BY JIM DOOLEY – Honolulu mayoral candidate Kirk Caldwell outraised and outspent opponent Ben Cayetano by a 2-1 margin since the primary election and a two pro-Caldwell PACs funded by the Carpenters Union poured more than $2 million into the campaign during the same period, according to state figures.
Caldwell raked in just over $600,000 since the primary election and also took in $238,000 in loans. His campaign reported spending $552,000 and closed the reporting period with a $162,000 cash deficit.
Cayetano took in $339,000 and spent $271,000, closing the reporting period with a $126,000 cash surplus.
Caldwell also had a marked advantage in the spending of political action committees that support him.
A new pro-Caldwell, anti-Cayetano group called Workers for a Better Hawaii spent nearly $676,000 in the four-week period ending October 17.
In an organizational report filed with the state Campaign Spending Commission earlier this month, the Super PAC listed its treasurer as ILWU official Guy Fujimura but said it received $700,000 in contributions from the Hawaii Regional Conference of Carpenters.
The biggest “Super Pac” supporting Caldwell, Pacific Resource Partnerhsip PAC,reported raising and spending $1.38 million since the primary.
Two months ago, PRP PAC said it had spent another $1.2 million to promote Honolulu’s rapid transit project and to attack anti-rail mayoral candidate Ben Cayetano.
Cayetano, a former governor of Hawaii, last week sued PRP and associated entities for libel and defamation, alleging that some $2 million spent on largely negative advertising contained knowingly false allegations about him.
Much of PRP’s funding comes from the Hawaii Carpenters Union as well as unionized construction and development companies that contribute undisclosed amounts of money to the union’s “market recovery program.”
PRP and its director, John White, haven’t commented publicly on Cayetano’s lawsuit.
Another PAC that opposes the 20-mile, 5.2 billion elevated rail project and supports Cayetano, called Save Our Honolulu, told the Spending Commission in a report today that it took in $163,000 this month and spent $155,000.
The principal source of Save Our Honolulu’s money was local tour bus company chief executive Robert Iwamoto Jr., who gave the PAC $100,000 early this month.
Another pro-Cayetano PAC, Defend Truth, reported this evening that it raised $81,000 and spent nearly all of that money this month. Developer Joe Pickard donated nearly half of that, $40,000.
Other pre-general elections reports filed today showed that the brother of Honolulu Prosecutor candidate Kevin Takata continues to be the major source of Takata’s campaign money.
New York attorney Michael Takata gave $50,000 to a PAC supporting Kevin Takata’s candidacy called Friends for a Safer Honolulu.
Michael Takata previously gave $42,000 directly to his brother’s campaign committee.
The limit for donations to campaign committees from relatives is $50,000, so Michael Takata gave instead to the Safer Honolulu PAC.
That PAC reported spending $42,833 from August to early October.
Takata’s campaign disclosed that it spent more than $86,000 this year on the prosecutor’s campaign.
Incumbent Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro reported spending nearly $186,000 in the current election cycle.
Kaneshiro’s campaign said it had some $11,000 in unspent cash.
The filing deadline was 11:59 p.m. on Monday night.