Gov. Ige’s Super-$6K Club, Expanded Edition, Part 1

Six thousand dollars is the most that any individual is allowed to give to a candidate in the governor’s race, under Hawaii’s state campaign finance laws. But that doesn’t mean that several individuals related to the same company—or their spouses or siblings—can’t legally give $6,000 each, so long as they don’t get the company to give them the money and they don’t conspire together to give it as a group.
We named some of these “Super $6,000 groups” as a sidebar to a story in our February 2014 print edition. But then we discovered that the search program that we used had only identified a fraction of Ige’s $6,OOO donors, and hadn’t identified members of the same organizations who gave smaller amounts. So we’ve gone back doing it the old-fashioned way: campaign report file by campaign report file, line by line. And what we found was a bit dismaying.
First, let this be said: Ige drew massive grassroots support, with hundreds of donors who contributed between $25 and $1500. And in some of the the remaining big-ticket cases, it may well simply be that two individuals in the same household were just supporting their political convictions as individuals. Former Governor Ben Cayetano donated $6,000 to Ige, for instance, and his wife Vicky chipped in another $5,000. But others just don’t pass the “smell test”: they do business with the state and present potential conflicts of interest for the Governor. And some simply seem to stretch the rules. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, for instance, contributed $6k through their national PAC, $6K through a local PAC, $6k through an organization called Hawaii Electricians Marketing Enhancement Plan, which operates out of the same room as one of the IBEW local chapters, and yet another $6K through yet another local. Ige, himself an electrical engineer, managed to get four times the love from different branches of the same organization.
The biggest Super $6K Club member by far that we’ve found is a company Called Aviation and Professional Services or AvAirpro Services or AVAirpro Services, which says on its Web site that it provides consulting and services to Honolulu Airport. Its officers and their wives apparently fattened Gov. Ige’s campaign war chest by $60,000 in a single day. And they apparently weren’t donating out of deep political conviction, either—several of them also gave to former Governor Neil Abercrombie, whom Ige defeated in the primary.
We also found a number of instances in which Ige’s campaign committee actually named persons and organizations that had donated more than $6,000 individually, in clear violation of the law. In some cases, we found records showing that the Ige campaign had returned the excess—but not all, or even the majority of such cases.
We’re still far from finding all of Gov. Ige’s Super $6,000 contributors. The Governor’s campaign finance files are massive; so far, we’ve only gotten back to his committee’s August 10-October 20, 2014 general election repot. And the data is often incomplete; the majority of donors don’t even give their job description or business affiliation, for instance, though most of the $6k donors do—and some have filed information that’s vague or misleading, such as donating in a bloc with members of one company but giving a position in another organization with which they may hae an affiliation. But here’s what we’ve got so far. Each name is followed by the information from his, her or the organization’s entry in Ige’s campaign contribution report, often followed by a summay what we’ve found out about them so far from other sources.
At very least, the list below gives some idea of some of the people and groups who thought Ige was the right man to represent their interests in the Governor’s office.

AVAirpros Services $60,000 total
A.k.a. AvAir Pros, Airport and Aviation Professionals Inc
‘…providing professional consulting and management services to airlines and airports throughout the US including…Honolulu”—from their Web site. They have office in Honolulu and an office lease from the DLNR at the Khului Airport on Maui.

Aoki, Rodrick S. $6,000
AVAipros
Consultant
1530 Haku St., Apt. A
Honolulu HI 96819

Ogawa, Alan $6,000
AVAirpros Services
CFO
1759 Dixon Street
Redondo Beach CA 90278-282

Ogawa, Atsuko $6,000
Information pending
Pending
1759 Dixon Street
Redondo Beach CA 90278-282

Demkovich, Paul B. $6,000
AVAirpro Service
CEO
9629 Wilshire Lakes Blvd
Naples FL 34109

Demkovich, Sheila $6,000
Information Pending
Pending
9629 Wilshire Lakes Blvd
Naples FL 34109

Salomon, Luis $6,000
Airport and Aviation Professionals
Chairman
10049 Boca Avenue S
Naples FL 34109

Casto, Gregory A. $6,000
AVAirpro
Vice President
915 6th Street S.
Naples FL 34109-6907

Chivington, Steven P. $6,000
Airport and Aviation Professionals Inc.
President
4220 Herschel Ave. Apt 802
Dallas TX 75219

Strohm, Phillip A. $6,000
Meristern LLP
Senior Advisor
110 E Center Street No. 2314
Madison SD 57042-2908
Strohm’s $6K contribution was listed amidst all of the others from AVAirpros on 10/14/2014. We found one Web site that referred to Strohm as an advisor to a company called “Meristem (not Meristern) LLP.” But other sites, including Strohm’s own LinkIn page, say he’s “CEO AvAirPros, Naples, Florida” Bizapedia.com names Strohm as a “principle” in the company.

