Thursday, September 2, 2004

Signs for mayoral candidates Duke Bainum and Mufi Hannemann lined the fence of a home fronting Likelike Highway across from the Kamehameha Shopping Center yesterday.

Hannemann accuses
Bainum of stealing ideas

The two candidates for mayor
talk about improving isle traffic

Mayoral candidate Mufi Hannemann is accusing his chief rival, Duke Bainum, of parroting Hannemann's positions and even plagiarizing phrases from his campaign.

"That's why people are confused that sometimes we sound like Tweedledum and Tweedledee," Hannemann said yesterday.

When Bainum was asked if he has been copying Hannemann, he replied, "Of course not."

With the race picking up steam, both Hannemann and Bainum appeared before the West Oahu Economic Development Association yesterday, but not side by side.

Each spoke for 30 minutes and was asked questions on four subjects: traffic, economic development, permitting and a new landfill.

Regarding traffic, Bainum said, "We need to look, at least look, at freeway metering."

Later, Bainum talked about how roads need to be resurfaced below the surface of the roadway.

Hannemann said those ideas are just two of several phrases and ideas he contends were originally his and that he has shared publicly to different community groups.

"Today he talks about the freeway metering, he talks about resurfacing roads, going below an inch deep," Hannemann said. "He said the other day, 'You need a leader who can hit the ground running, who brings us together. This is no time for on-the-job training.' He even referred to our city as our home." Hannemann's campaign slogan is "Our Home, Our Mayor."

"It's getting to be a standard joke in our campaign. ... We are very hesitant to share some of our newer ideas and put it out publicly because he has so many more ways because of his money to make it sound like it was his idea," Hannemann said.

Not so, Bainum said.

Bainum said that he has talked to many of the same people that Hannemann has talked to about many of the same issues, and he has some of the same information that Hannemann has.

"I don't usually give everything I know about road resurfacing. ... I have figures on how much it costs to a half-inch, an inch and a half," he said. "This time, I thought was important to go into more detail because they asked for both long- and short-term solutions."

Hannemann said: "We've done seven or eight forums now, and he's had ample opportunity to bring it up. Today he chooses to bring it up when I'm not in the room, thinking he can get away with it."

Yesterday's appearance comes less than three weeks before the Sept. 18 primary election when one of the candidates -- there are 10 -- could win the race outright with more than 50 percent of the vote.

Today, the candidates will address Hawaiian issues at the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement's annual conference.



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