Political Radar


October 3rd, 2014

Seeking to draw comparisons with unpopular national Republicans, Hawaii Forward, the super PAC tied to the Democratic Governors Association, has released a new television advertisement that reminds voters that former Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona opposes abortion rights.

"Republican Aiona believes we should outlaw abortion," the ad states, "even in cases of rape or incest, even when the health of the mother is at risk."

By comparison, the ad continues, state Sen. David Ige, the Democratic candidate for governor, favors abortion rights.

Hawaii was among the first states to legalize abortion in 1970, three years before the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade in 1973.

Hawaii also gained national attention after it expanded abortion rights in 2006. Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican -- with Aiona as her lieutenant governor -- signed a bill into law that repealed a residency requirement for abortion and allowed abortions to be performed in clinics and physician's offices, not just hospitals.

Perhaps more importantly, the law prevents the state from denying or interfering with a woman's right to choose or obtain an abortion of a nonviable fetus or an abortion that is necessary to protect the life or health of the woman.

The law Lingle signed stood out because the trend in many states nationally has been to restrict access to abortion.

From the Washington Post's Wonkblog last year:

That makes new legislation in California all the more significant: A law signed Wednesday by Gov. Jerry Brown allows more medical practitioners to perform first-trimester abortions. It also may be the first state law to expand or maintain access to the procedure since Hawaii did so in 2006 (their law keeps abortion legal in the state if the Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade were to be overturned).

Unlike many states on the mainland, abortion has not been a political issue in Hawaii recently. Even if Aiona -- if he becomes governor -- wanted to outlaw abortion, there is no chance a bill would pass the Democratic-controlled Legislature.

Aiona, in a statement Friday to Hawaii News Now, said he would not try to overturn the law if elected.

"As a former judge I know how to maintain objectivity and submit to the rule of existing law. It's already been settled," Aiona told the station.

19 Responses to “Abortion”

  1. A Turkey:

    So the ad is 100% false.

  2. MKN:

    Either that or Aiona is 100% lying. It's not in his belief system to support abortion rights since he is/was a pastor very recently, so I believe it's somewhere in between which means he wants abortion rights taken away, but he knows that in the current legislative climate that it's impossible which is why he can make that half truth statement that he makes at the end of the article. LOL!

  3. Manoa_Fisherman:

    The advertisement is just a waste of money by forces outside the State. The advertising should have been focused on real issues or the fact that Aiona hasn't shown the voters any kind of "plan" of what his administration would prioritize or work on. Aiona's commercials speak of a "plan", but only talks in broad topics which no one would disagree with.

    The same goes for the GOP attack ads against Ige, they only seek to create the perception of Ige voting for tax increases and more government regulation all the time. To that end, the GOP fail to understand the same can be said against the Lingle/Aiona administration that failed to veto the rail tax, used questionable cash flow schemes to "balance" the budget from year to year, gave sweet heart contracts out over the objections of their own Dept. of Tax Director Kurt Kawafuchi, and had parents of public school children arrested for trying to talk to the Governor.

    So for both sides, please stick to the issues that matter and give us some meat to the discussion as to what you will be doing specifically to improve the DOE, reduce needless regulations, and alleviate the tremendous tax burden we all face every day in Hawaii.

  4. Ted Baker:

    Duke will submit to the rule of settled law? You mean like when he filmed that campaign commercial in a Judiciary courtroom?

  5. innocent observer:

    this is a dumb ad, Hawaii has an abortion law and aiona is not interested in over-turning it. this is really an irrelevant ad, just plain negative.

  6. keoki:

    Absolutely outrageous! In his eight years as Lieutenant Governor, Duke Aiona never, EVER introduced any legislation to change Hawaii's abortion law. The Democratic Governor's Association knows very well that even if Duke wanted to change the law (which he clearly says he does not), no such legislation would ever make it out of a committee hearing - let alone pass all the way through our state legislature! This misleading, fear-mongering ad is akin to those run by PRP against Ben Cayetano in the last election. Hawaii voters should reject this brand of politics, and David Ige should immediately condemn this trashy ad before it backfires against him big time!

