Minutes for February 8, 2012Posted in Minutes
Campaign Spending Commission
Leiopapa A Kamehameha Building, Room 204
February 8, 2012
Chair Michael Weaver, Dean Robb, Tina Pedro Gomes, and G. William Snipes
Excused – Mara Miller
Kristin Izumi-Nitao, Tony Baldomero, Gary Kam, Ellen Kojima
Deputy Attorney General Robyn Chun
Call to Order:
Meeting convened at 10:00 a.m. with Chair Weaver presiding.
Consideration of Minutes:
Commissioner Gomes moved to approve the minutes of January 11, 2012. Motion seconded by Commissioner Snipes. Motion carried.
Commissioners were provided with a copy of 18 bills that were introduced. General Counsel Gary Kam reported on the current status of bills that have been heard by the legislature.
HB 1756, which is the Commission’s bill, amends the law by: defining “matching payment period;” changing the filing deadlines and reporting requirements by requiring noncandidate committees to identify the candidate supported or opposed by an independent expenditure; establishing the deadline to file the voluntary expenditure limit affidavit; and specifying the voluntary expenditure limit for the office of the prosecuting attorney. HB 1756 was heard by the House Judiciary Committee on January 24th and was passed with amendments. It was amended by deleting the expenditure limit for the office of prosecuting attorney, changing the effective date to 1/7/2059, and by making technical and nonsubstantive amendments for clarity.
HB 1927 is the fast track bill to change the filing deadline for preliminary and supplemental reports. It was heard and passed unamended by the House Judiciary Committee. It passed second and third reading in the House, crossovered to the Senate, and was referred to Senate Judiciary Committee.
HB 2174 requires that the Commission maintain public records in a searchable database and amends reporting requirements for persons and entities. This bill was heard February 2nd and decision making was deferred until February 9th.
HB 2376 would amend HRS Chapter 11 to require comprehensive reporting of independent expenditures and would repeal corporate reporting. This bill was heard on February 2nd and decision making was deferred until February 9th.
HB 2700 amends the Hawaii county council comprehensive pilot project to raise the program cap, repeals the requirement of a minimum fund amount, extends the qualifying period, and clarifies access to matching funds as well as the proposed formula. This bill was heard by the House Judiciary Committee on February 2nd and decision making was deferred until February 9th.
SB 2053 is the companion bill to HB 1756. This bill has not been scheduled for a hearing yet.
SB 2493 adds a definition for “matching payment period,” changes the report filing deadline, requires the identification of the candidate supported or opposed by an independent expenditure, establishes the deadline to file the voluntary expenditure limit affidavit, and increases the amount of expenditures for a publicly funded candidate for the office of prosecuting attorney. This bill was heard on February 2nd and passed with amendments.
SB 2508 is the companion bill to HB 1927, which was heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 2nd, and was passed with amendments.
SB 2566 clarifies that public contractors are prohibited from making a campaign contribution during the duration of the contract. This bill was heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 7th and was passed unamended.
SB 2648 authorizes that campaign funds may be used to award scholarships to students. This bill is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 9th.
Report from Office of Elections
Lori Tomczyk, Section Chief Ballot Operations from the Office of Elections, reported that candidate filing started on February 1st and will end on June 5, 2012. But, because the reapportionment plan was overturned by the Hawaii Supreme Court, nomination papers are not being issued for the offices of State House of Representative and State Senate. However, county and OHA candidates are not affected.
The reapportionment commission will be holding public hearings on the new plans and a final vote on the plan is planned for February 23rd. If the redistricting plans are approved, the Office of Elections will start issuing nomination papers on March 4th.
Consideration of Personal Services Contract with Paul T. Kuramoto to Create a Treasurer’s Guidebook and Authorization to Execute Contract
Executive Director Izumi-Nitao reported the following sequence of events leading to today’s agenda item. At the December 14th and January 11th Commission meetings, under “Report from Executive Director,” staff informed the Commissioners of procuring services to update the Treasurer’s Guidebook for candidate and noncandidate committees. The Commissioners were informed that discussions were held with the Attorney General’s Office, State Procurement Office, and State Ethics Office regarding the process. Six possible treasurers were approached because of their background, experience, familiarity with the campaign finance laws, rules, electronic filing system, and compliance with the campaign finance laws. A January 5, 2012 deadline was given to submit a proposal for their request for services which were not to exceed $5,000 and the contract term would be from February to June 2012. One proposal was received from Paul Kuramoto. The remaining treasurers indicated that their workload was too heavy during the contract period.
