In a way, former Hawaii House Speaker and Maui Mayor Elmer Cravalho, who died in June 2016 at the age of 90, has returned from the grave. Apparently, Cravalho recorded a video interview back in 2014 with Maui District Superintendent of Education Darrell Oishi. According to this article from today’s Maui News, Cravalho forbade the airing of that video until after his death.
Well, now you can see it. In fact, you can watch it tonight on Oceanic cable channel 354 (digital channel 27.55) at 8pm or 11pm. If you miss it tonight, the program will air every Saturday and Sunday at those times during April. You can also stream it live by clicking here.
The program is part of the University of Hawaii Maui College’s Preserving our Recollections series. Given the importance of Cravalho’s political life, which included both Hawaiian statehood and the introduction of a modern mayorship in Maui County–as well as numerous secrets Cravalho took to his grave–the interview should prove fascinating.
The interview will be invaluable if it sheds light on any of the following:
• Cravalho’s actions during a legislative “coup” in 1958 that led to him getting elected speaker of the Territorial House of Representatives;
• His unannounced and unexplained disappearance from Maui in 1971;
• Cravalho’s actions in 1972 during the A New Newspaper scandal centered around a private detective who had tried to blackmail Cravalho;
• Why Cravalho decided against running for governor in 1974;
• His sudden decision to resign in 1979 and leave politics;
• His decision to return to politics in 1990 and run unsuccessfully for Mayor against Linda Lingle.
For more on these controversies, check out this extended obituary we published on him in October 2016, which included surprising revelations that the U.S. Army had spied on Cravalho in the 1950s because of his ties to the ILWU labor union.
Photo courtesy Honolulu Star-Advertiser