He should be grateful.
To date, Linda Lingle has ducked every single proposed debate or joint forum with me, televised or not. She has so taken for granted her anticipated victory in the Republican primary that she is already running as a “moderate” bipartisan in the general. She is so sure that she will win that she doesn’t even try to pretend to be a Republican, which her advisors have convinced her is a “negative” in heavily Democrat Hawaii.
We were recently notified by the Hawaii Hotel and Lodging Association that she even declined their Senate candidate forum on Hawaii’s most important economic driver, our visitor industry. The reason? Lingle’s campaign will “not be doing anything for the primary.”
Why then should Republicans vote for her? She disavows not only the principles and values of our party, but even the affiliation with our very name. A debate with me would put a spotlight on this hypocrisy for all to see. That is why she will never do it.
Lingle has once again succeeded in taking over the State Republican Party and turned it into her personal campaign organization. At this year’s Lincoln Day Dinner, she was ensconced as the keynote speaker. No other candidates for the U.S. Senate were allowed to speak. At this weekend’s Republican Party Convention, once again Lingle is the keynote speaker, and no other U.S. Senate candidates will be allowed to speak. We are lucky to be able to attend at all.
The Carroll campaign was invited to buy a table out in the lobby.
Do you think that Linda Lingle wants to debate the right to life issue, or her failure to honor her Taxpayer Protection Pledge, or the Super Ferry debacle, or her allowing the largest tax increase in recent Hawaii history to fund rail? No, she wants Republicans go along with her “bipartisan” cooperation with Democrats, whatever that means.
Lingle doesn’t want to talk about the Jones Act, or the fact that it raises every citizen’s cost of living by 25% or more, or that she takes money from Alexander and Baldwin to hold their shipping monopoly in place at your expense. In fact Lingle doesn’t want to answer any real questions at all.
Lingle clearly thinks that Republicans in Hawaii will line up like sheep and vote for her because she has a lot of mainland PAC money; not because she can supply a single honest answer to any valid question about the issues.
She prefers to hide behind a wall of mainland PAC television commercials and slide into the general election where she will present herself as anything BUT a Republican. Once again the local GOP will be used and discarded when its value to Lingle is exhausted.
Shouldn’t Hawaii’s Republicans back a candidate who will actually pledge to support their ideals and values? If Linda were to be elected to the U.S Senate what has really been accomplished for Hawaii’s conservatives? Nothing.
Hawaii’s Republicans should stand up for their right to hear from the candidates directly, not just from prepared speeches, sanitized press releases and expensive advertising. Don’t you feel you deserve to see where the candidates really stand on issues that are important to you? I think you do, and clearly Linda Lingle thinks you do not.
John S. Carroll is former state senator and Candidate for U.S. Senate