On January 19, 2012, Executive Director Izumi-Nitao had a conference call with Associate Director Baldomero, General Counsel Kam, Deputy Attorney General Robyn Chun, and Chair Weaver to discuss Mr. Kuramoto’s proposal. It was unanimously decided to award the contract to Mr. Kuramoto because it was determined to be in the best interest of the State.
Executive Director Izumi-Nitao then reported receiving a call from the State Ethics Commission regarding their concern with HRS §84-18(c) because the proposal was submitted by Mr. Kuramoto’s firm, Tokumoto & Company. The Ethics Commission, however, did not see a problem under HRS §84-18(d) if Mr. Kuramoto submitted a proposal as one for personal service contract. Mr. Kuramoto was informed that the proposal submitted by Tokumoto & Company would therefore be rejected and that if he was still interested in the project, he could submit a proposal for a personal service contract. The other treasurers were also contacted to see if they were interested whereupon they reaffirmed that their position remained the same (i.e., they were not interested due to their heavy workloads). Mr. Kuramoto resubmitted a proposal for a personal service contract.
Executive Director Izumi-Nitao asked that the Commission consider the contract, and if approved, obtain their authority to execute the contract which staff believes to be in compliance with state laws.
Deputy Attorney General Robyn Chun noted that Executive Director Izumi-Nitao properly handled the procurement process in consideration of Mr. Kuramoto’s prior role with the Commission.
Commissioner Snipes moved to award the contract to Paul Kuramoto in his personal capacity to create a Treasurer’s Guidebook for candidate and noncandidate committees. Motion seconded by Commissioner Gomes. Motion carried unanimously.
Report from Executive Director:
Report on 1/31/12 Supplemental Report
Associate Director Baldomero reported that Supplemental Reports were due on 1/31/12 for the period covering 7/1/11 through 12/31/11. With regard to the 281 registered candidate committees, 12 filed late but reported zero activity (no fines assessed), 7 filed late reports (fines assessed), and 1 did not file a report. With regard to the 181 registered noncandidate committees, 4 filed late but reported zero activity (no fines assessed), 4 filed late reports (fines assessed), and 1 did not file a report.
He also reviewed for Commissioners what was raised and spent by the Governor, Lt. Governor, and the County Mayors for the report period.
Report on January 2012 CSC Bulletin
Executive Director Izumi-Nitao reported that 1,153 newsletters were mailed and that about 12 were returned as undeliverable. When mail returns undeliverable, staff has been actively reaching out to the committees to ask them to correct their mailing address. Staff was pleased to see a lower number of newsletters being returned. The newsletter was also posted on our website and its availability for viewing was tweeted. To save costs, there will be one final mailing of the newsletter this year. Thereafter, we intend to tweet and use the email system to inform the public that the newsletter is available for viewing on our website.
Report on Upcoming Training in Preparation of 2012 Elections and Legislative Training
Executive Director Izumi-Nitao reported that the training schedule has been confirmed as follows: 2/16/12 Kauai at Kauai Community College; 2/21/12 at Maui Community College; 2/24/12 at University of Hawaii at Hilo; and 2/29/12 at Honolulu Community College, PCATT. Following the training sessions on the neighbor islands, she has also scheduled meetings with the county clerks.
Notice of training registration posted on our website, twitter, facebook, in the newsletter, and emailed. E-registration started 1/13/12 and as of today we have a total of 34 registered.
Legislative training held for the Senate Majority Caucus on 1/17/12. There were many questions regarding the use of campaign funds to attend dinners.
Feedback on Employment of Mimedia for Commission Materials
Commissioners reported having no problems with accessing information. Request was made by Vice-Chair Robb that hard copies of all materials be available at the meeting. Other Commissioners will request hard copies as needed.
Vice-Chair Robb moved to convene executive session to consult with attorney. Motion seconded by Commissioner Snipes. Motion carried unanimously.
Public session reconvened at 11:40 a.m.
Scheduled for Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 10:00 a.m.
Commissioner Snipes moved to adjourn meeting. Motion seconded by Commissioner Gomes. Motion carried unanimously. Meeting adjourned at 11:40 a.m.