Civil Beat reported last week that several Hawaii lawmakers raised tens of thousands of dollars during the first six months of 2011.

At least two had more than $100,000 in cash on hand.

By contrast, according to new reports filed with the state Campaign Spending Commission, 10 legislators in the 76-member Hawaii Legislature raised no money during the same period.

They include several influential Democrats and a majority of Republicans in the state House and Senate.

And at least one lawmaker — Rep. Karen Awana — did not file a report on time, something she has been penalized for as recently as June.

A Changed Political Landscape

Who raised how much is important this early in the election cycle for two reasons.

First, the 2012 primary election is on Aug. 11, a year away and nearly six weeks earlier than has historically been the case. The primary was moved up to comply with federal law on absentee ballots.

Second, because of reapportionment, all 76 seats in the Hawaii Legislature are up next year.

While political district lines have not been finalized, it appears that a half-dozen representatives could face other incumbents next year.

As well, there could be legal challenges over the state’s decision to include the military and students in population counts. A Big Island Senate seat could hang in the balance.

Zero Raised, But Cash on Hand

Aug. 1 was the filing deadline for contributions raised between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2011.

Democratic legislators who reported no campaign contributions (clink on the link to view the report) were Sen. Les Ihara and Reps. Blake Oshiro, Derek Kawakami, Cindy Evans and Mele Carroll.

On the Republican side, Sen. Sam Slom reported raising no money, as did Reps. Gil Riviere, Barbara Marumoto, Aaron Ling Johanson and Corinne Ching.

All 10 reported cash on hand, however, ranging from $974 for Carroll to $14,838 for Ihara.

Ihara, Slom, Marumoto and Oshiro are veteran politicians who have rarely been seriously challenged, while Riviere and Johanson are newcomers.

Kawakami was appointed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie this year to fill a vacant Kauai seat.

Marumoto and Pine, meanwhile, are among the six incumbents who — should they run for re-election — could face a fellow incumbent. There has been talk that Pine might run for Tom Berg’s Honolulu City Council seat.

Awana Misses Deadline Again

Rep. Awana, a Democrat, failed to file a report for the current period.

She also has not filed a report for the Nov. 3 through Dec. 31, 2010 reporting period.

On June 8, the Campaign Spending Commission fined Awana a total of $1,900 for late filings in 2010.

Awana, who represents Oahu’s Leeward Coast, fended of three opponents in the 2010 Democratic primary by a large vote margin and faced no opponent in the general election.

If No Need, No Need

Rep. Joey Manahan, House vice speaker (he reported raising $5,350), told Civil Beat that the cost of elections varies considerably.

Factors include opponents and district geography, and whether candidates choose to hold fundraisers.

In state Senate races in 2008, spending by winning candidates ranged from a low of $12,333 (by Democrat David Ige) to a high of $286,861 (by Democrat Dwight Takamine).

On the House side, spending by winners ranged from a low of $466 (by Rep. Awana, who was a Republican at the time) to a high of $91,035 (by Democrat Michael Magaoay).

Sen. Ihara, who was comfortably re-elected in November, said he doesn’t solicit funds and hasn’t held a fundraiser during the legislative session in 20 years.

“Some people do solicit during session,” he said.

Sen. Slom, meanwhile, says he is often approached with donations but usually tells them to take their spouse out to a nice dinner instead. However, he will accept donations during campaign season.

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