Advisory Opinion 98-14
Counsel to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (“DCCC”) has requested an advisory opinion regarding whether contributions made by the DCCC would be aggregated with those of any other entity, specifically the Democratic National Committee (“DNC”) or the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (“DSCC”).
At issue is the applicability of Hawaii Revised Statutes, (“HRS”) section 11-204(f) which states:
All payments made by a person whose contributions or expenditure activity is financed, maintained, or controlled by a corporation, labor organization, association, political party, or any other person or committee, including any parent, subsidiary, branch, division, department or local unit of the corporation, labor organization, association, political party, or any other person, or by any group of those persons shall be considered to be made by a single person.
The purpose of this provision is to provide for the aggregation of contributions and expenditures as a matter of law when any participating persons or entities are subject to common control or financing. This provision is necessary to prohibit the practice of avoiding campaign contribution and expenditure limits by diverting funds for contributions through multiple organizations.
The DCCC represents that it “is not ‘financed, maintained, or controlled’ by the DNC or the DSCC, nor does it finance, maintain, or control either of thee other organizations. It further represents that it is not a “parent, subsidiary branch, division, department or local unit’ of any organization.”
If these representations are true, there can be no reason for the application of HRS, section 11-204(f) to any contributions made by the DCCC, DNC, or DSCC.
This Advisory Opinion is provided by the Commission as a means of stating its current interpretation of the Hawaii Election Campaign Contributions and Expenditures laws provided under HRS, section 11-191, et seq. and the administrative rules of the Commission provided in chapter 2-14.1, Hawaii Administrative Rules. The Commission may adopt, revise or revoke this Advisory Opinion upon the enactment of amendments to the Hawaii Revised Statutes or the adoption of administrative rules by the Commission.
Dated: Honolulu, Hawaii, October 20, 1998.
CAMPAIGN SPENDING COMMISSION
A. Duane Black