Ret. General Robert Lee: Lingle Senate Campaign Hit with Deceptive Tactics from Opponents

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RETIRED GENERAL ROBERT LEE – As I have shared with you during the past two weeks, I had the honor to be in the presence of our World War II veterans at unique ceremonies celebrating their heroism six decades ago.

It’s been a truly gratifying and emotional time that has left me with a renewed appreciation for what these men accomplished. Their story is one of unity of purpose and a shared triumph for which they sacrificed so much to safeguard the liberty and freedom we enjoy today.


After experiencing such an uplifting couple of weeks, you can imagine how disheartening it was to read such a divisive, deceptive, and partisan e-mail (see below) crafted by an executive in the Hawaii Carpenters Union. It was written on behalf of one of the Democrat candidates running for the U.S. Senate. The reprehensible e-mail references a video interview with Governor Linda Lingle.

Folks, it’s clear the candidates in this Senate race offer contrasting ideas, plans and vision for our state and country. They also have a totally different way to communicate their message. While we can expect a negative campaign, and some will say, “that’s just politics,” it’s simply poor form to distort the opposing position. You know, it’s just not the Hawaii way.

I will not let deceptive misrepresentations of Gov. Linda Lingle’s words go unchallenged. I cannot, and will not, sit idly by while her words are taken out of context to create a straw man, muddying the waters for voters trying to make an informed decision in this critically important election.

Don’t take my word for it — please read the transcript of the video in question below for yourself. In it, Gov. Lingle clearly explains why she stands WITH Hawaii’s small business owners who create so many jobs here at home. Her concern is that these small business owners might be vulnerable to huge tax increases because many of these LLCs or sole proprietors report their business income as PERSONAL income.

You won’t read any of that in the context sent out in the e-mail from a political operative. In fact, you won’t read ANY of Gov. Lingle’s actual words except for seven words taken out of a sentence which is more than double that in length.

You won’t be reminded that Governor Lingle supports a reform of the federal tax system that makes it flatter, fairer, and lower, but that encourages the creation of more jobs. She also will not support eliminating the deduction for home mortgages or charitable contributions as some are suggesting.

In the interest of keeping you as informed as possible, I’ve included, verbatim, the full answer Gov. Lingle provided to her interviewer. It’s a common-sense, balanced perspective that I know most of the people of Hawaii agree with. The real question is: why doesn’t the other candidate want to protect Hawaii’s small businesses?

I trust that you will read Gov. Lingle’s words and reflect on them as you come to a decision on whom to support in this very important race. Please share her position far and wide so that everyone knows that Gov. Lingle stands shoulder-to-shoulder with 28,844 businesses that have employees who would be impacted and an estimated 76,300 sole proprietors that could be affected. These are Hawaii’s mom-and-pop, locally-owned businesses that we all know, frequent and love.

Keep up the good fight.


MG (ret.) Bob Lee


KEYES: It sounds like you’re against the millionaire’s tax that President Obama has proposed?

LINGLE: I guess I’d have to explain a little bit about my state to you, Scott. In my state, the majority of businesses are small businesses. The majority of them report their income as personal income.

So while people may want to call it a “millionaire’s tax,” in fact, it’s a tax on small business, because almost every business in Hawaii will report their income as personal income. They have an LLC, they have a sole proprietorship, and that means if their business only earns $250,000, now they have to pay higher taxes at a time they’re struggling to keep people employed.

So for me, they put that label on it, others put that label. I call it a small business tax, and therefore I could never support something like that.


Aloha —

It’s about time we closed the loopholes that allow millionaires and billionaires to pay lower tax rates than the rest of us — and Mazie Hirono has been leading the “Buffett Rule” fight along with online activists like you.

But Linda Lingle, Mazie’s leading Republican opponent, just doesn’t see eye-to-eye with the people of Hawaii. When asked about calling for millionaires to pay a little more in taxes, she’s continuing to toe the mainland GOP line: “I could never support something like that.”

Of course, this has always been Republican Linda Lingle’s position. We remember her steadfast loyalty to President George W. Bush, and the Bush tax cuts he enacted his first year in office that created the economic crisis and income inequality our country is facing today.

