Editor’s Note: [[Civil Beat]] is visiting local TV stations again this campaign season to track how much money is being spent on political candidates and issues. The Public File is a regular series that compiles records kept by network and cable stations in Honolulu showing ad buys made by campaigns and political committees. The records, which are required to be made public under federal law, are expected to be posted publicly on the stations’ websites beginning in July. But for now we’re still picking up paper copies, scanning them into our system and posting them online. Check out our Ad Watch series, too, in which Civil Beat political writers review the latest political spots airing on TV and the Internet.

The race for the Democratic Senate nomination is heating up with U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa spending $175,175 on 335 TV advertising spots running through the Aug. 9 primary election.

Last month a Civil Beat poll showed Hanabusa trailing her opponent, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz. Hanabusa has since ramped up her purchases, spending nearly twice as much on ad buys in the next seven weeks as she did in May and June. She has spent a total of $265,875 on TV ads since May 19.

Hanabusa bought ad space on all major Hawaii television stations and on Oceanic Time Warner programming.

Screen Shot Hanabusa

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, shown here in Civil Beat’s offices, has been more of a presence on the airwaves lately.

PF Bentley/Civil Beat

Her ads will appear during local news broadcasts on the largest Hawaii television stations, with her priciest ad being a single spot on KGMB’s telecast of “Hawaii 5-0” for $2,100.  She’s running ads every weekday in July on KHON’s 6 p.m. newscast at $1,300 per 30-second spot.

She still won’t be on TV as often as Schatz, who continues to spend big. He doled out a total of $284,645 on 1,017 spots running through the primary, including time on a “Hawaii 5-0” telecast. His more expensive spots include a $2,000 per ad airing on this week’s KHON’s 6 p.m. news.

The price will jump by $1,000 the week of the primary and Schatz has bought a few of those $3,000 spots on KHON’s 6 p.m. news. He is continuing to buy time during “Modern Family” on KITV at a cost of $1,500 a spot.

The League of Conservation Voters, a non-profit group designed to promote pro-environmental legislation and the candidates that support climate change adaptation and mitigation policies, has spent $26,725 on 87 spots exclusively on KITV. They are set to air July 31 to Aug. 13.

Its website says “LCV advocates for sound environmental laws and policies, holds elected officials accountable for their votes and actions, and elects pro-environment candidates who will champion our  priority issues.”

While the purchases are listed as “issue” buys, the League of Conservation Voters has endorsed Schatz.

This week also saw the return to the airwaves of state Sen. Donna Mercado Kim, who is running for the 1st Congressional District seat being vacated by Hanabusa.

The last time Kim bought ad space on a major Hawaii television station was at the end of May. This week she bought one 30-second spot for $1,200 on KHON’s special broadcast of “Ala Moana: Hawaii’s Gathering Place,” a program that focuses on the history and cultural significance of one of Hawaii’s landmark places.

In the gubernatorial race, Gov. Neil Abercrombie spent $125,925 on 174 spots that will air starting this week through July 20. Aside from several spots during KITV, KHON and KFVE newscasts, Abercrombie has also bought a spot during the broadcast of the Wimbledon tennis tournament on KITV.

State Sen. Clayton Hee continues to purchase ads to promote his run for lieutenant governor after his initial buys last week. Hee bought an additional 104 spots and spent $58,145 on ads airing on KITV, KGMB and KHON from June 23 to July 20.

League of Conservation Voters






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