Leave it to Alexander & Baldwin to tell us what wonderful, charitable souls they are. On Apr. 29, the company sent out a news release saying that from July 2012 (when the company divested itself from Matson Navigation) to the end of 2013, their Kokua Giving Program had donated $1.3 million to various organizations dealing with health, education, culture and the arts.
The news release quotes Meredith Ching, A&B’s senior VP for government and community relations, on the donations:
“A&B’s roots are in Hawaii. It’s where we have a responsibility and an opportunity to help shape the community, and where we believe we can make a positive impact. In addition to our corporate charitable giving, A&B employees volunteered countless hours of their time to numerous charitable causes including building playgrounds, cooking and serving meals, cleaning parks, leading fundraising walks and providing leadership for a broad range of charitable organizations. These are just a few ways A&B makes a difference throughout the state and, are reflective of our commitment to our friends and neighbors.”
That’s all fine, but I think the company’s really selling itself short, so to speak. I mean, during that same time period, A&B’s two political action committees (PACs) donated a little more than $80,000 to various political candidates, incumbents and organizations.
For instance, Federal Election Commission records show that during the same period, A&B’s federal PAC gave $39,000 to committees representing Democratic U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono ($2,500), Democratic Representative Tulsi Gabbard ($2,500), U.S. Senate candidate Colleen Hanabusa ($10,000) and the Democratic Party of Hawaii ($4,000).
What’s more, State of Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission records show A&B’s HI Pac donated a little over $41,000 to a wide variety of state and local candidate committees during that same period, including every Maui County Council member save Elle Cochrane. Oh, and on Oct. 5, 2012, the PAC also gave former County Council member Dain Kane $100.
They gave $100 to Kane, who hasn’t won an election since 2004? Now that’s being generous.
Photo: Joel Bradshaw/Wikimedia Commons