From Abercrombie Campaign July 1, updated July 3, 2010
The Abercrombie campaign released the following statement after the Hannemann campaign admitted that senior city adviser Keith Rollman was responsible for a website that crudely attacked Neil Abercrombie:
“The Hannemann campaign made a serious admission yesterday. A high-level city employee was running a website that ‘savagely mocked’ Neil Abercrombie. The Campaign Chairman and high-level city employees helped promote the website through Facebook, Twitter, and online ads.
“This is typical of a Mufi Hannemann campaign.The Mayor’s campaign is launching into distortions, attacks, and denials. When he’s caught, it’s never his fault; he even blames his supporters. Voters can expect more of this from the Hannemann campaign in the months ahead.
“The Mayor’s tactics aren’t going to work this time. Neil Abercrombie and his campaign will stand up to him, because the people of Hawaii are sick of personal attacks. The people need leadership they can trust.”
- Laurie Au, campaign spokeswoman
Background on city senior adviser Keith Rollman’s blog that crudely attacked Abercrombie:
March 2010: First blog post appeared. The blog site included posts that distorted Abercrombie’s record and made crude remarks against him, his supporters and his family.The website was advertised on numerous websites.
Example of website content. [Note: the Hannemann campaign shut down the YouTube account this linked to immediately following this post.]
Initial fans of the website’s Facebook page included top city employees and Hannemann campaign advisers:
Dean Okimoto, campaign chairman
Gordon Bruce, city Director of Information Technology
Keith Rollman, senior advisor in city Department of Information Technology
Jeff Coelho, former city cabinet member and currently with Salem Media of Hawaii
Harvey Harlowe Hukari, political consultant who worked on Hannemann’s 2004 and 2008 campaigns
Shellie Garrett, consultant with Voter Contact Services,an electronic voter file service
Screenshot of Atomic Monkey page on Facebook, March 2010
Facebook Fan Page was linked to Facebook Profile Page alias “Bob Wiesel,” an alleged city worker who frequently comments on online blogs and news sites. [Note: the Hannemann campaign shut down the Bob Wiesel profile this linked to immediately following this post.]
June 14, 2010: Blog, Facebook Fan Page and Twitter sites were taken down
June 30, 2010: Hannemann campaign admits Keith Rollman was responsible for the website.
July 3, 2010: On KITV news, Mayor Hannemann's Senior Advisor in the City’s Department of Information Technology, Keith Rollman, denied that the crude Atomic Monkey website was part of the Hannemann campaign, saying: “The campaign didn’t know anything about it, the Mayor certainly didn’t know anything about it.”
The leader of the Hannemann campaign, Dean Okimoto, was one of the first to join as a fan of the website when it appeared in March (see screenshot above).
The Hannemann campaign’s recent attention on offshore drilling repeats an attack that first appeared on the anonymous website on May 1, 2010.
Keith Rollman also denied that he did the anti-Neil site on city time and with city equipment despite the fact that the site was promoted during normal work hours, such as these entries on Twitter:
Whether done by city employees with anonymous smears, or sanitized and done directly, the Mayor’s negative campaign will not work this time. Over the next few months, expect other attacks from the “official” Hannemann Campaign which first appeared on their now deactivated website.