  7. Gerald de Heer:

    Wait a minute. What about Duke's running mate? BTW, the "We Believe" is a thinly veiled attempt to rally to 'born-again' crowd for Aiona/Ahu. So, will Duke address his followers at the October 10, 2014 "We Believe" to remind them he is going to do nothing about abortion? Both he and Ahu are playing 'Born Again' card including ending legalized abortion. That is and always will be their position. So, this ad is legitimate. Aiona/Ahu and friends are trying to keep the Christian Right vote and distract the voters. If anyone is misleading, its the GOP/Aiona/Ahu.

  8. Keoki:

    @Gerald, stop spinning your lies. Duke and Elwin are entitled to have their own PERSONAL beliefs on the issue - just as David Ige is as well. But niether the DGA or yourself have any shred of evidence that Duke has ever (or will ever) put forward legislation to affect a woman's right to choose. The DGA wants Hawaii voters to believe that if you are against abortion (due to religious or personal beliefs), but have never acted upon those beliefs in a way that would impact the rights of others (even when you had eight years in office to do so), you are still not qualified to hold political office because you might SOME DAY act upon those beliefs??? This ad is fear-mongering in the worst form...but it does not surprise me that you approve of this brand of politics.

  9. Quiet Effective:

    DGA blew it!! Negs don't work in Hawaii!!

  10. Hawaiino:


    "DGA blew it!! Negs don't work in Hawaii!!" Really!!! Tell that to Ben...

    and then take this conversation I had with Duke into account, in so far as characterizing this ad for negativity. Dukes last run he asks for my support at a private gathering of previous Lingle donors. I questioned his stand on social issues, including a woman's right to choose. He said " I can never accept abortion, and I will never change". I don't think he is being honest with his equivocation re: "settled law". Ahu, one heartbeat away, has been strident on the issue.
    It's significant, it's not going away, and he can't hide behind public statements of "settled law".

    Specious argument. LG's don't submit major bills, the Gov does. And Lingle would never submit on this issue.

  11. Gerald de Heer:

    Keoki: Thank you for calling me a 'liar'. Now, since you are the arbiter of truth; tell us the truth, if the Legislature submits a bill to Duke that prohibits abortion; will he sign it? If the Legislature submits legislation that reverses Hawaii's Marriage Equality Law; will he sign it? If the BOE/DOE changes school curriculum mandates the teaching of creationism; will he approve it? In their hearts, as evidenced by the "We Believe" rally on October 10, Aiona/Ahu would say yes to all the above questions. That's where they are coming from. Agreed they have a right to their opinions. We also have a right to question their opinions; the DGA ad is legitimate. Hawaii voters who support a woman's right to choose, marriage equality, and separation between church and state are rightfully alarmed at the GOP/Aiona/Ahu agenda and must vote accordingly. BTW, you have a right to your opinions without being labeled 'a liar' (which I believe you are not).

  12. keoki:

    @Hawaiino, your argument is specious. If Duke wanted to submit a bill on this issue, he could have (and would have) found a way. Plenty of crackpots in the minority caucus who would have jumped at the opportunity to put one forward for the then-LG. Point is, he did not (and will not). Also, the anecdote of your private conversation with Duke only reinforces my point that Duke is entitled to have a PERSONAL view on the issue. I noticed your quote from Duke does not include him saying that he would seek to change the existing law, does it? If you want to hold his PERSONAL view against him, that is your right as a voter. But it does not change the fact that the DGA (and you) have zero evidence that Duke would put forward legislation to affect a woman's right to choose - which is what makes this ad so deceitful.

  13. Chicken Grease:

    Love these ads . . . here's to more of 'em (by the way, this works well for Aiona; heck, he attends St. John's in Mililani. By default, he is against any kind of abortion. So, there. The ad isn't saying anything that Aiona needs to be embarrassed about anyway. And, uh, if you Lefites ring true, YOU KNOW the right and Republicans are AGAINST abortion. This is nothing new. About, what? FIVE voters will change their mind based on this ad. Duh).

    The local ads are TAME compared to mainland ads (stay up for Washington Journal on C-SPAN at 1am (yeah, yeah, I know). They will show mainland ads in their entirety as part of their program. And they are right on spot.

