Most Oahu residents who watch television probably have seen those television advertisements attacking former Gov. Ben Cayetano. The ads claim Cayetano accepted illegal campaign contributions when he was governor.
The commercials are sponsored by Pacific Resource Partnership – the membership organization backed by companies that want the city to complete construction on the $5.2 billion elevated steel on steel rail project.
Pacific Resource Partnership is also the organization running those “push polls”, which under the guise of a poll is actually pushing negative information to Oahu residents about Cayetano, including the claim he accepted illegal contributions.
The organization also launched several web sites attacking Cayetano and is running advertisements attacking Cayetano in conjunction with other pro-rail advocates. The rhetoric is down right nasty, Cayetano supporters say.
Pacific Resource Partnership is targeting Cayetano because he is the only mayoral candidate that promised to kill the city’s rail project. While the other two mayoral candidates back the rail, Cayetano said he opposes the 20-mile project because it too expensive, too ugly and will negatively impact the environment.
Cayetano said the Pacific Resource Partnership claims about his past campaign contributions are bogus.
Cayetano, who says he has taken on powerful special interests before, said the campaign is “getting rough” because he is now taking on the special interests behind the rail project. He’s also ahead in recent media polls.
Today Cayetano will hold a press conference with former Campaign Spending Commission Executive Director Bob Watada.
Watada aggressively pursued investigations into a number of illegal campaign contribution schemes when he was in charge of that office.
Watada retired in 2005 and moved to Oregon. But he’s back to set the record straight on Cayetano’s campaign donation track record.
Rep. Della Au Belatti, a Former Commissioner for the Campaign Spending Commission and Paul Kuramoto, the Former Chairperson of the Campaign Spending Commission will also be at the press conference to share their expertise as two of five commissioners who oversaw Watada’s investigations.