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Mainland business group buying TV ad time on behalf of Lingle

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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has made a significant television advertising buy in Hawaii backing former Gov. Linda Lingle for U.S. Senate, the first independent expenditure in what could be a crush of mainland political spending in the campaign.

The two-week television buy touts Lingle as a bipartisan leader who will help increase tourism. The ads are classified as an independent expenditure, which are not coordinated with a campaign but can focus on issues that benefit a candidate.

"Hawaii’s voters need to know where each candidate stands on issues impacting the economy. Linda Lingle is a bipartisan lawmaker with a plan to create jobs," Thomas Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber, said in a statement. "The chamber’s ad highlights Linda’s belief that America’s economy will only recover when Democrats and Republicans work together.  In Hawaii, this means working together to promote travel and tourism in order to create jobs."

Lingle is running against John Carroll, an attorney and former state lawmaker, in the Republican primary.

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono and former congressman Ed Case are the Democratic contenders to replace U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, who is not seeking another term.

Many political analysts believe the Hawaii Senate campaign will receive national attention because it could be one of the races that decide the balance of political power in the Senate.

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