Strohm, Nancy F. $6,000
Pending Information
Pending
110 E Center Street No. 2314
Madison SD 57042-2908
Also filed the same day, between Aoki and Ogawa’s names, was Nancy, who share’s Phillip’s South Dakota address: Also filed that day were Sheila Demkovich and Atsuko Ogawa, who also share last names and home addresses with AVAirPro executives and list their company affiliations and jobs as “Pending Information” and “Pending.”

SSFM International $35,200 total
Engineering firm

Kawachika, Norman M $6,000
SSFM International
Project Manager
2943 Lowrey Avenue
Honolulu HI 96822

Matsumoto, Michael P. $6,200
SSFM International
Engineer
333 Kupu Place
Honolulu HI 96817

Matsumoto, Theolinda O. $6,000
Retired
333 Kupu Place
Honolulu HI 96817

Stacey Miyamoto $6,000
SSFM International
Manager
P.O. Box 256603
Honolulu HI 96825

Matsuoka, Corey M. $5,000
SSFM International
Executive VP
2737 Dow Street
Honolulu HI 96817

Lee Takushi $ 6,000
SSFM International
VP Project Management
5332 Poola Street
Honolulu HI 96821

Mitsunaga and Associates $28,000 total
Architectural, engineering and construction firm.

Mitsunaga, Dennis $6,000
Mitsunaga and Associates
747 Amana Street, #216
Honolulu HI 96814

Fujii, Aaron $6,000
Mitsunaga and Associates
2724A Kaaipu Avenue
Honolulu HI 96822

Mitsunaga, Chan Ok $6,000
Mitsunaga and Associates
747 Amana Street, #216
Honolulu HI 96814

Okino, Glenn M. $6,000
Mitsunaga Construction Inc
2251 A Aulii Street
Honolulu HI 96817

Arnold T. Koya $1,000
Mitsunaga and Associates
Manager
1226 Alexander Street, #1401
Honolulu HI 96826

Mitsunaga, Lois L. $1,000
Mitsunaga and Associates
Engineer
415 South Street, #2803
Honolulu HI 96813

Otani, Terri Ann $1,000
Mitsunaga and Associates
Office Manager
3050 Ala Poha Place, E7
Honolulu HI 96818

Longline fishermen and supporting companies $33,000 total?
Contributions from these five businesses and their officers were all clustered together in the Ige organization’s records on the same day. All are related to Honolulu’s longline fishing industry; three share the same address, and a fourth is located next door. We’re not sure if they’re all closely enough related to qualify for the Super-$6K club together, but they do seem to have donated as a unified bloc.

Pacific Fishing and Supply Inc. $6,000
504 N. Nimitz Hwy
Honolulu HI 96817
Has approx. eight long-line commercial fishing vessels registered in its name.

Vessel Management Associates, Inc. $6000
1133 N. Nimitz Hwy
Honolulu HI 96817
Has at least six registered long-line commercial fishing vessels.

POP Fishing and Marine $6,000
1133 N. Nimitz Hwy
Honolulu HI 96817
Commercial fishing supply company.

NICOS LLC $2,000
1133 N. Nimitz Hwy
Honolulu HI 96817

United Fishing Agency, Ltd. $6,000
1131 N. Nimitz Highway
Honolulu HI 96817
Runs Honolulu fish market

Goto, Michael K. $1,000
Executive Assistant
United Fishing Agency
876 Curtis Street, Apt 2802
Honolulu HI 96813

Cook, James $6000
POP Fishing and Marine
Vise President
46045 Lilipuna Road
Kaneohe HI 96744

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers $24,000 Total
IBEW PAC Educational Fund $6,000
900 Seventh St.
Washington, DC 20001
IBEW LOCAL UNION 1357 PAC $6,000
2305 S. Beretania Street, #206
Honolulu HI 96826-1432

HEMEP POLITICAL FUND $6,000
1935 Hau Street, Room 300
Honolulu HI 96819
Hawaii Electricians Marketing Enhancement Plan. Note that it shows the same street address and room number as IBEW Local 1186, below

LOCAL UNION 1186 IBEW $6,000
1935 Hau Street, Room 300
Honolulu HI 96819-5003
Thornton & Naumes $20,000 total
a.k.a. Thorton Naumes, The Thornton Law Firm. Boston tort law firm. “The firm has represented more than 20,000 victims of asbestos and toxic exposure, defective products, financial fraud, and personal injury accidents throughout Boston, the state of Massachusetts, and across the country.” Appears to specialize in industrial torts such as asbestos-related illnesses,

Michael Thornton $6,000
Thornton Naumes
Attorney
100 Summer Street
Boston, MA 02110

Bradley, Garrett $6,000
Massachusetts State Legislature
state legislator
11 Blaisdell Rd.
Hingman, MA 02043
Garrett is also an attorney at Thornton and Naumes.

