Lingle sets record for raising money
By Derrick DePledge
Advertiser Government Writer
By Derrick DePledge
Gov. Linda Lingle has reached her fundraising goal of $6 million for her re-election, breaking a record for the most money raised for an election in Island history.
The Republican governor raised $206,941 during the past two months and has $2.4 million in cash available, according to state campaign-finance reports filed yesterday. The money pushes her total to over $6.1 million and surpasses the fundraising record she set when she defeated Mazie Hirono in 2002.
"But we're not taking anything for granted," Lingle said in a statement. "We will continue to run a vigorous campaign talking about what our administration has achieved during the past four years and our vision for the coming years."
The two main Democratic contenders for governor also picked up their fundraising during the past few months.
Former Mililani state Sen. Randall Iwase raised $101,848, including a $60,000 personal loan he made to his campaign. Iwase has $33,771 in cash available for the final days before the Sept. 23 primary. He has raised a total of $236,106 during his campaign.
Iwase said he made the personal loan so he could pay for radio advertisements and perhaps TV ads. "We thought we had to ratchet up the visibility," he said.
William Aila Jr., the Wai'anae harbormaster, raised $25,895 during the past two months and has $11,895 in cash available. He has raised a total of $43,027 for his campaign.
Aila said he continues to focus on a more grass-roots campaign and is spending money on print advertisements. He said he is making the most of his limited campaign money. "I'd like about $2 million more," he joked.
The previous Hawai'i record for fundraising, also by Lingle, was $5.56 million. That was more than double what Hirono raised during the 2002 campaign.
Lingle entered the 2006 campaign with a healthy war chest and has been steadily raising money. She has held seven fundraisers this year, including three during the last reporting period. The governor's campaign said 11 percent of Lingle's donations over the past few months were from the Mainland, complying with a new state law that caps Mainland contributions at 20 percent during each reporting period.
Iwase and Aila have criticized Lingle for raising so much money, with Iwase saying after the last reporting period, "we're not going to let her buy this election."
The governor and Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona were also encouraged yesterday by an endorsement from the State of Hawai'i Organization of Police Officers. The union also endorsed Lingle and Aiona during their 2002 campaign, the first time SHOPO backed a Republican ticket for governor and lieutenant governor.
"They are committed to safety on our streets, in our neighborhoods, and for our members. They share our values, and they get things done," SHOPO President Tenari Ma'afala said in a statement.
Reach Derrick DePledge at email@example.com.