Monday, July 28, 2014         


 Print   Email   Comment | View 34 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

Firms linked to rail donate to Caldwell; lawyers boost rival

By Kevin Dayton


Kirk Caldwell's campaign for mayor benefited from a post-primary surge in contributions from contractors linked to the $5.26 billion rail project, while former Gov. Ben Caye­tano received a boost from attorneys, according to a review of the most recent campaign spending reports.

The campaign finance report covering the period from Aug. 12 to Oct. 22 shows Caldwell received more than $140,000 in political donations from current or former rail contractors, subcontractors or people associated with those firms.

A review of Caye­tano's contributions for the same period shows he received campaign donations from a variety of Hono­lulu lawyers as well as many contributors who have supported Republican causes in the past.

Notable post-primary donations to Caye­tano also included a $1,000 contribution from Nancie Cara­way, wife of Gov. Neil Abercrombie. Cara­way has donated $3,000 to Caye­tano's mayoral campaign this year.

Overall, Caldwell raised $603,000 in the 10 weeks since the August primary, and had raised $1.5 million this year for the mayor's race as of late last month.

Cayetano reported raising $339,000 in the weeks following the primary, and had raised $1.3 million for the year.

Cayetano has pledged to stop the rail project if he is elected, while Caldwell supports rail and wants to continue the project.

The city so far has spent more than $500 million on the rail project, and billions of dollars in additional city spending may be riding on the outcome of the election.

Among the most generous donors to Caldwell since the primary were employees and others linked to three of the largest rail contractors.

Employees of InfraConsult LLC, which is providing project management and other services to the city under a $33.4 million rail contract, donated more than $12,000 to Caldwell after the primary. Sharon Greene & Associates, an InfraConsult subconsultant, donated another $4,000.

Parsons Brinckerhoff, which is providing planning, engineering and construction management services under a $300 million contract with the city, was also well represented in the list of Caldwell donors.

Parsons Brinckerhoff employees, affiliates or subconsultants working on the rail project donated more than $62,000 in the wake of the August primary, according to campaign spending reports.

Companies and employees affiliated with Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. or subcontractors for Kiewit also made substantial donations to Caldwell totaling more than $30,000 since the primary.

Kiewit has contracts worth nearly $900 million to build the first 10 miles of rail guideway, and is part of the Kiewit/Kobayashi Joint Venture, which has another contract worth more than $200 million to build a rail maintenance and storage yard.

Another $11,500 in Caldwell donations were provided by Hono­lulu lawyers affiliated with firms that have done legal work for the city on rail-related issues.

The Pacific Resource Partnership PAC recently fielded television advertisements asserting that "Caldwell led the fight to ban pay-to-play." The term "pay-to-play" refers to businesses making campaign contributions in the hope that those donations will help them win government contracts.

Tom Coffman, an adviser to the Caye­tano campaign, said those kinds of campaign claims are "really begging the question" when Caldwell is accepting donations from rail contractors.

"It also underscores the fact that the law has got huge loopholes in it, and it really does need to be changed, but Kirk didn't change it," Coffman said.

Caldwell said his ability to raise funds from a variety of donors reflects the growing momentum of his campaign.

"As you and I know, people support candidates for the issues they stand on, and I'm sure there's guys supporting me because I want to rebuild our sewer infrastructure and our water system, and I think there's guys supporting me because I want to build rail and I want to build it better," Caldwell said. "That's about as much as I can say about it."

Much of the spending and advertising in the mayor's race has been by political action committees that are separate from the campaigns.

The pro-rail Pacific Resource Partnership PAC has spent more than $2.8 million this election, with most of it aimed at defeating Caye­tano. PRP is a trade name for the Carpenters Market Recovery Fund, which is an alliance between the Hawaii Carpenters Union and contractors that use unionized workers.

Cayetano has sued PRP for defamation, alleging that some of its advertisements are false and defamatory.

Other PACs that have been active in the mayor's race include Workers for a Better Hawaii, which is funded by the Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters. That group spent $700,000 on ads supporting Caldwell and opposing Caye­tano.

The group Save­Our­Hono­lulu.com, which was supported by a $100,000 donation from Hono­lulu businessman Robert Iwa­moto, spent about $155,000 on ads in support of Caye­tano.

Another PAC, called Defend Truth, has spent about $81,000 on ads supporting Caye­tano. That PAC is backed by Windward businessman Joe Pickard, who contributed $40,000 to the effort.

