Victorino war chest larger heading into the general election

Rival Cochran reports deficit in mayor’s race; Victorino has more than $30,000 surplus

Mike Victorino

Former Maui County Council Member Mike Victorino reported having a campaign war chest surplus of $33,280.40 as of last month’s primary election while Council Member Elle Cochran, his rival for the Mayor’s Office, disclosed having a deficit of $1,283.47, reports to the state Campaign Spending Commission show.

Victorino and Cochran finished first and second, respectively, in a seven-candidate field in the Aug. 11 primary, advancing to a head-to-head contest on Nov. 6. Victorino took 13,556 votes, or 39.8 percent, while Cochran claimed 10,439, or 30.6 percent. Third place went to Council Member Don Guzman, who received 8,190 votes, or 24 percent.

The most recent campaign spending reporting period was for the two-week period of July 28 to Aug. 11.

During that period, Victorino reported having $34,374.89 as of July 28, adding $6,499 in total receipts, bringing his total available cash to $40,873.89. Of that, he spent $7,593.49 in the two weeks leading up to the primary.

In the same period, Cochran showed she began with $9,870.93 and took in an additional $4,188.06, bringing her total available cash to $14,058.99. Of that, she spent $10,415.58, leaving her with cash on hand of $3,643.41. Also, she reported total unpaid expenditures of $4,926.88. That took her campaign into negative cash territory.

Elle Cochran

Cochran’s largest contribution during the reporting period was $2,000 from the Lahaina Cannery Retail Owner LP c/o JG Management, located in Westlake Village, Calif. Kihei resident Thomas Creagh donated $1,000, bringing his total contributions during the election period to $2,253.02. Haiku resident Barbara Barry, a self-employed psychologist, provided $149.39 in Fedex Kinkos fliers, bringing her total contributions to $1,938.39.

The Maui Pono Network, which has been backing ‘Ohana Coalition candidates, contributed $138.67 in advertising, bringing its total to $233.22.

Meanwhile, Victorino’s largest donation during the most recent reporting period was $2,000 from California resident David Billings, a developer with DBR Development LLC. Billings’ total contributions to Victorino reached the $4,000 limit.

Another $1,000 came into the Victorino coffers from Outrigger Enterprises in Honolulu. Its total contributions during the campaign amounted to $1,200. The Hawaii Laborers’ and Employers’ Cooperation and Education Trust Fund donated $1,000. Maui Soda & Ice Works Ltd. contributed $500.

Victorino spent nearly $4,500 on food and beverages during the reporting period, and $2,604.57 went to pay for lease rent on his campaign headquarters.

Most of Cochran’s spending in the two weeks leading up to the primary was on advertising, a little more than $7,500. Another $2,083.32 paid for lease rent in July and August for her campaign headquarters.

Guzman reported having $13,799.10 available in the last two weeks of the primary campaign. He spent $7,645.64 and had $6,153.46 in cash on hand. However, a $5,000 loan left him with a surplus of $1,153.46.

In campaign spending reports for County Council candidates in primary contests:

West Maui: Tamara Paltin had $10,016.73 available during the reporting period, spending $1,144.86, which left her with $8,871.87. She finished first in the primary, followed by Rick Nava. He reported having $413.42 available, spending nothing during the two weeks leading up to the primary. But, because he has $3,197.12 in loans, his campaign is running a deficit of $2,783.70.

Makawao-Haiku-Paia: Former Council Member Mike Molina had $13,554.36 available, spending $5,094.63 and leaving him with cash on hand of $8,459.73. He took the most votes in the primary, followed by Trinette Furtado. She reported having $3,911.46 available, spending $138.67 and leaving her with $3,772.79 in cash on hand. However, she has a $7,900 loan on the books, which left her campaign with a deficit of $4,127.21.

Molokai: Council Member Stacy Crivello disclosed having $5,882.81 available during the reporting period. Of that, she spent $301.07 and was left with $5,581.74. She finished first in the primary, followed by Keani Rawlins-Fernandez. She had $14,461.81 available, spent $1,324.17 and had cash on hand of $13,137.64. However, because of a loan of $1,927.76, Rawlins-Fernandez’s campaign was left with a cash surplus of $11,209.88, almost double the incumbent’s surplus.

Kahului: Community advocate Natalie “Tasha” Kama finished first in a three-way primary race for the council’s Kahului residency seat, with Mayor Alan Arakawa taking second and advancing to the November general election.

Kama reported having $1,355.48 available during the campaign spending report period, spending $1,283.01 and keeping $72.47 in cash on hand. (An earlier report that showed she had a deficit of nearly $7,700 was incorrect and has since been corrected, she said.)

She reported receiving $400 from Nick Drance of Sherman Oaks, Calif., and $119.17 in professional services from the Maui Pono Network.

Arakawa had $58,517.96 available, the most funds of any candidate for a Maui County office. Of that total, he spent $2,763.79 and kept $55,754.17.

Arakawa reported receiving $1,000 each from S.F. Land Co. President C. Earl Stoner and the Hawaii Operating Engineers Industry Stabilization Fund.

Among the mayor’s reported expenditures was a $907.85 payment to the Honolulu law firm of McCorriston Miller Mukai Mackinnon for “legal fees for a frivolous complaint.” In the past, this has referred to Campaign Spending Commission’s complaint relating to what commission staff had characterized as an “apparent scheme” to report charitable contributions as advertising expenses.

In February, the commission fined Arakawa $1,000 and ordered him to use personal funds to reimburse his campaign, the Friends of Alan Arakawa, $8,332.16. At the time, Arakawa maintained he didn’t intentionally do anything wrong. He contended that 50 alleged violations were all paid campaign advertising, for which there are no limits.

The commission eventually found that the Arakawa campaign made 14 payments to 13 nonprofits totaling $16,332.16 from 2014 to 2016. The panel ruled those payments should have been reported as charitable donations, and that the total amount exceeded the $8,000 statutory limit by $8,332.16.

* Brian Perry can be reached at bperry@mauinews.com.

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