Donohue, Joseph $1,000
Information Pending
Information Pending
7 Fairway Drive
Andover MA 01810
The Thornton Law Firm Web site lists Donohue as an attorney with the firm

McMorris, David $2,000
Thornton and Naumes
Attorney
100 Summer Street
Boston MA 02110

Strouss, David $2000
Thornton and Naumes
Attorney
100 Summer Street
Boston MA 02110

Wainwright, Andrew $1,000
Thornton Law Firm
Attorney
45 Greenbrook Road
S Hamilton MA 01982

Lesser, Michael $1,000
Thornton Law Firm
Partner
100 Summer Street
Boston MA 02110

Roberts Hawaii $24,000 total.
Bus company. In adddition to its well known tour bus operationns, it supplies school buses for Hawaii DOT and drivers for the County’s Hele On Bus.

Iwamoto, Arlene
Homemaker
680 Iwilei Road, Suite 700
Honolulu HI 96817

Iwamoto, Robert Jr.
Roberts Hawaii
680 Iwilei Road, Suite 700
Honolulu HI 96817

Iwamoto, Tiffany S.
Homemaker
621 Ulili Street
Honolulu HI 96816

Iwamoto, Chad
Roberts Hawaii
621 Ulili Street
Honolulu HI 96816

eWorld Enterprise Solutions, Inc. 20,000 Total
“eWorld Enterprise Solutions, Inc. (eWorldES) provides services for mid-sized and larger organizations in the public and private sector.” Among the company’s recent accomplishments: “Developing a Health and Human Services benefit tracking application”

Mizokawa, Steven M. $4,000
eWorld Enterprise Solutions, Inc.
Vice President
3444 Pinao Street
Honolulu HI 96822

Bongco, Joel M. $4,000
eWorld Enterprise
CTO
95-116 Lalei Place
Mililani HI 96789

Yoshimi, Garret $4,000
eWorld Enterprise
VP, COO
98-1941 Kaahumau Street. Apt T
Aiea HI 96701-1857

Senda, Dean $4,000
eWorld Enterprise
VP, CFO
3143 E. Manoa Road
Honolulu HI 96822

Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP $15,000 total
“BLB&G is widely recognized as one of the leading law firms worldwide advising institutional investors on issues related to corporate governance, shareholder rights, and securities litigation. We have also prosecuted some of the most significant employment discrimination, civil rights and consumer protection cases on record.” Contributions from the firm’s members at addresses across the country were all recorded together on 10/15/2014. But we should note that these contributions are probably like pocket money to this firm, which has won billions in securities litigation against major corporations such as Worldcom, Cendant and Bank of America.

Berger, Max W. $3,000
Bernestein [sic] Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP
Partner
181 East 65th Street
New York NY 10065

Lebovitch, Mark $1.250
Bernestein [sic] Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP
Partner
42 Clive Hills Road
Short Hills NJ 07078

Graziano, Salvatore J. $1,500
Bernestein [sic] Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP
Partner
85 Remsen Street
Brooklyn NY 11201

Silk, Gerald H. $1,500
Bernestein [sic] Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP
Partner

17 Burgess Raod [sic]
Scarsdale NY 10583
Gelderman, G. Anthony III $5,000
Bernestein [sic] Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP
Counsel
2727 Prytania Street Suite 14

New Orleans LA 70130
Stickney, David R. $1,250
Bernestein [sic] Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP
Attorney/Partner
PO Box 17
Rancho Santa Fe CA 92067

Nicholas, Blair $1,500
Bernestein [sic] Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP
Partner
3177 Wildflower Summit
Encinitas CA 92024

R. M. Towill $14,950 Total
Engineering firm.

Yamamoto, James H. $6,000
R.M. Towill
Vice President & Senior Product Manager
3528 Kepuhi Street
Honolulu HI 96815

Collins, Lam D. $2,550
R. M. Towill
Engineer/Manager
95-217 Polie Place
Mililani HI 96789

Hiyakumoto, Greg H. $1,700
R M. Towill
President
PO Box 2930
Aiea HI 96701

Tanoue, David K. $2,500
R. M. Towill
Attorney
600 Queen Street, #2906
Honolulu HI 96813

Tsutsui, Roy T. $2,500
R. M. Towill
Engineer
2809 Kalawao Street
Honolulu HI 96822

Nan, Inc. $1,200
Construction and general contracting firm. Often gets bids for state highways.

