There were a couple of offensive strikes from two leading candidates for Honolulu mayor Monday.

First, Kirk Caldwell condemned robocalls from the campaign of Charles Djou that apparently went to some City and County workers.

The Caldwell campaign included an audio clip of the call, which features Duke Aiona urging a vote for Djou.

“Robocalls can be irritating to anyone who receives them,” Caldwell said in a press release, “but when they come to a government employee or department using a government telephone line, it shows a contempt of ethics and a waste of City and County employees’ time. I call on the Djou campaign to halt these calls immediately.”

Djou’s campaign countered the Caldwell charge with one of its own — three, actually.

Jesse Broder Van Dyke Mayor Caldwell supporter2. 4 may 2016
Jesse Broder Van Dyke, communications director for Mayor Kirk Caldwell, at a campaign rally for his boss May 4. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

“Kirk Caldwell complains about one phone call left at a phone number provided to us by a Hawaii resident in what appears to be an effort to distract from his own lack of ethics and judgment,” said press secretary Jon Kunimura in a press release.

Kunimura goes on to mention that Caldwell makes $164,928 a year as mayor yet continues to draw a $200,000 salary as a member of Territorial Savings Bank’s board of directors; that Caldwell “pressured” former City Ethics Director Chuck Totto to resign after Totto looked into the mayor’s fundraising activities; and that Caldwell’s press secretary “appears to regularly engage in campaign activity on city time by appearing at Djou campaign events during city work hours.”

Kunimura called the robocall in question “one inadvertent phone call.”

Of note: Caldwell has said his only involvement in the Ethics Commission was to appoint three commissioners, and that he received approval from Totto to serve on the bank’s board.

As for city employees campaigning for their boss, Caldwell has said that they take personal leave time for such activities.

The primary election is Aug. 13. Should Caldwell and Djou advance to the general election in a runoff, we are in for an interesting ride.

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