Case, Tokuda dominates race for Democratic money for Congress

WASHINGTON — Former state senator Jill Tokuda raised more money than her top Democratic challenger in the race for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district by a 3-to-1 margin, according to new quarterly Commission filings. federal election.

Tokuda said it raised just over $415,000 between April 1 and June 30. She also loaned her campaign $25,000 of her own money.

Polls have shown Tokuda the favorite to replace U.S. Representative Kai Kahele in CD2, which covers the Oahu campaign and neighboring islands.

State Rep. Patrick Branco, who trailed Tokuda by 25 points in a recent Civil Beat/Hawaii News Now poll, reported raising $127,000 for his campaign.

Former State Senator Jill Tokuda, seen here in 2017, leads the race for money in Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Tokuda’s list of donors includes some of the most recognizable names in Hawaiian business and politics.

Key contributors include Jennifer Sabas, a lobbyist who once served as chief of staff to U.S. Senator Dan Inouye, who died in 2012. Tokuda and Sabas have worked closely together over the years, including in 2015 when the consulting firm of Sabas, Kaimana Hila, was one of his clients.

The late senator’s close confidant and campaign adviser, Walter Dods, also donated thousands of dollars to Tokuda’s campaign. Dods served as chairman of some of Hawaii’s most iconic and powerful companies, including Matson, First Hawaiian Bank and Alexander & Baldwin.

Tokuda has received significant donations from well-known attorneys Paul Alston, William McCorriston, and Bill Kaneko, who was former campaign manager for former Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie, as well as major island promoters, such as Jeffrey Stone. , Everett Dowling and Bert Kobayashi.

More than two dozen Matson executives and employees, including CEO and Chairman Matthew Cox, donated $23,000 to Tokuda’s campaign.

She also received a boost from US Senator Mazie Hirono, a close friend and political ally. Hirono’s Pineapple PAC donated $5,000 to Tokuda’s campaign. The senator has also formed a joint fundraising committee with Tokuda — called the Hirono Tokuda Victory Fund — which so far has reported raising nearly $18,000.

Other outside spending groups that have donated to Tokuda include Emily’s List, which supports pro-choice women for office, the Congressional Progressive Caucus and Medicare for All PAC.

Branco has received more than $92,000 from individual donors, including foreign service agents and diplomats working for the State Department. Branco is a former diplomat.

A number of lobbyists in Washington and Hawaii donated to Branco’s campaign, including Bruce Coppa and Blake Oshiro.

The political action committees of Matson and Alexander & Baldwin both helped Branco run for Congress, as did the leadership PACs of a number of federal lawmakers affiliated with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. The caucus and several of its members endorsed Branco, who is Latino and a native of Hawaii.

Branco, who is openly gay, also received $5,000 from Equality PAC, the campaign arm of the Congressional LGBTQ Equality Caucus.

State Representative Patrick Branco is an underdog in the race for CD2, but is receiving significant help from a super PAC tied to the cryptocurrency industry. Patrick Branco for the Congress

Even though Branco is following Tokuda in fundraising, he is getting significant help from a super PAC, Web3 Forward, who is affiliated with the cryptocurrency industry. He launched a $250,000 advertising campaign in his name.

Branco introduced legislation earlier this year that would make it easier to trade cryptocurrency in Hawaii and backed other measures that would help the industry thrive in the islands, including one that will establish a currency task force. digital to expand the use of blockchain technology in the state.

Branco said he was not coordinating with Web3 Forward, which would be a violation of campaign spending law. He has, however, posted materials on his campaign website, such as talking points, images and videos, which outside spending groups can freely use in support of his candidacy.

Alcubilla fights to follow the case

In the race for Hawaii’s 1st congressional district, which spans the city of Oahu, U.S. Representative Ed Case continues to outspend and outspend Sergio Alcubilla in his re-election bid.

According to Case’s latest filings with the FEC, his campaign received nearly $102,000 in political contributions in the second quarter of the year, most of which came from PACs and special interest groups. Several of them represent military contractors, such as BAE Systems and Booz Allen Hamilton, who work in Hawaii.

He also received donations from other PAC companies, including those representing Bank of America, Amazon and McDonald’s.

