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Hanabusa aide connected to PhRMA flap quits

By Star-Advertiser staff


Christopher Raymond, the deputy chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa who offered to act as a go-between between Hanabusa's U.S. Senate campaign and the drug industry, has resigned.

"I have not violated any campaign finance laws, and it is unfortunate what a distraction this misunderstanding has become," Raymond said in a statement. "Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa is the most qualified person to serve as Hawaii's next U.S. senator and I have been honored and privileged to work for her.

"This is a once-in-a-generation Senate race and, as such, the conversation should be focused on Colleen's proven track record and clearly demonstrated leadership.  In an effort to bring the conversation back to what's important -- Colleen's vast experience and myriad accomplishments -- I am resigning my position as deputy chief of staff effective immediately.  I wish her, the congressional staff, and the people of Hawaii the very best."

Hanabusa, in a statement, thanked Raymond for his service. "Chris Raymond worked hard to help me represent the people of Hawaii's First Congressional District and his efforts helped build a better future for my constituents," she said. "I want to thank Chris for his service and I wish him well in all of his future endeavors."

Raymond sent an email to Hanabusa's advisers in June stating that the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America intended to sponsor an independent expenditure on Hanabusa's behalf. Federal law bars political campaigns and interest groups from coordinating independent political spending.

The Hanabusa campaign said Raymond was inflating his influence and that the campaign was not coordinating with drug industry advocates. A PhRMA spokesman also told the Washington Post that no independent expenditure was planned, but that there were discussions about a drug industry fundraiser for the congresswoman.

A Kauai attorney has filed a complaint against the Hanabusa campaign with the Federal Election Commission.

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allie wrote:
Hanabuttah needs to retire. She is too old and just lacks the ethics to serve. She also lacks the intellect to represent this state.
on August 7,2013 | 03:03PM
Surfer_Dude wrote:
She won't retire, but the voters will make her retire.
on August 7,2013 | 03:16PM
primo1 wrote:
One can only hope...
on August 7,2013 | 03:47PM
copperwire9 wrote:
Oh right, allie. Whatever anyone thinks of Rep. HANABUSA, no one - until you, apparently - ever accused her of lacking intellect. She's far, far smarter than you perceive yourself to be. So how about this - confine your comments to things about which you know at least a little bit? Can you do that?
on August 7,2013 | 03:42PM
allie wrote:
I am just saying that her appearances on tv really showed that she lacks the intellect for the job. But you are right. I worry more about her cynical use of racial politics and her dark past than I do her weak intellect.
on August 7,2013 | 04:05PM
tiki886 wrote:
I agree.
on August 7,2013 | 07:39PM
joeduax wrote:
Raymond will be lobbying for PhRMA within a couple years.
on August 7,2013 | 03:32PM
cojef wrote:
You betcha! He certainly has all connections he needs and wise to ways around the Capitol.
on August 7,2013 | 04:17PM
itoboy wrote:
You know it's really bad when the fall guy is sent packing. I'm surprised Hanabusa kept him around this long. The Washington Post broke the story over a week ago: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/congressional-aide-described-campaign-offer-by-drug-lobby/2013/07/27/cd1f9648-f60e-11e2-a2f1-a7acf9bd5d3a_story.html Fall guy notwithstanding, the captain of the ship (Hanabusa) should take responsibility for her staff's actions and apologize.
on August 7,2013 | 03:33PM
tiki886 wrote:
Apologize and resign just like her fall guy had to do.
on August 7,2013 | 07:40PM
AhiPoke wrote:
Clearly someone had to fall on the sword and it wasn't going to be hanabusa. Deputy chief of staffs are expendible. In fact, I think it's in their job description to take the blame. Don't feel sorry for raymond, he's been doing this type of work for awhile. I'm sure they've already made arrangements to take care of him. This is the way the system works. Now that hanabusa has resolved this issue she can move on.
on August 7,2013 | 03:42PM
allie wrote:
on August 7,2013 | 04:06PM
tiki886 wrote:
i wonder if he gets to keep the ObamaCare exemption where the OPM will pay for 75% of the increased costs he and his family will now be subject to the exchanges/connectors?
on August 7,2013 | 07:44PM
EwaWarrior wrote:
Apparently, he couldn't get her the premature evacuation medicine she desperately needs!
on August 7,2013 | 04:23PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
This is a once-in-a-generation Senate race ..

Gimme a break. In the big picture, this a nothing race.

