Minutes for December 16, 2022 MeetingPosted in Minutes
Campaign Spending Commission
Zoom Video Conference
December 16, 2022
Stanley Lum, Neal Herbert, Vic Bonfiglio, Bryan Luke
Kristin Izumi-Nitao, Tony Baldomero, Gary Kam, Yayoi Tumamao, Janelle Tanna
Deputy Attorney General Candace Park
Kaniela Ing, Kelly Armstrong, Robert M. Armstrong, Blaze Lovell, KITV4 Island News
Call to Order
Chair Lum called the meeting to order at 10:10 a.m.
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 11/18/22
Chair Lum called for approval of the 11/18/22 meeting minutes. Commissioner Herbert moved to approve the minutes of the 11/18/22 meeting. Motion seconded by Commissioner Bonfiglio. Motion carried (4-0).
*Selection of Campaign Spending Commission Vice-Chair Position – Chair Lum announced that Vice Chair Maryellen Markley resigned on 11/30/22.
Commissioner Luke moved to nominate Commissioner Neal Herbert to serve as the Commission’s Vice-Chair position. Motion seconded by Commissioner Bonfiglio. Motion carried (4-0).
Executive Director Izumi-Nitao stated that the Conciliation Agreements on the agenda were 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. 23-28 – In Re the Matter of Friends of Blake Boyd – Executive Director Izumi-Nitao explained that this proposed conciliation agreement concerns the late filing of the 2nd Preliminary General Report and requested that they assess a reduced fine from $300 to $150 as it is Respondent’s second violation. Chair Lum asked if there were any comments or questions.
Commissioner Luke moved to approve the proposed conciliation agreement. Motion seconded by Vice Chair Herbert. Motion carried (4-0).
*Proposed Conciliation Agreement No. 23-29 – In Re the Matter of Friends of Shekinah Cantere – Executive Director Izumi-Nitao explained that this proposed conciliation agreement concerns the late filing of the 2nd Preliminary General Report and requested that they assess a reduced fine from $300 to $100 as it is Respondent’s first violation. Chair Lum asked if there were any comments or questions.
Commissioner Luke moved to approve the proposed conciliation agreement. Motion seconded by Commissioner Bonfiglio. Motion carried (4-0).
*Docket No. 23-21 – In Re the Matter of Kelly Armstrong and Kelly J Armstrong – Executive Director Izumi-Nitao reported that a complaint by the Executive Director had been filed against Respondents for the late filing of the 2nd Preliminary General Report.
She reported that in the Organizational Report filed with the Commission, Respondent Kelly Armstrong is the candidate and treasurer of the candidate committee called Kelly J Armstrong.
Pursuant to HRS §11-334(a)(1), Respondents were required to file the 2nd Preliminary General Report for the period covering 9/27/22 through 10/24/22 by 11:59 p.m. Hawaii standard time on 10/31/22. Respondents did not file the report by the deadline.
On 11/1/22, Commission staff notified Respondents via first class mail of their failure to file the report and that a fine would be imposed.
On 11/1/22, Respondents electronically filed the 2nd Preliminary General Report.
On 11/3/22, Commission staff sent Respondents a letter via first class mail notifying them that a fine of $300 will be assessed against them for the late filing of the report pursuant to HRS §11-340. The letter informed Respondents that they could avoid the complaint process by waiving their rights to be heard at a HRS chapter 92 public meeting and a HRS chapter 91 contested case hearing, and voluntarily paying the fine amount by 11/17/22. Respondents did not voluntarily pay the late report fine.
On 11/7/22, Respondent Armstrong called Commission staff regarding his fine. He was informed that he was eligible for a conciliation agreement which would reduce his fine from $300 to $100. On 11/9/22, the proposed conciliation agreement was sent to Respondent Armstrong and noticed it to be heard at the 11/18/22 meeting. On the morning of the 11/18/22 meeting, Respondent Armstrong emailed the Commission asking for an elimination of the fine. Commission staff left Respondent Armstrong a voicemail asking him if he wanted to proceed with the conciliation agreement or go through the complaint process to come before the Commission to present his case. Respondent Armstrong did not return staff’s call and the proposed conciliation agreement was deferred to this meeting.
