Former Mayor Mufi Hannemann: Defending My Record

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Mufi Hannemann

BY MUFI HANNEMANN – About a week ago, I wrote to you about my support for Kirk Caldwell for Honolulu Mayor.  Since then, many of you have let me know you were pleased to learn of my preference and thanked me for that endorsement.

Unfortunately, my endorsement of Kirk has brought out the worst in some people.  Many of you have seen or heard commercials from a group called Defend Ben, that falsely accuse me of putting into place a “pay to play” system at City Hall.  This term implies that City contracts were awarded in return for campaign contributions.  Defend Ben claims Kirk condones this practice.  None of this is true.


This is not the first time this kind of groundless allegation has been leveled at me during a campaign, nor is it the first time Ben Cayetano’s name has been associated with such efforts.

In 2010, for example, Cayetano and others filed charges of contract irregularities with the Attorney General.  See  An internal review of 300 contracts and a further examination by the City Council-appointed Auditor Les Tanaka pronounced that the City had followed procurement laws.  On behalf of the Attorney General, the State Procurement administrator also conducted an investigation of 86 contracts and found that the City was in full compliance with the law.  Said administrator Aaron Fujioka at the time, “The SPO review of documents provided to verify compliance with the code for awards pursuant to [the law] on the procurement of professional services, did not find any violations of the code occurred in the awards.”

These findings were reported in the news media, so it’s befuddling that the same baseless accusations continue to surface.  See

I pride myself on complying with campaign spending laws.  In fact, we always meticulously review our records and return donations which do not meet the requirements of the law.  In one election season, when we were notified by the Campaign Spending Commission of $80,000 in improper donations by some contributors, we turned over every last penny to the commission – one of only a handful of organizations to do so.

Bob Watada, former head of the Campaign Spending Commission, said, “The Mufi Hannemann campaign took measures to review all campaign contributions to ensure they met legal requirements.  When notified by the Campaign Spending Commission of contributions improperly concealed by the donors, the Hannemann campaign organization took immediate steps to return the funds.  Mufi Hannemann has a clean record with the Campaign Spending Commission.”

By contrast, Ben Cayetano’s gubernatorial committee received more than $540,000 in illegal donations, but was able to turn over only a fraction – $8,000 – of that amount to the commission.  The facts speak for themselves.

Ben Cayetano has taken exception to ads against his candidacy, and has even filed a lawsuit, claiming the assertions have hurt his reputation and family, and he criticizes the Caldwell campaign for failing to censure the allegations.  Yet, Defend Ben is now doing the same thing on behalf of Ben’s candidacy, and Ben is certainly not censuring Defend Ben.

It’s unfortunate that there are still those in our community who continue to press forward with these falsehoods for their self-interest and political gain.  Therefore, please pass this message on to your family and friends so they, too, can know the truth and facts.

And if you haven’t already done so, please don’t forget to vote.

Aloha and mahalo,
Mufi Hannemann

Mufi Hannemann was the mayor of Honolulu from 2004 to 2010





  1. No one cares what Mufi thinks. You are right Mike – he is irrelevant. Mufi is a bully, as well as condescending, and I believe what Ed Case said a couple of years ago . . .that "Mufi is the most dangerous politician in Hawaii". Mufi started all of this "rail mess" and all of the backroom deals. If it is such a good thing, why has he been so quiet about it? Mufi can spin it anyway he wants . . .but the people of this state are tired of him and his lies . . .please Mufi, just go away. Haven't the past two primaries you have been in, and your landslide losses, told you that????? Your opinion, your endorsements, etc. mean nothing to anyone but yourself.

  2. Mufi's endorsement is a godsend to Ben. Keep up the reminder of that administration's negatives and attach that to Kirk. I bet he cringed when Hannemann came out, but why did he? A message to get more donations?To get the issue of pay to play back on the voters mind about Kirk? It seems like Ben has a new issue now with the Federal court finding that the EIS is amiss but read further and and you will see that the Federal Judges do not want rail going next to their court. That is a killer along with the cost of Beritania tunnel.

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