Democratic chief takes Mufi to the woodshed

Mayor Mufi Hannemann got a dressing down from Democratic Party Chairman Dante Carpenter for not minding his manners at the recent state Democratic Convention, where Hannemann stumped as a candidate for governor.

In a 2 1/2-page letter to Hannemann, Carpenter complained that the mayor and his campaign committee decided not to sponsor a breakfast it was expected to host, “created turmoil” by hosting a competing campaign event that drew delegates away from Resolution Committee meetings, breached an agreement on the time for the mayor’s speech to the convention, ignored the time limit on the speech despite repeated warnings and tried to bamboozle hotel audiovisual people into playing an unauthorized campaign disc after the Hannemann speech.

“Working with your campaign representatives at times became cumbersome and created confusion,” Carpenter said. “Misunderstandings between your campaign representatives and the convention committee were numerous.”

Carpenter said that even after the Hannemann campaign was asked to avoid having its Friday night event interfere with the Resolutions Committee, the campaign placed invitations on the chairs of all the committee meeting rooms.

“At minimum, your Friday function represented a ‘distraction’ while at worst it was disrespectful of the very core reasons for the Friday night Democratic Party’s convention meetings — the serious participation of convention delegates engaged in developing Democratic Party principles,” Carpenter said.

He said the Hannemann campaign insisted on a written agreement for the time of Hannemann’s speech, then breached it.

“The written agreement stated that you would speak for five minutes with 1-2 minutes of ‘wiggle room.’ In fact, you spoke for 12 minutes and even when called on subtly three times by me (‘… Mufi, Pau’) to wrap up your remarks, you did not.

“In addition, during your speech your representative approached the Hilton’s AV people and gave them a disc to play at the end of your speech and informed the Hilton people that the convention committee had approved it. Hilton people checked and discovered that no such arrangements had been made or approved to place special for music for you and they did not. This representing yourself to the Hilton AV people was inappropriate; putting our people in the position of having to tell Hilton that no arrangements had been made was embarrassing for all concerned.”

Carpenter expressed disappointment that Hannemann didn’t participate in the nitty-gritty of the convention’s work.

“In your speech you spoke about your mentors, specifically Senator Inouye and Governor Waihe’e; both excellent examples of outstanding, committed Democrats. For your information, both Senator Inouye and Governor Waihe’e participated in many aspects of the 2010 convention, voting on resolutions, SSC members, national committeeman and state convention chair elections.

“It was a privilege for me to be able to look out over the delegation and see these two men sitting at the table with the delegates from their districts and precincts. Had you followed the examples you cited, I am sure that the delegates from your district and precinct would have enjoyed having you sit with them and share your views on the platform, resolutions and changes to the party’s constitution, as well.”

As party chairman, Carpenter says he’s neutral in the primary contest for governor between Hannemann and former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie. When Carpenter served in the state Senate in the early 1980s, he and Abercrombie were both members of a faction led by Ben Cayetano.

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52 Comments on “Democratic chief takes Mufi to the woodshed”

  1. Michael Says:

    Would that stop the wind from blowing any harder these days?

  2. Capitol -ist/WassupDoc Says:

    Well, David, what do you – or anyone else who’s been around Mufi for more than 39 minutes – expect from someone whose ego is even bigger & bolder than he is.

    This guy will probably be the next governor of the State of Hawai`i for the next eight years – unless one of the Dans decides to shuff off this mortal coil before then.

    Scuze me – where’s the nearest barf bag.

  3. jayz43 Says:

    Other leaders have also complained of Hannemann’s “strong-armed”, bullying ways and there is a growing disgust among locals of his arrogant antics. This is NOT local style.

    Hannemann may feel confident with the backing of Inouye, campaign funds and union support, but Hanabusa had this same backing and could not win because of her arrogance and lack of integrity. And she will lose again this November.

    Hannemann’s legacy as mayor is one of water main breaks, third-world pot-holed roads, major sewage spills, a homeless EPIDEMIC, and a totally MISMANAGED rail project with spiraling out-of-control costs.

    This is a duplication of a post I made on another Hannemann article, but it needs repeating:

    In the 1986 contest for the U. S. Congress seat, Neil Abercrombie and supporters charged that Hannemann lacked character and integrity. And today, 24 years later, it is STILL relevant, only more blatant and obvious.