On 11/22/22, Commission staff phoned Respondent Armstrong and left him a voicemail informing him that if he does not let staff know whether he would like to proceed with the conciliation agreement or go through the complaint process by 11/28/22, a complaint would be filed. Respondent Armstrong returned staff’s call and requested to go through the complaint process.
On 11/29/22, Commission staff sent Respondent Armstrong a copy of the complaint and set the matter on the 12/16/22 Commission agenda.
Executive Director Izumi-Nitao recommended that the Commission make a preliminary determination, pursuant to HRS §11-405(a), that probable cause exists to believe that a violation of the campaign spending law has been committed, assess an administrative fine of $300 for the late filing of the 2nd Preliminary General Report, order that the fine be paid from the candidate’s personal funds if the candidate committee’s funds are insufficient to pay the fine, and order that any and all administrative penalties be deposited into the general fund pursuant to HRS §11-340(g).
Respondent Armstrong was present and stated that on the night the report was due, his computer had crashed shortly after he logged in to his account. Because it was afterhours, he decided to call the Commission office first thing in the morning on the following day and filed the report. He specified that it was 10 minutes after the office opened for the day. Respondent Armstrong stated that the fine being assessed against him is 30% of what he raised during the election. He further added that this was his first late report.
Vice Chair Herbert asked Respondent Armstrong why he did not accept the reduced assessment that was stated on the conciliation agreement. Respondent Armstrong responded that it was a lack of understanding. He was fine with the reduced assessment of $100, but he submitted his email statement to explain what had happened and to convey that he felt he should not have to pay anything.
Vice Chair Herbert asked if Respondent Armstrong took any of the Commission’s trainings or watched the training videos on the Commission’s website. Respondent Armstrong responded that he has not.
Executive Director Izumi-Nitao stated that the email statement which Respondent Armstrong submitted the morning before the last meeting prompted the Commission to defer the conciliation agreement to this meeting to honor Respondent Armstrong’s right to appear in front of the Commission since staff could not confirm or clarify what Respondent Armstrong wanted. The conciliation agreement is on this meeting’s agenda for consideration under old business. She explained that the Commission may decide on this complaint to accept the staff’s recommendation for a $300 fine or accept the conciliation agreement under old business for a reduced assessment of $100 and dismiss this complaint. If Respondent Armstrong wants the conciliation agreement, he should disclose that fact to the Commissioners so they can be aware of their options.
Respondent Armstrong stated that he prefers $100 over $300. He added that he hoped the Commission would consider not assessing any fine, but he is okay with the reduced assessment.
Chair Lum asked for a motion to take “Proposed Conciliation Agreement No. 23-27 – In Re the Matter of Kelly J Armstrong” out of order of business on the agenda.
Commissioner Luke moved to take “Proposed Conciliation Agreement No. 23-27 – In Re the Matter of Kelly J Armstrong” out of order. Motion seconded by Vice Chair Herbert. Motion carried (4-0).
Executive Director Izumi-Nitao explained that this proposed conciliation agreement concerns the late filing of the 2nd Preliminary General Report and requested that they assess a reduced fine from $300 to $100 as it is Respondent’s first violation. Chair Lum asked if there were any comments or questions.
Commissioner Luke moved to approve the proposed conciliation agreement. Motion seconded by Commissioner Bonfiglio. Motion carried (4-0).
*Back to Docket No. 23-21 – In Re the Matter of Kelly Armstrong and Kelly J Armstrong.
Chair Lum asked for a motion to dismiss the complaint. Commissioner Luke moved to dismiss the complaint. Motion seconded by Vice Chair Herbert. Motion carried (4-0).
*Docket No. 23-23 – In Re the Matter of Theodene Allen and Friends of Theodene Allen – Executive Director Izumi-Nitao reported that a complaint by the Executive Director had been filed against Respondents for failing to report expenditures.
In the Organizational Report filed with the Commission, Respondent Allen is listed as the candidate and the treasurer of the candidate committee called Friends of Theodene Allen.
HRS §11-333 requires candidates and treasurers of candidate committees to report all expenditures made or incurred during a preliminary, final, and supplemental reporting period.
