Rail, Homelessness and Illegal Campaign Contributions All Part of the Show

Phew. The Honolulu mayoral debate on PBS is over.

It only took an hour, but Mayor Peter Carlisle, Kirk Caldwell and Ben Cayetano discussed everything from rail to affordable housing and homelessness.

The most heated moments came toward the end of the event when the candidates talked about illegal campaign contributions Cayetano received long ago.

It’s been a recent talking point ever since the union-backed, pro-rail group, Pacific Resources Partnership, started running television ads to remind people about the illegal contributions.

Cayetano, of course, dismisses all this as dirty politics. During the debate said the group was “scared stiff” that he might win the election.

He even confronted Caldwell, who openly criticized the contributions.

"Come on, look at me," Cayetano said while turned toward the former Honolulu managing director. "Are you saying I did something wrong?"

If you want to catch the Insights on Hawaii debate, PBS will rebroadcast it at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Nick Grube

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