Shin, Nan C. $6,000
Contractor
3170 Noela St.
Honolulu HI 96815

Shin, Mariko K. $6,000
Housewife
3170 Noela St.
Honolulu HI 96815
May be the wife of Patrick Shin of Nan, Inc. Was jointly named with him and the company in at least one legal proceeding.

Demattei Wong Associates $12,000 total
California based architectural firm.

Demattei, Anthony
Demattei Wong Associates
2129 Queens Ln
San Mateo CA 94402

Wong, Wesley
Demattei Wong Associates
3522 Gillon Ave.
Dallas TX 75205

Hawaii Laborer’s International Union, Local 368 $6,000-12,000
Local 368 donated money both through its own PAC and through a “cooperative trust fund” with contractors who employed its members. Local 368 “represents members working in construction, environmental remediation, maintenance, food service, health care, clerical and other occupations, as well as in state, local and municipal government jobs and as mail handlers in the U.S. Postal Service.”

Hawaii Laborer’s PAC
1617 Palama Street
Honolulu, HI 96817

Hawaii Laborers and Employers Cooperation and Educ [sic]
1440 Kapiolani Boulevard, #800
Honolulu HI 96814
Hawaii Laborers and Employers Cooperation and Education Trust Fund, “…a partnership between the 5,000 Statewide union members of the Hawaii Laborers’ Union, Local 368 and its over 250+ signatory union contractors. The underlying principle of Hawaii LECET is through this labor and management partnership, the organized sector of the construction industry can grow and prosper. This creates opportunities for our signatory contractors and jobs for our highly trained and skilled membership.

Fluid Technologies Inc. $11,000 total
“Fluid Technologies, has partnered with Corix Water Systems to offer safe, cost-effective and sustainable water, wastewater and energy utility infrastructure solutions for the State of Hawaii.”
Choy, Michael K.
Fluid Technologies Inc.
President
1211 Lunaai Street
Kailua HI 96734

Shitabata, Darren $5,000
Fluid Technologies
VP
95-1066 Hoalia Street
Mililani HI 96789
The Cayetanos $11,000 total

Cayetano, Benjamin
Retired
1926 Okoa Place
Honolulu, HI 96821
Former governor.

Vicky Cayetano $5,000
CEO
United Laundry Services
P.O. Box 161060
Honolulu, HI 96816

Richard Gushman $8,000 total
Gushman, Richard $8,000
Self Employed
Investor
3300 Pacific Heights Rd.
Aiea, HI 3300 Pacific Heights Rd.
How Gushman got away with this, we’re not sure. Apparently he made more than one donation and they totaled up to $8,000, and the Ige campaign dutifully reported it. We haven’t yet found an entry in the campaign records saying that the excess had been returned. From Pacific Business News: “Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. has named Richard W. Gushman II to its board of directors. Gushman is the owner and president of the Hawaii-based real estate development firm, DGM Group. He also is the majority owner and managing general partner of Summit Financial Resources of Salt Lake City.”

Myra and Thomas Kosasa $12,000 total
Kosasa, Myrah I.
Bradley Pacific Aviation
VP
1319 Punahou Street, #1040
Honolulu HI 96826

Kosasa, Thomas S.
Self-employed
Physician
1319 Punahou Street, #1040
Honolulu HI 96826

Kosasa, Paul J. $7,250.00
President
ABC Stores
1087 Waiholo Street
Honolulu HI 96821
Like Gushman, Kosasa’s total donations reported by Ige’s campaign committee exceeded the $6,000 limit. We don’t know if he’s related to Thomas and Myra, directly above.

University of Hawaii Professional Assembly $7,000 Total
Union representing UH faculty. The above figure represents only donations by the union and its executive director; we didn’t track contributions by individual teachers.
University of Hawaii Professional Assembly
1017 Palm Drive
Hononlulu, HI 96814

J.N. Musto $1000
University of Hawaii Professional Assembly
Executive Director
47-635 Nukupuu Street
Kaneohe, HI 96744

Former $6,000 Club Members

Hawaii Fire Fighters Association $6,000
2305 South Beretania Street, #202
Honolulu HI 96826
According to Ige’s campaign spending records, the sum of the Fire Fighter’s contributions as if 10/08/2014 was $6,250. The campaign authorized refund of the excess $250 on the same day.

Outrigger Enterprises $6,000
2375 Kuhio Avenue
Honolulu HI 96815
The Ige campaign reported that in addition to $2,000 in earlier donations, Outrigger added $6,000 on 10/17/2014, putting it $2,000 over the spending limit. The campaign authorized return of the excess on 10/21/2014.

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