Minutes for August 13, 2008

Posted in Minutes

Campaign Spending Commission Meeting
Leiopapa A Kamehameha Building, Room 204
August 13, 2008
10:00 a.m.

Members Present:
Paul Kuramoto, Steven Olbrich, Gino Gabrio, Michael Weaver
Dean Robb – Excused

Staff Present:
Barbara Wong, Tony Baldomero, Grant Tanimoto, Ellen Kojima

Call to Order:
Meeting convened at 10:05 a.m. with Chairperson Kuramoto presiding.

Consideration of Minutes:
Minutes of June 12, 2008 and July 9, 2008 approved by unanimous consent.

Old Business:
Docket 08-02  In Re Calvin K. Kawamoto, Committee to Elect Cal Kawamoto
Calvin Kawamoto and Earl Anzai, Esq., representing Calvin Kawamoto, present.

As discussed at the July 9 meeting a complaint was filed by the Executive Director alleging that Calvin Kawamoto and his campaign committee made excess contributions of $160,168 to a community organization.  A complaint was initially filed in 2005, which was referred to the Attorney General’s office for criminal prosecution in September 2005.  In April, 2008, the Attorney General’s office declined prosecution.  In the 2000 legislature, donations from campaign funds to community organizations were capped at $4,000 for Senators in Hawaii Revised Statutes (“HRS”) section 11-206.  The Conference Committee Report noted limited donations to community organizations were appropriate.  At the same time, the legislature amended HRS section 11-214 to permit candidates who were discontinuing their committees to donate funds to community organizations, but no amount was specified.

Staff recommends dismissal of the complaint based on the ambiguity in HRS section 11-206’s limit on donations to community organizations but HRS section 11-214 authorization to donate to community organizations with no specified amount.  It was noted that HRS section 11-214 was later amended to limit donations to community organizations to the amounts specified in HRS section 11-206.

Chairperson Kuramoto moved to dismiss Docket 08-02, motion seconded by Commissioner Gabrio.  Motion carried (aye-Kuramoto, Gabrio, Weaver / no-Olbrich)

Draft Advisory Opinion 08-01 / Rescind Advisory Opinion 03-05
The Center for Governmental Studies is currently doing a study on the issue of inaugural expenses, which will be presented at the COGEL Conference in December.  Staff recommended that further discussion be deferred until after the conference in December.

Deferred by unanimous consent.

New Business:
Elect Chair and Vice-Chair
Deferred until the next meeting.

Communication to Commission:
Fiscal Year 08 Annual Report
Executive Director Wong highlighted the Commission’s accomplishments for fiscal year 2007-2008 as aligned with the Strategic Plan.

Filing of Organizational Reports
Associate Director Tony Baldomero noted that the Noncandidate Committee Filing System (“NCFS”) launched June 2, 2008 and that training sessions have been held.

Commission Website Update
After the 2008 legislative session, the Hawaii Revised Statutes, Candidate Guidebook, and Noncandidate Committee Guidebook have been updated.  Additionally, new FAQs have been added to the current FAQs for the Candidate Filing System (CFS) and FAQs for the NCFS on our website.

Multi-Year Educational Plan Update
Executive Director Wong met with a marketing consultant to get ideas on how to further reach out to the public to access our website and CFS and NCFS.

Training Classess
The overall attendance for Candidate, Noncandidate Committee, and Public Financing training classes held in Kona, Hilo, Maui, Kaua’i and O’ahu in July was 88, though some attended more than one class.  Three certified public accountants attended.

Recodification Project
The Commission approved proceeding with a mailout of the proposed recodification to committee members, and then moving forward with steps to introduce it at the 2009 legislature.

Next Meeting:
Scheduled for Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Meeting adjourned, unanimous consent.  Meeting adjourned at 11:00 a.m.