What happened on the evening of June 27 on Station KHNL at 7 p.m. was a shameful display of discrimination and bias on the part of a major local TV station.

A debate for the Republican governorship featured only two of the three filed candidates for the office.  Ray L’Heureux, an announced and filed candidate for the office, was denied participation for questionable reasons.

KHNL took a poll the results of which were announced April 7 before Mr. L’Heureux even became a candidate. They decided to invite to the debate only the two contenders in the poll and said they did not think L’Heureux was staging a serious enough campaign.

Retired Marine Lt. Col. Ray L’Heureux is running for governor. He’s also a former top administrator with the state Department of Education. Stewart Yerton/Civil Beat

Are we at the stage where the news media determines who is a serious candidate and who is not?

Should an incomplete media poll be used as a determinate of who is viable and who is not? This unfair manipulation of public attention is not what our electoral process deserves.

I hope other media will be more responsible and protect the peoples’ interests more than their own.

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About the Author

  • Patricia Saiki

    Patricia Saiki is former elected official who served 14 years in the Hawaii State Legislature, two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and was later appointed by President George H.W. Bush as Administrator of the Small Business Administration. She served two terms as Chairwoman of the Republican Party of Hawaii and is currently the party’s 1st Vice Chair.