Cashing In: Hawaii Candidates Stockpiling Campaign Cash
flickr: Theodore Scott
Editor's Note: This is the first in an occasional series of reports on campaign finance.
With Hawaii's Aug. 11 primary election three months away, several candidates in state and local races have stockpiled sizable campaign war chests, according to a Civil Beat analysis of campaign finance data.
Four candidates running for office this year have raised at least $200,000, with one state senator amassing more than $365,000 as of Dec. 31, the most recent reporting period. Three other candidates, running in the 2014 elections, have also raised at least $200,000.
Topping the list is Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who had squirreled $809,500 as of his last filing. The next campaign finance reports are due July 31, covering the period from Jan. 1 through June 30.
The governor's post is not up for reelection until 2014. To put Abercrombie's total in context, the governor raised $4.5 million in contributions for his winning 2010 campaign against Republican James "Duke" Aiona. He has another fundraiser scheduled for June 21 to coincide with his birthday.
Comparing the cash holdings of all candidates would be nearly impossible using reports maintained on the state Campaign Spending Commission's site. Campaign finance reports are not searchable, and the information contained in a report isn't cumulative across an election.
Most of the data for this analysis came from a searchable online database recently launched by Jared Kuroiwa. He wrote code that pulls data from the commission's site and spills it into his site. Civil Beat double-checked his totals directly with campaign finance reports.
Other candidates who had at least $200,000 stowed away include Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle, Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa and Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz. State senators Clayton Hee, Donna Mercado Kim and Josh Green round out the list.
Here are the rankings as of Dec. 31:
|Clayton Hee||State Senate||$365,033|
|Peter Carlisle||Honolulu Mayor||$259,314|
|Alan Arakawa||Maui Mayor||$244,625|
|Donna Mercado Kim||State Senate||$238,925|
|Josh Green||State Senate||$227,324|
|Brian Schatz||Lt. Governor||$207,720|