Hawaii GOP Senate candidate Linda Lingle's newest ad purported to feature Democrats who support her - and it does. But the TV spot, originally posted online under the headline "Democrats for Lingle," also features several Republicans.
"I'm a Democrat, and I'm voting for Linda Lingle," says Elaine Slavinsky, the first person to appear onscreen. Slavinsky ran for state Senate as a Republican in 2004.
"I know she's gonna work with both parties to get things done," says Jan Shishido, who formerly headed the Maui County Republican Party and ran for state House as a Republican in 2004.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee produced research on five other people with varying degrees of GOP affiliation who appear in the ad.
The ad itself does not identify the speakers as Democrats, and the campaign has since changed its online banner to read, "People Across the State Agree." Slavinsky is the only person in the ad with previous GOP affiliations to identify herself on camera as a Democrat.
The Lingle campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment. When contacted by the Honolulu Civil Beat, Lingle spokeswoman Corrie Heck told the paper:
What the DSCC ignores is the three very prominent Democrat leaders featured in the spot: a former Democrat state Senator, the former State protocol officer who worked for 5 of Hawaii's Governors (4 of whom are Democrats), and a self-identified Democrat supporter who plans to vote for President Obama.
While the spot was labeled "Democrats" during the transfer to the stations, no where in the spot do we state that all individuals featured are Democrats. The spot is about people across the state - from diverse backgrounds, political affiliations and perspectives - that agree Linda Lingle is the clear choice for U.S. Senate. As your research will point out, there are several current and retired public school teachers included in the spot, as well as a native Hawaiian community leader, in addition to the Democrat supporters. These individuals are representative of the broad spectrum of supporters who are backing Linda Lingle for U.S. Senate.