A complaint with the Federal Election Commission alleges U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa’s campaign for U.S. Senate has improperly collaborated with the drug industry on a political advertising campaign.
The complaint was filed Tuesday by Daniel Hempey, a Lihue attorney.
Hempey contends an email sent in June by Hanabusa’s deputy chief of staff describing a potential independent expenditure for Hanabusa by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America suggests a violation of federal campaign spending law.
Political candidates and interest groups are prohibited from coordinating independent political spending on campaigns.
Hanabusa’s campaign has said that Christopher Raymond, the congresswoman’s deputy chief of staff, was inflating his influence in the campaign in his email to Hanabusa’s advisers about PhRMA’s potential support.
A PhRMA spokesman has denied to the Washington Post that the interest group planned an independent expenditure for Hanabusa, but acknowledged that the group had been considering a drug industry fundraiser on the congresswoman’s behalf.
Hanabusa is challenging U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz in the Democratic primary.