Hawaii Super PACs Gear Up To Support Cayetano

VoteBen2012.com

Two Honolulu media entrepreneurs have formed separate independent political committees aimed at helping Ben Cayetano win the Honolulu mayor's race.

A Better Hawaii PAC and Save Paradise have registered with the state Campaign Spending Commission as so-called independent-expenditure-only committees. These groups can support or attack candidates through advertising, mailings and other means so long as they operate independently of the candidate. Commonly known as super PACs, the committees can accept unlimited contributions and spend unlimited amounts.

Christopher Racine, president of Mokupuni Television Co., is listed as chairman of A Better Hawaii PAC.

Racine appears to have deep pockets, according to reports on file with the Campaign Spending Commission. He was an active donor in the 2010 elections. He gave the maximum contributions allowed to Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz, as well as the GOP ticket, candidates Duke Aiona and Lynn Finnegan. He also gave $10,000 to help pay for Abercrombie's inaugural ball. Racine listed several job titles when donating, including president of Oceania Broadcasting, owner of KALO Radio and owner of Surch.com LLC.

Steven Sue, founder and president of StoryManager, is listed as chairman of Save Paradise. The company's website says it handles "web and enriched media production skills," including website design, video production and print products. The company built Cayetano's VoteBen2012.com campaign website.

Both PACs list Diane M. Sandlin of Kailua as treasurer.

The committees join three local super PACs others formed so far this election: Hawaii Solutions, Kauai Women's Caucus and MADPAC Hawaii.

Both A Better Hawaii PAC and Save Paradise checked off "single candidate" in the "area, scope or jurisdiction" column of their organizational reports, and listed Cayetano. The other three committees listed "other" or "nonprofit" on their forms.

Sue said Save Paradise is still in the early stages.

"We don't have any particular plans yet," Sue said. "We're thinking about how we can help, and if anyone wants to help."

Racine and Sandlin did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

Cayetano also has the support of MADPAC Hawaii, whose website says it "supports candidates that are dedicated to fiscal responsibility and limiting the scope of government in our lives."


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