 Print   Email   Comment | View 34 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
MalamaKaAina wrote:
In Ben We Trust!
on November 3,2012 | 01:39AM
niimi wrote:
Cancel SA subscription by calling 538-6397. That is how you trust Ben and put pressure on the local paper to be less biased.
on November 3,2012 | 09:01AM
pakeheat wrote:
I just canceled my subscription, it's been a pleasure commenting on the rail project, I'm hoping that Ben wins but I won't be surprised if Caldwell wins with heavy hitters on his side. We are the underdogs, against the machine, greed, and power.
on November 3,2012 | 10:08AM
Soledad wrote:
Robert Iwamoto... Doesn't he own a charter bus company that would be affected by having rail? Talk about special interests...
on November 3,2012 | 11:32AM
OldDiver wrote:
Very biased headline and article. Companies are contributing to Caldwell because they want rail completed. HART is in control of contracts not the Mayor. The other point is rail has won every election or politicians who favor rail have won. Cayetano who has a personal childish vendetta against rail will be defeated by the people to retire fuming in anger and frustration.
on November 3,2012 | 12:43PM
niimi wrote:
There's always a first time, OldDiver, and Cayetano will be the anti-rail candidate to win and win big. The public has caught on to the no-nos being doing on the rail project and it will cease. A good, solid 5% victory for Ben Cayetano!
on November 3,2012 | 02:51PM
allie wrote:
Caldwell is the pay to play maestro!
on November 3,2012 | 03:16PM
markat wrote:
PAY TO PLAY, ALL THE WAY! Finally the truth comes out. My only question is, why does this come out only now, on a Saturday, buried in the paper, after so many people have already voted. If this came out earlier in the election cycle, it might have made a bigger difference. It is a shame that this is only coming out now. This is irresponsible reporting and highly manipulative, if you ask me.
on November 3,2012 | 09:44AM
Wazdat wrote:
Sounds like pay to play to me.
on November 3,2012 | 01:43AM
on November 3,2012 | 07:15AM
kaiakea wrote:
Well written investigative report.
on November 3,2012 | 02:22AM
wondermn1 wrote:
Something is wrong when the companies that are being contracted to build on our Island can contribute to the people who are running for office. This will create a PAY FOR PLAY enviroment even if the players so no, not me. the only way for Honolulu to win is to vote for the truth, Mr. Ben Cayetano and Tom Berg. As you can see by the adds that are being used against them that the group at PRP is still on a Witch Hunt and trying to sway the unintelligent and uninformed voters . Go Ben Go the truth will prevail and the RAIL will FAIL.
on November 3,2012 | 07:33AM
niimi wrote:
Cancel SA subscription by calling 538-6397 if you want to not see biased reporting though this is somewhat neutral for the first time in months by the SA. Civil Beat and the Hawaii Reporter are more on the level in their reporting.
on November 3,2012 | 09:03AM
bumba wrote:
It ALWAYS leads to the money trail. Caldwell, White, Kiewit Infrastructure, what a bunch oc sleazeballs.
on November 3,2012 | 04:39AM
kiragirl wrote:
Follow the money!
on November 3,2012 | 05:01AM
cojef wrote:
You are right, Caldwell received more in donations than Cayetano. The article indicate contractors for the rail contributed heavily for their advantages Honoluluans will decide whether the rail prevail or not.
on November 3,2012 | 06:15AM
Masami wrote:
on November 3,2012 | 06:44AM
wondermn1 wrote:
I voted for Both Ben cayetano and Tom Berg as we need to have someone watching the hen house.
on November 3,2012 | 07:35AM
Eagle156 wrote:
Mufi and Carlisle both lost at the polls because of rail. On Tuesday it will be Caldwell's turn.
on November 3,2012 | 07:40AM
visitor wrote:
Talk about pay-to-play! SA this should have been on the front page.
on November 3,2012 | 08:29AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Or maybe back when there were some undecided voters.
on November 3,2012 | 08:46AM
niimi wrote:
This is how you show the SA you don't like their biased reporting. Cancel SA subscription by calling 538-6397. Just like that.
on November 3,2012 | 09:01AM
niimi wrote:
Notice the biased folks like OldDriver, BluesBreaker and other pro rail folks cannot even argue a sensible point on this particular article? They know because they are WRONG! wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong is supporting Caldwell and supporting the corrupt rail system. Let us just push the reset button on the entire rail project, flush the kukai down the benjo and start over.
on November 3,2012 | 09:04AM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
SA, has it occurred to your editors who are actively promoting the rail project and want Kirk Caldwell's Mayoral candidacy that you are facilitating the transfer of local struggling tax paying families' money into the coffers of giant multinational corporations who care nothing about Oahu?

