By ALEX ISENSTADT – Former Rep. Ed Case criticized Sen. Daniel Inouye’s forceful role in Hawaii’s upcoming special election, predicting that the powerful senior senator’s support for Colleen Hanabusa would backfire Saturday when the ballots are counted in the 1st Congressional District special election.

In an interview with POLITICO on Wednesday, Case said that voters in the Honolulu-based seat would reject Inouye’s vigorous effort to push Hanabusa, the state Senate president, over the finish line.

“I think it’s clear that a great majority of the district doesn’t want to be told how to vote,” said Case, who, along with Hanabusa and Republican Honolulu City Councilman Charles Djou, is a top contender in the May 22 contest. “They don’t want anyone to tell them how to vote — whether it’s a senator or a governor.”