On Thursday (May 10), Bob Lee, campaign manager for Linga Lingle‘s U.S. Senate run, criticized Democrat Mazie Hirono for criticizing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce endorsement this week of the Republican candidate.

Excerpt from Lee’s press release:

In her statement, Mazie’s team once again called the organization “a powerful right-wing mainland special interest group.” This charge is disingenuous and even laughable coming from Mazie, considering just a few months ago she proudly touted to the people of Hawaii that the Visit USA Act which she co-sponsored was backed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. 

UPDATE: Tim Johns, Hirono’s campaign chair, has issued this statement in response: 

We welcome the debate over who is best positioned to work with President Obama, help grow our economy, and create jobs. It is clear that the US Chamber of Commerce does not reflect the entire business community here in Hawaii.

Meantime, on Friday (May 11), Democrat Ed Case sent out an email encouraging supporters to “follow the money” when it comes to Hirono donor’s.

Excerpt from Case’s email:

Special interest PACs and other political committees. These mostly DC status quo defenders have contributed about $700,000 to Mazie and $10,000 to me in this race. Over our congressional careers fully 31% of Mazie’s contrbutions (almost $1.9 million) have come from PACs compared with only 8% of mine.

Mainland money. Fully 64% of all of Mazie’s PAC and “itemized” (over $200) contributions in this race have come from mainland donors, while 75% of mine have come from Hawai’i. (Candidates don’t report the names and addresses of donors of $200 or less, but if we count those my Hawai’i contribution portion is higher.)

UPDATE: Hirono campaign manager Betsy Lin passed along this response Saturday morning (May 12):

We are honored by the overwhelming support from a broad spectrum of grassroots activists and people in Hawaii; in fact Mazie has raised more in grassroots contributions (unitemized, under $200) in the first quarter alone, than former Congressman Case raised from everyone including PACS for the entire quarter.