Sunday, October 14, 2007


Honolulu Advertiser reveals extent of Superferry contributions to Lingle, pols

by Larry Geller

The Honolulu Advertiser has done us all a great service today by publishing their study of campaign contributions made on behalf of the Hawaii Superferry. In Hawaii ferry spent $175,000 on lobbying we learn:

Hawaii Superferry officials spent more than $175,000 over three years on lobbying and campaign contributions, including dozens of donations to Gov. Linda Lingle, U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie and other key state legislators.

The story reports "$136,000 since 2004 to lobby state officials and the federal government" and other payments.

"You're talking about an extremely large sum of money even by national standards," said Craig Holman, a campaign finance expert with Public Citizen, a Washington, D.C.-based consumer advocacy group. "At the very least, they are trying to buy access, and at the worst they are trying to buy influence."

If you want a laugh to relieve the tedium of all this Superferry news, check where the article says that Superferry executives denied that there is a connection between the money and their legislative efforts. If anyone believes that, I have a bridge I can sell them in case the ferry doesn't run to Neighbor Islands.

If they love to give out money, why not register as a charity and get tax deductions?  Ha, ha ha ha! I suppose the high-powered lobbyists the article listed were hired not for their political influence but for their kind, philanthropic hearts.

Money given by the corporation to politicians' campaigns (the Advertiser found $12,000 given to Lingle 2004-2006) was an investment, to describe it kindly.

To the extent that politicians accepted the money (click on the article link above, or here), we can presume they have been influenced by it.

bribe       (brīb)  n.  
Something, such as money or a favor, offered or given to a person in a position of trust to influence that person's views or conduct. [American Heritage Dictionary]

This makes the current secret activity at the Legislature all the more objectionable. They are supposed to be working for us, the people, but even legislative leadership is on the Advertiser's list—Speaker Calvin Say is listed as the largest recipient of Superferry-related contributions in the legislature.

P.S. Anyone working at the Capitol who would like to leak a copy of the current draft bill, please do so, it would be a  valuable public service. Send it to the papers, to me, to your favorite blogger, doesn't matter. Try sliding it under the door of the press offices downstairs at the Capitol.  Make a reporter's day.


Mahalo Mr. Daysong for doing the research behind Hawaii superferry's lobbying efforts. In addition, how much did they pay directly to their high-priced lobbyists in salary?

I believe you may have missed significant donations from a family member and other investors. Furthermore, you may have missed the significant $$ contributions by lobbyists, John Radcliffe, "Red" Morris, and Bob Toyofuku.

Please check them out at:

Mahalo for beginning to expose the Hawaii Superferry financial lobbying efforts.




John Lehman Chairman, Hawaii Superferry, $3,000(10/06/2006)

Tig Krekel, Operating Director, Hawaii Superferry, $3,000(10/05/2006)

John Garibaldi, President, Hawaii Superferry, $2,800 (03/27/2006)

John Garibald, President, Hawaii Superferry, $1,000 05/31/2004)

David Cole, Board member,Hawaii Superferry, $4,000 (07/13/2005)

Margaret Cole (David Cole's wife), $6,000(06/28/2005)

Steve Case, Major Owner of ML&P, Superferry Investor, $3,000 (10/10/2006)

ML&P Hawaii's major investor in Hawaii Superferry, $1,000 (05/12+27/2006)

ML&P Hawaii's major investor in Hawaii Superferry, ($500 to Aiona) (09/01/2006)

Jeffery Arce, Board member, Hawaii Superferry, ($2,500 to Aiona)(07/28/2005)

COMPARISON NOTES: Only $500 was contributed to Democratic candidate, Randy Iwase, by these Hawaii Superferry interests.

The article mentions a quite a bit of money, but it is only the "above the board" money.

Government in Hawaii has traditionally been known to have problems with kickback on big issues.

Aloha, Brad at

Can somebody post the full text of the Superferry bill on here when you all get it?

Mahalo, Brad

The only copy I have so far is the original draft written by the Attorney General, which has been supposedly rejected by the Legislature. It's posted on this blog 'way down in the article "AG's draft legislation....".

So far no one has leaked a more current draft to me. If I get one, I'll post it. I feel secrecy doesn't help, the people should understand what their representatives are doing.

If anyone reading this is chummy with a legislator, how about seeing if they'll "leak" a copy to you?

Larry, another angle on this was suggested to me... also look at the campaign contributions they made to challengers who didn't get elected. For example Jan Yagi Buen, who ran against Roz Baker in West Maui. I haven't looked up the numbers myself, but I understand like 90% of her contributions came from superferry connections...

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