Memo to Candidates Running in the Special Election for Kauai Prosecuting Attorney and All Noncandidate Committees

Posted in Main

September 10, 2021

MEMORANDUM

TO: Candidates Running in the Special Election for Kauai Prosecuting Attorney and All Noncandidate Committees

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

SUBJECT: Information Regarding the Special Election for Kauai Prosecuting Attorney

In anticipation of the Special Election on December 18, 2021 for the Special Primary Election and February 26, 2022 for the Special General Election, 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 4, 2020) through the day of the special general election (i.e., February 26, 2022).  See, Hawaii Revised Statutes (“HRS”) §11-302.  This application only applies to candidates running in the Special Election and all noncandidate committees regardless of whether they participate in the Special Election.

REGISTERING WITH THE COMMISSION

Registration with the Commission as a candidate committee is required within ten (10) days of the candidate filing nomination papers with the County Clerk’s office to run in the Special Election or within ten (10) days of receiving contributions or making or incurring expenditures of more than $100 in the aggregate during the special election period, whichever is earlier.

Registering with the Commission means electronically filing an Organizational Report in the Candidate Filing System (“CFS”). In order to access or login to the CFS, the candidate committee must complete and submit an Electronic Filing Form to obtain a username and password.

Candidate Committee Electronic Filing Form
A new Electronic Filing Form must be completed, esigned, and emailed separately by the candidate, chairperson and treasurer.  The Commission will not process the form until it is complete with all the required signatures.  A separate Electronic Filing Form form is also available above if only one person will be esigning this form as the candidate, chairperson and treasurer.

FILING THE AFFIDAVIT

Candidates running in the Special Election can voluntarily agree to limit the candidate’s campaign expenditures by filing the “Affidavit to Voluntarily Agree with Campaign Expenditure Limits” (“Affidavit”) with the Commission. The candidate must agree to limit expenditures to $66,154 for the special primary election and special general election. The last day to file the Affidavit is the date the candidate files nomination papers with the County Clerk’s office. Once the Affidavit is filed, it cannot be withdrawn.

The benefit of filing the Affidavit is that you will receive a discounted filing fee when filing your nomination papers (i.e., $25 versus $250).  Public funding will not be available for the Special Election.  The expenditure limit periods are applied on a per election basis. For example, for the special primary election, the expenditure limit period is from January 1, 2021 through December 18, 2021; and for the special general election, the expenditure limit period is from December 19, 2021 through February 26, 2022.

COMMITTEE CONTRIBUTION LIMITS

For the Special Election, a candidate seeking nomination or election to the office of Kauai Prosecuting Attorney or candidate committee may receive an aggregate contribution of $4,000 per person during the special election period from November 4, 2020 through February 26, 2022.

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 the special primary election during the period from November 4, 2020 through December 18, 2021, and another aggregate contribution of $1,000 in the special general election from December 19, 2021 through February 26, 2022 only if the special general election is necessary.

LOANS

A candidate or candidate committee may receive a loan for this Special Election from any or all of the following:

  • The candidate’s own funds (unlimited);
  • 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 (unlimited);
  • The candidate’s immediate family in an aggregate amount not to exceed $50,000 during the special election period (includes contributions received from the immediate family); and
  • Other persons in an aggregate amount not to exceed $10,000 during the special 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:

