Isle Republican Party
gains with Lingle

The GOP has received more
donations since her victory in
the last gubernatorial race

>> Lingle donors get 20% of jobs.
Dems were money winners in '02.

>> A gubernatorial appointee and former campaign worker for Gov. Lingle is also part-owner of an accounting firm that has done $611,573 worth of work for Republicans.

Gov. Linda Lingle's gubernatorial victory two years ago is paying off in a surge in campaign money for the state Republican Party.

It also highlights how much money Lingle has been able to raise for herself and for President Bush.

But while Lingle's new GOP took in $820,308 in 2003 and the state Democratic Party was able to collect only $255,188, Democrats can get the money when it is needed.

Lingle compared her fund-raising ability to that of Hawaii's top Democrat, U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye.

"I think it is analogous for the role that Dan Inouye plays for the Democrats," Lingle said.

"If you compare contribution listings, you will see a number of defense contractors from the mainland, one after another, ten thousand, ten thousand. It is because he gave them a call and asked them."

Democrats' records on file with the state Campaign Spending Commission show that in 2002, the Democrats topped the Republicans, raising $1.25 million to the $862,000 picked up by the GOP.

Since 1998, however, the GOP has easily topped the Democratic state party in fund raising.

The Republican Party is collecting donations of more than $10,000, including one $30,000 contribution that is $5,000 over the legal limit of $25,000.

After the Star-Bulletin pointed out Big Island resident Brian "Joe" Baker's $30,000 contribution, the Campaign Spending Commission executive director, Bob Watada, said he would look into the contribution.

"It sounds like a clear violation. We will have to look at it," Watada said.

The Star-Bulletin was unable to reach Baker for comment, but Brennon Morioka, GOP executive director, said he also didn't know about the contribution.

"It could have been a reporting error. I know we check these things very closely," Morioka said when asked about the $30,000 contribution.

Even discounting the one contribution over the limit, the Hawaii GOP has picked up some sizable donations.


While political parties can get up to $25,000 in a two-year election cycle, an individual is limited to a $6,000 contribution for the election for a four-year office.

Campaign records show that the GOP picked up $22,122 from Ko Olina developer Jeff Stone, through two companies, Ko Olina and Pacific Northwest.

Community Corrections Corp., which had donated the maximum allowable $6,000 to Lingle in 2002 and 2003, gave the state GOP $25,000.

Outrigger Enterprises gave the GOP $18,500.

Other big contributors included $20,000 from HSI Electrical Co. and $17,000 from Anheuser Busch. City Bank also gave the GOP $23,500 and $5,900 to Lingle.

Morioka said the GOP fund raising is done by a team of volunteers and Lingle says she herself has not made any fund-raising calls for the party since becoming governor.

"I am basically the point person for our fund-raising," Morioka said.

"I think we have been fortunate because Brennon (Morioka) and his team understand how fund raising is important to the success," Lingle said.

The party and the candidate, however, will naturally work together, Lingle said.

"The party is having success in electing me and that has helped them raise money.

"People can see the benefit. They contributed money, I win the election and they can see the kind of changes they want: the push for school reform, the economy turning around ... they can see very specific things occurring, so it makes them willing to contribute," Lingle said.

Asked if the fact that Lingle and the GOP are so closely linked would be an added incentive for big donors to give to the party, Morioka said: "Having the governor as the titular head of the party does help. It brings people in, and they see the party as the other avenue in order to support the program the governor is trying to push."

But, Morioka added, contributions do not buy access or influence.

"She has put in place a procurement system ... but her pushing the politics out of the contracting process, it lends credibility to her.

"She can say, 'I would like you to contribute to my campaign, but it isn't going to curry any favor.' She is definitely walking the talk," Morioka said.


Democrats have raised
big amounts in the past

The state Democratic Party this year is planning to restock its treasury with a fund-raiser honoring U.S. Sens. Daniel Inouye and Dan Akaka. In 2002, the Democrats were the big money winners.

Records filed with the state Campaign Spending Commission show that Democrats in the 2002 election raised $1,253,935 and spent $1,133,516.

Major contributors to Democrats in 2002 include:
>> Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee: $52,500.

>> Friends of Dwight Takamine, the Big Island Democratic chairman of the House Finance Committee: $6,000.

>> Friends of (state Rep.) Ken Hiraki: $5,000.

>> Aloha Airlines PAC: $16,500.

>> Democratic National Committee: $35,214.

>> Union PACs: $127,000, which includes $25,000 donations from International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, DLCC Nonfederal Labor, and the Laborers Political League.

>> McCorriston Miller Mukai & MacKinnon, a large, politically influential law firm: $24,000.

>> Watanabe Ing & Kawashima, another politically prominent law firm: $20,000.

Star-Bulletin staff


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