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Caldwell rejects Djou’s invitation to pay for televised debate

Former U.S. Rep. Charles Djou criticized Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell Monday for refusing to chip in $5,000 so the two of them can hold a televised debate Saturday night, three days before the Nov. 8 general election.

A Caldwell campaign spokesman called Djou’s pitch a last-minute stunt by a desperate candidate.

There have been no televised debates featuring the two candidates since the primary election on Aug. 13, a situation that has been decried by public policy advocates. Both candidates, meanwhile, blamed each other for missing various debates and candidate forums.

Djou told reporters Monday afternoon that KITV had agreed over the weekend to provide for one-half hour of air time Saturday night at a cost of $10,000. The challenge was issued to Caldwell’s campaign staff Monday morning during a debate sponsored by the Philippine Press Club of Hawaii. Caldwell’s staff emphatically denies that it ever agreed to participate in Monday’s event.

Djou said that it was Caldwell who first lamented the lack of debates, and that he agreed with his opponent.

Mike Darrah, KITV news director, said the station’s sales staff gave the two candidates until close of business Monday to come to an agreement, and that the Caldwell side formally declined Djou’s proposal. Darrah said he was willing to consider using KITV news resources, but only if the two candidates agreed to participate. (The station held a mayoral debate before the primary that featured Caldwell, Djou and former Mayor Peter Carlisle.)

Caldwell campaign spokesman Lex Smith, in a statement, said Djou previously confirmed and then cancelled appearances hosted by respected news sources. “Now at the 11th hour and out of desperation, Charles wants to buy TV time for a paid infomercial on KITV, and wants the Caldwell campaign to pay for half of it,” Smith said.

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      • And Djou lovers can revel in tax breaks–or welfare–for the wealthy and cutbacks to social services. No thanks–I’ll take Caldwell. Djou will only make public schools worse, streets more dangerous, homelessness more of a problem, and the list goes on.

        • Charles has a nine year tea party record in the city council of being the obstructionist who talks big but votes against what’s in the publics best interest. His nine month stint in congress is stained by standing against the people and for the big business interest which finances the tea party.

        • Dear “thevisitor967”; hmm… you must be indeed be a visitor. You can’t blame the mayor’s office (DJOU) for public schools or social services dude…. that’s the State of Hawaii, not the City & County of Honolulu. You may want to do a little research before you post.

        • You can thank Djou for coming up with half-ass proposals for the rail project, like ending the line at Middle Street, cutting off funding at the $6.8 Billion, and changing the guide way to an street level guide way which will cause the trains to interfere with the street traffic and slow the metro down. He has nothing but absurd schemes to finance and build rail.

      • Because caldwell has no answer for 6 years behind schedule and 6 billion over the original budget and no plans to make it better other than to tax Oahu citizens to pay for his mismanagement.

        • He busy at the bank counting all that bribe money with those cash counting machines and stuffing it into the safe deposit boxes.

          Bernie Madoff is shedding a tear of joy for his prodigy Kirk.

        • Kirky Boy, never one with finances and numbers, is admitting defeat by not having the extra session.

          Realizing voters have caught him in constant lies, dipping his beak way too often, lapdog to every special interest group, is already packing up his personal office items and getting ready for retirement.

          Don’t go away mad Kirky Boy, just go far, far, far, far away.

      • At least the city will be run efficiently. Djou will just say no and ignore problems. Yes we will probably have higher taxes but hopefully the money will be well spent. I am not at all convinced Djou would spend anything to improve this city and as a result everything will just deteriorate.

        • And kirk says yes and ignores problems. That’s why rail is 6 billion over the original budget. kirk’s only solution is to keep raising taxes.

        • Agree. Kirk’s only solution is to keep raising taxes and taking the $200k plus from Territorial for doing nothing. Man hasn’t got the smarts to be on any board.

    • Djou has not been a compelling candidate. Serving in Afghanistan is not a credential. If he had stood up against the war from the start I might be impressed. Neither man is praise-worthy but I think Caldwell can pick up the garbage and provide basic city services more or less reliably. One has to really want this job as it is often a very dirty one.

        • Caldwell has the money – obviously hiding / misinformation has worked all these years – his supporters thrive on it…

      • Standing up against a war that the VAST majority of Americans, including the VAST majority of DEMOCRATS–including YOUR DEMOCRAT NOMINEE FOR PRESIDENT–happily and enthusiastically voted for? A war that led to us wiping out the Taliban and killing Osama Bin Laden???

        Me thinks Canada might be a better fit for you. At least you’re no longer polluting Hawaii with your transplant, lefty nonsense.

  • Djou is scratching for chicken feed. The republican is running scared. The democratic city will bury him. Cayetano had more if a chance but he also failed. Why? A republican tea party is a party of NO. No growth,no roads,no progress.