Case received several contributions from Washington-based lobbyists, including those representing the cybersecurity industry, Native American economic development interests, and defense contractors. His former chief of staff, Honolulu City Council member Esther Kiaaina, also donated to his campaign.

Hawaii Congressman Ed Case far outstrips his Democratic opponent in fundraising. Courtesy of the Governor’s Office

Case said he spent nearly $350,000 between April 1 and June 30, including $300,000 at Olomana Loomis for advertising.

Alcubilla, on the other hand, said it spent less than $14,000 in the second quarter. Much of that money went to paying consulting fees for everything from communications to fundraising.

The campaign said it still had $26,500 in cash at the end of June, while Case’s campaign still had nearly $475,000 in the bank.

Alcubilla, a public interest lawyer and first-time candidate, is a considerable underdog in the primary. A recent Civil Beat/Hawaii News Now poll shows Case with a 65% to 8% lead.

Alcubilla said he raised just under $31,000 from April 1 to June 30, bringing his total contributions for this election cycle to just over $107,000. Case’s total in the cycle so far is around $825,000.

Alcubilla’s largest donor over the past three months was Amy Agbayani, immigrant rights advocate and vice chancellor emeritus for student diversity and equity at the University of Hawaii Manoa, who donated 1 $000 to the Alcubilla campaign. He thanks Agbayani for convincing him to run for Congress.

Alcubilla has received outside support from Our Hawaii Action, a newly formed political action committee that supports progressive candidates who have opted out of corporate donors.

Our Hawaii Action, a new super PAC, is running ads on behalf of Sergio Alcubilla on CD1. Screenshot

Our Hawaii Action announced in a press release this week that it has spent more than $100,000 on ads, mailings and other campaign activities to support its endorsed candidates, including Alcubilla and U.S. Representative Kai Kahele, who is running to the post of governor.

Last year, the group launched a six-figure advertising campaign targeting Case over its adverse stance on President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, which included provisions to reduce child poverty, reduce the impacts of climate change and build more affordable housing all at the same time. time to tax the rich.

Our Hawaii Action plans to run a new ad this week attacking Case for its stance on Build Back Better and encouraging voters to choose Alcubilla to represent CD1 in the August primary.

Schatz rakes it in, while the GOP fights back

US Senator Brian Schatz is on the ballot this year but is unlikely to face a significant challenge to re-election in the primary or general election.

Yet Schatz continued to pump huge amounts of money into his campaign account, which as of June 30 still had a balance of more than $3.9 million.

Schatz’s campaign brought in total revenue of nearly $360,000 in the second quarter, more than any other federal candidate on the Hawaii ballot this year except Tokuda.

Senator Brian Schatz gestures during a court hearing held at the East West Center Auditorium.
US Senator Brian Schatz has a war chest of nearly $4 million despite little competition. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2022

Just over half of that money, about $186,000, came from special interest groups and PACs, some of which have ties to the islands, including those with ties to Alexander & Baldwin, Hawaiian Airlines and First Hawaiian Bank. Schatz also received money from the Hawaii Optometric PAC.

A handful of Schatz’s fellow senators, including Democrats Mark Kelly of Arizona and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, donated to Schatz’s campaign.

He also received money from PACs representing the aviation and rail industries as well as those working in the defense sector.

Only a handful of Republican candidates said they raised money in their congressional bids. The GOP has traditionally struggled to gain ground in Hawaiian politics, especially at the federal level.

Schatz’s most recognizable opponent on the Republican side of the ballot is State Rep. Bob McDermott, who has yet to say he has raised or spent any money for his campaign because he has yet to reach the minimum threshold of $5,000 to do so.

Tim Dalhouse, a military veteran and businessman, who is also running in the Republican primary for the US Senate, said he raised more than $52,000, but most of it was a loan to himself.

CD1’s top Republican fundraiser is Conrad Kress, a former Navy SEAL who says in his Twitter bio that he’s “ready to dismantle power structures.”

So far, Kress’s campaign has reported raising a total of $41,000 during the election cycle.

In CD2, Big Island tour operator Joe Webster loaned his campaign $60,000, but reported few donations.

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