Categorized | Elections, News

D.C. SuperPAC shows Lingle, Hirono in close race


“Gov. Linda Lingle and Mazie Hirono are in a neck and neck race for U.S. Senate judging by the $64,000 spent by a Washington, D.C. SuperPAC on television ads this week to prop up Hirono’s faltering campaign,” Lingle Campaign Manager Bob Lee said.

“The D.C.-based SuperPAC calls itself ‘Working Families for Hawaii’, but it’s single cash contribution did not come from Hawaii,” Lee said.

The SuperPAC shows only one cash contribution in online records: $200,000 from the American Federation of State, County And Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO, he said.

“This same group spent more than $33,000 attacking Ed Case during the Primary Election, and they’re spending more than $64,000 in one week attacking Gov. Lingle. They are obviously seeing the same poll numbers we are and are starting to hear footsteps,” Lee said.

“Contrary to what this Mainland labor union would like the people of Hawaii to believe, the fact is no Hawaii governor can unilaterally furlough teachers or any Department of Education (DOE) employee since they are under the Board of Education’s (BOE) jurisdiction. The BOE agreed to furloughs as part of the labor contract with the Hawaii State Teachers’ Association (HSTA). Governor Lingle gave her support with the explicit understanding that furloughs would take place on days when students were not scheduled to be in school,” Lee said.

“The national labor group is running a TV ad distorting the truth about the 2010 furloughs,” Lingle’s former Senior Policy Advisor Linda Smith said.

“I attended meetings between Gov. Lingle, the Board of Education and the superintendent, and the governor made it clear that her support for furloughs was conditioned on them not occurring on instructional days so that students wouldn’t miss any school days,” Smith said. “If Gov. Lingle had not concurred with the furloughs, hundreds of teachers could have lost their jobs.”

“The governor was as surprised as anyone when the board, superintendent and union agreed to inflict maximum disruption to family life and students’ education by requiring that furloughs be on Fridays,” Smith concluded.

Lingle has been a steadfast advocate for providing quality education for Hawaii’s keiki. Among her proudest achievements as governor was refocusing the state’s education system on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning through investments in hands-on contextual learning experiences including robotics, teacher training, curriculum and science lab materials.

Lingle’s STEM initiatives helped Hawaii obtain a $75 million federal Race to the Top grant for education reform.

Lingle has also been a hands-on supporter of public education by serving as a volunteer reading tutor at Makawao Elementary School for 10 years while serving as a member of the Maui County Council and Maui mayor.

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