Cayetano gets apology over negative ad campaign

Cayetano gets apology over negative ad campaign
Former Gov. Ben Cayetano
Former Gov. Ben Cayetano

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Pacific Resource Partnership will donate $125,000 to the University of Hawaii Medical School and the Hawaiian Humane Society to settle a defamation lawsuit by former Gov. Ben Cayetano, Hawaii News Now has learned.

The pro-rail union and construction industry group will also issue an apology in a half page advertisement in the Sunday Honolulu Star-Advertiser for political advertisements it ran attacking Cayetano during the 2012 mayoral elections.

Those ads accused Cayetano of accepting more than half a million dollars in illegal campaign donations from government contractors while serving as governor.

"I think the apology goes a long way to restore whatever damage was done to my name and I'm very pleased and satisfied," Cayetano said today.

Cayetano was defeated in the 2012 general election by Kirk Caldwell. He sued PRP for defamation during the race. Both Cayetano and former Campaign Spending Commission Executive Director Bob Watada have described the ads as a smear.

The ad is a copy of a letter to Cayetano from PRP's Executive Director John White, which states:

"During the course of the 2012 Honolulu mayoral campaign, Pacific Resource Partnership paid for a widespread campaign regarding former Gov. Ben Cayetano. Gov. Cayetano believes these radio and television advertisements gave many the impression that Gov. Cayetano personally had broken the law or acted corruptly. To the extent any viewer or listener reached that conclusion, PRP apologizes to Gov. Cayetano."

According to the ad, PRP will donate $100,000 to the UH medical school and $25,000 to the Humane Society. Cayetano is a big supporter of both organizations.

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