Friday, December 6, 2002

Lingle campaign sets record

Her campaign spent $5.4 million
on the gubernatorial election

Money mattered in most City Council races

By Bruce Dunford
Associated Press

Republican Gov. Linda Lingle's campaign set a spending record in winning the governor's race, according to campaign finance reports filed yesterday with the Campaign Spending Commission.

The Lingle campaign reported spending $5.4 million, exceeding former Democratic Gov. Ben Cayetano's $4.8 million spent in the 1998 race, in which he defeated Lingle by 5,254 votes.

It also eclipsed the record $5.25 million that former Democratic Gov. John Waihee reported spending in his 1990 re-election campaign.

"I don't think it's going to go down," said Bob Watada, executive director of the commission, who added that the escalating costs of political campaigns seem to be a national trend driven by costly television advertising.

Lingle's spending was more than double the $2.37 million reported by Democrat Mazie Hirono, the former lieutenant governor who lost to Lingle by 17,126 votes.

In her final report for the period from Oct. 22 through the Nov. 5 general election day, Lingle reported taking in $860,397 from 1,557 contributors, an average of $552 per contribution.

Hirono, in the final reporting period, got $836,481 from 915 contributors, an average of $914 per contribution. It included $59,500 from 16 carpenters union organizations from around the nation.

Lingle's campaign reported a cash balance of $154,807, while Hirono reported having $141,768 left.

Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona raised $177,310 in the last month of the campaign and gathered a total of $378,715. In the same period, Republican Aiona spent $140,137, which brought his total spending for the campaign up to $346,850.

Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Matt Matsunaga reported collecting $186,931 for the same time period. He reported raising a total of $263,481. Matsunaga's total expenditures were not available yesterday.

Watada said he is concerned about the influence that large contributions, capped at $6,000 per individual, play in political campaigns.

Watada said he believes contributions in future elections and possibly even in the just-ended campaigns were influenced by the commission's ongoing investigation into illegal contributions in the 2000 campaign.

Star-Bulletin reporter Richard Borreca contributed to this report.

Campaign Spending Commission

E-mail to City Desk


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