on August 7,2013 | 04:29PM
mick96734 wrote:
I laugh when I read these statements prepared by the Hanabusa PR team. It's hard to imagine that you would have a deputy chief of staff who doesn't pre-clear any action with Hanabusa before making a move. What surprised me was how long it took before the resignation letter appeared. I suspect the team wanted to read the tea leaves and see if there was any wiggle room before finally deciding it was too risky to Hanabusa's campaign to keep him on.
on August 7,2013 | 04:46PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
They never expected the email to advisors to see the light of day. Someone in her camp has betrayed her by exposing her corruption from within.
on August 7,2013 | 07:33PM
aionokea43 wrote:
Hanabusa should begin to state her own accomplishments and stop riding on the coattail of Inouye. There will never be another State Senator like Dan Inouye and Hanabusa is a far cry. Unfortunately, the Senate assigns important committees to senior Senators and if you look at the age of most influential Senators, they have many many years of seniority which says they were elected by their constituents when they were in their late 30's or 40's. If Hanabusa is elected, she will be 62 and with 20 years of seniority she will be 82 and sadly, she should be retired by then. She will lose her Congressional seat, lose the Senate race to Schatz and return to Hawaii with empty pockets. She should seriously consider running for Governor which she could handily beat the current Governor. Too bad.
on August 7,2013 | 07:06PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
I doubt she could beat anyone in Hawaii now but a republican. Now that the phrma bribe has been exposed, she's over. Drug companies are bleeding the federal government medicare program dry and she wants to help them continue to do it.
on August 7,2013 | 07:30PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
Well this explains Hanabusa's opposition to forcing Drug companies to provide the same rebates and prices to medicare that they now provide to Medicaid. She's been bought and paid for by the Drug industry and acts in their best interest, not the taxpayers. Time to retire Hanabusa, it's over now.
on August 7,2013 | 07:24PM
tiki886 wrote:
If you link to the 2 previous articles by SA above you'll find that the complaint was filed Tuesday by Daniel Hempey, a Lihue attorney. Probably Shatz and/or Abercrombie supporter.

And either Hanabusa's office has a mole or a leak or there is a leak in PhRMA to pass the "email" on to WaPo. The email said in part, [Raymond said he was going to give PhRMA executives the advisers' email addresses and added that, if they were contacted by the PhRMA executives, "please know they are good Demo­crats."]

on August 7,2013 | 08:23PM
tiki886 wrote:
The previous article also mentions that, "Progressives who support Schatz have criticized Hana­busa, a former labor attorney, as a corporate conservative because of her involvement in the centrist New Democrat Coalition, a perception that would likely increase if she were linked by campaign ads to prescription drug companies."

Which is worse? A "Progressive" or a Labor lawyer?

on August 7,2013 | 08:32PM
HULAGIRL620 wrote:
I sure hope the people of Hawaii realize how foul she really is,, she seems to think that the senate seat is rightfully hers and she'll get it any way she can,, I don't think it was in the best interests of the people of Hawaii when the senior senator requested her elevation to the senate,, seems he felt that was his right too,, Hanabusa is useless just like Mazie,, She interacts with her constituents like they are mindless idiots with her form letters,, And I think it's pretty demeaning to the people of this state when they make comments like it's a once in a generation race,, I would love to see them knocked on their backsides and have someone other than the two democratic candidates win,, Hawaii is changing,, it's not a given that one party will always be the chosen,, New blood is needed if this state is ever going to stop being the laughing stock,, but short of a miracle Shatz will be a better choice,, Hanabusa needs to go the way of Mufi,, see what his choo choo got him?
on August 7,2013 | 08:54PM
Coldwater wrote:
Congress allowed them self to do some insider trading and opt out of ACA (obama care). Vote the self serving Democrat's out.
on August 7,2013 | 08:58PM
WEATHER wrote:
Deputy Chief of Staff. So why is it that the most important thing he could find to do to support her senate campaign was as a go between with the drug industry? She long ago forgot that she was elected as a representative of the people of Hawaii, not the drug industry.
on August 8,2013 | 02:04AM
RetiredUSMC wrote:
Who is Christopher Raymond he is not from Hawaii. He is a Political wonk who has no love of the state. When will our leaders stay away from these people. These people are the problem with our government they float from one politician to the next. They are the venereal disease of government. Ask how much he is paid, then ask why this job is not given to a Local Person? I am not choosing sides both are infected with the same disease! But if we elect Hawaiian's why are not all the staff Hawaiian? Represent Hawaii with Hawaiian's! Show the Aloha! If you were not born here you should not be there!
on August 8,2013 | 04:58AM
honokai wrote:
The guy can make any statement he wants. But his resignation does not refocus the conversation on something else. We want to hear more about the corruption that occurs in Washington D.C. That is a much more interesting conversation then hearing a bunch of politicians issuing platitudes about what they stand for and telling us that the other guy hasn't run a business, Let's keep this conversation going. We need learn more about how the fundraising machinery works. We are not her little children. We can talk about this.
on August 8,2013 | 06:24AM
allie wrote:
hugs her always sapient honokai
on August 8,2013 | 06:38AM
ryan02 wrote:
The only thing that matters is name recognition. Everybody knows Hanabusa's husband, John Souza, got cheap Ko Olino property from Jeff Stone, and in return Hanabusa pushed the $75 million tax credit for Stone. Souza sold the home less than 2 years later for over a $400,000 profit. When Attorney General Bronster indicted Stone for over-paying two Bishop Estate trustees personally for their property, in return for favorable treatment from the Estate itself, Hanabusa led a senate campaign to get rid of Bronster. Souza was forced to resign from the State Sheriff's office for having business dealings with convicted felons, including Souza's trucking company that had contract with . . . wait for it . . . Ko Olina construction projects. Between 2002 and 2010 (8 year period) Stone, his family members, and business cronies, donated over $130,000 to Hanabusa's campaigns. There are many, many, many, more sweetheart deals, back room deals, conflicts of interest, etc., involving Hanabusa going back many years. yet she still keeps getting elected. If anyone thinks this small hiccough with Christopher Raymond is going to end her career, they are dreaming, or high on crack, or doesn't know anything about the history of Hawaii politics, or a combination of those.
on August 8,2013 | 07:21AM
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