By Rep. Marcus Oshiro - Chair of Finance Committee
Public Service Announcement or Campaigning?
Back in June, Lieutenant Governor Duke Aiona announced his intention to run for Governor in 2008 and has since held a number of fundraisers statewide. At the same time, he is the principal spokesperson in a series of tax payer funded “Start Living Healthy” commercials, aka public service announcements, which are receiving a great amount of print and air time on broadcast and cable. The state should enlist great role models such as Tadd Fujikawa, Colt Brennan or Clarissa Moore to promote healthy living, for the Lieutenant Governor is campaigning and should step down from this role.
One of the first bills to pass the Legislature this session was HB389, which Governor Lingle signed into law as Act 54 on May 1st. The law now states that candidates for public office are prohibited from appearing in public service announcements from the time they file their nomination papers until the time they are no longer a candidate. Certainly, the L.G. would not like to contradict his previous press release of February 1, 2006 wherein he believed it would “not be appropriate” to appear in any public service announcement since he was running for office. Again, he may not be in violation, technically, but as a former judge and as someone who aspires to be Governor, I'm sure he would want to be sensitive to the spirit of the law and not stoop to a technical loop hole. While the L.G. has not filed papers, he is obviously and visibly in campaign mode. I would like to remind all potential candidates of this new addition to campaign law."