Kauai attorney Dan Hempey has filed a federal Elections Commission complaint against Rep. Colleen Hanabusa over possible links between her campaign and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) lobby.
The complaint stems from a Washington Post article that published communications between Hanabusa’s staff and campaign detailing PhRMA's plans to “pull together” an independent expenditure on her behalf, which is prohibited by both federal elections law and the House of Representatives Code of Official Conduct.
The communication occurred when the House was deliberating a bill about how much elderly citizens should pay for their medications.
“I was shocked to learn that the Hanabusa campaign appeared to be actively coordinating with those same corporations that would profit from her position, to the detriment of some of our most vulnerable
citizens,” Hempey said in a news release.
He called for a thorough investigation. “These issues are too important for us to be worrying about whether legislative decision making is infected by big money.”
Hanabusa recently announced plans to abandon the Congressional seat she won just last year to run against Brian Schatz, who was named by Gov. Abercrombie to fill the late Sen. Dan Inouye's seat.
Kauai residents may know her better as presiding over the state Senate when the Legislature held a special session to exempt the Hawaii Superferry from the state EIS process.