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Abercrombie criticizes website, fliers

Neil Abercrombie on Sunday accused the campaign of his rival for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, Mufi Hannemann, of using religion to divide voters and attack his character.

In a statement, Abercrombie said he was impugned by a website called "Atomic Monkey" and a recent campaign flier that was produced by an independent group called "Island Values." Hannemann campaign aides are responsible for both, Abercrombie contended.

Hannemann "is using religion to attempt to divide us, to attack my integrity and character," Abercrombie said in a statement. "I will repeat: This is not what a governor does. This is not what someone running for governor should be doing."

Hannemann campaign spokeswoman Carolyn Tanaka said Sunday there would be no response to Abercrombie’s statement.

Atomic Monkey was run by Keith Rollman, a Hannemann campaign volunteer who also was a city employee when Hannemann was Honolulu mayor. Hannemann resigned in July.

The site accused Abercrombie of admiring communism, called him a "Beltway blowhard" and speculated that he took kickbacks. Abercrombie on Sunday also said it contained content accusing him of voting "anti-Christian" when he served in Congress.

Rollman said the site was satirical in nature. After generating controversy in June, the site became available only via a password.

Island Values is coordinated by its deputy treasurer, Honolulu lawyer Kenneth Wong, who also sat on a large exploratory committee that was established last year for Hannemann and who is a board member of a fellowship program that Hannemann founded and chairs.

Its flier is aimed at Christian voters and accuses Abercrombie of declaring no religious affiliation and of taking anti-Christian stands in Congress, where he served for almost 20 years before resigning in February.

Hannemann on Friday disavowed it, saying its "tenor and tone" do not encourage discussion of legitimate issues.

Abercrombie on Sunday also mentioned a radio ad running on two Christian-format stations in Hawaii that Island Values financed. The ad contends Abercrombie has no religious affiliation and asks voters not to choose "the unacceptable candidate, Neil Abercrombie."

Abercrombie’s statement said Island Values’ "flier and radio ads are phase two of the Mufi Hannemann negative campaign, less than two weeks before the primary election. That’s what negative campaigns do." The primary is Sept. 18.

Hannemann has not disavowed the radio ad, but Tanaka on Friday denied it was approved or authorized by Hannemann’s campaign.

Abercrombie spokesman Jim McCoy on Sunday sought to clarify Abercrombie’s religious affiliation, saying only that the candidate was "confirmed as an Episcopalian."


Coming up

Save Our Schools Hawaii is sponsoring a forum with seven candidates for lieutenant governor from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. today at the University of Hawaii Architecture Auditorium. Candidates saying they will attend are: Democrats Lyla Berg, Gary Hooser, Jon Riki Karamatsu, Norman Sakamoto and Brian Schatz, and Republicans Lynn Finnegan and Adrienne King.


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