Congresswoman Mazie Hirono’s public relations team launched an attack on former Republican Gov. Linda Lingle on August 10, 2012, Primary Election eve, focusing the teacher furloughs that were in effect in Hawaii’s public schools in 2009 and 2010 because of budget shortfalls.

Hirono’s U.S. Senate team said: “As the second week of school comes to a close today – Friday –  U.S. Democratic Senate candidate Mazie Hirono noted that the students are in their classrooms, preparing themselves for the jobs and careers of the future. They were not at the malls, or at home watching television, or out and about looking for things to do.  And their working parents were not worrying about child care, babysitting, or missing work to stay home with their kids on a school day.

“Thankfully for Hawaii’s students, parents and teachers, today is a very different Friday than the debilitating Furlough Fridays of Republican Linda Lingle.  Parents didn’t have to find child care, or adjust their work schedules, or lose a day’s work and a day’s pay to take care of their children.  And while our hard working parents scrambled to take care of their kids, Linda Lingle took a trip to China — leaving parents and educators to deal with the impact of the furloughs.

“These are not the values that our next U.S. Senator should have.  We need someone who will stand up for our students and working families.  The Republicans need only 4 votes to gain control of the Senate.  If Linda Lingle goes to the Senate she will march in lock-step with the national Republican Party whose budget plans would cut support for public education.”

Hirono is one of two candidates in the Democratic Primary election this Saturday, August 11. Recent polls show Hirono is virtually tied with former Congressman Ed Case, (D-Hawaii 2002-2007), but Hirono has largely ignored Case and focused on criticizing Lingle.

Lenny Klompus, Deputy Campaign Manager and Communications Director for the Linda Lingle Senate Committee, said Friday:

“With less than 24 hours before Hawaii’s Primary Election, Mazie Hirono is arrogantly acting like she already beat Ed Case by launching a false attack against Governor Linda Lingle. She is trying to distract voters from the important issues in this once-in-a-generation election because she has no serious plan to help the people of Hawaii and get America back on track. This is a well-known pattern with Hirono, who has distorted history, clouded her own resume, refused to cite specific accomplishments or articulate her plan to fix the nation’s woes if elected to the U.S. Senate.

“In fact, she wouldn’t even debate with Ed until she thought she was behind in the polls, and only after she was roundly criticized by the people of Hawaii, including her own supporters.
“Hirono is trying to rewrite history, and focus on anything except her lack of achievement during more than 25 years in office.
“Even former Governor Ben Cayetano in his book references Hirono’s ineffectiveness in education. After giving Hirono the chance to establish preschools (Pre-Plus) in public schools for Hawaii’s keiki, Cayetano said ‘sadly, by late 2002 little had been accomplished.’
“Hirono’s D.C. style attacks are becoming the norm for her campaign which is clearly being run from the inside the Washington Beltway.  It’s time that the community and the news media challenge Hirono’s mischaracterizations, factual inaccuracies and downright lies.  Her latest statement ignores the following facts:
*Thanks to constant dialogue, meetings and communications, a news conference in the Executive Chamber on on May 25, 2010 ended Furloughs (see attached news release). Governor Lingle departed on an economic mission to China on June 4, 2010.
*The end of furloughs was finalized during the last week of the school year, giving parents certainty for the summer months and the following school year.
*Despite her manufactured concern now, during the 2009-10 school year, Hirono sat on the sidelines until the furloughs were officially ended in 2010 by Governor Lingle.
*Hirono has attempted to paint a picture of Governor Lingle as a candidate who will always vote with national Republicans. Governor Lingle has consistently stated that her decisions will center on the people of Hawaii and what is in their best interest; that this election is not about Washington, but about us – the people.
“Furthermore, Hirono may have forgotten but we haven’t, that it is not “Aloha Friday” for the more than 41,000 unemployed in Hawaii. The Washington gridlock that she has been a part of has failed to provide small business growth and create jobs. With do-nothing members like Hirono, it is no surprise that Congress is crippled with utterly dismal approval ratings.
“Instead of focusing on creating jobs, tax relief, growing Hawaii’s economy, or even something as immediate as tomorrow’s Primary Election, Hirono chooses to intentionally misrepresent Governor Lingle to the people of Hawaii. This is not leadership and this is not what the people of Hawaii deserve in their next U.S. Senator.”

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