A waste of time and effort. That's what you'd have to callit after the state dropped its case against Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa for usingcampaign funds in sponsoring a local Maui softball team. Arakawa, who plays onthe team and is batting a nifty .365 (actually, I have no idea what he'shitting) called the uniforms he buys just another opportunity to keep his nameout there (as his name appears on the uniform sleeves) and he gets introducedas the mayor and team sponsor at events where he fields a team, which is also amarketing plus.
Surely, this is a form of advertising, perhaps out of leftfield, but it's far better than handing someone a paper bag filled with money,making appointments to positions as a sly show of thanks for support, orrewarding friends with government-approved business for their companies- butthat never happens here, yeh? Arakawa contends he's been doing his softballthing for over 20-years. Why it's a big deal now, who knows. Oh yeh, he'srunning for Lieutenant Governor next year. Two Campaign Spending Committeemembers voted to keep the complaint alive and commission staff asked for a fineto be implemented, suggesting that even if the uniforms count as advertising,surely the bats and other softball-associated fees do not. Ah, but sponsorshipis a package deal for the mayor- he gives his all.