    Randall Roth, co-author of “Broken Trust” once said, “When the people to whom we entrust the awesome power of government fail to provide a reasonable degree of transparency, or flatly refuse to be accountable for their actions, whose responsibility is it to stand up? If not us, who? If not now, when?”

    Simply put, Mufi Hannemann lacks integrity. Mufi Hannemann represents everything that is WRONG with Hawaii politics today.

  4. charles Says:

    Mufi, Inc. That’s the brand.

  5. hipoli Says:

    Before I rant, again, Im still nicely sitting on my fence on this race. The ensuing, inevitable bloodbath between these two long time rivals is just not attractive, on any level.

    Mufi represents everything thats wrong with politics in Hawaii today?

    Whoa, Nelly. Hold up there, partner.

    Can you please name me all the names of all the serious good-old-boys standing right behind Neil?

    Sorry, but I can point out a good number of them who I would very much consider what is really wrong with politics in Hawaii today. I look over Neil’s shoulder and all those ghosts from christmas past scare the living crapola out of me. Example? How about the Clayton Hee/DLNR rumor? That doesnt just scream wrong and scary as heck to all of you? What other scary ghosts are being lined up in a Neil-cabinet?

    That said, Mufi probably deserved a good scolding for some of his antics that weekend. Now, now, Mufi, Inc – play better with the other kiddies in the sandbox, please. In other words, and I know you all know this: you get to change the rules of how things are done when you become the person in charge. You arent there yet, boys, and crappy immature disrespectful behavior doesnt get you there any sooner.

  6. zzzzzing Says:

    omg that guy’s got no shame. heh, i hope this makes front page news in the SAd.

  7. Michael Golojuch, Jr. Says:

    I was in the room right next to the party working on the platform and it was loud and obnoxious. Mufi showed time and time again that he did not care about the business of the party at the convention!

  8. NotMufi Says:

    Mufi’s ego is inappropriate for the position he runs for.

  9. Michael Golojuch, Jr. Says:

    @NotMufi – Well they already crowned Miss Hawaii for this year.

  10. Mahina Says:

    Now we know why Mufi went on and on…and on and on. I saw his campaign ad on TV tonight. He made it look like the room was full of supporters, when the reality was his supporters were in the minority, and his candidates for State Central Committee were all defeated. He tried to take over the Democratic party, but the party was stronger than he thought. Some gall, to stride in and try to just take over.

    Who votes in the Democratic primary? Oh right…Democrats. Oops.

  11. Capitol -ist/WassupDoc Says:

    What, Mufi’s a tranny? Sure had me fooled.

  12. Michael Golojuch, Jr. Says:

    Not where I was going with that – more along the lines that those that run for those titles are ego-centric and not aware of their impact of those around them….

  13. Hailai Says:

    Neil is with the old boy network? If you heard Mufi’s speech at the state convention, you would know that Mufi spent 2/3s of his speech dropping names of his “mentors”. His speech was stale and uninspirational, and the only applauds he got from the convention was when he dropped the name of a prominent democrat. Of course a room full of registered democrats are going to clap when you name drop Dan Inouye, Dan Akaka, and Barack Obama!

    I can see if he went overtime because he got carried away giving a rousing speech that was working the convention into a tizzy, but he wasn’t. Even his own supporters were quiet throughout most of the speech because nothing he said was excitable. He went overtime for no other reason than to have the convention spotlight.

  14. Dante is biased Says:

    Suddenly Dante Carpenter is trustworthy and fair. Right! Too bad the Democrats couldn’t find anyone else willing to take the job and Dante got reelected by default. That was not a vote of confidence in his limousine leadership – it was just no one else would agree to run a party that disfunctional. I vote Democratic, and I’ll support Democratic candidates, but I’m not giving a dime to the party.

  15. kailuaresident Says:

    Neils speech times out at 10 minutes. So did he go over his limit or did Dante afford him more time from the get go? and did it ever occur to Dante Mufi was busy doing Mayoral duties during convention? Since Neil retired he was able to sit in his chair and scowl during Dan Inouyes entire speech. there was not a cantested SSC speech from Mufis area so that comment from Danta is just plain dumb. I wish David would write about how Dante broke party rules and seated as delegates Neil supporters who were never properly elected. He said since they had taken the time and expense to fly over from maui he would just slide them in. @ golojuch Jr., you didnt seem to mind standing next to mufi and having the tv stations film you during the EIS announcement. Kinda two faced for you to rip him on here but then take credit for the good stuff he does as Mayor dont you think?

