August-September 1994 Home   Newsletters

October 1994

November 1994

President's Message: LWV to Go to Beijing Conference (Suzanne Meisenzahl)
Political Ads Found to Lack Substance
Volunteers Needed for October Vote Count (Arlene Ellis)
Leaguer Authors Book about Peace
Planning and Zoning Committee Faces Post Election Challenges (Astrid Monson)
Environment Committee to Work with Other Groups
League Involved in Convention Center Planning
Human Resources Committee: LWV on Violence Prevention (Suzanne Meisenzahl)
1994-95 Membership Directory Changes

Political Ads Found to Lack Substance

Reprinted with permission of Dick Adair and the Honolulu Advertiser

"Let's hear about the issues!" was the refrain heard at ADWATCH committee meetings, as members analyzed TV and print ads in the mayoral and gubernatorial races. In cooperation with KGMB-TV, Leaguers sifted through a truly impressive number of ads prior to the primary election: 61 TV and print ads for mayor, and 66 for governor. The League was chosen because of its nonpartisan reputation to analyze the ads for fairness, accuracy and content, and then deliver a weekly report to the TV station.

Individual members of the committee would watch the ads and complete a detailed report form for each ad. The committee members would then meet every Friday at noon to share impressions and summarize their observations. In addition, committee member Jean Aoki prepared a transcript and videotape of each ad. Committee members took turns being interviewed by TV newsmen Bob Jones and Kyle Meenan.

Consensus was that too few ads contained anything of substance and failed to reveal the candidate's views on the issues, and what she or he would do about a particular problem when elected. Indeed, the committee found that many of the ads were interchangeable, as each tried to present its candidate as a caring, honest and forthright person who would scrupulously acquit the duties of the sought-after office. The "attack" ads, in which candidates impugned the character of their opponents, were all found to be full of distortions and untruths. "The smear ads are an insult to the voter," said committee member Jean Aoki. A few of the ads, mostly those in print, did state a candidate's views on the issues, and they were commended by the committee.

The ADWATCH project will continue to the general election, concentrating on the gubernatorial race. Committee members include: Jean Aoki, Evelyn Bender, Arlene Ellis (chair), Grace Furukawa, Helen Griffin, Pearl Chang Johnson, Annie Kim, Joyce Loo, Nancy Marker, Lynn Matteson, Rhoda Miller, Astrid Monson, Jackie Parnell, Melissa Rayner and Ann Todd.

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