Photo: Emily Metcalf
Photo: Emily Metcalf

The Hawaii Association of Realtors was the top donor to Hawaii lawmakers in 2011 and 2012, with the association donating $110,100 to 83 percent of the state’s 76 lawmakers.

Not far behind the realtors’ group was the Hawaii State Teachers Association, the state’s only union for Hawaii’s public school teachers, which donated $108,250 to Hawaii lawmakers.

Another labor organization, Hawaii Operating Engineers, donated $73,000 to their favorite lawmakers.

Rounding out the top 5 contributors are Hawaii’s two most influential lobbyists, John Radcliffe and George “Red” Morris, who between them locally represent the interests of many of the nation’s largest industries and businesses.

Money in Politics, a non-profit organization that tracks donations to lawmakers across the country, released this report summary on Monday, suggesting the public and media can check out why a legislator might be supporting or opposing a particular bill.

“Remember www.FollowTheMoney.org when you’re searching for answers. You can examine the complete records of who has contributed to those lawmakers’ campaigns, and how much they gave. We leave it to you to fill in what contributors might expect in return,” said Amanda Harrow, Communications & Outreach Specialist for the National Institute on Money in State Politics.

The organization, which provides data in a searchable database, said the top industry donating to Hawaii lawmakers is labor followed by lawyers and lobbyists; finance, insurance and real estate; health; and general business.
The top five 2011-2012 donors, excepting political parties or candidates, to current Hawaii legislators: 

Hawaii Association of Realtors

$110,100

Hawaii State Teachers Association

$108,250

Hawaii Operating Engineers

$73,000

Radcliffe, John H.

$64,700

Morris, George A. (Red)

$61,613

The top five economic sectors that contributed in 2011-2012 to current Hawaii legislators:

Labor

$590,303

Lawyers & Lobbyists

$341,070

Finance, Insurance & Real Estate

$324,375

Health

$206,050

General Business

$183,824

To see more about Hawaii lawmakers and who contributes to them, log on here

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Hawaii Reporter is an award-winning, independent Hawaii-based news and opinion journal founded in 2001 and launched in February 2002. The journal's staff have won a number of top awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, including the top investigative news reporting awards, business reporting awards, government reporting awards, and online news reporting awards. Hawaii Reporter has a weekly television news show, News Behind the News, which airs on Mondays at 1:30 p.m. and Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.