Inouye contributes $150,000 to DCCC Hawaii congressional candidates split on tax breaks for affluent
By Derrick DePledge
Advertiser Government Writer
U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye has given $150,000 from his campaign committee to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to help finance opposition to Honolulu City Councilman Charles Djou, a Republican, in the May special election for Congress.
Inouye, the state's leading Democrat, is backing state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa in the special election. The DCCC — worried that Hanabusa and Case will split the Democratic vote and allow Djou to pull an upset — is leaning toward Case.
"The senator's campaign has made a contribution to the DCCC for its use to support its programs," Dale Snape, finance director for DAN10, a political action committee affiliated with Inouye.
"With respect to the upcoming election in Hawai'i, while Republicans in Hawai'i and Washington are very good at saying no, they have offered no innovative solutions and shown no ability to lead Hawai'i forward during these difficult economic times. Sen. Inouye supports state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa as the best person for the job."
The DCCC has not made an endorsement in the special election. The committee, which helps elect Democrats nationally, has paid for television advertisements in Hawai'i critical of Djou.
"The DCCC appreciates Sen. Inouye's support, as well as everything he is doing in Hawai'i to defeat Charles Djou," Jennifer Crider, a DCCC spokeswoman, said in a statement.
Inouye gave $300,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to help U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i, fend off a primary challenge from Case in 2006.
In January, when Inouye and Akaka endorsed Hanabusa over Case in the special election, Inouye recalled his disappointment with Case in personal terms.
"I think people have to just evaluate it for themselves and decide why he did it," Case said of Inouye's donation to the DCCC.
Djou said he would focus on his own campaign. "The insiders and the operatives from Washington, D.C., can do what they want," he said. "I'm going to bring my message to the voters of Hawai'i and we're going to run an aggressive campaign built on fiscal responsibility and government accountability," he said.