Campaign Spending Commission Meeting
Zoom Video Conference
August 16, 2023
Stanley Lum, Neal Herbert, David Chee
Vic Bonfiglio, Gary Kam
Kristin E. Izumi-Nitao, Tony Baldomero, Terence Lau, Karin Gill Deputy Attorney General Candace Park
Call to Order
Chair Lum called the meeting to order at 10:02 a.m.
Chair Lum expressed his deep aloha and concern for the Maui community and called for the remembrances for the people in Lahaina and Kula including former Commissioners Tina Pedro Gomes and Bill Snipes. He commented that many of the committees are from Maui and wished them well in these hard times.
Chair Lum went over the procedures for this meeting via Zoom and introduced the Commissioners and Commission staff who were present. He also asked the Commissioners if anyone else was with them. All Commissioners present stated that no one else was with them.
Consideration and Approval of Minutes of Meeting on 6/14/23
Vice-Chair Herbert moved to approve the minutes on 6/14/23. Motion seconded by Commissioner Chee. Motion carried (3-0).
*Welcome and Introduction of New Administrative Assistant Karin Gill – Executive Director Izumi-Nitao introduced Karin Gill as the Commission’s new Administrative Assistant. She stated that she started on 6/19/23.
Executive Director Izumi-Nitao stated that the following Conciliation Agreement(s) on the agenda was a result of an investigation initiated by Commission staff pursuant to HRS §11-314(7) to determine whether there had been a violation of the Hawaii campaign spending laws. She stated that the Respondents have been informed in a letter from Commission staff of the violation and have been notified of today’s meeting as well as received a copy of the proposed conciliation agreements. She recommended that the Commission make a preliminary determination of probable cause that a violation had been committed, waive further proceedings, and approve the settlement amounts stated in the proposed agreements.
*Proposed Conciliation Agreement No. 24-01 – In Re the Matter of Burke 4 Aloha Team – Executive Director Izumi-Nitao explained that this proposed conciliation agreement concerns the late filing of the Supplemental Report and requests that they assess a reduced fine from $200 to $100 as it is Respondent’s second violation. Chair Lum asked if there were any comments or questions.
Respondent Jackie Burke stated that she was aware of and was grateful for the terms of the Conciliation Agreement reducing her initial $200 fine to $100, appreciated the work of the CSC, and will honor the terms of the agreement.
Commissioner Chee moved to approve the proposed conciliation agreement. Motion seconded by Vice Chair Herbert. Motion carried (3-0).
*Docket No. 23-55 – In Re the Matter of Jackie Burke and Burke 4 Aloha Team – Executive Director Izumi-Nitao reported that a complaint by the Executive Director had been filed against Respondents for the late filing of the Supplemental Report. She stated that this matter had been continued from the 6/14/23 Commission Meeting to permit Respondents to enter into the aforementioned Conciliation Agreement which was just approved. She therefore recommended that the matter be dismissed.
Commissioner Chee moved to dismiss the complaint. Motion seconded by Vice-Chair Herbert. Motion carried (3-0).
*Consideration, Discussion, Approval, and/or Update of Commission Legislation and Other Campaign Finance Related Bills/Resolutions for the 2023 Legislative Session – Executive Director Izumi-Nitao provided an update of the status of the Commission’s 11 bills and the other related bills introduced this session. She stated that the following Commission bills were signed into law by the Governor since the last public meeting: (1) Act 120 (HB 91); (2) Act 121 (HB 92); (3) Act 69 (HB 97); and (4) Act 118 (SB 203). She further reported that the other Commission related bills that were introduced by other parties and signed into law by the Governor since the last Commission meeting were: (1) Act 122 (HB 463); (2) Act 117 (HB 1294); (3) Act 127 (SB 51); (4) Act 119 (SB 1189); and (5) Act 128 (SB 1493). Lastly, she commented that there were 3 bills that were signed into law that enhanced criminal actions for public corruption: (1) Act 130 (HB 986); (2) Act 131 (SB 228); and Act 137 (HB 710). Notably, the 2023 Legislative session marks the most successful session experienced by the Commission and all the bills that were passed were supported by the Commission to Improve Standards of Conduct.
Executive Director Izumi-Nitao stated that Commission staff reported on these new laws in the July CSC newsletter and are continuing their efforts to educate committees and the public as well as amend the electronic filing systems, forms, correspondence, guidebooks/manuals, etc. She remarked that staff is also working to develop recommendations to the Standard Fine Guidelines for future discussion and approval by the Commissioners.
Vice-Chair Herbert congratulated staff on the very significant and positive legislative effort, and also expressed a concern about the extra workload created by the recently enacted legislation, specifically the provisions that set new deadlines. Executive Director Izumi-Nitao stated that new staff is in the process of being trained, that staff has identified the marks that need to be hit, and that since the statutory changes were made in an off-election year which only require two reports, she expects that the CSC will be ready for the reporting requirements affecting the 2024 election cycle. Further, she reported that a discussion with the Commissioners regarding fine guidelines is anticipated in the next few months.
Report from Executive Director
*Report on Compliance of Filing Timely Disclosure Reports – Executive Director Izumi-Nitao reported that all committees had to file the Supplemental Report covering the period of 1/1/23 to 6/30/23 on 7/31/23.
She stated that of the 446 candidate committees that were required to file, 385 or 86% filed on time, 58 committees failed to file, and as of today, 19 remain who have not filed. Of the 257 noncandidate committees that were required to file, 240 or 93% filed on time, 17 committees failed to file, and as of today, 3 remain who have not filed. Notably, the non-filers represent the same committees that have failed to file prior reports and have been brought to the attention of the Attorney General’s Office – Civil Recoveries Division.
*Update on Appointment of New Commissioners – Executive Director Izumi-Nitao reported that she has been in communication with Boards & Commissions concerning the Commissioner vacancies. She stated that on 6/28/23, Governor Green reappointed Vice-Chair Neal Herbert for another 4-year term to expire on 6/30/27. With respect to Commissioner Bryan Luke’s term, she has no update.
*Report on July CSC Newsletter – Executive Director Izumi-Nitao reported that the Commission’s biannual newsletter was distributed on 7/19/23 to 1,100 parties – 440 candidate committees, 266 non- candidate committees, and 394 public members. She further commented that the newsletter goes out twice a year.
Scheduled for Wednesday, September 13, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. via Zoom.
Chair Lum asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting. Commissioner Chee moved to adjourn the meeting. Motion seconded by Vice-Chair Herbert. Motion carried (3-0).
Meeting Adjourned at 10:36 a.m.