Minutes for November 13, 2013 Meeting

Posted on Dec 19, 2013 in Minutes

Campaign Spending Commission
Leiopapa A Kamehameha Building, Room 204
November 13, 2013
10:30 a.m.

Commissioners Present:
G. William Snipes, Eldon Ching, Gregory Shoda

Staff Present:
Kristin Izumi-Nitao, Tony Baldomero, Gary Kam, Ellen Kojima
Deputy Attorney General Valri Kunimoto

Call to Order:
Meeting convened at 10:35 a.m. with Chair Snipes presiding.

Consideration and Approval of Minutes on 10/9/13:
Commissioner Ching moved to approve the minutes of October 9, 2013.  Motion seconded by Commissioner Shoda.  Motion carried unanimously.

New Business
Docket No. 14-07 – In Re the Matter of Rida Cabanilla, Ernest L. Brooks and Friends of Rida Cabanilla
General Counsel Kam reported that a complaint was filed against Respondents Rida Cabanilla, Ernest Brooksm, and Friends of Rida Cabanilla for the filing of an inaccurate or false report (7/31/13 Supplemental Report) and the late filing of the 7/31/13 Supplemental Report.

Respondent Cabanilla’s Organizational Report lists Cabanilla as the candidate and Ernest Brooks as the treasurer for the Friends of Rida Cabanilla campaign committee.

On 3/20/13, Respondent Cabanilla filed a Notice of Intent to Hold a Fundraiser to be held on 3/25/13 at the Mandalay Restaurant.  On 8/1/13, Respondents filed the Supplemental Report for the 1/1/13 – 6/30/13 disclosure period, which was due on 7/31/13.  Respondents reported no activity for the disclosure period.

On 9/23/13, Commission Executive Director issued a subpoena to Ewa Federal Credit Union seeking Respondent’s bank records from 1/1/13 to 6/30/13.  A review of the bank records and comparison of banks records with Respondent’s Supplemental Report revealed that Respondents failed to report contributions of $5,805 and expenditures of $2,897.75 during the 1/1/13 -6/30/13 disclosure period.

Staff recommended that the Commission make a preliminary determination pursuant to HRS §11-405(a) that probable cause exists to believe that violations of campaign finance laws have been committed and to assess fines as follows:

Count I – Inaccurate or False Report:  $500; and
Count II – Late Report (7/31/13 Supplemental):  $50.

Staff further recommended that Respondents file corrected reports so that the reported amounts are consistent with the amounts reflected in the bank statements as of 6/30/13.

Chair Snipes moved that the Commission make a preliminary determination that probable cause exists that violations have been committed and to accept the fines and terms as stated in Docket No. 14-07.  Motion seconded by Commissioner Ching.  Motion carried unanimously.

Old Business
Docket No. 14-01 – In Re the Matter of Progressive Hawaii Now, John J. Higgins, Randy W. Ching, and Kory Payne
General Counsel Kam reported that a complaint was filed for the failure to timely file the Final Election Period Report and the Supplemental Report, an excess contribution, filing a false Preliminary Primary Report, unauthorized expenditures of committee funds, failure to amend the Organizational Report, and failure to keep records.

On 9/11/13, the Commission made a preliminary determination of probable cause that violations had been committed as to Counts I to VI and assessed fines totaling $3,300 against Respondents.  The Commission continued consideration of Count VII (Failure to Keep Records to its October 9, 2013 meeting because Respondent Payne represented to the Commission at the September meeting that he would produce MOBI PCS records sought by Commission staff by the next agency meeting.

The complaint was again brought before the Commission at its October 9, 2013 meeting for consideration of Count VII.  Respondents did not appear at the meeting nor provide the cellular telephone records that were sought by Commission staff.  The Commission made a preliminary determination of probable cause that a violation had been committed as to Count VII and assessed a fine of $1,000.

On 11/4/13, Respondent Payne delivered copies of the MOBI PCS records to Commission staff.

Due to Respondents’ compliance, albeit tardy, with Commission staff’s request for cell phone records, General Counsel Kam recommended withdrawal of Count VII of the complaint and for the Commission to rescind its preliminary determination of probable cause as to Count VII.

Commissioner Shoda moved to withdraw the preliminary determination of probable cause as to Count VII in Docket No. 14-01.  Motion seconded by Commissioner Ching.  Motion carried unanimously.

Report from Executive Director:
Executive Director Izumi-Nitao reported on the following items:

Report on Compliance of Filing Timely Disclosure Reports
First Circuit Court Applications have been filed against:

Adam Reeder – For not filing the Supplemental Report and non-payment of assessed fines
Nora Pajimola – For non-payment of assessed fine
Bart Mulvilhill – For non-payment of assessed fines
Mr. Mulvihill has indicated that he will ask that the Commission reconsider the assessed fines.

Report on Candidates Who Were Unsuccessful in the Primary Election with a Surplus
Pursuant to HRS §11-384(d), if a candidate loses an election, they must use their campaign funds as provided in HRS §11-381 (i.e., charitable donations, public school/library donations, purchase 2 tickets to a fundraiser for another candidate or noncandidate committee, make party contributions, or make ordinary and necessary expenses as an officeholder), return funds to contributors, or use in the next subsequent election upon registration for the election.  Funds not used or returned shall escheat to the Hawaii election campaign fund.

On 10/3/12, a memo was sent to 14 candidate committees who were unsuccessful in the primary election with a deadline to comply with HRS §11-384(d) by 8/11/13.  A reminder memo was sent on 8/22/13 extending the deadline to 9/15/13. To date, we have full compliance.

On 11/15/12, a memo was sent to 17 candidate committees who were unsuccessful in the general election with a deadline to comply with HRS §11-384(d) by 11/6/13.  A reminder memo was sent on 11/12/13 extending the deadline to 12/10/13.  Staff will keep Commissioners apprised of compliance.

Report on the 2013 OIMT Digital Summit
Executive Director Izumi-Nitao and Associate Director Baldomero will be attending OIMT’s Digital Summit on 11/21/13 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village and will be serving on the Open Data panel.  Plan is to unveil the Commission’s new data visualization application at the summit.

Chair Snipes moved to convene executive session to consult with attorney.  Motion seconded by Commissioner Ching.  Motion carried unanimously.

 Public Session reconvened – 10:55 a.m.

Next Meeting:
Next meeting scheduled for Wednesday, December 18, 2013, at 10:30 a.m.

Commissioners reminded of Legislative Training at 2:00 p.m. in Leiopapa A Kamehameha Building, Room 204.

Chair Snipes moved to adjourn meeting.  Motion seconded by Commissioner Ching. Motion carried unanimously.  Meeting adjourned at 11:00 a.m.