    • Nanakuli, Let see you say your from Nanakuli so the pretty much disqualifies you from an educated opinion and two, this is a non partisan race so what does party have to do with it.

        • Correct. If anything NanakuliBully is a government employee with a vested interest. He keeps cheer-leading for the rail, pro HPD and pro “D” in almost every comment section. Pretty conclusive he works for his buddy Krook.

        • BlueLifeMatter. What’s wrong with supporting your local law enforcement? Its the American way. And yes, I’m pro D, like the majority of ppl of this beautiful State. My vested interest in Rail? It’s the future.

        • NB – Thanks to your position and all the simple minded pro railers, higher taxes are also in your future. Rail is the newest money pit added to the backs of taxpayers.

          Expect yearly increases to cover rail’s crushing monthly O&M costs. And as with all Nei infrastructure, expect times it will break down, entire system grinding to a halt.

  • Djou should hold a Clint Eastwood “vacant chair”debate with Caldwell’s name on the chair. Djou can state his positions on the issues facing the city and then turn to the Caldwell chair for a response, which, of course, will not come. And the winner of the debate can be announced as Djou.

  • LMFAO!! Wasn’t it Kirk, just a couple of weeks ago, screaming and whining and sending out statements demanding somebody host a debate for him so he can take down Djou??

    What’s wrong, Kirk? Obama wouldn’t loan you one of his teleprompters? Or are the KITV execs and moderators impossible to buy off (like Hawaii News Now, Rick Blangiardi, Mark Platte and Mileka Lincoln) and they wouldn’t rig the debate for you like last time??

    YOU…ARE…A…JOKE. And you’re getting fired in one week.

    And the ironic thing is, I don’t even like Djou! I voted against him the past three elections!!

    But last week I walked into early voting, just to vote FOR Djou, because YOU, KIRK, ARE A F***IN’ JOKE.

    Enjoy your last couple of months in office (and on the TSB board, too).

  • Choice #1: An obnoxious, Ivy League dork who obsesses over saving money and catching people lying. The kind of guy who you would pray wasn’t your RA in the dorm during freshman year. The kind of guy you would pray wasn’t your roommate during freshman year. The kind of guy you pray for when you’re looking for an accounting because the IRS is auditing you. Cheap Charlie, the goody-goody nerd who you would hire but NEVER hang out with.

    Choice #2: A lying, gutless twerp who looks like a child molester, does an absolutely awful job and then has no problem blaming the entire world for it. HPD screwed up? Blame the commission. Ethics Commission screwed up? Blame Chuck. Rail screwed up? Blame HART. The kind of guy you got forced to hang out with because his parents had more money than yours and they forced it on you. The kind of guy you NEVER got too drunk around, or you’d wake up with a sore okole and Kirk would avoid making eye contact with you for a month. An all-around creep, and let’s not forget, a BIIIIIG POOH-SAY!!

    I’ll go with Cheap Charlie this time.

  • Djou had ample opportunity to debate Caldwell but cancelled his PBS appearance shortly before the debate. Now that he’s behind in the polls, despite his Super PAC smear campaign, he bought some air time for a publicity stunt featuring him and a moderator from his campaign. LoL! His desperate attempt won’t salvage yet another loss for a perennial loser. Buh bye, Chuck

    • I hope you’re not typing this from your desk at Honolulu Hale, because you are aware that’s a violation of the law? Not to be a stickler or nothing, but I just despise you guys that much.

      And if we’re going to talk about polls, why not write about your own (meaning the Caldwell Campaign’s) internal polling showing Kirk LOSING by three points? Or the recent poll paid for by PRP that showed Kirk LOSING by SIX POINTS?

      You didn’t like those, did you? Is that why Kirk’s been extra red and acting neurotically lately, ducking debates and other events and hiding in his office?

      Relax. It’s almost over. And when Djou wins next Tuesday, you’ll never have to work a Caldwell campaign again.

      It’s almost over.

  • Poor Kirkie will lose and have to work at his two hour a month quarter million a year job.
    If everyone in the nei could have jobs like this we could actually afford to build the rail.

    • Be careful what you wish for. Djou as mayor will mean having a leader who believes in just saying No. As a result things will just deteriorate and taxes will have to rise doubly after he leaves to pay for such neglect.

      • Saying NO to rich cronies cutting inside deals, selling the taxpayers down the river and robbing us for tens of millions each year? Kinda like Colbert Matsumoto flipping properties, selling them to the city for three times what he paid for useless buildings we don’t want and don’t work?? That means you, Tradewind LLC and the new Kapalama Hale. And Kirk’s wife’s family is on the take with that deal, too. OOPS!! Don’t like talking about that, do we???

