Fred Malek was one of the original – and worst – Dirty Tricksters of the Nixon era:

He worked in the Nixon administration to root out civil servants and replace them with Nixon supporters. He was specifically tasked with politicizing departments of the government and handing out illegal political patronage. He claimed that a “Jewish cabal” was undermining Nixon at the Bureau of Labor Statistics and hunted them down by looking for people with “Jewish-sounding names” and driving them out of their jobs.

Malek slithered away from the Nixon Administration, parlayed his connections to high positions in corporate America and is now worth half a billion dollars. He served as John McCain’s finance director in the 2008 presidential campaign. Most recently, he founded a Wall Street- and Pharma-funded Republican SuperPAC, the American Action Network, which spent $8 million in the 2012 elections and has spread around about $5 million so far this cycle.

Malek and AAN have just dumped $300,000 into Hawai`i’s First Congressional District – where Barack Obama was born and raised – in support of former Republican Congressman Charles Djou. Djou is facing Democrat Mark Takai in the race to fill the vacant seat. Djou briefly held the seat when he won a three-way, winner-take-all race four years ago.

Ironically, Djou has spent most of the campaign railing against “outside spending” because Takai has benefitted from a VoteVets endorsement.

Djou recently said:  “This increased influence by third-party mainland money is unhealthy for our democracy, and I think corrodes the overall integrity and trust in our elections, and I think has been a negative consequence of modern politics.” A recent Djou commercial urges campaigns to “keep it clean” and “stick to the facts.” Just last week, he decried SuperPACs’ involvement in the race: “Whether it is VoteVets or any of these other mainland organizations with dark money — it’s bad for our democracy, and it’s bad for our community.”

Further irony (though no surprise): Malek & Co. are doing anything but “keeping it clean.” Ads by the AAN SuperPAC are notorious for being all negative all the time and being fast and loose with the facts.

Republicans would love to win this seat not just to increase their House majority, but also to embarrass Democrats in Hawai`i, arguably the most progressive state. Not only is HI-01 Obama’s birthplace, Hawai`i is his strongest state. He won here with 70 percent of the vote in both 2008 and ’12.

Djou was in Congress just long off to show his true colors, including by voting against Wall Street reform. He’s now claiming to be a moderate, but is actually running on a Grover Norquist-approved platform, pledging to never raise any taxes, backing an economically disastrous Balanced Budget Amendment and supporting all forms of “free trade.”

Meanwhile, Takai is mounting an increasingly progressive campaign, as he’s been endorsed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC and is getting active support from U.S. Sens. Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz.

Early voting in Hawai`i started today, and Takai could use help with getting out the vote, as recent polling shows a tight race.

Aloha and mahalo.