Rail drives Hannemann contributions, Abercrombie gets D.C. support

Mufi Hannemann
Mufi Hannemann
Neil Abercrombie
Neil Abercrombie
Dan Boylan
Dan Boylan

By Brooks Baehr - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Campaign spending reports filed by Democratic gubernatorial candidates Mufi Hannemann and Neil Abercrombie show both men have a diverse group of supporters, but both also get lots of money from groups with special interests.

"Mayor Hannemann is sitting on all sorts of money because, of course, he's building a rail," said Hawaii News Now political analyst Dan Boylan.

Boylan said architects, engineers, construction unions, and developers have contributed more to Hannemann than they have to Abercrombie because Hannemann is pushing so hard for rail, and if it is built they stand to benefit.

"They want a candidate to win who they know is strongly active and has a lot of his career and his ego involved in that thing and getting it going and off the ground," Boylan said.

Abercrombie is a former U.S. Congressman and was once a lecturer at the University of Hawaii.  His campaign spending report is full of contributions from friends and colleagues in Washington D.C. and educators here in Hawaii.

"Among other things you see a number of his colleagues in the House of Representatives have given him money from their political action committees.  You see national political action committees ... groups that have undoubtedly benefited from him in the past and believe in Neil that he's helped them out.  He's supported their legislation.  You see educators.  I mean he's a man who says that one of the great unused resources in Hawaii is it's university system, so you see university people (supporting Abercrombie)," Boylan added.

Abercrombie's campaign has also received contributions from people who support civil unions in Hawaii.

"It's what you do.  You invest in candidates you feel are going to help you; help your businesses, help your future," Boylan pointed out.

It should be noted that while Abercrombie has received more donations from educators and is endorsed by both the U.H. Professional Assembly and the Hawaii State Teachers Association, Hannemann also has support from the education sector.  And while Hannemann got lots of money architects and engineers, Abercrombie has also received money from firms and people in construction related businesses.

For example, people affiliated with Mitsunaga & Associates have contributed a combined $35,000 to the Abercrombie campaign.  On its web site Mitsunaga & Associates says it has provided "architectural, engineering and construction management services to government" for more than 30 years.

As of the end of June Hannemann had raised $2,486,158.09 and still had $2,005,398.91 in his campaign war chest.

Abercrombie had raised $2,058,611.55 as of June 30, but had only $468,942.07 left to spend.

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