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Mainland super PAC buys ads in support of Hirono

By Derrick DePledge

LAST UPDATED: 8:10 a.m. HST, Nov 3, 2012

Majority PAC, a Washington, D.C.-based super PAC trying to help Demo­­crats keep control of the U.S. Senate, has purchased television advertising in Hawaii on behalf of U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono.

Hirono is facing former Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican, for the seat being vacated by U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka. Majority PAC spent more than $126,675 on the ad buy, according to federal campaign finance filings. The ad says Lingle would protect corporate special interests and vote with Republicans who obstruct President Barack Obama.

Robert G.F. Lee, Lingle's campaign manager, said the buy indicates the campaign is competitive.

"Hirono and her partisan mainland operatives view Hawaii's U.S. Senate seat as one pawn in a national political party strategy," Lee said in a statement. "However, Linda Lingle views this election and the opportunity to serve in the U.S. Senate as a chance to do what is right for the people of Hawaii, not for her political party."

In October the Fund for Freedom Committee, a mainland super PAC tied to the Republican Governors Association, spent more than $335,000 on ads in Hawaii on behalf of Lingle. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has spent more than $1.2 million for Lingle. Labor and women's groups have sponsored ads worth six figures to help Hirono.

"It's not only disingenuous but downright hypocritical for her to denounce an independent group that supports keeping Demo­­crats and a middle-class agenda the majority in the U.S. Senate," Betsy Lin, Hirono's campaign manager, said in an email. "But at the end of the day, as we've discovered over the course of this campaign, Lingle, the national Republicans and their allies are going to say and do anything they need to do to win this Hawaii Senate seat and take control of the United States Senate."

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