Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard — who’s running a long shot campaign for president — spent more money than she raised during the second quarter of 2019.
She also brought in less money than she did in the first quarter of the year.
Monday was the deadline for candidates to file their campaign spending reports with the Federal Election Commission.
Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard hasn’t broken through on the national stage yet.
Cory Lum/Civil Beat
According to the records, Gabbard raised more than $1.56 million from April 1 to June 30 while spending nearly $1.9 million. In the first quarter of 2019, Gabbard’s campaign reported raising $1.95 million.
Gabbard’s campaign reported she still has nearly $2.4 million in cash after transferring $2.5 million from her congressional campaign.
In terms of fundraising, Gabbard is still far behind big name candidates, such as former Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Sens. Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
Those four, along with South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, raised nearly $100 million in the second quarter alone.
Even with the transfers from her congressional campaign, Gabbard has yet to reach the $10 million mark in campaign receipts while others, such as Sens. Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar and Kirsten Gillibrand, have all eclipsed that threshold.
Gabbard is clearly in the second tier of presidential candidates in terms of fundraising.
Most of Gabbard’s contributions come from small donors who gave her campaign less than $200, which is the threshold for revealing a person’s identity in FEC reports.
About $484,000 in donations came from contributors giving more than $200.
According to the FEC data, much of that money was donated by people who said they live in California, New York and Texas. Gabbard received just over $30,000 from people who provided an Aloha State address.
Gabbard spent more than $1.9 million during the second quarter. More than $1 million went toward advertising online, on television and on billboards.
She also hired a number of communications consultants and paid salaries to several campaign staffers, including Erika Tsuji, Amaury Dujardin, Erin McCallum, Lauren Michele and Cullen Tiernan.
Among the organizations that received the most money from Gabbard’s campaign is Blue River Productions, a media company based in Kailua that Gabbard’s husband, Abraham Williamson, has worked for.
In Hawaii, state Sen. Kai Kahele continues to raise money in his bid to take over Gabbard’s congressional seat representing rural Oahu and the neighbor islands.
According to the latest FEC filings, Kahele raised nearly $145,000 from April 1 to June 30, bringing his total contributions since declaring his candidacy to almost $394,000.
Much of the new cash — about $99,000 — came from individual donors giving Kahele’s campaign more than $200.
Among his large contributors are Honolulu attorneys Paul Alston and Bill Kaneko, Island Holdings executives Keith Amemiya and Robert Nobriga, Central Pacific Bank President John Dean and Tradewind Capitol Group CEO Colbert Matsumoto.
Amemiya is the campaign treasurer for U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz while Matsumoto is a well-connected player in Hawaii politics, having served on the boards of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation and Oahu Publications, which owns the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Others donating to Kahele’s campaign include Hawaii Gas CEO Alicia Moy and Queens Health Systems President Arthur Ushijima.
State Sen. Kai Kahele continues to bring in local donations in his bid to replace Tulsi Gabbard in Congress.
Cory Lum/Civil Beat
The records show Kahele received almost $13,000 from candidate and political action committees, including $500 from fellow state Sen. Maile Shimabukuro.
The PACs donating to Kahele’s campaign include those representing the Air Line Pilots Association, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Central Pacific Bank and Marriott International.
Kahele is a pilot for Hawaiian Airlines. He also flies for the Hawaii Air National Guard.
Gabbard, meanwhile, has said she will no longer take money from PACs.
Other Delegation Members
Hawaii Congressman Ed Case, who represents urban Oahu, reported raising nearly $48,000 during the second quarter of 2019.
Among his largest contributors was his sister, Suzanne Case, who is the director of the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources.
The congressman also received $22,000 in donations from a number of PACs, including those representing the Small Business Council of America, Raytheon, Covanta Energy Corporation and the National Association of Real Estate Investors.
Hawaii Sens. Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono don’t face re-election until 2022 and 2024, respectively.
According to the FEC, Schatz raised $180,000 in the second quarter of 2019 leaving him with nearly $2.7 million in cash on hand. Hirono raised about $70,000 and has nearly $900,000 left in the bank.
Civil Beat Politics and Opinion Editor Chad Blair contributed to this report.
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