CSC Newsletter – January 2019, Vol. 25, No. 1

Posted on Jan 10, 2019 in Main, Newsletter

REMINDER TO ALL COMMITTEES TO FILE THE SUPPLEMENTAL REPORT

The next report for Candidate Committees is the Supplemental Report covering the period November 7, 2018 to December 31, 2018 for Candidates Who Ran in the 2018 Election or July 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018 for Candidates Who Did Not Run in the 2018 Election.  The report must be added to your reporting schedule and electronically filed on the Candidate Filing System no later than 11:59 p.m. Hawaiian Standard Time on Thursday, January 31, 2019.

The next report for Noncandidate Committees is the Supplemental Report covering the period November 7, 2018 to December 31, 2018.  The report must be added to your reporting schedule and electronically filed on the Noncandidate Committee Filing System no later than 11:59 p.m. Hawaiian Standard Time on Thursday, January 31, 2019.

Failure to file your report by the deadline will result in a fine and the posting of your committee’s name on the Commission website under “Candidate Committees That Failed to File or Correct a Report” or “Noncandidate Committees That Failed to File or Correct a Report.”  Moreover, if a fine is assessed against your committee and you fail to timely pay it, Commission staff will issue a complaint against your committee and set it for consideration at the next public Commission meeting.  Therefore, we encourage all committees to timely file their reports.

As a reminder, the reporting period for the Supplemental Report ended on December 31st so the report can be filed as early as January 1st, but no later than January 31st.  Committees do not have to wait until the January 31st deadline to file this report.

SUMMARY OF THE 2018 ELECTION

In the hotly contested Governor’s race, Governor David Ige carried over $398,320.86 from his successful 2014 election for Governor then raised $2,848,475.80 and spent $3,029,665.97 for the 2018 election.  Governor Ige’s closest primary election challenger Colleen Hanabusa raised $2,180,156.54 and spent $2,136,365.46 while his closest general election challenger Andria Tupola carried over $1,290.60 from her successful 2016 election for State House then raised $519,022.60 which included a $12,000 personal loan to her campaign and spent $509,047.50 for the 2018 election.

In the open Lt. Governor’s race, Lt. Governor Josh Green carried over $493,438.40 from his successful 2014 election for State Senate then raised $775,065.03 and spent $1,158,784.12 for the 2018 election.  Lt. Governor Green’s closest primary election challenger Jill Tokuda carried over $40,427.72 from her successful 2014 election for State Senate then raised $791,832.52 and spent $828,809.29 for the 2018 election while Tupola’s running mate in the general election Marissa Kerns raised $34,676.94 which included a $15,000 personal loan to her campaign and spent $26,431.79.  Notably, primary challenger Kim Coco Iwamoto made personal loans totaling $442,000 to her campaign which was the highest loan total in the 2018 election.

In the open Maui Mayor’s race, Mayor Mike Victorino carried over $23,123.31 from his successful 2014 election for Maui County Council (he did not run for reelection in 2016 due to term limits) then raised $479,091.18 which included a $20,000 personal loan and spent $425,057.18 for the 2018 election.  Mayor Victorino’s closest primary election challenger and only challenger in the general election Elle Cochran carried over $3,344.20 from her successful 2016 election for Maui County Council then raised $150,484.05 which included $38,604.17 of personal funding (other receipts) and spent $136,622.59 for the 2018 election.

In the open Kauai Mayor’s race, Mayor Derek Kawakami carried over $3,838.31 from his successful 2016 election for Kauai County Council then raised $570,359.79 which included a $52,000 personal loan and spent $ 459,712.13 for the 2018 election.  Mayor Kawakami’s closest primary election challenger and only challenger in the general election Melvin Rapozo carried over $13,774.17 from his successful 2016 election for Kauai County Council then raised $196,172.72 which included a $13,000 personal loan and spent $204,600.30 for the 2018 election.