These corporations are literally buying the outcome of the election and you are helping them do it.
on November 3,2012 | 09:34AM
allie wrote:
yup..told ya that 7 months ago
on November 3,2012 | 03:16PM
Papakolea wrote:
What about the $40k that Mitsunaga & Associates donated to Cayetano? Same play just different actors. To suggest that either candidate is clean as new fallen snow is absurd. Both know how to play the game very well. https://nc.csc.hawaii.gov/CFSPublic/xSA.php?REG_NO=CC10828&RP_ID=132&SAOrder=S4&SAPage=4
on November 3,2012 | 02:29PM
Papakolea wrote:
Like I said, both candidates know how the game is played. http://archives.starbulletin.com/98/07/17/news/index.html
on November 3,2012 | 02:31PM
Imagen wrote:
Yes, you are correct; both candidates "play", but the huge difference here is that Caldwell does this knowingly, willingly, and wantingly all the while claiming ignorance on his part...just how stupid does he think the people are? Please also remember, Caldwell's involvement started when he was the managing director under Mufi. He was the ONE that approved and started the illegal contracts, which is why we are in the position we are today; paying HIS contractors for work not being done...
on November 5,2012 | 09:02AM
mililanihi wrote:
Pat to play has always been, and always will. The sad part about this rail project is that its not feasible and will just put the taxpayer in a bind. If rail was funded 100% by the Federal Government it still would not be advantageous for this to be built. I would welcome rail if it were cost effective and alleviate traffic which is sad to say that this project is not. Mr Caldwell, if you truly care for the people of Hawaii, why not let them decide.Yes or no. Plain and simple.
on November 3,2012 | 08:16PM
Allenk wrote:
SA confirms what we suspected all along. Let's hope that deep pockets don't necessarily dictate which projects get pushed through.
on November 3,2012 | 08:32PM
false wrote:
Caldwell is bought by the special interests. The special interests don't give a damn about people. Cayetano is the lesser of two evils.
on November 3,2012 | 08:45PM
HNLCSI wrote:
Here are the FACTS from the Office of Campaign Spending with the Goverment Cayetano vs. Caldwell RECAP of the 2012 Campaign Spending Commission Report Kirk Caldwell Report Period Total Contributions Received Have Hart Rail Contracts Jan 1 - June 30 $499,339.008 34 July 1 – July 27 $221,427.02 10 July 28 - August 11 $66,330.82 11 August 12 – October 22 $593,616.91 66 ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬_________________________________________________________________ Totals $1,380,714.55 121 Ben Cayetano Report Period Total Contributions Have HART Rail Contracts Jan 1 – June 30 $860,111.41 0 July 1 –July 27 $48,585.34 0 July 28 – August 11 $41,005.06 0 August 12 – October 22 $275,669.40 0 __________________________________________________________ Totals $1,225,371.21 0 *There are additional contributors with HART RAIL Contracts but names have not been released or identified yet.
on November 5,2012 | 08:06AM
HNLCSI wrote:
The table I posted came out not as a table so the bottom line is...from January 2012 - October 2012 Kirk Caldwell Raised $1,380714.55 and 121 contributors had HART Rail contracts. Ben Cayetano Raised $1,225,371.21 and 0 contributors had HART contracts. *There are additional contributors with HART RAIL Contracts in Kirk Caldwell's Campaign Spending Reports but those names have not been released or identified/validated yet.
on November 5,2012 | 08:13AM
ammb3 wrote:
KIRK you should be ashamed at your henchmen, PRP for calling Ben a crook. YOUR contributions sure looks like Pay to Play - right into your hands! It seems you should be placed in the same 'crook' category, you deserve the moniker more than Ben.
on November 5,2012 | 11:26AM
Latest News/Updates
Political Radar
`My side’

Political Radar
‘He reminds me of me’

Bionic Reporter
Needing a new knee

Warrior Beat
Monday musings

Small Talk
Burning money

Political Radar
On policy

Warrior Beat
Apple fallout