Case to Hirono After Democratic Party Postpones First U.S. Senate Primary Debate: Let’s Debate Anyway

article top

After the Democratic Party of Hawaii “postponed” the first and long-awaited U.S. Senate candidate primary debate between Congressman Ed Case, D-HI (2002-2007) and Congresswoman Mazie Hirono, D-HI, this Friday, Case said told Hirono he still wants to debate on Thursday as scheduled.

Case sent an invitation to Hirono on Saturday, which said:


“You have refused most debate/joint appearance invitations, including four statewide television debates, any debate at our upcoming Democratic Party of Hawai’i state convention, and, most recently, a Senate forum with the Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce.

“The few opportunities you accepted included a “joint discussion” hosted by the Oahu Democrats. We both agreed to a date and time of this Thursday, May 24th, at 6:30PM, when you’re home for another congressional recess.

“Yesterday the Oahu Democrats chair told us that our scheduled May 24th joint discussion was being postponed indefinitely. Although no reason was given, reportedly you objected to the Oahu Democrats format, and arrangements for full public and media access had not been completed as I requested.

Let’s debate Thursday evening anyway. We both have the date and time set aside. I’m sure we can secure a good location for the first debate in this critical election in no time. I’m sure we can work out the rest of the logistics in short order.

“To make it easy for you, I’ll agree to any reasonable host or facilitator, and to any reasonable format, you propose. My only requirement is what I’ve asked for all of our debates: that it be fully accessible to the public and media.

“I ask, and hope you’ll agree, that we focus on the issues. What if we identify five issue areas each to discuss. These are mine: fixing DC; growing our economy; balancing our budget; preserving Social Security and Medicare; and making our world safe.

“All it will take for us to provide voters with this first debate is for you and I to agree to do just that, and the rest will fall in place fast. Let me know right away if you will or won’t debate me anyway this Thursday evening.

“If you decline, then I urge you to change your mind about not debating me at our state Democratic convention. As you know, our Congressional District 2 candidates are debating Saturday evening and I’m sure our party would still welcome the same from us.”

Hirono’s campaign issued the following response late Saturday:

“In a misleading email blast former Congressman Case implies that the forum has been cancelled.  It has not.  And contrary to Rep. Case’s contention, the State Party never extended an invitation to debate at the State Convention.

“The chair of the Oahu County Democrats requested additional time to work out logistical issues regarding the debate, and we have agreed to participate when these issues are resolved.

“Congresswoman Hirono respects the decision of the Oahu County Democrats to reschedule this moderated discussion. We look forward to it and  our four other diverse and statewide debate opportunities.”

Case said Sunday: “Mazie’s handler is wrong on two points and ignores a third.”
“First, my email expressly said the Oahu Democrat event was indefinitely potsponed, which was what the Oahu Democrats chair said.
“Second, Mazie absolutely did refuse any debate or other joint appearance opportunity at the upcoming state convention, which is why there is no such event scheduled (although the 2nd Congressional candidates are debating) and why neither Mazie nor me is speaking to the convention in our party’s most important election this year.
“Third, what I asked of Mazie was to use the time we had already set aside for the Oahu Democrats this Thursday to provide voters with a public debate anyway, with a sponsor and format of her choice.”