Laura Thielen, candidate for State Senate District 25, was criticized earlier this week by Hawaii Republican Party Chairman David Chang, for a statement she made earlier this week.
Thielen, a Democrat running for state Senate District 25, pledged to campaign exclusively on grassroots support and sent out a statement maintaining she has stuck to that promise.
“When I decided to run for office, I also decided that I would not seek or take any funds from Political Action Committees, or “PACs’,” Thielen said. “PACs are springing up around the country to spend huge amounts of money on political campaigns. But the source of some PAC dollars is not public information, and you don’t know who is attempting to influence the politician through these donations. Plus PACs tend to be focused on narrow interests, which don’t necessarily represent the broader community interests.”
Thielen said she raised $59,539 in contributions from 115 individuals and a couple small businesses, and turned down offers of funds from many PACS during this election.
“Candidates shouldn’t wait for legislatures to adopt campaign finance reform. We can take steps ourselves to make sure our campaign funding is transparent to voters and that we focus on broader community interests,” Thielen said.
But Chang said although Thielen is disavowing PAC support, both the Sierra Club and Planned Parenthood have spent money on her race.
“If she really wanted to disavow PACs, she would ask them to not spend money on her race. It is also convenient to state her position after she has received help from them. We need elected officials that are consistent with their positions and will work hard on doing what is best for the district and not worried about what happens with contributions for a PAC,” Chang said.