Aiona & Abercrombie accuse each other of negative campaigning

Duke Aiona
Duke Aiona
Neil Abercrombie
Neil Abercrombie

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

Honolulu (HawaiiNewsNow) - There are new attacks and counter-attacks in the race for Governor.

On one side, a Republican-backed flyer accuses Neil Abercrombie of being out of touch with Hawaii.

And on the other side, a new video posted online ties Duke Aiona to what some people consider to be a radical religious group.

They are two separate issues drawing the candidates' reactions.

For Abercrombie, it's that negative ad showing up in mailboxes yesterday and today.

Meanwhile, Aiona is trying to distance himself from a controversial religious group he once promoted.

"If you have any witchcraft items in your home, you bring them Sunday, we're going to burn them!"

That's a clip of one of the leaders of an evangelical group called the International Transformation Network.

The group has been criticized for its burning of idols and its anti-gay platform that critics say amounts to hate speech.

In 2005, Aiona promoted its conference in Hawaii.

"Transformation Hawaii is truly an experience that you'll never forget...the movement is happening, the movement is going, we all need to be a part of it," Aiona said in an ad for the conference.

On Wednesday, Aiona said he's taken part in some of the group's events, but is not a member.

"When I talk about a movement in Hawaii in that video, I'm talking about for that event, it was about prayer. That's my connection to Transformation Hawaii, it's about prayer," said Aiona.

It's not clear who created the video.

But among those spreading it via Twitter, is Abercrombie's Social Media Director, L.P. Faleafine or 'Neenz'.

In a statement, Abercrombie's camp says sharing this video is not negative campaigning because voters have expressed concerns that Aiona is inappropriately mixing religion with politics.

But Aiona says it's a politically motivated attack that takes his quotes out of context.

"Less than two weeks until election day, our opponent has engaged in dirty politics," said Aiona.

Abercrombie says Aiona is also playing dirty.

"This flyer makes an accusation about being out of touch with Hawaii," said Abercrombie, pointing to a flyer paid for by a national GOP group. It accuses Abercrombie of siding with Washington, and not caring about the budget fallout in Hawaii.

"It's part of a nationwide campaign that makes baseless accusations to support a self-serving political agenda. And their vehicle here in Hawaii is Duke Aiona," said Abercrombie.

Meanwhile, Abercrombie's camp says it did not produce or generate the video about Aiona and the Transformation Network.

A spokesperson says their policy is to stay away from disseminating merit less and personal attacks.

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