Memo to 2019 Special Election Candidate Committees and Noncandidate Committees

Posted on Feb 6, 2019 in Main

February 6, 2019

MEMORANDUM

TO: 2019 Special Election Candidate Committees and Noncandidate Committees

FROM: Kristin E. Izumi-Nitao, Executive Director
Campaign Spending Commission

SUBJECT: Information Regarding the 2019 Special Election for Honolulu City Council, District 4

In anticipation of the 2019 Special Election on April 13, 2019, the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission (“Commission”) offers the following guidance to assist you in complying with campaign finance laws and rules.

For purposes of this memorandum, the Commission is looking at a special election period which runs from the day after the general election (i.e., November 7, 2018) through the day of the special election (i.e., April 13, 2019).  See, Hawaii Revised Statutes (“HRS”) §11-302.  This application only applies to candidates or candidate committees running in the Special Election (i.e., Trevor Ozawa and Tommy Waters and their respective candidate committees) and all noncandidate committees regardless of whether they participate in the Special Election.

COMMITTEE CONTRIBUTION LIMITS

For the Special Election, a candidate or candidate committee may receive an aggregate contribution of $4,000 during this special election period from November 7, 2018 through April 13, 2019.  This only applies to candidates Trevor Ozawa and Tommy Waters and their respective candidate committees.

Except for noncandidate committees making only independent expenditures (or Super PACs) who may receive unlimited contributions, noncandidate committees may receive an aggregate contribution of $1,000 in this election period.

LOANS

The two candidates and their candidate committees may receive a loan for this Special Election from any or all of the following:

  • The candidate’s own funds;
  • A financial institution regulated by the State or a federally chartered depository institution and made in accordance with applicable law in the ordinary course of business;
  • The candidate’s immediate family in an aggregate amount not to exceed $50,000 during this election period; and
  • Other persons in an aggregate amount not to exceed $10,000 during this election period; provided that:
  • If the $10,000 limit for loans from persons other than the immediate family is reached, the candidate and candidate committee shall be prohibited from receiving or accepting any other loans until the $10,000 is repaid in full; and
  • If a loan from persons other than the candidate’s immediate family is not repaid within one year of the date that the loan is made, the candidate and candidate committee shall be prohibited from accepting any other loans. All campaign funds, including contributions subsequently received, shall be used to repay the outstanding loan in full.

“Immediate family” means a candidate’s spouse or reciprocal beneficiary (as defined in HRS §572C-3) and any child, parent, grandparent, brother, or sister of the candidate, and the spouses or reciprocal beneficiaries of such persons.

Every loan in excess of $100 must be documented and in writing.  A link to the eSign version of the Executed Loan Document form is available by clicking here.

Noncandidate committees are not permitted to receive or make a loan.

REPORTING SCHEDULE

Candidate Committees.  The following reports are due at 11:59 p.m. Hawaii standard time on the due date.  They are as follows:

  • Preliminary Special Report (covering the period January 1, 2019 through March 29, 2019) – due on April 3, 2019;
  • Late Contributions Report (covering the period March 30, 2019 through April 9, 2019) – due on April 10, 2019 only if you receive a contribution aggregating more than $500 during this time period;
  • Final Election Period Report (covering the period March 30, 2019 through April 13, 2019) – due on May 13, 2019; however, this date may change for the candidate who is elected because it is tied to the date the winner will be sworn into office. For the winner of this election, this report will be due three (3) business days before the date the candidate is to be sworn into office which is controlled by the Honolulu City Clerk’s Office.  See, HRS §11-334(a)(3).

At the conclusion of the Special Election, the next report would be the Supplemental Report covering the period April 14, 2019 through June 30, 2019 which will be due at 11:59 p.m. Hawaii standard time on July 31, 2019.  Upon filing this report, you will return to the normal non-election year cycle for all candidate committees not running in the Special Election.

Noncandidate Committees.  The following reports are due at 11:59 p.m. Hawaii standard time on the due date.  They are as follows:

  • Preliminary Special Report (covering the period January 1, 2019 through March 29, 2019) – due on April 3, 2019; however, if you are a noncandidate committee (or Super PAC) whose aggregate contributions and aggregate expenditures for this election period total $1,000 or less, you will not need to file this report and can proceed to filing the Final Election Period Report which covers a longer reporting period (see below for more information);
  • Late Contributions/Expenditures Report (covering the period March 30, 2019 through April 9, 2019) – due on April 10, 2019 only if you make contributions aggregating more than $500, or receive contributions from any person aggregating more than $500 during this time period; further, if you are a noncandidate committee that makes independent expenditures in an aggregate amount of more than $500 during this period, you must file the Late Expenditures Report;
  • Final Election Period Report (covering the period March 30, 2019 through April 13, 2019 or January 1, 2019 through April 13, 2019 if your aggregate contributions and aggregate expenditures for this election period (November 7, 2018 to April 13, 2019) total $1,000 or less) – due on May 13, 2019.

At the conclusion of the Special Election, the next report would be the Supplemental Report covering the period April 14, 2019 through June 30, 2019 which will be due at 11:59 p.m. Hawaii standard time on July 31, 2019.  Upon filing this report, you will return to the normal non-election year cycle.

Notably, if you are an organization that is not registered with the Commission but contributes or spends more than $1,000 for this Special Election, you will be required to register with the Commission and file reports.  Failure to do so will result in a violation of the Hawaii campaign spending laws and rules.

Finally, the committees’ respective electronic filing systems (i.e., Candidate Filing System and Noncandidate Committee Filing System) have been modified to permit you to upload these reports.

ELECTIONEERING COMMUNICATIONS

If you will be broadcasting from a cable, satellite, television, or radio station; publishing in any periodical or newspaper or by electronic means which means Facebook boosts, Google ads, or other social media; or mailing by bulk rate any advertisement that refers to a clearly identifiable candidate and contains an appeal to vote for or against either of the candidates in this Special Election (i.e., Trevor Ozawa or Tommy Waters), and spend in an aggregate amount of more than $2,000 during this calendar year, you must file a Statement of Information for Electioneering Communication (“Statement”) within 24 hours of executing a contract to make this expenditure if the advertisement is made, or scheduled to be made, within 60 days prior to the Special Election (i.e., February 12, 2019 to April 13, 2019).  See, HRS §11-341.

Once you file this Statement, you must continue to file additional Statements for all future electioneering communications during this calendar year even if the amount is under $2,000 because your committee met the threshold with the previous Statement filings.  Persons who fail to submit the Statement or fail to timely submit the Statement within 24 hours of executing a contract to make this expenditure, will be in violation of the campaign finance laws.

This Statement must be filed in addition to the filing of any other report required by candidate and noncandidate committees.  A link to the eSign version of the Statement is available by clicking here.  The Commission has created an additional section under Electioneering Communications called the “2019 Special Election for Honolulu City Council, District 4” for committees and the public to view the Statements filed for this election.

Thank you in advance for your kokua and understanding in this unprecedented election.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at (808) 586-0285.  Good luck to all!