Advisory Opinion 02-02
A candidate requests advice on the appropriateness of contributions from the Republic of Palau. The Commission by this advisory opinion finds that contributions from persons of the Republic of Palau would be in violation of section 11-204(j), Hawaii Revised Statutes (“HRS”) prohibiting contributions from foreign nationals.
The Republic of Palau is an independent nation with a Compact of Free Association with the United States. Palau is a group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean of Oceania, and not a member of the Federated States of Micronesia.
Section 11-204(j), HRS reads as follows:
No contributions or expenditures shall be made to or on behalf of a candidate or committee by a foreign national or foreign corporation, including a domestic subsidiary of a foreign corporation, a domestic corporation that is owned by a foreign corporation, and in the same manner prohibited under 2 United States Code section 441e and 11 Code of Federal Regulations 110.4(a) and 110.9(a), as amended. No foreign-owned domestic corporation shall make contributions where:
(1) Foreign national individuals participate in election-related activities such as decisions concerning the making of contributions or the administration of a political committee; or
(2) The contribution funds are not domestically-derived.
Therefore, any contributions from a national of Palau would be considered a contribution by a foreign national in violation of section 11-204(j), HRS.
This Advisory Opinion is provided by the commission as a means of stating its current interpretation of the Hawaii election Campaign Contributions and Expenditures laws provided under HRS section 11-191, et seq. and the administrative rules of the Commission provided in chapter 2-14, Hawaii Administrative Rules. The Commission may adopt, revise, or revoke, this Advisory Opinion upon its own initiative or upon the enactment of amendments to the administrative rules by the Commission.
Dated: Honolulu, Hawaii, July 3, 2002.
CAMPAIGN SPENDING COMMISSION
A. Duane Black
Della Au Belatti