        You mean saying NO to raking in MILLIONS of dollars from rail contractors that overcharge the city by TENS OF MILLION of dollars and then build the worst managed rail disaster in U.S. history???

        Oh NO NO NO! We can’t have someone saying NO to all that good stuff!! Krook Caldwell for Mayor!!!

  • Caldwell, if you’re so confident on winning next week, then throw in a couple of bucks and debate. If you don’t makes you afraid and weak. Your weak character speaks volumes.

    • That’s because he’s not confident. Actually, Kirk is in full-blown meltdown mode as of last week, when his internal polling and the polling paid for by his crony groups (like PRP) began showing that he’s down by an ever-increasing margin. Over six points, last I heard.

      That’s why you see desperate attempts by his owners, like HGEA, to mislead everyone with ridiculous commercials about Social Security, Medicare, women’s rights, yada yada yada. AFL-CIO is spending a couple hundred grand this week for those awful commercials.

      The Caldwell ship is sinking, and sinking very fast. Notice how Kirk is nowhere to be found, and when you do catch him he’s even redder, balder and looking like he just came off a 72-hour cocaine binge?? That’s how he handles panic stress.

      It’s almost over.

  • KITV should have offered the time for free as a public service to the community. They were given a free license to broadcast for a reason, and this is one of them. Nothing but a shake down, IMO. Don’t the candidates already spend enough on ads with the station?

  • I like Charles,but based on my analysis of “The Insanity Syndrome ” Capt Kirk will retain his seat as Mayor of Honolulu. Hawaii has the tendency(Insanity) to vote Democrat and this is a mistake,because Hawaii has no Balance!Ultimately,the Conservative Republicans here go……Unrepresented!

    • Why is it a mistake to vote democratic? It is republican governors for example who screw up financial ratings, (Christie) or poison poor citizens of the state. (Michigan) Why would anyone vote for a bankrupt party?

      Republicans have stopped being conservative. Today they are little more than Witch Doctors.

      • “”Why is it a mistake to vote democratic?””

        Hawaii is a good example. One of if not the highest tax burden in the entire US.

        Our roads, sewers and other infrastructure sucks and then thy want a perpetual tax hike to pay for the biggest per capita boondoggle in US history.

        They want to raise gas and vehicle taxes when they have plenty of unused money and they don’t even fix the darn roads. It’s amazing.

        They bow down to the unions and make the rest of he citizens pay.

        Hawaii is badly in need of change but the voters keep on electing the same inept politicians who hose them.

  • Charles Djou should never, never be allowed to be elected in any political seat in Hawaii. He has poor judgement about issues and bad solutions for problems about our State and City. His responses are “shoot from the hip” like Donald Trump … Stupid and ignorant comments! Like Trump he is and will be a looser on NOVEMBER 8th!

  • Kirk Caldwell had his chance to prove himself as Mayor with one interim appointment and one full term. Objectively we can say that:

    1) Oahu’s largest public works project (The Rail) has been largely mis-managed with both $Billions of dollars cost overrun and many years behind schedule.

    2) Water/Sewer costs are skyrocketing, and now we get billed monthly instead of bi-monthly because the invoices look “smaller” that way.

    3) Property taxes are also on the rise.

    Meanwhile our the major roads in Oahu are still badly in need of repair. So our taxes and costs have been going up and up, yet what do we have to show for it? (Perhaps he is repairing our sewer system, but that remains to be seen). I voted for Kirk Caldwell last election and he has been given a chance to prove himself but the only thing he has proved is how good he is at enriching himself with 2 incomes, one from the City & County of Honolulu and one significant, questionable one from Territorial Savings.

    I made a mistake the first time of voting for him, but I won’t make that mistake again. I think Djou deserves a chance. He may not be as experienced as Kirk in running the Mayor’s office, but at least he is more transparent and does not appear to be as “self-serving” as Mr. Caldwell.

    • I agree. Kirk had his chance as managing director and mayor and all we have is a half built train track going from nowhere to nowhere and the costs are skyrocketing out of control. And the person who was hired to manage the project could only come up with “bad luck” as the reason for the failure.

      We need new management. I voted Djou.

    • Exactly. Taxpayers are just getting squeezed and many are living pay check to pay check. No improvement here. Just a downhill spiral with rising costs and deteriorating services. Unbelievable spending on the rail project. Loosing proposition with structural defects being exposed will be just a tip of the iceberg. Maybe we should really consider having a change here and vote with some critical thinking in mind.

  • One thing is clear reading the comments here……..YOTARE obviously either doesn’t have a job or he works for the State and is spending all of his time on the computer telling us for the 100th time that he doesn’t like KC. ok ok ok… we get it.

  • After reading all the posts, I still cannot see a reason for Kirk to not show up for a debate. I understand the Dems have total control of government, but is debating the issues out of question as well?

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