On Wednesday night, just hours after he was fined more than $15,000 for repeatedly filing false campaign finance reports and using campaign donations to pay his rent and his credit card bill, Kaniela Ing, candidate for congress, was speaking at a forum for the Hawaii Democratic Party’s Education Caucus. The event was streamed live, and there was Ing with his head held high, talking big, no hint of shame whatsoever. This guy can shake off doodoo like a duck.
When the moderator asked a question about Ing’s past support of a Republican candidate, Ing said that it was a false accusation, but he took the opportunity to address the elephant in the room. “That was a softball question,” he replied. “I think the question people want to ask is about my liability and my trustworthiness.”
Oh wow. He’s gonna go there.
“I just came from a hearing this morning,” he began, and there was a glimmer of hope that he would apologize and maybe have the good sense to say he’s dropping out of the race until he can take some accounting classes and maybe get counseling, but then it all fell apart into that jumble of over-explaining and mis-remembering and his usual “I’m-just-a-poor- hardworking-local-boy” sickening schtick.
“All the money that went in, went out for campaign use,” he claimed. “The time it didn’t, as soon as I caught it, I reversed it.”
Apparently someone in the audience didn’t buy what he was saying. “I see you shaking your head,” Ing said.
He talked about how he was so young when he started in politics, how he was working 4 a.m. to noon at the Four Seasons Hotel and canvassing neighborhoods by himself for hours after his shift; how he was a new father; how he was just so tired from trying his best.
“I want to say if I could go back, none of this would happen, but I can’t even say that. I worked so hard!” Ing said.
How can Ing ask voters to trust him to make laws when he can’t be trusted to follow them? Ignorance of the law is no excuse, particularly when you’re a lawmaker.
Of course, with Kaniela Ing, there’s more than just messing with campaign money. There was the resume-padding and the ticket for no- insurance on Maui that eventually led to his arrest. In that incident, he claimed for months that the cops tagged him while he was sitting in an undriveable old car that was parked on his street. Later, he admitted that actually yeah, just like the cop said, he was driving the car.
But aw shucks. He’s just a poor local boy and you know what? He tries so hard.
On behalf of all self-made local boys and girls who never had it easy, work crazy hours, take care of babies, follow a true call to service leadership and still manage to play it straight and obey the law and account for every hard-earned dollar that goes to their rent and their groceries, Kaniela Ing needs to drop out of the race.
If the Democratic Party doesn’t kick him to the curb and the campaign spending commission can’t work up the guts to send the case to the prosecutors, and the feds don’t step in, the voters need to teach this joker a lesson.
Reach Lee Cataluna at 529-4315 or email@example.com.
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