.
PRP also accused Governor Ben of maintaining a “pay-to-play” culture at the State Capitol. The truth is, he never gave government contracts in exchange for campaign cash and in fact signed laws bringing such practices to an end.
Bob Watada, former Director of Hawaii’s Campaign Spending Commission, stated “Ben Cayetano is one of the most honest persons I know. He passed groundbreaking legislation that… allowed the commission to operate without political interference, and ended politically corrupt practices in place for decades.”
PRP accuses Governor Ben of endangering public safety by pardoning more prisoners than any other Hawaii chief executive.
Nearly all of Governor Cayetano’s pardons were based on recommendations of the Hawaii Paroling Authority and public safety officials.
Many of the pardons were to those who had already served their complete sentences and needed pardons to obtain jobs. Others were elderly, some were terminally ill and none were convicted murderers or rapists.
Governor Cayetano received more requests for pardons (397) during his two-terms than any other governor and only issued pardons in 51% of the cases. By contrast, Governor Waihee granted pardons for 72% of his requests, Governor Burns granted 70% and Governor Ariyoshi granted 67%.
PRP alleges he eats, sleeps, breathes Republican.
In “Eat, Sleep, Breathe Republican” and other mass-mailed flyers, PRP ludicrously tried to link Governor Ben with Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.
The truth is, Governor Ben is a lifelong Democrat competing in a nonpartisan mayoral race. He is honored and grateful to enjoy strong support across the political spectrum.
PRP alleges tax breaks for wealthy and war on teachers.
The truth is, Governor Ben Cayetano was able to push through one of the biggest state personal income tax reductions in the nation at the time. It cut taxes for ALL but it primarily helped Hawaii’s low and moderate income families.
Our students were the big winner under Governor Cayetano! The teachers union struck because Ben was a tough negotiator asking for more instruction days per school year – which he got in the final contract. Teacher salaries rose under Ben’s administration – from $25,000 in 1997 to $34,300 in 2002 – a 37 percent increase. The contracts also rewarded teachers for professional development rather than seniority alone, and provided merit pay for university faculty.
PRP and other pro-rail special interests are spending about $3 million to tarnish the reputation of Governor Ben Cayetano and thereby boost the election chances of staunch rail supporter Kirk Caldwell.
PRP, an organization of general contractors and unionized carpenters, knows the $5.3 billion heavy rail boondoggle would cost much more than estimated and reduce traffic congestion by less than two percent. That’s why PRP is trying to buy the election with an onslaught of vicious attack ads, “push polls,” mailers and other propaganda filled with distortions and outright lies concerning Governor Ben’s three decades in public service.
Even a casual observer of the Honolulu mayoral race can see what’s happening. PRP and other powerful organizations, businesses and individuals are trying to buy this election and force residents to pay for an ugly and obsolete rail system they don’t need and can’t afford.
But the good news is, voters can reject the propaganda mudslide and restore fiscal sanity at City Hall by electing Governor Ben as our next mayor on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
A victory for Governor Ben is a victory for the people – and a resounding defeat for those who shamelessly grab for wealth and power at the expense of everyone else.