Iwase campaign uses faked newspaper headlines
Democratic Party officials are apologizing after Randy Iwase and Malama Solomon, the Democratic candidates for governor and lieutenant governor, ran a series of television ads with phony headlines pasted onto a copy of the Honolulu Advertiser.
Mike McCartney, Democratic Party chairman, said he met with Solomon, whose campaign paid for the ads, and said she has apologized for the misleading ads.
"It was just wrong and I don't defend it. It was a mistake," McCartney said.
Solomon did not return calls asking for comment.
The television ads were prepared by Brickwood Galuteria, the former chairman of the Democratic Party, who said yesterday the headlines had been "edited."
"I put those together, but I didn't realize the headlines were edited. It wasn't a fake headline, it was an edited headline," Galuteria said.
"I knew they were edited. Once I got a call of concern, I pulled them. I take full responsibility," he said.
But Mark Platte, vice president and editor of the morning newspaper, said despite assurances that the misleading ads would be removed, they continued to run, and he called McCartney to complain.
"Those were not headlines that we published," Platte said.
"They were obviously headlines that had been superimposed on the front of our newspaper. It was a kind of erroneous, blatant use of our newspaper," he added.
The issue was first raised publicly yesterday by Republican Party Chairman Sam Aiona, who called a news conference to demand that the ads be withdrawn.
"They are continually rewriting the truth," Aiona said.
The television ads show a montage of Advertiser front pages with three headlines that say, "Iraq War See No End in Sight," "No Child Left Behind Leaves Many Behind" and "Hawaii's housing highest in nation."
The actual headline that was replaced on the Oct. 11 edition of the paper said, "Isle oil companies still scrutiny-free."
The Iwase-Solomon campaign did not change the story accompanying the headline, but did substitute phony headlines.
Aiona said the ads were "a misleading activity that has no place in politics."
Although state law requires the governor and lieutenant governor candidates to run as a team in the general election, Iwase said yesterday that the ads were placed by Solomon.
"It was paid for by the Friends of Malama Solomon. We didn't put any ads on TV," Iwase said.
Asked about the ad yesterday, Iwase said he did not know if the allegations were true.
"I wasn't involved with the ad. She put that ad together on her own," he said.
Iwase slams Lingle's disaster response
Democratic candidate for governor Randy Iwase says he would have done a better job handling the state's reaction to Sunday's earthquakes than Republican Gov. Linda Lingle.
Iwase, a former state senator and city councilman, said the state response "was clearly unacceptable."
Lingle was mistaken to say that the entire state was a disaster area, Iwase charged, saying that it would hurt tourism.
"I would have ... declared portions of the Big Island a disaster area," Iwase said.
"What you seem to have is panic and overreaction," Iwase said yesterday during a news conference on the state Capitol lawn.
Iwase was joined by Democratic U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, who also said that Lingle should not have called the entire state a disaster area.
Maj. Gen. Robert Lee, state Civil Defense director, said the decision to declare the state a disaster area came after consultation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
"We were in constant communications with FEMA ... and in our declaration with FEMA the recommendation was, 'You don't know what is happening now. It is better you ask for the whole thing,' and we concurred," Lee said.
Michael Karl, FEMA coordinating officer, said that the emergency declaration, which resulted in President Bush declaring the state a disaster area, will allow Honolulu to recover the overtime costs for city workers such as police, fire and rescue units put on standby or directing traffic because of the power failure.
But not everyone in Iwase's party agrees about Lingle's performance. U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye praised her.
During a news conference after taking an aerial survey of the damage, Inouye was asked about the state's performance.
"When one considers our communication system came to a sudden halt, it was magnificent. On the whole the governor did well," Inouye said.
Iwase also criticized Lingle for the power failures and lack of communications at Honolulu Airport. Lingle acknowledged that communication was not good, and appointed her senior communications adviser, Lenny Klompus, to work with the airlines, news media and hotels to come up with a better emergency system.
But when asked about the airport problems, Inouye said, "It is easy to be a Monday morning quarterback."