In an unrelated matter, while working with The Digital Movement LLC to register them as a noncandidate committee, Commission staff noticed that they had done work for Respondent Allen. Commission staff confirmed with them that they had done work for Respondent Allen and requested a copy of the invoices for the services they provided. Upon review of the invoices, Respondent Allen had a four (4) month payment plan ($170.16/month from June through September 2022) to pay for website development services with The Digital Movement LLC which should have been reported in Respondents’ 1B Preliminary Primary Report, 2nd Preliminary Primary Report, Final Primary Report, and 1st Preliminary General Report.
On 11/4/22, Commission staff informed Respondents in a letter sent via first class mail of their failure to report the expenditures and that a fine of $1,000 would be imposed pursuant to HRS §11-410(a). The letter informed Respondents that they could avoid the complaint process by waiving their rights to be heard at a HRS chapter 92 public meeting and a HRS chapter 91 contested case hearing, and voluntarily paying the fine amount and amending their reports by 11/18/22.
Respondents did not voluntarily pay the fine or amend their reports.
On 11/30/22, Commission staff phoned Respondent Allen and left a voicemail informing her that if she does not pay the fine and amend the reports, a complaint will be filed.
Respondent Allen did not pay the fine or amend her reports, and thus this complaint was issued.
On 12/8/22, Commission staff sent Respondents a copy of the complaint and set the matter on the 12/16/22 Commission agenda.
Executive Director Izumi-Nitao recommended that the Commission make a preliminary determination, pursuant to HRS §11-405(a), that probable cause exists to believe that a violation of the campaign spending law has been committed, assess an administrative fine of $1,000, order that the fine be paid from the candidate’s personal funds if the candidate committee’s funds are insufficient to pay the fine, and order that any and all administrative penalties be deposited into the general fund pursuant to HRS §11-410(e) within two (2) weeks of receipt of this order, and order that Respondents amend the aforementioned reports to report the expenditures as required within two (2) weeks of receipt of this order.
Executive Director Izumi-Nitao noted that Respondent Allen submitted a written statement dated 12/10/22 that was distributed to the Commission at the beginning of this meeting. She stated that in response to Respondent Allen’s letter, Commission staff called her to notify her of today’s meeting. Further, that on 12/10/22, Respondent Allen amended the 1B Preliminary Primary Report to reflect an expenditure of $650 to Digital Movement LLC, but did not amend the other 3 reports to properly reflect the payment plan.
Executive Director Izumi-Nitao asked if Respondent Allen was present. Associate Director Baldomero responded that she was not present.
Vice Chair Herbert asked about a conciliation agreement. Executive Director Izumi-Nitao responded that this is not a matter for which the Commission allows an offer of reduced assessment through a conciliation agreement.
Commissioner Luke moved to make a preliminary determination that probable cause exists that a violation had been committed and to accept the fine and terms stated in the complaint. Motion seconded by Commissioner Bonfiglio. Motion carried (4-0).
Executive Director Izumi-Nitao recommended the Commission to take “Docket No. 23-13 – In Re the Matter of Mark Ing and Friends of Kaniela Ing” out of order of business on the agenda because Mr. Kaniela Ing was present. Vice Chair Herbert asked that the Commission consider the executive session minutes first and then discuss Docket No. 23-13.
Chair Lum asked for a motion to take “Consideration and Approval of Executive Session Minutes of Meeting on 11/18/22” out of order of business on the agenda.
Commissioner Bonfiglio moved to take “Consideration and Approval of Executive Session Minutes of Meeting on 11/18/22” out of order. Motion seconded by Vice Chair Herbert. Motion carried (4-0).
Chair Lum asked for discussion or comments on the executive session minutes. There were none. Chair Lum asked for a motion to approve the minutes.
Vice Chair Herbert moved to approve the executive session minutes of 11/18/22. Motion seconded by Commissioner Bonfiglio. Motion carried (4-0).
Chair Lum asked for a motion to take “Docket No. 23-13 – In Re the Matter of Mark Ing and Friends of Kaniela Ing” out of order of business on the agenda.
