Back to the basics in debate for governor

I wasn’t able to catch all of debate on community television stations the other night between gubernatorial candidates Neil Abercrombie and Duke Aiona, but from the parts I saw it was a welcome return to a simple format that put all the attention on the candidates and issues.

The candidates sat side by side on a plain set with a draped folding table. There was a live audience  — the sponsoring Maui Economic Development Board — but unlike some of the debates on commercial TV, it wasn’t a rowdy crowd that was allowed to disrupt the proceedings with partisan hooting and hollering.

Instead of questions coming from multiple directions that showcased those asking as much as those answering, there was a single moderator, Kayla Rosenfeld of Hawai‘i Public Radio, who ably set a consistent and orderly tone while giving the candidates an even shot at presenting their views.

In the end, you got a pretty good idea of where Abercrombie and Aiona differ on some of the major issues in the campaign.

It goes to show that we don’t need a lot of glitz and artificial excitement to generate interest in a campaign at this level, and I hope KITV and PBS Hawai‘i take note in the “major” televised debates coming up.

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9 Comments on “Back to the basics in debate for governor”

  1. Richard Gozinya Says:

    As with falling trees in unoccupied forests, a respectful and orderly debate that transpires at a forum that nobody watches doesn’t make a sound.

    Methinks the boys were just catching a breather before the Big Show.

  2. Earl of Sandwich Says:

    “It goes to show that we don’t need a lot of glitz and artificial excitement to generate interest in a campaign at this level…”

    I hope the next widely televised debate is nothing like the disgraceful Hawaii News Now circus, but I don’t think you can draw the conclusion that the “orderly” format was a success until you find out how many people tuned in.

  3. denby fawcett Says:

    KITV4’s debates are always respectful. Our debates are conducted in KITV’s studio without live audiences. KITV debates feature a moderator and three reporters asking questions. KITV is noted for its tough and thoughtful questions. We spend hours going over our questions before each debate. KITV’s First Congressional District debate will be October 15. Our gubernatorial debate is scheduled on October 22. Please watch. I know you won’t be disappointed.

  4. WooWoo Says:

    I think that Aiona’s blitzkrieg proposal for six debates coming the day after the primary might have been an effective knuckleball pitch. Borreca mentioned the other day Abercrombie’s almost inexplicable post-primary hiatus from the airwaves. Any ideas as to why?

  5. Zippy's Says:

    Abercrombie thinks Republicans are beneath him, and he doesn’t want to lower himself to debate them. In his mind, if the voters pick Aiona over Abecombie then they were unworthy of The Abercrombie in the first place.

  6. Jim Loomis Says:

    Utter nonsense!

  7. NewsyMaui Says:

    Yes, that sounds like the Abercrombie I know. I remember his interview with Maui News:

    Regarding the TEA party, Abercrombie said:

    “It is kind of a choked reaction to the idea that you’ve been shoved totally to the sidelines. You have no control over your life. Particularly when you’re being propagandized all day long that you get to make choices, always variations on the theme of you as consumer of goods. And when politics takes on the same aspect, when you’re just the consumer of whatever’s being fed to you by cynical sociopaths who have no other purpose in life than to manipulate and maneuver you into doing what they want you to do, then you have a situation like the one we have now with the Tea Party.”

    http://www.mauitime.com/Articles-i-2010-06-03-73516.113117_Neil_Abercrombie_the_MauiTime_Interview.html

  8. Kolea Says:

    Neil’s remarks about the Tea Party are spot on. The only thing I would add is the tragedy that teabaggers are looking for a way to fight back against the “elite” dominating society, in a movement financed by Big Oil, Big Insurance, and Big Banks. Instead of fighting against the REAL masters, the corporate elite, their anger is being misdirected against the “Volvo-driving, latte sipping, NPR-listening, gay-loving” liberal professionals.

    The “Liberty” they are fighting for is the freedom of big corporations from even moderate regulation and taxes. These people ARE fools. Pitiful fools.

    And none of them are likely to vote for Neil anyways, since they’ve got a Bible-thumping, corporate-loving, gay-hating alternative in Dukie Aiona.

  9. Michael Says:

    I wonder why Tea Party only mentions that Republicans have gone Third Party where there is just as many Democrats who gone Third Party as well. In a past comment it was mentioned 4 out of 10 Tea Party members are Democrats. Seems just like when the Pilgrims got sick and tired of English Rules they became Protestants and left England for America.
    Now Americans are sick and tired of American rule, maybe they should leave and go Back to England.

    Aiona said he would Veto the HB444 because of the wording Same Sex Marriage and not Civil Union. Abercrombie says he agrees to Civil Union but not Same Sex Marriage. Same Same.

    The priority of the Governor is to run the Government (the People) not run the party, as it seems the Party runs the Governor or any other Politician. Again the Government is not a Party but The People. If this is taught as American History, those who forget the past shall be doomed to repeat its failure. Being a Politician seems like one likes their strings pulled. Yet after being pulled so many times they get tired of it and stand ground till strings break from tension.

    As I said in comments before, I vote for whoever is the best person for the job. I don’t vote by Party.
    Not a Donkey or an Elephant but a Mouse who is not afraid of either bigger animal. The Candidate who is for the People, first and till the End, gets my Vote.


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