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Case called disrespectful over use of Mink's photo


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POSTED: Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The daughter of John and Patsy Mink is criticizing Ed Case, a Democratic candidate for Congress, for using a photo that she says makes it appear her father would have supported his current bid for office.

Case, along with state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, also a Democrat, and City Councilman Charles Djou, a Republican, are running to fill the rest of the term of U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, who retires next month to run for governor.

On his campaign Web page, Case is running a picture of John Mink congratulating him after winning re-election to Congress in 2004.

Wendy Mink, who is a writer and independent scholar based in Washington, D.C., where she teaches at the Johns Hopkins Washington Center, said Case is misleading the public.

“;You distort the brief electoral history of the aftermath of my mother's passing to suit your interests. In the process, you disrespect my father.

“;Please, Mr. Case. Stop telling stories about my late father. And stop using his picture to salve your conscience,”; Mink said.

In response, Case said yesterday that John Mink had supported his 2004 campaign “;with his contribution and by speaking at my event.”;

“;We all admired and respected both he and Mrs. Mink and are dedicated to carrying on their legacies,”; Case said.

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Wendy Mink was critical of Case.

“;You were successful in your effort to prevent my father from wrapping up my mother's congressional work,”; she said. “;But my father was a big-hearted man, and so he looked past your conduct and congratulated you on your victory.

“;You abuse his generosity of spirit by running a photograph of him smiling at you, suggesting that he would support you today,”; Mink said.

After Patsy Mink, a much-respected local and national political figure, died, an election was called to fill the remaining six weeks of her term. Her husband said he would run to fill out the term, close the office and help the staff.

Case, who had just lost a close race to Mazie Hirono in the Democratic primary for governor, ran against John Mink along with 38 minor and perennial candidates.

Other candidates for the 2003-2004 term did not run in the special election.

“;You claim that my father 'was talked into the race by those who supported others for election to Congress,'”; Wendy Mink said.

“;John Mink was no dupe; he was never anyone's puppet. The idea that he should complete the final six weeks of my mother's term came straight from his heart—out of a profound loyalty to my mother and out of a sense of duty to her remarkable staff,”; Mink said.

Case sent an e-mail to his supporters defending his successful campaign against John Mink in 2002 as well as his unsuccessful campaign against U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka in 2006 after U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye questioned Case's motives during a recent speech endorsing Hanabusa.