Jewish Senate Candidate and Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle Rakes in $1.8 Mil.

Honolulu Civil Beat Reports: GOP U.S. Senate candidate Linda Lingle collected more than $260,000 from 75 political action committees in three months of fundraising, according to her federal campaign finance report posted online Tuesday.

Only one of those PACs — Alexander & Baldwin Federal PAC — is based in Honolulu. It gave her $2,500, but it also gave $3,000 to Democratic Senate rival Mazie Hirono, and $2,500 each to congressional candidates Mufi Hannemann and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, both Democrats.

The others PACs contributing to Lingle are headquartered all over the country, many in the heart of the Beltway — Washington, D.C., and Alexandria, Virginia.

The PAC money represents about 15 percent of the nearly $1.8 million Lingle reported raising through Dec. 31. Most of her money — about $1.5 million — came from individuals who are listed in hundreds of pages of her 464-page filing. (If you’re looking for the PACs, go to page 377.)

Civil Beat is closely tracking political money this year, especially in light of the Citizens United case that allows corporations and unions to spend unlimited amounts of money to independently support or oppose canddiates and ballot measures. Donations directly to candidates still are limited under federal law.

The Hawaii Senate race is expected to draw lots of money this year, to both the Republican Lingle and the Democrat that goes on to the general election, likely either current Rep. Hirono or former congressman Ed Case. Republicans are hoping to take advantage of Lingle, the former governor’s, popularity to wrest the Hawaii Senate seat away from Democrats now that longtime Sen. Daniel Akaka is retiring.

Underscoring the GOP national leadership’s interest in Hawaii, many top Republicans have contributed to Lingle’s campaign.

The Freedom Project, chaired by House Speaker John Boehner, gave Lingle $10,000. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour’s PAC gave Lingle $10,000. Former Sen. Trent Lott’s New Republican Majority Fund chipped in $2,500.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave $10,000 to her through his Bluegrass Committee. Arizona Sen. John McCain, the former GOP presidential nominee, kicked in $5,000 through his Country First PAC. They are among about 20 Republican senators who altogether contributed more than $80,000 to Lingle in this reporting period.

Lingle, who is Jewish, drew $5,000 from the Republican Jewish Coalition PAC and another $5,000 from the National Action Committee PAC, based in Hollywood, Florida, which bills itself as the nation’s largest pro-Israel political action committee. NORPACof Englewood, New Jersey says it is a nonpartisan PAC that promotes relations with Israel; it gave Lingle $3,000.Republican Majority for Choice PAC, based in Washington, D.C., contributed $2,500.

Read Full Article at: Honolulu Civil Beat Reports

02/01/2012 5:45 PM by Mark Hirshberg

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