Matson Navigation is supporting the one of three candidates in a special congressional election who supports the Jones Act, an online news source reported.
In an email to employees last month, Matson President Matthew J. Cox identified state senator Colleen Hanabusa, a Democrat, as the only candidate in the race who supports the Jones Act, the Hawaii Reporter said Tuesday.
“The Jones Act is the single most important piece of legislation to Matson,” Cox wrote. Matson’s support for candidates is “based on their support for the American maritime industry … Just as Matson needs the support of Congress on these vital issues, members of Congress need our support to win elections.”
Cox told employees the Matson Federal Election Committee had set a budget of $30,300 for 2010.
Hanabusa’s opponents, Charles Djou, a Republican member of the Honolulu city council, and former U.S. Rep. Rick Case, a Democrat, support exempting Hawaii from the Jones Act, which restricts domestic ocean transportation to U.S.-owned companies. Matson is the dominant carrier in the trade between the state and the U.S. mainland.
Case left the House in 2006 for an unsuccessful campaign for the Senate. The Matson memo said that during his tenure, Case tried three times to exempt Hawaii from the law, but the company “was able to galvanize support from other members of Congress to defeat the bills.”
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