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The current Senate primary in Hawaii is headed towards nasty as reported by Richard Borreca in the 7/30/2013 edition of the Star Advertiser.

http://www.staradvertiser.com/...

As I am a strong supporter of Rep. Hanabusa, I am dismayed by the media-driven "scandal" concerning PHRMAʻs alleged campaign support.

But, this is not a deal breaker for me as it represents the problem with the current campaign system that is driven by high-priced media buys to win elections. And... as some smart person once said, you canʻt change things for people if you are not elected, and the election system is a money-hungry machine.

As Borreca so aptly pointed out, "There is nothing about the fund-raising system that makes you shout, "I love how this democracy works." What this means in practical terms is that everyone running for high office is forced to take money from many sources, given the high cost of media buys that tip the balance in a campaign.

Brian Schatz, himself used to tout campaign reform but not so much in recent years. He too takes money from various monied interests including developers, hedge fund managers, Punahou school administrators, and the family of the CEO of First Hawaiian Bank.

As to PHRMA's donations Colleen, herself has taken no money from them for this campaign, but that is irrelevant. PHRMA gives money to a ton of congressionals. They even give money to the DCCC for heaven's sake.

Here's a partial list of public record:
House and Senate PAC contributions from last cycle:
House
Total to Democrats: $28,000
Total to Republicans: $47,500
Recipient  
Total  
Aderholt, Robert B (R-AL)
$1,000
Barrow, John (D-GA)
$2,000
Blackburn, Marsha (R-TN)
$2,000
Boehner, John (R-OH)
$5,000
Boustany, Charles W Jr (R-LA)
$1,000
Brady, Kevin (R-TX)
$1,000
Butterfield, G K (D-NC)
$1,000
Camp, Dave (R-MI)
$1,000
Carney, John (D-DE)
$2,000
Cassidy, Bill (R-LA)
$500
Clyburn, James E (D-SC)
$2,000
Connolly, Gerry (D-VA)
$1,000
Dingell, John D (D-MI)
$2,500
Eshoo, Anna (D-CA)
$2,000
Frelinghuysen, Rodney (R-NJ)
$2,000
Gardner, Cory (R-CO)
$2,000
Gingrey, Phil (R-GA)
$1,000
Goodlatte, Bob (R-VA)
$2,000
Hoyer, Steny H (D-MD)
$3,000
Lance, Leonard (R-NJ)
$2,000
Larson, John B (D-CT)
$1,000
Latham, Tom (R-IA)
$2,500
Levin, Sander (D-MI)
$1,000
Matheson, Jim (D-UT)
$2,500
McCarthy, Kevin (R-CA)
$2,500
Nunes, Devin (R-CA)
$1,000
Pallone, Frank Jr (D-NJ)
$500
Paulsen, Erik (R-MN)
$1,000
Pitts, Joe (R-PA)
$2,000
Price, David (D-NC)
$1,000
Rogers, Mike (R-MI)
$2,000
Rokita, Todd (R-IN)
$1,000
Roskam, Peter (R-IL)
$2,000
Ryan, Paul (R-WI)
$2,000
Sanchez, Linda (D-CA)
$1,000
Schock, Aaron (R-IL)
$1,000
Schrader, Kurt (D-OR)
$2,000
Schultz, Debbie Wasserman (D-FL)
$1,500
Schwartz, Allyson (D-PA)
$1,000
Shimkus, John M (R-IL)
$500
Smith, Lamar (R-TX)
$1,000
Stearns, Cliff (R-FL)
$2,500
Towns, Edolphus (D-NY)
$1,000
Upton, Fred (R-MI)
$5,000
Walden, Greg (R-OR)
$1,000

In the Senate:
Reid, Harry (D-NV)
$5,000
Menendez, Robert (D-NJ)
$4,500
Tester, Jon (D-MT)
$2,000
Baucus, Max (D-MT)
$6,000
Gillibrand, Kirsten (D-NY)
$1,000
Hagan, Kay R (D-NC)
$3,500
Harkin, Tom (D-IA)
$3,000

Some of these Senators, including Harry Reid and Bob Menedez, have donated to the Schatz campaign as well. While I understand that many electeds donate to their colleagues' campaigns, I feel that to do so in this race in Hawaii, favoring one good Democrat over another, is unwise

Let's put to rest the gaffe made by a staffer who was freelancing his so-called coordination with PHRMA. From everything I have read in the Washington Post and Hawaii media, he was acting entirely on his own. No one in the campaign or in the Congresswoman's office knew what he was doing with the group, including Rep. Hanabusa. In my opinion as a former staffer, this person far exceeded his authority and betrayed his duty to the Congresswoman.

So to sum up, I am very far left on most issues, but am not a political purist. I support Colleen for this seat, because she has always been a strong supporter of women's rights, she has always supported gay rights and, like our President, has evolved to support gay marriage. I support Colleen because the Senate needs a woman in a body where there are 17 women and 83 men, most of them old and white. I support Colleen because she has a spine of steel and a forthright character. I support Colleen because she has a legislative track record of support for the issues that I hold dear and that represent the core issues of the Democratic Party: civil rights and labor rights. The Senate needs women like Colleen Hanabusa.

Ann S. Freed
LTC US Army (Ret)

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