Ed Case has criticized his U.S. Senate Democratic primary opponent, Mazie Hirono, for accepting large amounts of money from political action committees, or PACs:

“My support both financially, and from an election perspective, has never come from special-interest PAC money and support, and hers has,” Case told Civil Beat in a phone interview Wednesday night. “That’s a basic distinction between us, always has been, and will be. PACs contribute to sitting members of Congress. We haven’t gone out to solicit the Washington-inside PAC money. We focus on the fundraising at home and from the folks who’ve supported us in the past.”

That attack this week came as the incumbent U.S. representative raised almost twice as much money as the former U.S. representative in the latest reporting period.

It’s true that Hirono had big help from PACs: They contributed over one-third of her total campaign contributions this spring.

But, is it true that Case has “never” accepted PAC money?

No, it is not true — far from it, actually.

While Case received only $1,000 in PAC money in the most recent reporting period, Federal Election Commission records show that, since 2002 — the year he first ran for a seat in the U.S. Congress — Case has accepted piles of PAC cash:

2001-2002 Election Cycle (U.S. House District 2)
PAC Contributions: $9,000
Individual Contributions: $172,439
Total Receipts: $191,628

2003-2004 Election Cycle (U.S. House District 2)
PAC Contributions: $161,602
Individual Contributions: $568,151
Total Receipts: $755,108

2005-2006 Election Cycle (U.S. House District 2)
PAC Contributions: $74,174
Individual Contributions: $283,949
Total Receipts: $367,426

2005-2006 Election Cycle (U.S. Senate)
PAC Contributions: $43,750
Individual Contributions: $763,111
Total Receipts: $996,985

2007-2008 Election Cycle (U.S. Senate, not a candidate)
PAC Contributions: $0
Individual Contributions: $34,952
Total Receipts: $38,026

2009-2010 Election Cycle (U.S. House District 1)
PAC Contributions: $18,700
Individual Contributions: $777,561
Total Receipts: $850,795

2011-2012 Election Cycle (U.S. House District 1, not a candidate)
PAC Contributions: $0
Individual Contributions: $4,980
Total Receipts: $5,359

2011-2012 Election Cycle (U.S. Senate)
PAC Contributions: $1,000
Individual Contributions: $219,400
Total Receipts: $225,9431

All told, Case has received $308,226 in PAC money while seeking federal office, or just under 10 percent of his total campaign receipts. (Note: The figure does not take other receipts, such as dividends and interest, into account.)

PACs that have contributed to Case include those representing the following organizations:

National Association of Realtors, American Sugarbeet Growers Association, Dairy Farmers of America, Tesoro Petroleum, Monsanto, American Bankers Association, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Price Waterhouse Coopers & Lybrand, Verizon Communications, BellSouth Corporation, Safeway, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, BAE Systems, Sierra Club, Central Pacific Bank, Maui Land and Pineapple, Longs Drugs and Alexander & Baldwin.

As the Hirono campaign said this week, Case “has accepted $300,000 PAC contributions of his own over the years, so his attack rings pretty hollow.”

Case, in an email to Civil Beat Thursday, pointed out that based on OpenSecrets.org, a national website focusing on campaign finance, PACs make up 9 percent of his total contributions and 36 percent for Hirono.

“So what I mean is that, for this and other reasons, I have far more ability and flexibility to contribute to needed change for our country while she is simply too enmeshed in the special interest/PAC world of DC today to do so,” Case wrote.

Now, about the second part of Case’s statement — about PACs contributing to sitting members of Congress. As seen from the FEC records, those years Case was out of office he received no money from PACs.

Is it true as well that his campaign is not actively soliciting “Washington-inside PAC money”?

All we know for sure is that the $1,000 in PAC money he received this election cycle came from Hawaiian Airlines.


  1. Full Jan. 1 – June 30, 2011, Federal Election Commission filing not available. Amounts are based on Civil Beat reporting.
     

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