  16. Publius808 Says:

    Neil was also at the convention stumping for governor and also putting on a show.

    His speech was longer than 5 minutes and Chair Carpenter, admittedly a friend of Neil’s, staffed the entire convention with overt Neal supporters. Carpenter even bent the rules to add Neil delegates to the convention in violation of the Party Laws.

    Carpenter’s open support of Neil and attack on Mufi does not support his message of fairness and unity.

  17. Kailuaresident Says:

    How long was Neils speech? The pots calling the kettle balck methinks..

  18. Kailuaresident Says:

    Ill answer my own question. 10 minutes. So Dante is being hypocritical here.
    Just remember who is trying to divde the party here. And the division is Inouye vs Cayetano. I know who I’d rather support.

  19. Michael Says:

    I hear so much about Neil and Mufi but little on Lt. Governor Aiona. The unions support Mufi cause he is a puppet and can be controlled.

    Aiona has shown some spunk when lingle was away and did some handy passing of some bills. 180 mandatory school days and Colon Screening for all family members that have Family History. Little known, Aiona may win by the oppositions “Their Fault” of their own Democratic Egoes. Then again come election, if I cannot vote for the best person republican or democrat, My vote will be blank.

    Tired of voting for a Party. I want a Governor for the People supported by the party if that happens.

  20. Capitol -ist/WassupDoc Says:

    Aiona is not a Democrat and his name will not be on the Democratic Primary ballot. That’s where the battle between Neil and Mufi will play out on September 18.

    interesting that the proMuffers are attacking the delegate seating decisions. If you didn’t like the decision to see specific delegates, then you should have challenged and then appealed the decision if you disagreed with it.

    Most speeches at the Convention are generally given for supporters – not for opponents or the undecided. Since I am not planning to vote for governor in the Primary unless I can find some weird but unknown candidate with a (D) after her/his name, I went outside during both speeches.

  21. Bongo Says:

    Dante tried his best to load up the convention to be a coronation for his buddy Neil. It didn’t work out that way. He tried to load up with Neil delegates, even holding private meetings to elect them on Kauai. He “lost” over 30 elected Hannemann delegates claiming computer malfunctions, Then tried to “reschedule” Hannemann’s speech for Saturday morning when he knew Mufi was still off island. I’m not surprised that he is now bad mouthing Hannemann with this lame version of events.

    Is this the “no business as usual,” “no insiders,” that Neil keeps talking about? The bottom line is they are no longer competent enough to steal this election

  22. Kailuaresident Says:

    Dante admitted that people werent bona fide delegates and told Mufis people they could challenge their seating, but they would look really bad since those people had flown over from Maui to participate. I guess it was just a coincidence that they all are on Neils campaign.

  23. Michael Golojuch, Jr. Says:

    Fact is that Mufi was lucky to speak at ALL! Since the standard were filed candidates that were allowed to speak at the Convention and he took that and spat in the face of the party. He tried to have a different luncheon during the Party’s fundraiser on Saturday.

    He should have had his party on Saturday night like everyone else. It just proves that he thinks he is better than everyone else.

  24. Bongo Says:

    Michael is having an “off with their heads!” moment.

  25. Michael Says:

    As far a “proMuffers” no one needs to help him lose, he can lose on his own without help. He has the Education to do so. Neil will probably run against Duke.

    I know Aiona is a Republican. Not some weird unknown candidate with a (D) after their name. Numerous other candidates running Independently or by Democrat or Republican party not mentioned.

    I need not challenge anyone, seems they challenge me.

    Why am I talking to myself? Censusless to reply to someone who is not there. Didn’t think I had to be a Democrat to give Census.

