IS IT A CRIME? Former Gov. Ben Cayetano convinced campaign spending commissioners to refer his complaint against a super PAC that targeted him during the 2012 election to the prosecutor for further criminal action
Ben Cayetano

Fed up with the “push polls”, attack ads on radio and television and email campaigns against him, former Gov. Ben Cayetano will file a libel and slander lawsuit today against the organizations and individuals he said are trying to undermine his campaign for Honolulu mayor.

Cayetano has retained one of Hawaii’s most well known First Amendment attorneys, Jim Bickerton of Bickerton Lee Dang & Sullivan.

The lawsuit will be filed against Pacific Resource Partnership, its Executive Director John White, its Board members, the Carpenters’ Union, which directs Pacific Resource Partnership’s actions, and Pacific Resource Partners’ advertising agency, as well as defendants who have so far kept their identities secret.

Pacific Resource Partnership, which also goes by PRP Hawaii, said in its advertisements that Cayetano was soft on crime when he was governor of Hawaii, that he cut government employees and services, and that he took hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal campaign contributions.

The mayor’s race is non-partisan but Cayetano is a Democrat, and PRP Hawaii has also tried to undermine Cayetano’s support from his own party by claiming he is closely with Tea Party activists and Republicans and is not endorsed by Hawaii’s senior senator, Daniel Inouye.

Cayetano will announce the details of the lawsuit at a press conference today at noon.