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Inouye spreads campaign funds to fellow Democrats

By Derrick DePledge


U.S. Sen. Daniel Ino­uye has transferred more than $875,000 since January 2011 to help keep the U.S. Senate under Demo­cratic control.

The Hawaii Demo­crat has much to lose if Republicans capture the Senate in the November elections. The 87-year-old is chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and Senate president pro tempore, a title reserved for the most senior member of the party in power.

While Inouye has a keen interest in the Hawaii Senate race, where he prefers U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono over former U.S. Rep. Ed Case in the Demo­cratic primary to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, he has donated money and campaigned for Demo­cratic candidates across the country. Over the past several months, the senator was in Washington state, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Alaska and Nevada.

Senate Democrats and independents hold a 53-to-47 advantage over Republicans. But Demo­crats have to defend 21 of the 33 seats up in November, including Akaka's in Hawaii, where former Gov. Linda Lingle is the leading Republican contender.

"For more than 50 years I have witnessed the way elections can alter the trajectory of our country and I am committed to doing everything I can to keep Demo­crats in control of the United States Senate," Ino­uye said in a statement Tuesday.

In Hawaii, Demo­crats are using the potential for Ino­uye to lose power in Washington, D.C., as a theme to motivate voters behind the eventual winner of the Hirono-Case primary.

At the Oahu Demo­crats' convention Saturday at Aloha Stadium, Gov. Neil Abercrombie told Demo­crats that Hawaii could provide the "51st vote" to keep the Senate in the party's hands and help President Barack Obama if he is re-elected. The governor said Lingle, despite her professions of bipartisanship, would vote to place Republicans in Senate leadership and committee chairmanships. "Her first vote is against Hawaii and against Sen. Ino­uye and against President Obama, and we can not allow that to happen," Abercrombie said.

The Lingle campaign has been anticipating that Demo­crats would lean heavily on the Ino­uye theme. Lingle has said that if Republicans do take control of the Senate, Hawaii would be better served by having a senator in the majority who could work with Ino­uye, as Ino­uye partnered with U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska.

"For decades, Sen. Ino­uye often said that the late Republican Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska and he looked out for each others' interests when one party or another was in the majority. Since Sen. Stevens' passing, Sen. Ino­uye has had the advantage of sitting in the majority party, but that could change after 2012. Hawaii can have the same kind of advantage he described right here at home by having both a Demo­crat and a Republican senator," Lenny Klompus, Lingle's deputy campaign manager, said in an email. "Gov. Lingle and Sen. Ino­uye have enjoyed a good working relationship over the years, and this would continue should she win the U.S. Senate race. They have worked together on infrastructure and energy issues as well as the Akaka bill."

Inouye has transferred $600,000 from his campaign account to the Demo­cratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the group that helps elect Demo­cratic candidates to the Senate. The senator also contributed $6,000 from his campaign fund to Demo­cratic candidates.

Inouye used DanPac, his political action committee, to donate about $275,000 to the DSCC and Demo­cratic candidates across the country, including $5,000 to Hirono. The DSCC has contributed $43,100, the maximum allowed, to the Hirono campaign.

