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A sampling of political ads on teevee

July 30, 2014 - Harry Eagar
A sampling of political ads

I don’t own a TV so I don’t usually see political ads, but this week I saw several. Not all getting on air, I am sure, but a complete rotation during a news hour.

No attack ads but equally, with the exception of one candidate, Brian Schatz, no issue ads either.

The gubernatorial ads for Ige and Abercrombie were bland and forgettable.

Colleen Hanabusa’s senatorial ad was very subtly done. Depending upon how you interpret the dog whistle, it was, at best, a veiled appeal to maintain the political style of the Revolution of ’54; at worst, a racist appeal to localism.

If I am wrong, and no dog whistle was intended, then it was a waste of money, because otherwise it was as empty of content as it could be.

Schatz’s issues were uncontroversial enough: for Social Security, for background checks for gun buyers (not really a hot local item) and for environmental protection (although Hanabusa has criticized him for voting for a pale green environmental bill that allegedly exempts HC&S’ boilers, while she voted against it).

I am of two minds about issue ads on TV. On the plus side, they are at least better than the anodyne “aren’t I cute?” ads that are usual. On the minus side, as Schatz’ attempt shows, a claim to be “for the environment” needs some explication. (I got it by reading The Maui News; that is a good way to be an informed voter, although I will not be voting in the primary.)

One ad, though, shocked me and is the reason for this post. I wouldn’t have taken your time to note that Governor Abercrombie -- aka “Mr. Excitement” -- runs boring ads.

Congressional candidate Mark Takai had a poorly produced ad (with a voiceover so hurried I missed most of it) that opened with old news footage of the 442nd RCT and some gabble about Mark Takai in the tradition of the 442nd. Funny, I don’t recall that Takai rushed any machine gun nests in Italy.

It’s a bold, and disgusting, ploy for the 47-year-old Takai to claim the mantle of the 442nd, which laid down its weapons 69 years ago.

(A cursory search finds a Chad Blair report from February which said Takai would be citing his military service, which he does as a “veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom” although he never got to Iraq.)

I don’t know anything against Takai but I find his commercial repellant.

Last note: Shan Tsutsui has an unintentionally funny ad for his run for the do-nothing job of lieutenant governor featuring do-nothing-much retired senator Dan Akaka saying Tsutsui “reminds me of me.” I saw that one three times and laughed harder at each viewing.


Article Comments



Aug-02-14 12:00 AM

"Corrupt government like Mexico and America aids this."

Correction: like Mexico and Philippines. Maybe America is just as corrupt.


Aug-01-14 11:58 PM

Many Americans of Filipino ancestory in Hawaii want benefits from their parents aid in Philippines against Japanese attack. Many American Filipinos flew to Philippines not to aid America but to protect their homeland of which they are Citizens. I assume Filipinos are trying to get a free ticket to benefits of an American citizen. Many did not fight in recent wars but still hang on to those who did in World War II. I feel that Filipinos kicked out America but still want to hide under this security blanket. Corrupt government like Mexico and America aids this. Allowing them to come to Hawaii and work. Recent Hose Vargas should be bailed out by Philippine Government and not America.

In this comment, I am saying that there is bad in all races.


Jul-31-14 8:30 PM

I enjoy TV since many books are made into Classics on Turner Classic movies. I miss Classic comic rather than books. I used to do homework with Classics.

Only when required to read books like 1984 and others that it only now sinks in to what the real meaning of a good book does. TV gives me visual of a book that I don't understand. Computers answers question as fast as I can ask them.


Jul-31-14 8:28 PM

442 opened the door for many Americans of Japanese ancestory. I too find it repellant since I am Sansei. I joined the military and was fortunate not to see combat. Takai is probably Yonsei or Fourth Generation American Japanese. That generation only believes in amount of likes and popularity by amount of followers on tweeter.

Be surprised if schatz has a hand in Keystone Pipeline. Wait for it.


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"Aren't I cute?"