”Special Jan. 4 Election Brings Out Worst in Leading Candidate”

Former state Senator and Democrat Candidate for Lieutenant Governor Matt Matsunaga is airing a series of television attack ads directed against his opponent Ed Case in the Jan. 4 Special U.S. House election to fill the two-year vacancy left by the death of U.S. Rep. Patsy Mink.

Case already won an earlier special election to fill Mink’ s seat for five weeks, although he will not be officially sworn in as U.S. Representative for Hawaii’ s second congressional district because the House will not be in session over the holidays. The ads accuse Case of favoring recreational Marijuana use, although Case has never voted for this legislation while in the state Legislature. Even more Judas like, Matsunaga calls Case his “good friend” in the ad, before he slams him. (It is not likely they are good friends anymore, if they ever were.)

Matsunaga also has an ad that attempts to use basketball — a game is he quite good at based on his performance at the House vs. Senate basketball tournament two years ago — to toughen up his image. He is playing basketball in the ad and sinking all the baskets. Apparently his political advisors believe the ad will help counter one of the main criticisms of Matsunaga during the last campaign — that his television advertisements made him look too soft and feminine, and that he wasn’t a team player.

Meanwhile three of the leading Democrat candidates, Matsunaga, Case and state Sen. Colleen Hanabusa, battle over who is the most liberal, as if the winner of that unofficial competition will be a shoo-in during this election.

They apparently believe that because U.S. Rep. Patsy “Pink” Mink was so liberal, and unabashedly so, and kept getting re-elected, that the voters in the second congressional district must be extremely liberal. That may sound practical, and probably is somewhat true, but there is the other side of the story –

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