So apparently the Hawaii Republican Party is quite scared of Kaniela Ing, because they’re filing multitudes of campaign spending complaints against him. A whole mess of them are detailed in this Maui News story running today, along with Ing’s explanations and denials of wrong-doing. But one particular allegation–that Ing violated state law by accepting more than $2,000 from a contributor–caught our attention:
He disputes the accusation that his campaign accepted a contribution in excess of the $2,000 legal limit for his race.
Ing explained that he received both a $1,000 contribution and a $1,895 campaign loan from the same individual, as reflected in his campaign spending reports online.
“In statute, if you fail to report a loan, it has to be counted as a contribution,” he said. “The person who gave us the loan also gave $1,000, so it would be over the limit, but it’s been reported as a loan with all the paperwork sent in, so that claim has no standing.”
Um, what individual? For some reason, The Maui News chose not to name the “individual” who loaned Ing $1,895 and gave him $1,000, even though all campaign contributions and loans are a matter of public record, so I will: Robert Wintner.
That’s right, folks: Snorkel Bob, one of Hawaii’s most famous marine writers and photographers, cut Ing a check for one grand on June 28 and then, on Aug. 9, loaned him nearly two grand.
“He’s a young guy with a lot of natural instincts,” Wintner told me this morning. “He was very persistent in seeking support from me. He speaks very clearly and he doesn’t blow smoke.” Wintner also said that also supported Ing because he was appalled at Republican incumbent George Fontaine‘s negative mailers against former Representative Joe Bertram III.
Wintner said he loaned Ing the money because Ing miscalculated when he would receive public matching funds.
“He qualified for matching funds,” Wintner said. “They did not arrive when he thought they would. He might not get them for a week or so, so I loaned him the money.” Wintner added that Ing has since repaid him.
Wintner’s support for Ing is hardly a surprise for Maui News readers–on Sept. 28, the paper published a pro-Ing letter from Wintner:
I have met with Kaniela Ing. I care not one zip about who was born where or years here or there. I assess on integrity and aloha and stated pledge to stand up for our reefs. I assess Kaniela Ing as the right man for the job.
“This ain’t my first rodeo,” Wintner said when I asked him about his other political advocacy. “I’m all in for [U.S. Senate candidate] Mazie Hirono and [Oahu Representative candidate/Speaker Calvin Say opponent] Keiko Bonk.”