  26. Mufi is the Hawaiian LBJ. “Maybe Neil doesn’t have sex with wild pigs, but we can make him deny it.”

  27. Dante is biased Says:

    Thing about Dante is this – if he wanted to have his surrogates or friends attack Mufi – that’s fine. But when he writes nasty letters and leaks them to the press he’s hurting the party. If Neil loses, the party becomes irrelevant for the entire Hannemann administration. How many Hannemann supporters will remember this petty BS and refuse to support the party while Dante is chair? It’s going to be hard for Dante to raise money and keep the party going when he’s spitting on half the party members to push his own agenda.

  28. David Shapiro Says:

    Bongo, you folks from city hall are welcome to say your piece, but please don’t attempt to bully others who post comments with personal attacks that are off issue. I especially don’t care for those hiding behind pseudonyms making personal insults about those who use their real names.

  29. cloudia Says:

    Mufi is bigger than the rules – look out!

  30. Dante is biased Says:

    People who don’t use their real names? The horror. David, how about you tell us who slipped you a copy of that letter? You’re sure happy to protect people’s anonymity when you help them with their petty anonymous attacks.

  31. David Shapiro Says:

    Dante, I’ve stood up for the right of people to post anonymously; I’ve just asked that they show reasonable civility to others who post. And no, I won’t be disclosing my sources to anonymous government agents.

  32. Dante is biased Says:

    Seriously David you didn’t mention in your post – was this sent directly from Dante to you, or did this come from some other undisclosed person? The party chair has a responsibility to remain unbiased during the primary and Dante is clearly stepping over the line. Whether he was sending this as a press release or just ‘accidentally’ leaked this is relevant information.

  33. Dante is biased Says:

    Oh, I’m not a government agent – and since you are willing to look at people’s IP addresses and disclose the information it reveals, I’ll assume you knew that.

  34. Michael Says:

    Did someone call me “Queen”? or in reference to another.

  35. David Shapiro Says:

    I will say that the source wasn’t Carpenter and has no association with him that I know of. Beyond that, the document speaks for itself.

  36. Sept 18 come already Says:

    The impression that I got at the convention was that Dante Carpenter liked Mufi very much. He gave a very warm introduction, and let him get away with a lot at the convention, some of which has been discussed here.

    That doesn’t mean he shouldn’t address these problems. As to who gave the letter to D. Shapiro, who cares? I think we should all know what the party chair is communicating about. There’s no harm in that.

    Michael G. is right…Mufi is lucky he was allowed to speak at all, as he has not filed as a candidate.

  37. Capitol -ist/WassupDoc Says:

    What I was told is that as long as Mufi pulled his nomination papers, he could be treated as a candidate. Very few candidates had already filed by the end of May although many had pulled papers.

    I understand that he was pissed that he had to declare his intentions six weeks in advance of when he was planning to let everyone in on His Big Secret – that he is planning to run for Governor.

    CHANGE OF SUBJECT: There are at least two sets of individuals who are regulars who have the same first name: The Scotts and the Michaels.

    It would be most helpful since responses are not numbered if people who are responding to particular posts would cite the time so that the rest of us would know which one you mean.

    Actually, since many of us post several times in a given day, using the time as a reference point when responding would be helpful even if there aren’t duplicate names.

    DAVID: Can responses be numbered with this program as they were on the old Honlulu Advertiser site?

  38. Michael Says:

    Is there a Census being taken on who is commenting? I object to being numbered. I am not The Prisoner.

  39. Bongo Says:

    Dave, what are you talking about? You are looking at the IP addresses, you know I’m not at City Hall.

    Sounds to me like you’re the one doing all the name calling around here. You should restrict this blog to only people who agree with you all the time Have fun talking to yourself.

  40. Sept 18 come already Says:

    Some of Mufi’s first words when he got to the podium were kind of sarcastic, talking about the ‘very important work’ of the convention, or words to that effect. He made it clear that he was huhu he’d been kept waiting for a few minutes.

    He doesn’t think anything of the party platform, or he wouldn’t have have invited the whole convention to walk out on their committees the night before to attend his fireworks party and eat his ‘heavy pupus’.

    I see a lot of prominent Republicans on his exploratory committee. I wonder why he decided to run as a Democrat even though he doesn’t believe in equal rights, or women’s rights, or much of anything that we believe in about how to help our society. He is a corporatist and an opportunist. The only reason he chose to run as a Democrat is because he thinks it will help him win. But I remember watching him shmooze the crowd and suck up to Dick Cheney when Cheney came for the Republicans.