  • If applicable, file the Organizational Report stating your intent to not receive contributions, or make expenditures, that aggregate more than $1,000 in the special election period (November 4, 2020 to February 26, 2022)
    $1,000 or less candidate committees need not file the preliminary and final primary reports and the preliminary general report, but are only required to file the Final Election Period Report.
  • Preliminary Primary Report (covering the period July 1, 2021 through December 3, 2021) – due on December 8, 2021.
  • Primary Late Contributions Report (covering the period December 4, 2021 through December 14, 2021) – due on December 15, 2021 only if you receive a contribution aggregating more than $500 during this period and are on the Special Primary Election ballot.
  • Final Primary Report (covering the period December 4, 2021 through December 18, 2021) – due on January 7, 2022.
  • Preliminary General Report (covering the period December 19, 2021 through February 11, 2022) – due on February 16, 2022 for candidates that won in the Special Primary Election and advanced to the Special General Election. This report is not required for candidates that lost in the Special Primary Election, or the unopposed candidate on the Special Primary Election ballot elected to office in that election. See the Final Election Period Report.
  • General Late Contributions Report (covering the period February 12, 2022 through February 22, 2022) – due on February 23, 2022 only if you receive a contribution aggregating more than $500 during this period and are on the Special General Election ballot.
  • Final Election Period Report.  Depending on your circumstances, there are three (3) possible reporting periods:  (1) covering the period February 12, 2022 through February 26, 2022 for candidates that won in the Special Primary Election and advanced to the Special General Election; (2) covering the period December 19, 2021 through February 26, 2022 for candidates that lost in the Special Primary Election and who did not appear on the Special General Election ballot, and the unopposed candidate on the Special Primary Election ballot elected to office in that election; or (3) covering July 1, 2021 through February 26, 2022 for candidate committees who filed the Organizational Report stating their intent to not receive contributions, or make expenditures, that aggregate more than $1,000 in the election period for the 2021 Special Election) – due three (3) business days prior to the swearing in date (TBD) (Deadline not later than March 28, 2022) for the Kauai Prosecuting Attorney candidate elected to office in the Special General Election and March 28, 2022 for all other candidates.

At the conclusion of the Special General Election on February 26, 2022, the next report will be the Supplemental Report covering the period February 27, 2022 through June 30, 2022 due at 11:59 p.m. Hawaii standard time on August 1, 2022, unless the candidate is running in the 2022 election, then the applicable schedule must be followed for candidates who are running in the 2022 election.

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

  • If applicable, file the Organizational Report stating your intent to not receive contributions, or make expenditures, that aggregate more than $1,000 in the special election period (November 4, 2020 to February 26, 2022) – due on December 3, 2022.
    $1,000 or less noncandidate committees need not file the preliminary and final primary reports and the preliminary general report, but are only required to file the Final Election Period Report.
  • Preliminary Primary Report (covering the period July 1, 2021 through December 3, 2021) – due on December 8, 2021.
  • Primary Late Contributions/Expenditures Report (covering the period December 4, 2021 through December 14, 2021) – due on December 15, 2021 only if your noncandidate committee receives or makes a contribution aggregating more than $500 during this period, or makes an independent expenditure aggregating more than $500 during this period.
  • Final Primary Report (covering the period December 4, 2021 through December 18, 2021) – due on January 7, 2022.
  • Preliminary General Report (covering the period December 19, 2021 through February 11, 2022) – due on February 16, 2022.
  • General Late Contributions/Expenditures Report (covering the period February 12, 2022 through February 22, 2022) – due on February 23, 2022 only if your noncandidate committee receives or makes a contribution aggregating more than $500 during this period, or makes an independent expenditure aggregating more than $500 during this period.
  • Final Election Period Report.  Depending on your circumstances, there are two (2) possible reporting periods:  (1) covering the period February 12, 2022 through February 26, 2022; or (2) covering the period July 1, 2021 through February 26, 2022 for noncandidate committees who filed the Organizational Report stating their intent to not receive contributions, or make expenditures, that aggregate more than $1,000 in the election period for the 2021 Special Election) – due on March 28, 2022.

At the conclusion of the Special General Election on February 26, 2022, the next report will be the Preliminary Primary Report covering the period February 27, 2022 through July 29, 2022 due at 11:59 p.m. Hawaii standard time on August 3, 2022.  Please refer to the Schedule of Reporting Dates for the 2022 Election for future reporting dates.

Notably, if you are an organization that is not registered with the Commission, but contributes or spends more than $1,000 aggregate 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 file 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 candidates in this Special Election, 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 (eSign or Writable/Printable PDF) within 24 hours of executing a contract to make this expenditure if the advertisement is made, or scheduled to be made, within 30 days prior to a primary or initial special election (i.e., November 18, 2021 to December 18, 2021) or within 60 days prior to a general or special election (i.e., December 28, 2021 to February 26, 2022).

Once you file this Statement, you must continue to file additional Statements for all future electioneering communications 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.  The Commission has created an additional section under Electioneering Communications called the “Special Election for Kauai Prosecuting Attorney” for committees and the public to view the Statements filed for this election.

Check out the Electioneering Communication Flow Chart to see if you need to file a Statement of Information for the Special 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!