POSTED: 04:15 p.m. HST, Mar 19, 2012
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent $249,800 for production and media placement for television advertisements in Hawaii in February highlighting former Gov. Linda Lingle's stance on tourism.
Lingle is the leading Republican candidate for U.S. Senate. U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono and former congressman Ed Case are the Democratic contenders.
The ads were classified by the U.S. Chamber as electioneering communications — which mention a clearly identified federal candidate — and not as an independent expenditure — which expressly advocate for the election or defeat of a candidate — according to a filing with the Federal Election Commission. The filing also states that the federal candidate involved was President Barack Obama. The ad mentions that Lingle supports Obama's plan to boost tourism.
Sources initially estimated that the chamber's ad buy in Hawaii was worth $100,000, but that only roughly covered the network affiliates, not cable television.