Pro-rail political action committee targets Cayetano, supports Caldwell

By Lara Yamada
Published On: Sep 26 2012 06:45:38 PM HST
Updated On: Sep 27 2012 09:41:44 AM HST

The PRP releases a new ad endorsing mayoral candidate Kirk Caldwell while Ben Cayetano responds.

HONOLULU -

You might remember, Pacific Resource Partnership spent more than a million dollars leading up to the primary, the vast majority of that money spent attacking Hawaii's former governor.

"It's about trust. Kirk Caldwell. An honest man," began the new spot by PRP airing on local TV stations.

It's no surprise that in their first spot since the primary, PRP, the pro-rail, pro-union group would support of pro-rail candidate Kirk Caldwell.

"What you're going to see from me and the way I've campaigned in the past, is going to be positive and a focus on fixing things and building things," said Honolulu Mayoral Candidate Kirk Caldwell.

"Trust Kirk Caldwell. But Ben Cayetano," the PRP ad continued.

The ad shows a new poster child, but a well-repeated message.

The second half of the new spot, yet again, slams Cayetano for what PRP calls his record of 'pay to pay,' which is a charge Cayetano has staunchly rejected.

"Half a million in illegal contributions," the ad says, referring to Cayetano.

"Obviously, they haven't changed their strategy. They've already spent 1.2 million, from what I understand, and recently, another 300-something-thousand on TV ads they're planning to run," said candidate Ben Cayetano.

KITV reporter Lara Yamada talked to PRP Executive Director John White as primary night wrapped up, about what's had been called a smear campaign against Cayetano, and whether a million dollars later, and Cayetano still in the race, if PRP should change its strategy.

"The general election is a very different type of race than it is in the primary election. I think in the coming days we're going to consider the dynamics of the race," said White in August.

"It's an issue of concern for people and as I've said, people have a right to have a discussion on illegal contributions and pay to play," said Caldwell.

It's an issue likely on the table again, in the first debate since the primary between the candidates on commercial broadcast television on October 3rd on KITV4.

"I'm looking forward to these debates, and if the question arises I'll be ready to answer it," said Caldwell.

"What I'm relying on is people know me. They elected me in eight elections and I take that to mean most trust me and know my reputation," said Cayetano.

A representative for PRP would not do a television interview Wednesday, but sent out dozens of pages of what the group said is evidence of illegal contributions to Cayetano.

Former Campaign Spending Commission Executive Director Bob Watada has consistently defended Cayetano, saying Cayetano did nothing illegal.  

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