    Stop whining about "mainland ads invading the 'a'in'a"!!!! They're what all elections need.

  14. Keoki:

    @ Gerald, stop trying to change the conversation by feigning offense or putting forward rediculous (read impossible) hypotheticals. Your latest post again conflates fantasy and reality by claiming that supporters of a woman's right to choose should be "alarmed" by the "Aiona / Ahu Agenda." Let me say again (for the last time), you (and the DGA) have no evidence that Duke has any "agenda" to change the current status of the law regarding a woman's right to choose. Also, your thinly-veiled hostility toward people of faith is alarming to me. Are you saying that all people who are pro-life for religious or personal reasons should not hold public office? Doesn't that position fly directly in the face of the many noble public servants (including many of our past Governors) who were people of faith, and served with great distinction? As I recall, John Burns was a practicing Catholic (just like Duke), and yet he was able separate his PERSONAL positions from his public policy. I'm not trying to say that Duke is John Burns, or vice versa. But instead of talking about the actual policy positions put forward by the various candidates, you (and apparently the DGA) are content to simply scare people (particularly women) about the fact that Duke is a practicing Catholic (which, btw, makes him no different than about 250,000 other people here in Hawaii).

  15. Gerald de Heer:

    My "rediculous (read impossible) hypotheticals"? So you agree that Duke Aiona won't be elected governor? (BTW 'rediculous' is spelled 'ridiculous'). As Jerry Falwell spins in his grave, you stipulate that GOP/Aiona/Ahu will take no action to 1) Stop abortion in Hawaii 2) Reverse Marriage Equality Legislation 3) Mandate that Creationism be included in public school' curriculum. I can't imagine that the "We Believe" Rally participants would agree to any of the above hypotheticals. In fact they are attending an Aiona/Ahu event BECAUSE they believe in those ridiculous hypotheticals and want the next State Administration to do something about it. The DGA Ad is legitimate.

  16. keoki:

    Typical liberal. Glad to see you now speak on behalf of all "We Believe" rally participants as well, and you (not them) KNOW why they will be attending the rally. BTW, I know how to spell ridiculous (was using my phone on last message). But if you can't figure out why your hypotheticals are indeed utterly ridiculous, then re-read my first post on this thread. I stipulated to nothing. The DGA ad, like your openly-hostile position toward people of faith, is not legitimate. And your willingness to "hold-your-nose" and tolerate this filth, simply because it is supportive of your favored candidate, is nauseating.

  17. Gerald de Heer:

    Sorry I nauseate you. You might have a case of thin skin. Yes, I did make a generalization that "We Believe" rally participants are mostly Christian Republicans, based on the fact that the rally promotes the GOP ticket and features/stars Christian pastors (for sure the pastors want to ban abortion, same sex marriage, promote creationism, etc). Have fun at the rally. BTW, the DGA ad isn't filth, it's legitimate.

  18. keoki:

    Me, thin-skinned? Refer to your prior entry feigning offense that I called you a liar. Once gain, you intentionally misstate my point (because you have no legitimate response). I did not say you generalized as to WHO would attend the rally, I said that you, in your liberal arrogance, purported to know WHY THEY ARE ATTENDING THE EVENT. Your obvious distain for all people of faith clearly reveals that you have NO IDEA what they think or how they feel - so do us all a favor and stop trying to speak for them. BTW, while I'm sure it is easier, and more convenient for you to assume that everyone who disagrees with you is a right-wing, conservative Christian, I will not be attending (nor would I ever attend) said rally. More importantly, no matter how hard you continue to try and drag us off-topic, this thread is not about (and has never been about) that rally. It is about the DGA, and win-at-all-costs partisans like you, who would prefer to promulgate lies rather than discuss the candidates actual positions on issues. Once again, the DGA ad is NOT LEGITIMATE!

  19. Gerald de Heer:

    Wrong, Aiona wants to stop abortions. That is the correct premise of the ad. What do you mean by 'distain'...I only do 'dat stain'? It's amazing who you can read my mind. Look, if you and Aiona are so offended at the DGA file a complaint with Campaign Spending. GOP/Aiona/Ahu won't, my guess is even they know the ad is legitimate.

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