Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s first term isn’t up until 2016, but that hasn’t stopped him from padding his campaign reserves.
Caldwell reported more than $1.4 million in campaign contributions during the current election cycle, which began Nov. 7, 2012, the day after he beat former Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano in the general election.
What’s striking is Caldwell only raised $1.7 million for the entire 2012 election cycle, which included a $50,000 loan.
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has raised almost as much money in the current election cycle as he did during his entire 2012 campaign.
PF Bentley/Civil Beat
If Caldwell’s current fundraising trends continue, the mayor could have more than $3 million in the bank to help fend off any potential challengers.
And it’s entirely possible he’ll need every penny.
Another viable candidate is Honolulu City Council Chair Ernie Martin, who won re-election Saturday to his seat in District 2, which includes Wahiawa, the North Shore and much of Windward Oahu.
Martin has said before that he wants to be mayor. He’s also been in the middle of some public feuds with Caldwell and his administration, over everything from budgetary earmarks to combating homelessness.
He easily defeated two political newcomers in the primary, so there’s a good chance some of those funds will carry over.
Caldwell’s contributions come from a wide range of sources, including unions and business interests.
Campaign Spending Commission data shows non-candidate committees reported giving Caldwell more than $50,000 in the current election cycle.
Among the donors are Alexander & Baldwin, a company that operates businesses in real estate, sugar cane, and diversified agriculture; Castle & Cooke, a real estate and residential, commercial, and retail development company; Bank of Hawaii; United Public Workers; and the Operating Engineers Local Union 3.
Other groups reporting donations to Caldwell include Monsanto Company and Turtle Bay Resort, which gave the mayor’s campaign a $2,000 donation less than a month after it was announced the city of Honolulu would would pay the company $5 million as part of a $48.5 million deal to conserve land on the North Shore.
Alexander & Baldwin, Inc. HiPAC
Bank of Hawaii Corporation Special Political Education Committee – State PAC
Castle & Cooke, Inc. Legislative Committee – Hawaii
Central Pacific Bank State PAC aka CPB PAC – State
Champlin Hawaii Wind Holdings, LLC
Hawaii Ironworkers Stabilization Fund PAC
United Public Workers, AFSCME, Local 646 AFL-CIO, PAC
Carnazzo Court Reporting Co., Ltd.
Hawaii Laborers’ Political Action Committee
Local #1 – Political Action Committee
Masons Local 630 – PAC
Operating Engineers Local Union 3 Hawaii District 17 PAC
Realtors Political Action Committee of Hawaii
Slovin and Ito, LLP
Turtle Bay Resort, LLC
Colliers International HI, LLC
Lionking II, LLC
Precision Moving and Storage, Inc.
Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo, Inc.
Hawaii Citizens’ Rights Political Action Committee
Hawaii Credit Union League (HCUL) Political Action Committee
Healthcare Association of Hawaii Political Action Committee
Hawaii Carpenters Market Recovery Program Fund
Most of the mayor’s political contributions, however, come from individual donors, many with strong business ties.
Campaign spending data shows a number of familiar companies whose employees have flooded Caldwell’s campaign coffers, although not all donors list business names.
Among the top donors by business affiliation are RM Towill Corp., Mitsunaga & Associates and several high profile law firms, including Kobayashi, Sugita & Goda, where Caldwell’s campaign chair, Lex Smith, is a partner.
RM Towill, whose employees gave $32,000 to Caldwell, is one of several companies involved with a controversial high-rise development in Waikiki.
Opponents of the project have questioned whether political contributions from those businesses have had undue political influence on Caldwell and other city officials.
Caldwell hasn’t spent much since the last election, reporting about $519,000 in expenses. Much of that money went to paying back $238,000 he lent himself during previous campaigns.
The next largest share went to food and beverages, underscoring the fact that Caldwell has held 16 fundraisers so far this election cycle.
Caldwell has also spent about $65,000 on polling, surveys and advertising.
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