Wednesday, September 24, 2008


SUCKIN’ UP TO ST. BERNARD: Mayor candidate Bernard Carvalho has effectively ducked a debate with his opponent JoAnn Yukimura that was supposed to take place tomorrow (Thursday) night.

But perplexingly the sponsor of the event, The Garden Island (TGI) newspaper, hid the announcement halfway through an interview with Carvalho in Tuesday’s paper and then said they were canceling it. rather than stating that Carvalho had refused the invitation to the event announced more than three weeks ago.

Reporter Michael Levine spent six paragraphs detailing Carvalho’s pro-forma ducking of substantive questions but in the seventh he relates the fact that

Carvalho will be attending meetings in Honolulu and unable to attend Thursday’s now-canceled political forum sponsored by The Garden Island, but said he remains open to future debates against (his opponent Councilperson JoAnn) Yukimura.

But despite the fact that Carvalho said he could or would not attend, TGI Editor Adam Harju told us that “(w)e canceled as a debate with one participant would not be in the best interest of the community”.

Reached for comment Carvalho’s campaign manager Leonard Rapozo told PNN that despite numerous articles in the newspaper beginning September 1 “they never contacted us” about the TGI forum.

Rapozo said that Carvalho ”had already scheduled something” for that day although he refused to say what or where the “event” was, when the “event” had been scheduled and whether or not they had read the announcements in the newspaper.

When asked specifically Rapozo would not confirm or deny TGI’s claim Carvalho would be at a “meeting in Honolulu”..

Harju however says that “all four candidates were invited” but has declined to provide other details.

The original newspaper announcement of the forum was published Sept 1 in TGI and read:

TGI to host political forums Sept. 25, Oct. 16

by The Garden Island

Posted: Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 - 09:56:46 pm HST

The Garden Island will host political forums for Kaua‘i’s mayoral candidates on Sept. 25 and for County Council candidates on Oct. 16 at the Kaua‘i Veterans Center on Kapule Highway.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. The forum starts at 6:30 p.m.

Light pupu and refreshments will be served at the free events.Invitations to candidates are forthcoming.

Yukimura was in county council session today and unavailable for comment according to a campaign spokesperson.

However in an even more perplexing development the Yukimura campaign said that

Both candidates will be at Duke's Kalapaki tomorrow (Thursday) at 7:30am at the Lihu`e Business Association public forum.

Although PNN has not been able to confirm it, it has been rumored all day at the council meeting that the event will not be a debate and as a matter of fact the two candidate will not even be in the same room.

Why exactly TGI buried the story then parsed their words and spun the situation by saying that they cancelled rather than saying that Carvalho refused to attend- apparently refusing at the last minute and after Saturday’s election- is not clear.

What is clear though is that Carvalho’s excuse for ducking the debate doesn’t pass the smell or laugh test, especially considering the dearth of substance in his campaign so far, which focuses solely on “leadership” and “working with the community” rather than addressing his specific plans and programs for dealing with the issues.

It’s not surprising that TGI wouldn’t report the news without tilt so as not to antagonize a campaign with a $140,000 war chest, a sizable chunk of which will be spent on newspaper advertising between now and November 4

Reached for comment former mayoral candidate Rolf Bieber who was eliminated Saturday after garnering a healthy 4% of the vote said that he had cancelled a meeting with Carvalho and Rapozo scheduled for the day after the debate saying that, especially in light of Carvalho’s refusal to debate “I can’t support anyone yet”.

Bieber said he has been approached by both campaigns for their support but wants to hear more before he considers lending support or endorsement. He said that a plethora of calls from Rapozo began Saturday night even before all the results were in but after it became apparent Carvalho would not get the 50% of the vote needed to avoid a runoff with Yukimura.

Yukimura for her part approached him while both were “mahalo” sign-waiving on Sunday asking him simply if he would support her.

1 comment:

Observer said...

Andy, what do you want to bet Bernard was meeting with Adm. Fargo that day in Honolulu? Kissing SF a** is more important that getting your a** kicked in a debate with JoAnn. Bernard has 2, almost 3 weeks, for Beth T. to prep him for the debate. One would think he will know all of the issues by then.