Mazie Hirono and Linda Lingle are just about tied.

Tied for total TV ad spending this election season, that is. Both passed the $1 million spending mark this week, mostly airing attack ads that mirror each other. Both use a math theme to discredit the other’s record.

Together, Hirono and Lingle have enjoyed the lion’s share of local post-primary political advertising. Honolulu mayoral candidate Kirk Caldwell is the only other candidate to have bought TV ad time since the primary election.

Also in this week’s mix are contracts for two local political committees, one of which was the subject of a Civil Beat fact-finding mission.

Civil Beat has been visiting Hawaii’s three broadcast station offices weekly to review their political ad contracts in an effort to “Free the Files.”

Broadcast stations by law are required to make the records available to the public. But local broadcasters only provide hard copies of the files. Only ad buys made with Oceanic Time Warner cable are viewable online.

The Public File project aims to reveal how much outside money — particularly that from powerful, national super PACs — is being spent to influence Hawaii’s elections. Interestingly enough, little outside spending has shown up in the files since the primary.

Hirono, the Democratic candidate vying for Daniel Akaka‘s U.S. Senate seat, was this week’s biggest spender. She spent roughly $171,000 on 747 spots that are airing this week on all the local broadcast stations and Oceanic Time Warner cable networks such as A&E, CNN and TBS.

Highlights of her purchases include two $2,000 spots that aired Wednesday and Thursday during the X Factor on KHON. Hirono also bought two spots scheduled to air during Person of Interest this and next Thursday, one of which cost $1,485.

In fact, the Democrat bought a number of spots that are airing during popular primetime TV series, including Glee, Wheel of Fortune, the Mentalist, the Good Wife.

Several contracts dating back to last week also showed up this week in Hirono’s public files, bringing her total post-primary ad spending to more than $330,000. As of Thursday, Hirono had spent nearly $1,044,000 on ad time this election season.

Hirono, like President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, decided not to air ads Tuesday in honor of 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Lingle, on the other hand, did air commercials that day.

The Republican U.S. Senate candidate this week spent about $84,000 on spots that have been airing on KHON, KITV, KITV subsidiary, KGMB, KHNL and various Oceanic Time Warner cable networks, including ESPN, TNT and USA.

Lingle paid $2,500 for a spot that aired during Wednesday’s showing of the X Factor on KHON and $1,455 each for spots that aired during NCIS and Person of Interest Tuesday and Thursday on KGMB.

Lingle’s Oceanic Time Warner cable contract also shows that she’s continuing to pay $2,500 a week for her cable channel.

Another contract from last week also showed up in Lingle’s KFVE file. She paid $700 for two spots that aired on the station last Thursday and Friday — her first KFVE spots of the season.

As of Thursday, Lingle had spent approximately $429,000 on post-primary ad time. This brings her total spending so far this election season to nearly $1,025,000.

Two similarly named local political groups also bought some TV ad time this week: Working Families for Hawaii and Workers for a Better Hawaii. They’re the first non-candidate committees to air commercials on local airwaves since the primary.

Working Families for Hawaii, which is listed as the third biggest outside spender in the state’s U.S. Senate race, spent $15,400 on 68 spots that are airing through the end of September on KITV and KFVE.

Civil Beat has attempted to learn more about the group. Working Families’ ad contracts don’t reveal much about the commercial, except that the advertising firm Hendrix Miyasaki Shin, Inc. produced it.

Workers for a Better Hawaii spent $15,500 on 33 spots airing this week and next on KGMB. One of them cost $1,080 and aired Tuesday during NCIS Los Angeles.

Like those for Working Families, the ad contracts for Workers for a Better Hawaii provide little information about the group and its commercial. Chun & Yonamine Advertising is listed as producer and Nora Nomura, a former Hawaii Government Employees Association director, is identified as the group’s president.

Caldwell, who bought his first batch of post-primary spots last week, this week spent about $7,300 on 15 one-minute-long spots airing on KITV. A previous contract with KITV also shows that he dished out an additional $7,800 on 17 spots that started airing last Wednesday.

As of Thursday, Caldwell had spent more than $30,000 on post-primary ad time. The mayoral candidate has spent nearly $230,000 on ad time this election season, according to the public files.

Grand Totals

Total ad buys this week amount to about $294,000 according to Civil Beat’s most recent review of the public files. As of Thursday, total post-primary TV ad spending was roughly $820,000. Total ad spending for the entire election season was $6.6 million. Non-candidate political committees have spent 31 percent of that money, or more than $2 million.

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