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Saturday, July 29, 2000

Harris campaigns
rely on TV

Both mayoral candidates are
paying local ad agencies big
bucks for their TV spots

By Gordon Y.K. Pang
and Crystal Kua


What is the weapon of choice for the camps of both Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris and opponent Mufi Hannemann this fall in what promises to be a $2 million-plus campaign?

Television advertising.

And the major beneficiaries are two downtown ad agencies, although other media consultants, pollsters and research companies are sharing in the largess.

The Harris re-election committee has paid Laird Christianson Advertising more than $420,000 since late February, primarily for what has been a series of television advertisements.

That's more than half the $726,010 the campaign spent in all from Jan. 1 to June 30, according to reports submitted to the state Campaign Spending Commission yesterday.

The Hannemann camp has paid Myers Advertising Inc. more than $223,000, also primarily for television ad production and running time.

The Hannemann campaign spent $303,153 during the first six months of 2000, spending reports said.

Both Hannemann and Harry Mattson, spokesman for the Harris camp, said a strong television presence is essential and predicted more frequent and intense ads as the Sept. 23 special election nears.

"This is a population of nearly a million people," Hannemann said. "You can't hope to meet everyone personally and this is the best way to reach the masses."

Mattson said Harris' ads peaked for a while, went down a bit, and now are back on the upswing "into the heart of (the campaign) for the next three to four weeks."


Hannemann said he's used Myers in the past but has added a new element to his team: creative director Bob Chun. Myers lists among its past or previous clients U.S. Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka. Hannemann credits Chun for being the hired gun of U.S. Rep. Patsy Mink who helped defeat him in 1990.

Laird Christianson was used by the Harris campaign in its successful 1996 general election campaign against Arnold Morgado, Mattson said. The agency is an offshoot of McNeil Wilson Communications, which has done work for former Congressman Cec Heftel, former Gov. John Waihee and Harris.

Former Mayor Frank Fasi, a third candidate in this fall's mayoral election, has yet to start a television media blitz although he has done so effectively in past campaigns.

In other campaign spending disclosures:

Bullet Peter Carlisle:The city prosecutor received $2,826 in contributions during the reporting period while spending $743. He had $12,028 cash at the end of the reporting period, but has a negative balance because of an old outstanding loan of $20,000.

Bullet Donna Mercado Kim:The former City Councilwoman has a substantial campaign war chest of $274,805 to begin her campaign aimed at winning the Aiea seat being vacated by Sen. Norman Mizuguchi. Kim received $64,713 in contributions and spent $35,032 during the reporting period.

Bullet Calvin Say:The House speaker goes into his re-election bid with $101,412. He raised $8,263 and paid out $4,754.

Bullet Joe Souki:The former House speaker has raised $12,540 and spent $5,392. His total stands at $21,624.

Bullet Mazie Hirono: The lieutenant governor is not a candidate this election but she is expected to run for governor in 2002. During the reporting period, she received $1,730 but spent more than $19,000.

She has $42,303 in cash at the end of the reporting period, but her balance is $10,000 less because of a 1994 loan to herself.

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