    I heard from a LWV member that he spoke to the League of Women Voters in the 80’s and said that women should not vote. Maybe he only meant his supporters!

    I like Neil because he is honest. Like him or don’t, he doesn’t play games and doesn’t patronize and dumb his message down. He doesn’t go around town repeating the same lame sound bytes ten thousand times. He talks to you like he respects your intelligence.

    Also he doesn’t showboat at Bon Dance.

  41. haole Says:

    why don’t you polynesians smarten up? you can get all the white,black,spanish,politicians you want on the mainland.this is the only state that a polynesian can get elected to high office.who cares how he does get elected, as long as he represents the majority of the people.

  42. WooWoo Says:

    Sept 18-

    I agree. I believe Mufi’s driving ideology is a system with him at the top. Policies and positions are irrelevant outside of their ability to secure campaign donations and votes. Welcome to the world of Mufism.

  43. Bongo Says:

    WooWoo, How is that different from Aiona or Abercrombie? Do you think when Neil went to Congress his intention was to be a flunky for defense contractors? No, it just worked out that way. Do you think Aiona hangs around Karl Rove because he likes to play chess. C’mon.

  44. WooWoo Says:


    That one’s easy. My assertion is just that, in my opinion formed by watching Mufi over the last two decades, Mufi’s personal beliefs are irrelevant. He will go where the votes and the money is.

    I doubt that even Aiona’s biggest detractors (no, especially Aiona’s biggest detractors!) think that he is taking a strong anti-civil unions stance for political gain. He truly believes it.

    Abercrombie is a committed liberal. He has a history of staking out his own position, and if there are voters and donors there, so be it. If there aren’t, he’ll stand by himself.

    Mufi always stands with the money and the power players. I remember meeting him for the first time when he was at C. Brewer. Smart thing for a talented kid out of Iolani and Harvard to do, according to conventional wisdom of the older generation. Then, he figured out that the big 5 was not the future, and he eventually remade himself as a union man.

    If this was a republican state, Mufi would be a republican. Abercrombie would still be a democrat, even if he was the only one. If this was a green state or a libertarian state, Mufi would be that. If this were China, Mufi would join the communist party. Abercrombie would be in jail for challenging the party, and Aiona would be his cellmate for prosletyzing.

  45. Lari Yasui Says:

    As co-chair of the convention planning committee, I know that no one from the party headquarters gave Dante’s letter to David. Also, I can vouch for the fact that Mufi’s campaign appeared to sabotage the convention events during the entire planning period. In addition to everything listed by Dante in his letter to Mufi, we lost thousands of dollars guaranteed to the hotel for food and beverage when Mufi offered delegates a free Friday reception and a free Saturday luncheon (we always have a Friday reception and a Saturday luncheon, which delegates pay for) causing our normal numbers of 400-500 for each event to drop to 200. I do not understand why he had to plan his reception on Friday night at the same time as committee meetings, when he could have done his party on Saturday night along with all other candidates, who hosted parties in their hotel suites. On Friday night, not only was Mufi’s party at the same time as the committee meetings, but right next to the meeting rooms, causing noise problems for the meetings with the loud music.
    On Saturday, both Gubernatorial candidates were given 5 minutes to speak, and Neil spoke for 6 minutes and Mufi spoke for 12 minutes, ignoring Dante’s 3 warnings to stop. (The newspaper reported that Neal spoke for 10 minutes and Mufi spoke for 20 minutes, which was not correct.) 3 of Mufi’s campaign leaders specifically told me that we should suspend our business just so Mufi could speak at 3 pm. But the written agreement with Party Headquarters was that he could speak only after convention business was over, which was not finished at 3 pm.

  46. hipoli Says:

    Hanaokolele! You all pissed of Lari?!

    Who does THAT? She’s sweeter than a Shimazu Shave Ice! Come on!

  47. jayz43 Says:

    On June 16th, the Campaign Spending Commission launched an investigation over a Pittsburgh fundraiser held on behalf of Mayor Mufi Hannemann’s gubernatorial race. It stemmed from conflicting dates of an event and a filing AFTER the deadline.

    There are still unanswered questions shrouding this “event”. Hannemann blamed “mistakes made” on “honest errors by campaign volunteers”. Really?!

