Honolulu City Council member Tulsi Gabbard is rising in the polls, pulling neck-and-neck with Mufi Hannemann in the 2nd Congressional District race.

She’s also finally started buying TV ads this week, according to the public files.

Until now, Hannemann and Bob Marx have been the only other contenders in the race to buy ad time on local stations.

The public files show which candidates and political action committees bought TV spots on local and cable stations and for how much. The Federal Communications Commission recently came out with a new rule requiring TV stations to put that information online. Congressional Republicans even tried to block that rule earlier this month. But that effort died this week when the House Appropriations Committee voted to remove that provision.

The files show that Gabbard’s campaign paid close to $26,000 for 188 spots on KITV, KHNL and KFVE that are scheduled to run through early July. A large chunk of her ads — 33 of them — will run on July 2 and 3.

Gabbard’s 30-second commercial shows her in a variety of settings as she promises to “end the nonsense in Washington” and advocate for middle-class families.

But this isn’t the first time that Gabbard, a Democrat, has been featured in commercials this election season. Veterans group VoteVets.org in May spent a total of $75,000 on commercials endorsing her. (They also paid for a few additional spots in June.)

Another PAC, the pro-rail lobbying group Pacific Resource Partnership, added to its ad expenditures, paying another hefty sum for ads opposing mayoral candidate Ben Cayetano. Those are set to air through the August primary. It shelled out $59,700 for nearly 600 spots on cable channels, according to the Oceanic Time Warner’s online database.

Meantime, U.S. Senate candidate Linda Lingle continued her steady spending this week, forking over $80,000 on spots that will run through the end of July. That’s about $18,000 more than she spent last week.

Most of her commercials have been airing on KHON, KHNL, KITV and KITV subsidiary MeTV. According to Oceanic’s public file, about a third of the spots have been broadcast on networks ranging from Bravo to HGTV. She paid $4,800 for three one-minute spots — two of which have already run — during the NBA Finals.

Lingle also aired a highly touted two-and-a-half-minute special video during Monday’s 10 p.m. news that cost her $2,500. In the end, the video seemed like an extended version of her other campaign videos that appear on her cable channel, for which she’s paying $5,000 per week, according to the Oceanic Time Warner contracts.

2nd Congressional Race Spending

Hannemann spent less on ad time this week than he has previously. His campaign spent a combined $6,250 on 50 spots on KHON, KITV and MeTV. They all aired this past week.

Most of those spots appeared on MeTV, where ad time is particularly cheap. (Both he and Lingle paid just $10 a pop for some of their MeTV spots.)

But two of Hannemann’s 30-second spots cost him $950 each. Those would have aired during the last two games of the NBA Finals but the Miami Heat won in five games and the last two games were cancelled.

Oceanic Time Warner’s online database also revealed another new contract for this past week: Bob Marx, another Democrat running for the 2nd Congressional District, spent $4,160 on 64 spots on channels like CNBC and ESPN.

The public files show that at least $1,532,000 has been spent so far this election season on local TV and cable networks.

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