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wondermn1 wrote:
I would Say Inouye is trying to protect his (our tax money) Money from running dry. they have overspent and Inoye is one of the biggest cause of taxpayer money waste in our nation today. Lets pray that Lingle gets the job as she will actually put the people first rather than a party that creates welfare states and debt for our children.
on May 9,2012 | 03:29AM
wiliki wrote:
Nope, these are important ways of funding Hawaii. Nothing wasteful about that. For example, the military gets a large share of the Federal pie. We should be glad he chairs the Military Committee.
on May 9,2012 | 04:26AM
Kawipoo wrote:
i agree with you wiliki. Hawaii is a welfare state who depends on federal money since it is so business unfriendly. Federal money is well spent because how would people here live without their hand out to the federal government. Why isn't that the job of the federal government to fund Hawaii. Why would anyone question that.
on May 9,2012 | 05:39AM
wiliki wrote:
Credit the federal money to Hawaii's strategic location. Certainly native Hawaiians would rather have the whole military complex out of Hawaii-- and that's fine by me. You're putting the cart before the horse.
on May 9,2012 | 04:05PM
akuman808 wrote:
Fact! It costs double to ship things to Hawaii then to ship out of Hawaii thanks to Senator Inouye's resolute support of the maritime industry specifically Matson via the Jones Act. Everyone in Hawaii pays more for everything thus the high cost of living in Hawaii. For example, it costs $6K to ship a commodity from Long Beach to Honolulu, and $3K to ship the same commodity from Honolulu to LB. Senator Inouye has failed to improve the quality of life in Hawaii and no defense appropriations for Hawaii can offset the billions going the other way.
on May 9,2012 | 06:04AM
wiliki wrote:
Of course it is double. Without the lower price, ships departing Hawaii would leave empty. In case you haven't noticed, our main export is tourism. That doesn't leave much to ship out.
on May 9,2012 | 04:07PM
EducatedLocalBoy wrote:
I agree with Wiliki. How do we keep that maniac dictator in North Korea in check except with military power. Now that Japan wants us out of Okinawa, where can the U.S. trust to have its troops, ships and armed forces? Hawaii of course. Who can America trust with making decisions that are best for the military? A Congressional Medal of Honor recipient who gave his right arm fighting the dictators in Europe to keep the world free for democracy. Who is that person? U.S. Senator Dan Inouye.
on May 9,2012 | 11:50AM
wiliki wrote:
You do believe that the world doesn't American military power? It proved itself in Libya most recently and it's the only thing keeping the Israelis in check for attacking their neighbors.
on May 9,2012 | 04:10PM
EducatedLocalBoy wrote:
You weren't paying attention when Lingle was Governor. Lingle is the one who took the State's surplus and put us in a deficit. Just like in 9 months George W. Bush took the surplus Bill Clinton left and spent it all. Both Lingle and Bush spent the money giving private companies contracts to perform government work. Lingle hired a "Beltway Bandit" (a euphemism named after the Washington, D.C. Beltway freeway) consultant firm's employees $200.00 per hour plus a $299.00 a day per diem to do work a government employee gets paid $30.00 an hour to do. You believe the Republican's rhetoric instead of looking at the facts. That's how the Republicans get the middle class to vote against their own interests.
on May 9,2012 | 11:29AM
wiliki wrote:
These are such small amounts compared to Republican anonymous super pacs. Why bother reporting on them? Hirono has gotten a rather small amount, but I guess she has earned it from the party for her work in the House supporting Party goals. She'll need every penny in the general campaign against Lingle.
on May 9,2012 | 04:23AM
CaptK wrote:
Is it any wonder why the career polticians won't even address term limits? 600K buys a lot "do as I say" votes. I suppose that's our culture's definition of leadership, providing wealth to our representatives. Way to work the system Senator.
on May 9,2012 | 05:19AM
suhimika3126 wrote:
We have been really fortunate to have Senator Inouye in Washington D.C. to help Hawaii. Remember naysayers, that Hawaii relies on tourism where people come, spend money and leave to go back home. Senator Inouye has helped sustain Hawaii over the years. Anyone who is part of the middle class or lower and has lived a major part of their lives in Hawaii , knows that living In Hawaii is not easy. Many people have part time jobs and full time jobs. It would be worse without the help of Senator Inouye representing us in Washington. Seniority still rules there and until things change, thank you Senator Inouye for all that you have done and continue to do for the people of Hawaii! The Democrats from Hawaii are doing just fine in Washington D.C..
on May 9,2012 | 06:29AM
MakaniKai wrote:
I don’t owe thanks to Sen. Inouye. He has created a culture of feeding off the Federal Government. The good Senator has lived in a fantasy land of other people’s money and his Godfather style power longer than I have been alive. I am sure along the way good has come from his tenure, however over my lifetime I have witnessed a man who does not represent the all the people of Hawaii. We should not depend on the Military and Tourist. Hawaii is better than that. But I guess we can thank Sen. Inouye for being dependent on the U.S. government. Sad.
on May 9,2012 | 08:08AM
blackkitty wrote:
Tourists don't come to Hawaii because of Dan Inouye ... they come here for Dan Kaleikini. And the weather. And the friendly people. And the beaches.
on May 9,2012 | 08:51AM
MakaniKai wrote:
True. I am sure most have no clue who our 2 Senators are or do they care. Merely responding to the comment above, and that Hawaii relies too much on the tourist / federal dollar. Please enjoy your Mai Tai. Aloha
on May 9,2012 | 02:18PM
iwanaknow wrote:
If Dan dies, we die too....we are doomed.
on May 9,2012 | 11:25PM
bender wrote:
