Hawaii’s biggest political contest this election season is the race for governor between Neil Abercrombie and Duke Aiona. But the smallest of political acts has triggered accusations of negative campaigning, and renewed attention on links to a controversial religious group.
At the heart of the debate, a video posted to YouTube by mainland blogger Bruce Wilson, who has been covering Aiona’s ties to the International Transformation Network since April. The video questions whether Aiona is a member of the group, which has been linked to controversial views on homosexuality and the practices of other religions.
Aiona says Abercrombie’s social media director, L.P. “Neenz” Faleafine, crossed the line in posting links on Twitter to blog posts featuring the video. Abercrombie’s spokeswoman says that Faleafine was acting as an individual, not as part of the campaign, and that she had merely “rebroadcast” legitimate questions raised by others.
Either way, Aiona’s complaint has revived interest in his links to the ITN. He may have successfully called out negative campaigning on behalf of his opponent, but he may have also called renewed attention to a controversy that was largely unknown. [Hawaii Blog]