Well, speaking for myself, I believe it’s a very good thing George W. Bush is no longer in the White House. So why would Hawaii, of all places, send someone like Linda Lingle to the United States Senate to promote Bush’s bad ideas and failed economic policies?

Join me with other Hawaii voters in telling Linda Lingle that she’s on the wrong side of this issue — and let’s make sure millionaires and billionaires start paying their fair share.

Just last month, Mazie Hirono started a petition from online advocates like us to Speaker John Boehner’s office, demanding that he consider making millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share by supporting the “Buffett Rule.”

Now how many other members of Congress do you know with that sense of purpose, courage, and commitment to the middle class?

Just the fact that Mazie is using her campaign not merely to get elected, but to enlist everyday Hawaii citizens to make progress right now on the issues and values we share, is a real testament to Mazie’s character and priorities.

Join me with other Hawaii voters in supporting Mazie Hirono’s efforts to make sure millionaires and billionaires start paying their fair share now. We shouldn’t have to wait until Election Day!

Someone who still believes, as Lingle does, that the wealthiest Americans shouldn’t have to pay their fair share has no business running for Senate in Hawaii.

So thanks for joining me in supporting Mazie Hirono — the only candidate in this race who has always stood up for Hawaii’s middle class.


Ron Taketa

Financial Secretary/Business Representative

Hawaii Carpenters Union





  1. Lingle’s explanation of the small business tax is a complete joke, and anybody with any intelligence at all will recognize that.

    First, small businesses that elect to report as a sole proprietor using schedule C on their income taxes, get to deduct all legitimate business expenses including business taxes, payroll taxes, employee expenses, cost of goods sold, insurance, employee benefits, etc, etc, etc ABOVE THE LINE before any income flows to their personal income tax. Therefore only those people making more than $1,000,000 or even $250,000 in net profits would be affected by the type of change that Lingle is saying is claiming is a small business tax.

    Second, any business with income of more than $1,000,000 that doesn’t have an accountant to advise them of the best way to manage their business expenses and accounting is a very foolish business. The assumption that Lingle makes is that business owners are too stupid to modify their business structure depending on current tax law.

    So calling it a small business tax is a complete farce and an insult to anybody in this state with any degree of intelligence. One wonders where she is getting her advice from to come up with something as insulting as that statement.

    This is the exact typical rhetoric we have to come to expect from the Lingle campaign, and frankly I’m as sick and tired of this just as much as I am sick and tired of the rhetoric from the unions and the Democrats.

    But in Lingle’s case, she claims to be a progressive Republican, but her words and actions indicate that she is party player with national office aspirations and therefore, she must abide by what her party wants, which includes her stance on abortion, gay marriage, taxes, and all the other decisive issues.

    Just once, I would love to see a candidate that doesn’t lie to their constituents and come up with nonsense like this. And I’m not limiting that particular criticism to candidates from either party.

  2. David’s comments are good. But he and I likely differ on our comparative affinities for a “”progressive Republican” in office, I’d rather have a conservative Republican. However, we sooooooo badly need a two-party state here in Hawaii, so I will not only hold my nose and vote for Lingle, but I’ll contribute to her campaign and work for it as well. Successful politics is (almost always) the art of the possible.

  3. Bob Lee wrote: “The reprehensible e-mail references a video interview with Governor Linda Lingle”

    Reprehensible? Hardly. Unless of course you’re against the First Amendment right of freedom of expression.

    Mr. Taketa wrote: “Well, speaking for myself, I believe . . .”

    Why didn’t your provide more information about this video interview? When was it? Where was it? Who conducted it? Where can one access it? Instead you simply offered some bogus rendition of an excerpt.

    Retired General? In whose military? Surely not ours — the United States’ — I hope. If so, it would seem you were fighting against the very ideals of this country.

    If you expect the public to blindly believe your assertions just because you say so, you are obviously out of touch and/or have adopted the mind set of dictatorship countries.

    Get over yourself, Bob. You sully the image of our military and the freedoms they are supposedly fighting for.

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