In this election, the Commission distributed public funding to 18 candidates for a total of $105,966.88. 14 candidates received $63,098.40 in public funds for the primary election and 11 candidates received $42,868.48 for the general election. 7 candidates received public funding in both the primary and general elections.  8 candidates receiving public funds successfully won their election and 10 candidates were unsuccessful.  5 out of the 8 candidates that won were non-incumbents and they were: Rida Cabanilla (State House), Luke Evslin (Kauai Council/First time candidate), Kipukai Kualii (Kauai Council), Brendon Lee (OHA/First time candidate), and Keani Rawlins-Fernandez (Maui Council/First time candidate).  Kauai Council Chair Arryl Kaneshiro received the most in public funds in 2018 having received $13,577 ($8,171 for the primary election and $5,406 for the general election) with Kauai Councilmember Kipukai Kualii following in a close second having received $13,292.40 ($5,612.40 for the primary election and $7,680 for the general election).  The partial program has been distributing public funding to qualified candidates since the 1980 election.  View a list of the 163 candidates in 2018 that voluntarily agreed to the expenditure limit set for the office they were seeking which is a requirement to receive public funding and the 45 candidates in 2018 that informed the Commission of their intent to seek public funds.

There were 480 fundraiser notices filed by candidates running in the 2018 election.

There were 22 registered Super PACs and 6 ballot issues committees registered with the Commission for this election.  The most active Super PAC was Be Change Now which raised $6,056,502.69 and spent $3,848,766.35. The Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters contributed $3,000,000 to the Super PAC and the Hawaii Carpenters Market Recovery Program Fund contributed $3,037,868.47.  All of the Super PAC’s independent spending in support or opposition to candidates occurred in the primary election.

In the area of ballot issue committees, the most active was Preserve Our Hawaii which raised $740,000 and spent $662,529.51 to oppose the constitutional convention amendment question that did not pass. The Hawaii Government Employees Association provided $290,000, the National Education Association provided $250,000, and the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly provided $100,000 in funding to Preserve Our Hawaii.  There were no ballot issue committees in 2018 that registered to support the Con Con amendment question.  The most active ballot issue committees for the constitutional amendment question on the investment real property surcharge to support public education was Affordable Hawaii Coalition PAC which raised $1,245,961.09 and spent $962,461.92 to oppose the Con Am question, and HSTA for Schools Our Keiki Deserve which raised $877,789.43 and spent $536,889.90 to support the Con Am question.  The Con Am question was eventually invalidated by the Hawaii Supreme Court after this activity took place.

CERTIFICATION OF ELECTED OFFICIALS FOR THE 2018 ELECTION

To date, the Commission certified 102 candidates with the Office of Elections and County Clerks in the 2018 election which means that all elected officials have turned in their campaign spending reports and paid outstanding fines (if any).

PROPOSED LEGISLATION FOR THE 2019 LEGISLATIVE SESSION

For the 2019 legislative session, the Commission has submitted four measures to the Senate President and the House Speaker for introduction.  Of particular interest to committees who were active in the 2018 election is Proposal CSC-01 (19) which affects electioneering communications.

  • Proposal CSC-01 (19) → Amends HRS §11-341 (electioneering communications) by changing “disclosure date” to when the electioneering communication is publicly distributed rather than when the contract for the electioneering communication is executed.  Also, increases the expenditure aggregate to $2,000 and retolls the amount.  Also, covers all mailings and not just those sent at bulk rate.  Lastly, deletes “communications that constitute expenditures by the expending organization” from the exceptions to the definition of “electioneering communications” to make it clear that candidate and noncandidate committees are required to file statements of information.
  • Proposal CSC-02 (19) → Amends HRS §11-334 to require candidate committees to file a 1st Preliminary General Report on October 1.  Noncandidate committees are already required to file this report.
  • Proposal CSC-03 (19) → Amends HRS §11-410 by raising the amount of fine that can be assessed against a Super PAC (that has received at least one contribution of more than $10,000 from any one person or spent more than $10,000 aggregate in an election period) from $1,000 to $5,000 and to permit the fine to be up to three times the amount of the unlawful contribution or expenditure.  Also, allows the Commission to order that the payment of the fine assessed against a noncandidate committee, or any portion, be paid from the personal funds of an officer of the noncandidate committee.
  • Proposal CSC-04 (19) → Amends HRS §11-339 to require candidates who do not intend to have more than $1,000 in activity to provide notice to the Commission of such intent by June 30 of an election year and to require noncandidate committees who do not intend to have more than $1,000 in activity to provide notice to the Commission of such intent by the 5th calendar day prior to the due date of the Preliminary Primary Report.  Commission staff spends a lot of time and effort pursuing committees to file preliminary, final primary, and preliminary general reports only to find out later that the committee only had to file the Final Election Period Report.

NEW – REPORTING SCHEDULES

New reporting schedules have been posted on our website and are provided via the link below for your convenience to track upcoming reporting deadlines.  The reporting schedules are also available in the Commission’s downloadable calendar and can be downloaded to your digital calendar or your computer or mobile device.

