September 22nd, 2010

Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona said today that he has not heard back from former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie about his call for six one-hour debates on public-policy issues in their campaign for governor.

Aiona, the Republican candidate, said on Sunday that he would still debate Abercrombie even if the former congressman rejects his specific outline. But he has made clear that he does not like the debate format adopted by Hawaii News Now in the primary, which included a live audience divided with partisans who at times were boisterous.

Other critics have questioned the breezy “lightning round” portion of the Hawaii News Now debate — where candidates were asked about the state song, the state flower and the state fish — as lacking in seriousness.

From Aiona:

I think that’s what it should be — a discussion of our ideas. I don’t believe that it should be in any way effected by a crowd of people. This is not an event. This is not a circus. It’s not entertainment.

This is serious stuff. This is about what the people of Hawaii are going to be facing in the next four years. And so it should be conducted as such. It’s like when you come into a courtroom, and you address the seriousness of it all and the respectfulness of it all. And the venue should be likewise.

This is the highest office in the state of Hawaii. I believe that we have a discussion on some of the issues that people are facing. You should have that type of venue and that type of environment. I’m not saying it should be reverent. All I’m saying is it should be respectful.

And when you bring people in like that, like I saw on television, it was very disrespectful, very distasteful.

5 Responses to “Circus”

  1. myviewtoo:

    Agree with Aiona, the hawaii news now format was silly, like a circus. Electing a governor is a serious undertaking – there should be no audience, just the candidates, moderator and questioners. We want to know how they feel about the issues, not whether they know what the state flower is, this detracts from the seriousness of the event.

  2. Doug:

    Good luck with that, Duke…

    Even if there were a media host willing to dance to your tune, almost all the viewers/voters would tune out within 10 minutes if it were truly topical. Political junkies like me would watch (if it streamed live, that is—I no mo TV), but my mind is already made up.

    I would suggest that instead of talking (or not talking) about how they ought to talk about the important issues, both candidates should, well, talk about the issues. Duh.

    I reckon they’ll both produce a one-hour campaign infomercial, if the past elections are any indication. Each candidate could produce that program with as much, or as little gravitas, as they like.

  3. Patrick:

    I liked the lightning round in the Hawaii News Now debate. It was entertaining and some serious questions were mingled in with the silliness. Neil and Mufi gave very different answers to the question of medical marijuana.

    Re: debates. Aiona needs to man up and start campaigning to tell us why we should vote for him, not dog Abercrombie about debates.

  4. Bigislandkurt:

    Whatever happened to anyplace, anytime? If you like debate, the venue or format shouldn’t matter. If you think you got better ideas (or debating skills) as your opponent, just do it.


  5. ssmithaa:

    Let say no to drugs I feel to many people are using drugs maybe a little coverup i feel
    the goverment should get more people involved to stop drug dealers & drug cartel and who knows what ever people involved

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