    Dave Shapiro’s post has gone viral. Google “mufi to the woodshed” and you get a slew of websites.

  48. Bongo Says:

    Lari Yasui claims Neil spoke at the convention for “six minutes.” I just reviewed the video tape of the event, he actually spoke for 11 minutes and thirteen seconds. Yasui says that Hannemann ignored three warnings by Dante Carpenter to stop his speech, but the same video of the event shows that while Dante fidgeted a bit in his chair, he never said anything to Hannemann or attempted to get his attention in anyway. These are two deliberate misstatements that further support my contention that those in control of the party convention deliberately harassed Hannemann and tried their best to favor their chosen candidate. If they are still willing to lie about it now you can only imagine what else they were willing to do while “planning” the event.

  49. David Shapiro Says:

    With all the differing accounts of who spoke for how long, I sucked it up and reviewed the two speeches myself from the videos at and concluded that Democrats really have cheap watches. My count of the speech lengths from first word to last:

    Hannemann: 17 minutes, 30 seconds

    Abercrombie: 11 minutes, 10 seconds

    Carpenter wasn’t in the picture on these videos and I can’t speak to whether he signaled either candidate.

  50. Michael Says:

    That’s a lot of wind coming from one person.

  51. ourrainbeaux Says:

    Let’s look at a few things here and get real. Both Dante and Lari claim both candidates were given 5 mins to speak, Neil spoke for 6 and Mufi spoke for 12 and ignored Dante’s 3 warnings. NO regard for the truth here, just a weak attempt to make Mufi look bad. When were Dante’s 3 warnings? At the 6, 8 and ten minute marks? Was Neil warned for what was actually using more than twice the given time. Of course not, because Dante is in his corner. Dante and the party tried hard to make everything difficult for the Hannemann camp at the convention. I happen to know about events that led up to and included the convention. Dante failed to provide within the required 72 hours a list of convention delegates to the convention, despite repeated requests. When there was a delegate shortage as late as the month of the convention, Dante sent an email to district chairs providing instructions on how to creatively select more delegates. I myself attended such a meeting, and it was so pro-Neil and disorganized it was a complete joke. The Party wanted Mufi to speak at 11:00 am. In fact, even the day before, members of the media believed that was his slotted time. The Party had been informed that Mufi would be on Maui at that hour. Debi Hartman told the Hannemann camp that Dante would send an email confirming the 3 o’clock time. That email has yet to arrive, as has the Dante letter that Dave claims Dante wrote. In fact, it wasn’t until Thursday of convention week that Hartman acquiesced and agreed to allow Hannemann to speak at 3, though members of the media were never provided that info, the hope among Dante and company that they would “miss” Mufi’s address and only be there for the set in stone 1:00 pm Abercrombie time. The Friday night event was moved by the Mufi people in a compromise that supposedly had the agreement of the Party. The start time was moved from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm Dante did not complain that night, the next day or any other time. Only now can we see that Mufi was set up by the party so that this letter, most of it untrue and exaggerated, could detract further from his campaign. Shame on the Party, not on Mufi..

  52. David of Hawaii Says:

    While living in Honolulu when Frank Fasi was Mayor, Frank brought up the subject of rail transit. Having ridden the Seattle monorail in the late ’60s, I wrote to Frank and suggested that the City and State work together to make a Monorail above the H1 freeway with “T” shaped pylons along the center divider. Feeder busses could then take riders to Waikiki, and various points in Honolulu, and others into the valleys. etc. That way there would be no need to purchase expensive right-a-way along Kapiolani Blvd. and thru downtown Honolulu. I received no response from Mayor Fasi.

    Last summer, Mufi was on the TV program, “Insights” with Dan Boyle and they were discussing the rail system and were taking calls. I phoned and made the same suggestion to reduce the cost. Mufi’s response was, “That’s State property! Can’t do that!” CLICK!!!

    DUH? Can’t the State and County work together? I thought that BOTH State and County property belongs to the taxpayers? Mufi didn’t say that he had tried to work with the State, that the Lingle administration was against it, that it would be a difficult engineering challenge or give any other reason that it would not work. Does this mean that Mufi intends to take private property by eminent domain all the way from Hawaii Kai to Kapolei.

    He has certainly lost my vote.

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