Editor’s Note: It’s an election year and that means lots of political commercials. Ad Watch is an occasional Civil Beat series in which we help you understand what you’re seeing and hearing when it comes to campaign messages from Hawaii candidates.
Neil Abercrombie’s campaign has flooded the television stations with campaign commercials. Seeking a second and final term as governor, he began advertising early and often.
Not so David Ige, the state senator challenging him in the Democratic primary. Heavily out-raised and outspent by the incumbent, he just hasn’t had the moolah to compete.
Now, with just over two weeks to go until the Aug. 9 primary, Ige has finally released his first TV spot. Check it out:
It’s a good spot that hits all the right notes: commitment, dedication, integrity, trust, even love.
The photos are great — especially the childhood pics and the one with the candidate in bangs, apparently in his first run for office.
And it’s amazing to think that Ige has five brothers. He’s the fifth of six.
Finally, the narration is from Ige’s wife, Dawn. His campaign is a real family effort.
In fact, the campaign liked its first ad so much that it sent out a plea to supporters this week: “Please donate $10 or whatever you can to keep our commercial on TV.”
In other words, the Ige campaign is still hurting for cash.
Speaking of cash, Mark Takai received a huge helping hand this week from VoteVets.org, which focuses “on matters including, but not limited to, foreign policy, energy security, veterans’ unemployment, and opening military service to life-long Americans born to undocumented immigrants, as well as continued investment in care for veterans.”
In other words, VoteVets wants folks to vote for vets.
Takai is a member of the Hawaii Army National Guard. Two years ago, VoteVets spent $300,000 on getting another Hawaii Army National Guard veteran elected to Congress. Perhaps you’ve heard of her: Tulsi Gabbard.
Watch the ad:
We will be seeing this ad quite a lot over the next few weeks, as VoteVets is dropping 100 grand in the local market. It’s sure to boost Takai’s chances in a field that has seven Democrats running.
Takai is Japanese-American, and the link to the fabled 442nd Infantry — with whom Dan Inouye served in World War II — will certainly help him.
VoteVets, it should be noted, must by law work independently from Takai and his campaign. But I’d love to know where, or from whom, VoteVets got all the great footage of the candidate.
Takai is running for the 1st Congressional District seat being vacated by Colleen Hanabusa, who wants the U.S. Senate seat held by Brian Schatz.
In Hanabusa’s latest video, she evokes the memory of the man who held the seat before Schatz was appointed to it:
Hanabusa is playing the Inouye card. But then, it’s a heck of a card to play and sure to appeal to many local voters who know that Inouye wanted Hanabusa to succeed him.
My only quibble: This is the second Hanabusa ad in a row that clips from an apparently staged forum with supporters.
But Hanabusa can be very appealing when she makes her own pitch for her candidacy, and this ad shows that as well as her obvious devotion to the late senator.
Stanley Chang is running for the CD1 seat, and he has a new TV ad:
Chang’s latest video is a winner, matching clear visuals with the candidates own words on top issues. Campaign volunteer Shane Nuuhiwa liked the ad so much he sent out this email blast to supporters:
When I’m on the phone, I frequently hear people say: “Yes, Stanley Chang! I liked his TV ad.” …
(One thought: Does Chang ever take off his artificial yellow lei? Another: If elected to Congress, will he wear it every day?)
And now for the last political commercial of the week, from the Shan Tsutsui, the Democratic lieutenant governor:
Keiki! Keiki! Keiki! And Tsutsui’s wife too! And baseball!
As with all of his ads, this one is professionally produced.
Tsutsui also manages to list a few accomplishments, if somewhat vaguely.
As we have reported in previous Ad Watches, Tsutsui’s chief opponent, state Sen. Clayton Hee, has effectively advertised his more substantial achievements.
Having voters pronounce your name correctly or just calling you by your first name may not be enough to get elected.