HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Colleen Hanabusa's claims that Brian Schatz misrepresents his record and role in the U.S. Senate was a point of contention during Thursday night's Hawaii News Now/Star Advertiser debate.
"He doesn't really have the record he claims he has" said Hanabusa.
When pressed what she was getting at, Hanabusa answered, "I don't think Brian lies. Maybe exaggerates or embellishes."
Record and effectiveness came up throughout the one hour Senate Showdown.
Sen. Schatz said, "You do not have an active record as a Legislator in Congress. You do not have a distinguished record."
Schatz and Hanabusa sounded like a broken record picking apart each other's record in Congress.
"Colleen you've introduced 28 bills in about 3.5 years" said Schatz. "That's a bill about every 6 months. Exactly 1 has passed to name Post Office in Kaimuki after Cec Heftel."
The non-partisan website, govtrack.us keeps tabs on the legislative records of members of Congress. It confirms the only bill passed that Hanabusa introduced is the renaming of the post office. But, her campaign counters introducing bills is not a good measure of effectiveness, especially in the House minority party.
Schatz said, "On the other hand, I hit the ground running. I'm now Chair of Tourism Committee and Chair of Water and Power Committee."
Hanabusa cast doubt on that, saying "He claims to be Chair of Tourism Committee. He had 1 hearing. Appointed February of 2014. One hearing. One of the most crucial issues facing Hawaii and look at what happened, no bills out of that. "
Schatz countered, "I've had two hearings. We are marking up brand USA, which is a piece of legislation Colleen."
So who's right? We went to the U.S. Senate's web archives and looked up the tourism subcommittee hearings.
Senator Schatz convened the subcommittee's first hearing on May 8th, saying "This is the first meeting of the Subcommittee on Tourism, Competitiveness and Innovation."
The stated goal was to attract 100 million visitors to the U.S. They did in fact, meet for a second hearing on June 26th. Schatz started out saying, "Last month we heard from key industry stakeholders."
Hanabusa says the sub-committee was created for Schatz by Senator Harry Reid. His own campaign website says he worked with the Senate Commerce Chair to create the new subcommittee to focus on boosting tourism.
We honed in on whether there was more than one hearing because Hanabusa brought it up twice during the debate.
Her campaign chair said she was probably unaware of the second hearing.
Govtrack.us gives Hanabusa higher marks in areas like bills introduced. For 2013, Hanabusa ranked in the top half of the House for Sophomores, while Schatz was rated second lowest for Senate Sophomores.