WASHINGTON — Ed Case loaned his campaign $50,000 in the final days leading up his loss in the Aug. 11 primary election, then used that money to refund contributions earmarked for the general election run that never happened.

In all, Case ended September with less than $1,400 in the bank and $65,000 in outstanding personal loans, according to his quarterly campaign finance filing covering everything from July 23 through Sept. 30.

Case loaned his campaign the money on Aug. 2, nine days before the election, and made a last-ditch push to try to close the gap against Mazie Hirono. His filing shows he paid Olomana Loomis ISC $25,000 on July 27, $50,000 on Aug. 1 and then $58,000 more on Aug. 3, all for advertising deposits.

But Case also kept some money in reserve. Had he won the Democratic primary, he could have used about $100,000 in savings to fight Republican nominee Linda Lingle. But because he lost, he had to return that money to donors who had designated their contributions for use in the general election.

On Aug. 22, about a week and a half after his 57-percent-to-40-percent drubbing at Hirono’s hands, he returned more than $90,000 to 44 different campaign donors, many who had given him the maximum contribution allowed by law.

Individuals are allowed to give a candidate for Senate $2,500 per election, according to the Federal Election Commission. That means $2,500 for the primary, and $2,500 more for the general election.

Donors can give both at once in a lump sum of $5,000, designating $2,500 for each election. But if the candidate loses in the primary, the $2,500 that had been earmarked for the general election must be redesignated to a future election, reallocated to a different donor, or returned within 60 days. It’s all there in the FEC’s campaign guide.

More than three-fourths of the money Case returned to contributors was in the form of $2,500 checks to 28 different maxed-out donors. That includes nine with the surname Case who could be relatives.

The refunds left Case with little cash, and on Sept. 2 he depleted his campaign account balance further by paying back $10,000 of a previous $25,000 personal loan he’d taken out in late June. Combined with the $50,000 loan in August, he owed himself $65,000 as of the end of September.

Aside from the personal loan, Case raised about $48,000 between July 23 and Sept. 30, a far cry from the Senate candidates who did advance to the general election.

Hirono and Lingle

Hirono outraised Lingle in the reporting period, $1.28 million to $820,000, according to their filings.

Lingle’s 498-page quarterly report is now available on the FEC website, but Hirono’s full 1,374-page report has yet to be published online. It was filed in hard copy and is available for viewing at the Senate records office here in Washington, D.C.

While Hirono outraised Lingle, the Republican former governor had more cash on hand heading into October, $1.16 million to Hirono’s $690,000. That’s because she spent less in the period, $1.71 million to Hirono’s $2.19 million.

Hirono’s fundraising edge was particularly pronounced among individuals, $1.16 million to Lingle’s $560,000. Hirono received $420,000 in small, unitemized contributions less than $200 apiece, far more than the $80,000 Lingle got in small donations.

Lingle got $43,100 from the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the maximum allowable by law. Hirono had already gotten that money from the Democratic Party equivalent earlier in the election cycle.

Lingle also outraised Hirono among political action committees, $220,000 to $120,000. All of Lingle’s PAC money, and almost all of Hirono’s, came from mainland groups.

Here are the 22 organizations that maxed out their contributions to Lingle at $10,000 during the July 23 to Sept. 30 period:

Group Name State Date of Last
American Medical Association PAC Washington, D.C. Sept. 30
American Society of Anesthesiologists PAC Illinois Sept. 26
Associated Builders and Contractors PAC Virginia Sept. 20
Automotive Free International Trade PAC Virginia Sept. 20
Country First PAC Virginia Sept. 29
Deloitte Federal PAC Washington, D.C. Sept. 20
Employees of Northrop Grumman PAC Virginia Sept. 25
Freedom Fund PAC Washington, D.C. Sept. 25
Fund for a Conservative Future PAC Virginia July 26
Halliburton Company PAC Washington, D.C. Aug. 10
Independent Petroleum Association of America PAC Washington, D.C. Aug. 24
International Franchise Association PAC Washington, D.C. Sept. 20
John Deere PAC Illinois Sept. 14
KPAC Texas Aug. 24
Marriott International PAC Maryland Aug. 9
McKesson Corp PAC California Aug. 3
National Automotive Dealers PAC Virginia Sept. 30
Next Century Fund PAC Virginia Aug. 17
Promoting Our Republican Team PAC Ohio Sept. 20
The Alamo PAC Texas Aug. 10
The Home Depot PAC Washington, D.C. Sept. 26
US Chamber of Commerce PAC Washington, D.C. Aug. 27

Source: Civil Beat analysis of campaign finance filings

And here are the five that maxed out their contributions to Hirono at $10,000 during the same period:

Group Name State Date of Last
AMO Voluntary Political Action Fund Florida Sep. 29
Unite Here Tip Campaign Committee New York Aug. 6
Boeing PAC Virgina Sept. 15
EMILY’s List Federal Fund Washington, D.C. Sept. 27
Letter Carriers Political Action Fund Washington, D.C. Sept. 28

Source: Civil Beat analysis of campaign finance filings

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