A Hawaiian Airlines flight arrived in Kahului on Aug. 12 with a "Who's Who" of Democratic winners in the previous day's primary on board.
It also bore the elite of Hawaii's ruling class - in short, the governor and lieutenant governor of the state.
They were on Maui to celebrate a day of party unity. Unfortunately, that day was shattered early when the governor was confronted at the airport by a Maui schoolteacher angry about the current status of the teachers' contract with the state.
A caller to The Maui News alleged that "the governor punched a schoolteacher" after the teacher had shouted to the governor: "Your mother would be ashamed of you." Gov. Neil Abercrombie's mother was a teacher in upstate New York.
Needless to say, we were skeptical, but we relayed the message to our city editor. A reporter was asked to make a few phone calls. Nobody wanted to talk to her, including Hawaii State Teachers Association officials.
On Friday and Saturday, the city editor himself called - a half-dozen times - the teacher allegedly involved in the incident. Voice mail messages were left. No call back. The city editor called Kahului Airport security and management officials. No returned call.
The city editor eventually got through to Democratic congressional candidate Tulsi Gabbard, who acknowledged being at the airport that morning with the governor. She said she saw the governor talk to someone, but she witnessed no commotion, heard no shouting.
Donalyn Dela Cruz, the governor's deputy of communications, said on Friday that the allegation that Abercrombie punched someone was "false."
She said the governor was walking through the airport when the schoolteacher said "some words to the governor" regarding the HSTA contract. She said the governor asked the teacher to take up the current status of the contract with his union leadership. But she said the teacher "wasn't satisfied with that."
She said the teacher shouted at the governor.
When asked if there was any physical contact between the governor and the teacher, Dela Cruz said, no. "The governor did not do anything," she said. "The governor continued on his way."
She said he recognized the teacher was upset. Dela Cruz said the governor was accompanied by security personnel, who did their job in keeping the teacher a "good distance" from the governor.
We understand there's a security videotape of the incident. We'd like to see it. That should settle the matter, once and for all.
We'd ask airport officials to call our city editor at 242-6343 to arrange that screening.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.