Minutes for December 14, 2011

Posted in Minutes

Campaign Spending Commission
Leiopapa A Kamehameha Building, Room 204
December 14, 2011
10:00 a.m.

Commissioners Present:
Chair Michael Weaver, Dean Robb, Tina Pedro Gomes, G. William Snipes

Staff Present:
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.

Chair Weaver requested that the agenda be amended to hear Executive Session matters first.

Vice-Chair Robb moved to amend agenda to hear Executive Session matters before public matters.  Motion seconded by Commissioner Gomes.  Motion carried unanimously.

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

Public session reconvened at 10:30 a.m.

Consideration of Minutes:
Vice-Chair Robb moved to approve the minutes of October 12, 2011.  Motion seconded by Chair Weaver.  Motion carried.

Old Business:
Legislation Update
Carryover bill H.B. 257 currently in conference committee.  Bill deals with robo calls, filing deadline for the 1st Preliminary Primary report, fines for late filing of the organizational report, fundraiser notice, and a cap on the two fundraiser ticket price.

Proposed 2012 legislation – If H.B. 257 does not come out of conference committee provisions from H.B. 257 have been extracted and inserted into a new bill.  The new bill does not include any financial provisions in the hopes that the bill is no referred to a Finance committee.  Provisions of the proposed new bill, which a copy was provided to Commissioners, were discussed.

Staff seeks approval of proposed legislation before proceeding to request introduction of the bill.

Commissioner Snipes moved to accept proposed legislation.  Motion seconded by Commissioner Gomes.  Motion carried unanimously.

New Business:  None

Report from Executive Director:
New Commission Members
Executive Director Izumi-Nitao welcomed new members Tina Pedro Gomes and G. William Snipes.  Both members are residents of Maui.

Commissioner Gomes is an independent consultant specializing in data research and collection, statistical analysis, design study and reports, and presentations, and Commissioner Snipes is a private mediator.

Both commissioners received training from Commission staff on 11/29/11 that covered an overview of their positions, operations, legal/administrative proceedings, legislation, litigation, familiarity with the mandatory disclosure reports and electronic filing systems, partial and comprehensive public funding programs, and external/internal communications applications employed.

Report on Failure to File Reports, Unpaid Fines, and Subsequent Proceedings
General Counsel Kam reported the following:
Payment Plans – Dawn Wasson, Mele Carroll, and Inam Rahman are current

Circuit Court Applications:
Karen Awana – Ms. Awana has been served, but no answer filed.
Ramon Madden – Mr. Madden moved to the mainland, Treasurer Mario Arruiza served 11/15/11. Mr. Arruiza informed staff that he has not seen Mr. Madden since 2007 and was never the treasurer for Mr. Madden’s campaign.

Application to be withdrawn and put on inactive status.

Outstanding Fines – Richard Fale – Mr. Fale is working with his consultant on payment of the $800 fine for excess nonresident contributions.

Report on Referral to Rod Tam Investigation to Prosecutor’s Office
Deputy Attorney General Lori Wada reported that the Tam case was a combination of two criminal cases, improper use of his city discretionary funds and campaign spending violations.  Mr. Tam was charged with eight counts of campaign violations, which he pled no contest to the misdemeanor charges.  He was sentenced to serve a two-day jail term and 300 hours of community service.

Report on COGEL Conference
Executive Director Izumi-Nitao, General Counsel Kam, and Chair Michael Weaver attended conference, which was held in Nashville, Tennessee from December 4 through 7, 2011.

Executive Director Izumi-Nitao reported that there were a number of attendees from Honolulu and that issues discussed included mandatory electronic filing, enforcement, independent expenditures, corporations, and new trends such as texting of contributions and employment of technology and new media.  Next conference will be held in Columbus, Ohio from December 5, 2012.

General Counsel Kam reported on the interest that other states had about the Tavares, and Yamadacases from Hawaii.  Also, the Arizona Free Enterprise PAC v. Bennett case is having on states like Hawaii that have comprehensive public funding programs.  Also what legislation some of the other states are considering or have been passed, and the impact of independent expenditures are having on elections and how states are regulating.

Chair Weaver seconded what was reported by Executive Director Izumi-Nitao and General Counsel Kam and noted that among other states Hawaii is very much in the forefront of things regarding campaign financing and ethics.  He also stated that he participated on a panel regarding the relationship between the executive director and commission or board members.  Other states noted some of the problems they have encountered.  Chair Weaver, informed other panelist that for Hawaii the relationship is good, and that it may because there is an element of trust between members and the executive director.

Meeting with Office of Elections and City Clerk’s Office
Executive Director Izumi-Nitao reported that she, Associate Director Baldomero, and General Counsel Kam met with the Office of Elections staff on October 21, 2011 and the City Clerk’s staff on November 23, 2011.  Discussion included application of HRS §11-156 certification of elected officials (as it applies to outstanding reports), CSC training, intra-agency request for information, social media, and the upcoming 2012 elections.  Will be meeting with other county clerks when we go to the neighbor islands for training.

Report on Consideration of Procurement of Updating Treasurer’s Guidebook
Letters of Request for Services to be sent to a least three to five possible candidates for the re-write of the Treasurer’s Guidebook.  Discussion concerning scope of work, qualifications, term of contract, and amount of request.  Consultation with the state procurement office and the Attorney General’s office have occurred.  Requesting proposals be submitted by close of business on January 5, 2012.

Report on Upcoming Training in Preparation of 2012 Elections and Legislative Training
Training sessions have been scheduled for as follows:

Honolulu – February 13 and 29
Kauai – February 16
Maui – February 21
Hilo – February 24

Locations are being secured, but have not been confirmed.  Registration required and will be done on-line.

Report on 2010 Campaign Statistics
Associate Director Baldomero reported on the House and Senate 2010 electoral races and will post the analysis and statistics regarding contributions and disbursements for the respective races on the Commission’s website.

Next Meeting:
Scheduled for Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 10:00 a.m.

Commissioner Snipes moved to adjourn meeting.  Motion seconded by Commissioner Gomes.  Motion carried unanimously.  Meeting adjourned at 12:15 p.m.