Remember to add the necessary reports to your schedule in your respective electronic filing system (CFS and NCFS).  These reports must be electronically filed no later than 11:59 p.m. Hawaiian standard time on the day of the deadline.  You may also want to consider filing the reports early to avoid penalties because the reporting deadline is always a few days or weeks after the reporting period has closed.

Please remember that when you electronically file your reports with the Commission, candidates, treasurers, and chairpersons (only in noncandidate committees) are certifying that the information contained in the filed reports are true, complete, and accurate.  Therefore, it is strongly advised that you verify your reports before you file them since the Commission will rely on the electronically filed information which could generate an inquiry/investigation.

TERMINATION OF COMMITTEE REGISTRATION WITH THE COMMISSION

If you are a candidate who does not anticipate running in a future State or county election, or you are a noncandidate committee that does not intend to participate in future State or county elections, and your committee has no surplus or deficit in campaign funds, you may want to consider terminating your registration with the Commission.  If so, you will need to complete and submit the following documents:  (1) A “Candidate Committee Request for Termination of Registration” or “Noncandidate Committee Request for Termination of Registration” form; and (2) A closing bank statement verifying that your committee’s bank account has been closed.  Further, you must not have any outstanding fines or unresolved matters with the Commission.  Assuming everything is in order, the Commission will approve your termination request and you will no longer be required to electronically file reports with the Commission.

STATUS OF THE HAWAII ELECTION CAMPAIGN FUND AND REMINDER TO CHECK OFF $3 ON YOUR 2019 TAX RETURN

Although the Commission was successful in restoring operations to general funds in the last legislative session, we still urge you to continue to check off the $3 “yes” box on your 2019 tax return which permits $3 from state funds (or $6 if married and filing a joint return) to be allocated to the Hawaii Election Campaign Fund.  The health and sustainability of public funding depends on greater participation of Hawaii taxpayers in checking off the $3 box.  Checking off this box does not increase your tax or reduce your refund.

VIOLATIONS OF THE CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAWS

The following candidate and noncandidate committees violated the Hawaii campaign finance laws and have failed to comply with the Commission’s orders by refusing to file required disclosure reports and/or pay assessed fines.  Pursuant to HRS §11-410(d), the Commission has been pursuing enforcement actions with the assistance from the Attorney General’s Office – Civil Recoveries Division.

CANDIDATE COMMITTEES

  • Raymond Banda, Friends of Raymond Banda
  • Jason Eno, Eno for State Senate
  • Henry Kahula, Jr., Henry Kahula for Council
  • Debra Kekaualua, Debra Kekaualua
  • Toagaifasa Mataafa, Friends of Junior Mataafa
  • Cecelia Napohaku-Hoffman, Cecelia K. Napohaku-Hoffman
  • Stefan Rozembersky, Rozembersky HI Senate Campaign

NONCANDIDATE COMMITTEES

  • 808 News Hawaii
  • Change Hawaii
  • Protect Our Keiki
  • Save Ewa Beach
  • Save Our City, LLC
  • West Oahu 2010

RESULTS OF THE COMMISSION’S 2018 ONLINE SURVEY

Mahalo to everyone who responded to our 2018 Online Survey.  View the 2018 Survey Results and the Report on 2018 Annual Online Survey in the minutes of the Commission’s monthly meeting held on November 14, 2018.

2019 STANDARD MILEAGE RATE ANNOUNCED BY INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE (IRS)

For those committees that seek reimbursement from campaign funds for the campaign related use of a personal vehicle, the federal standard mileage rate for 2019 is 58 cents per mile (which is more than last year).  See IRS Notice 2019-02 which was adopted by Comptroller’s Memorandum Notice 2019-02.  The Commission reminds these committees that a daily mileage log noting the campaign use and personal use of the personal vehicle satisfies recordkeeping requirements of Hawaii Administrative Rules §3-160-23.  See, Hawaii Administrative Rules §3-160-45(b)(1)(B).

2019 MEETING SCHEDULE

Commission meetings for 2019 are scheduled for the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 10:00 a.m. in Conference Room 204, Leiopapa A Kamehameha Building, 235 S. Beretania Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813.  View the 2019 Meeting Schedule.  Meeting location, dates and times are subject to change so please check the “2019 Meeting S chedule” page prior to attending a meeting.