HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - U.S. House candidate Tulsi Gabbard has filed a federal complaint accusing challenger Mufi Hannemann of what she calls "serious" violations of campaign finance laws. Hannemann's campaign said the accusations are "frivolous and false." Gabbard is asking the Federal Election Commission to investigate.
Gabbard, who is currently a city councilmember, alleges that Hannemann failed to disclose polling expenses and expenses for campaign trips to the neighbor islands and Guam. Gabbard also said that since he was campaigning full time, he wouldn't be able to complete the normal workload for his job as head of the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association. She alleges that his salary would then be a prohibited corporate contribution.
"I believe that people should be held accountable to the laws that all of us are held to follow and that's really what this is about. People are sick and tired of the same old politics as usual," Gabbard said.
Hannemann's deputy campaign manager issued this statement: "We are confident that the FEC will find these allegations to be frivolous and false. Mufi Hannemann's work on behalf of the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association is above reproach. These charges are coming from a campaign that is trailing in the polls in the last few weeks before the election. This is merely an attempt to distract from the first major debate of the campaign this Thursday."
Gabbard's campaign said the race is quite close now.
Hannemann's successor took over at the HLTA on July 9.
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