It is bothersome that Sen. Inouye continues to meddle in the Case-Hirono contest. But it seems to be standard operating procedure as of late. He did the same for Hanabusa. The problem is that his support for Hirono will more than likely backfire as Lingle could very well beat Hirono. But it is highly unlikely Lingle could beat Case as he can attract moderates who detest Hirono and will likely vote "anybody but Hirono".
on May 9,2012 | 06:44AM
dhclinton wrote:
oh thank you lord dan....thank you
on May 9,2012 | 07:26AM
roadsterred wrote:
Nothing better than using other people's money donated specifically to your campaign then turning around and transferring some of it to other people's campaign.
on May 9,2012 | 08:28AM
JasonSeaborn wrote:
If elected to the U.S. Senate, Gov. Lingle will not go to Washington to work for the next president, whether it’s Pres. Obama or the GOP candidate. She will not go to our nation’s capital to work for Senators Mitch McConnell or Harry Reid. Gov. Lingle will go to Washington to represent and work for the people of Hawaii. If proposed legislation is good for Hawaii, Gov. Lingle will be for it; if it’s bad for Hawaii, Gov. Lingle will be against it, no matter who proposed it. As a member of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Governors’ Council, Gov. Lingle is constantly working to develop ways to break through the partisan gridlock in Washington to achieve the passage of bipartisan legislation that stimulates economic growth for Hawaii and the nation.
on May 9,2012 | 09:23AM
JasonSeaborn wrote:
If Hawaii’s delegation remains completely Democrat, then Hawaii does not have anyone in the majority party looking out for its interests. We are too far from Washington, D.C. to have no one from the majority party looking out for what’s best for Hawaii.
on May 9,2012 | 09:24AM
JasonSeaborn wrote:
The fact is, it is in Hawaii’s best interest to have a “foot in both camps,” so that no matter which party is in control, Hawaii’s interests will be effectively advocated for in Washington, D.C.
on May 9,2012 | 09:24AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
I don't know. If I donated a buck to Dan and he gave it to Mazie, I'd be ticked. I'd never know where my dollah went since I cannot find Mazie.
on May 9,2012 | 09:40AM
justin_thyme wrote:
Ed Case is a quintessential Joe Lieberman-style Republicrat who only masquerades as a Democrat. True Democrats are fighting to defend the country from a neoconservative Republican agenda that puts corporate special interests first and the interests of American families last. Ed Case is NOT a true Democrat. The priorities of Republicans in Washington are increasingly divergent from the issues that matter to American families. In Hawaii and across the country, American families are suffering as they pay more at the pump, more at the pharmacy counter, more at the supermarket, and more in utility bills. Meanwhile, all we see coming out of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives are more special-interest giveaways to the very corporations that control those everyday essentials. Republicans defend giving billions of dollars in subsidies for big oil companies, while they slash funding for student aid, education, women's health, and vital social programs. Look at Ed Case's voting record when he was a member of the House of Representatives if you want to learn how he plans to vote if he's elected to the Senate. He consistently supported REPUBLICAN positions on matters of the economy and social issues. Case is a Democrat-In-Name-Only (a DINO). Ed Case's record makes it clear that he will continue to promote the Republicans' pro-corporation agendas. In sharp contrast, Mazie Hirono has fought against the Republicans' harmful policies and agendas. My choice is very clear: Mazie gets my vote!
on May 9,2012 | 09:41AM
CaptK wrote:
I'm an independent and for the very reasons you state is why I don't want a 'true" democrat. You rant that Repubs want to subsidize big industry; but who led the baiil out of the car industry, TARP, and Fannie Mae, a Democrat! I want an independent thinker who's not afraid to make sound fiscal decisions; and giving billions to either big oil or the social programs you mention doesn't make fiscal sense. This is why we have a reprsentative government and not a state controlled by a single party. Some common sense must be exhibited by our legislators.
on May 9,2012 | 10:58AM
Changalang wrote:
Mazie will make a bigger splash of nothing in the Senate, than she has as a Representative. Hawaii deserves to still matter in a post Dan world. Hirono is afraid to debate Case because she is afraid to be exposed for her incompetence in front of Hawaii voters. That is how she lost the 5th floor to Republicans for the first time in 43 years. Lingle ate Mazie's lunch in the debate and sent her packing after 8 years as Lt. Governor and heir apparent. Maybe Mazie should call in sick for any debates with Lingle as well to avoid another "R" Senator from Hawaii since decades ago. The Hawaii Democratic Party deserves to give Ed a chance; not for him, FOR US !
on May 9,2012 | 04:49PM
HealthyandHappy wrote:
Hey Dan, Where is the leadership on the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster? The radiation is affecting America and the globe. Japan is sweeping it under the rug. Maybe you could mobilize an appropriate global response. You could probably put a few billion in your pocket in the process.
on May 9,2012 | 01:07PM
Changalang wrote:
What happened to Lugar? The anti-incumbent wave is going to be brutal in the Senate in 2012. I hope Dan ends his career on top; but there really is a science behind elections. The "R"s will hold the House and barely take the Senate. Hawaii will need a Senator that does not have establishment enemies to help prop Sen. Inouye up after the coming fall from grace. Too bad all he had to give fellow Democrat Ed Case was the cold shoulder. All Hawaii will pay for the lack of foresight. I guess Cold Turkey is one way to cure us from Federal dollar dependence. Since when did the Hawaii Democratic Party shrink to only accommodate the machine candidates? Sad day. Political evolution comes at its own pace and price.
on May 9,2012 | 04:41PM
pechanga wrote:
on May 9,2012 | 06:42PM