Commissioner Luke moved to take “Docket No. 23-13 – In Re the Matter of Mark Ing and Friends of Kaniela Ing” out of order. Motion seconded by Vice Chair Herbert. Motion carried (4-0).
*Docket No. 23-13 – In Re the Matter of Mark Ing and Friends of Kaniela Ing – General Counsel Kam reported that a complaint by the Executive Director had been filed against Mark Ing and Friends of Kaniela Ing for the failure to file the Supplemental Report. He stated that this matter was continued by request of Respondent Ing at the 11/18/22 Commission meeting to obtain counsel. He had nothing further to add from the last presentation of this complaint and recommended that based on Respondent Ing’s past violations that the Commission make a finding that it believes that Respondent Ing at least recklessly committed a violation of law and refer this complaint to the state Attorney General or county prosecutor for further investigation and potential prosecution pursuant to HRS §§11-404(4), 11-411, and 11-412(b).
Respondent Ing was present and stated that he was unable to obtain counsel because of the cost. He further stated that at the last meeting, the staff made it abundantly clear that there was no room for negotiation before the meeting to settle the case and that the recommendation will not change.
Respondent Ing stated that the issue being considered under Docket No. 23-13 is whether he had failed to timely file the Supplemental Report and if it was done intentionally or recklessly. He further stated that he admitted to not filing on time and explained his reasons at the last meeting. Respondent Ing added that it was a mistake, and he should have caught it.
Respondent Ing stated that for the Commission to refer the case for prosecution, there needs to be probable cause that he intentionally or recklessly missed the deadline, and therefore, it had to have been done on purpose. He reiterated that it was clearly a mistake and that there was no reason for him to not file the report as there was no benefit for him to miss the deadline. Respondent Ing described “recklessness” as a behavior that is so careless that it is considered an extreme departure from the care a reasonable person would exercise in similar circumstances such as recklessly driving a car. He explained that there should be some type of harm involved to be reckless, and that similar circumstances applicable to this case would be for people who are not running for office and are submitting reports a couple times a year. Respondent Ing acknowledged that he missed the deadline and would accept a fine. He also stated that he wants to close his account as soon as possible.
Respondent Ing stated that the complaint includes statement of facts that were previously determined and resolved. He explained that when he went through the case in 2018, he thought that was all he needed to do because the Commission had the same bank records as he did. Respondent Ing stated that there are no other records.
Respondent Ing stated that there is no probable cause to send this matter for prosecution. He also apologized for not filing the report on time.
General Counsel Kam stated that HRS §11-412(a) provides that any person who recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally violates any provision of this part shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and that there is no heightened standard to show that there was physical harm to somebody else as Respondent Ing mentioned. He clarified that any violation under Chapter 11 would not lead to an injury to someone else like driving a car would. With regards to the 2018 matter which is not before the Commission today, the Commission ordered him to amend 23 reports that were false. This matter has not been resolved yet as there were questionable expenses that were in the amended reports which the staff asked Respondent Ing to justify and still has not received a response.
Vice Chair Herbert pointed out that the statement about referral states, “…may have recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally committed the violation,” and therefore, it could be any one of those categories or in combination of. He stated that there is still a concern about Respondent Ing’s intention and the knowledge about what he was supposed to do.
Respondent Ing responded that he did not know he was missing a deadline because he thought he filed the report early like he usually does. He added that because there has been no activity in years, it was just a matter of logging in to the account and filing the report.
Commissioner Luke stated that he would like the prosecuting authority to determine whether there was an intentional or reckless violation of the law through their own investigations.
Commissioner Luke moved to accept the staff’s recommendation and refer the complaint to the state Attorney General or county prosecutor to conduct their own investigation on the matter and allow them to make a determination regarding potential prosecution. Motion seconded by Commissioner Herbert. Motion carried (4-0).
*Back to the order of business.
*Report on 2022 Annual Online Survey – Associate Director Baldomero reported on the results of the Commission’s 2022 Annual Online Survey. He stated that the purpose of the survey is to help evaluate the effectiveness of Commission operations and communications for fiscal year 2022 (i.e., July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022) as well as provide the Commission with any feedback in areas that we administer and regulate for improvement in fiscal year 2023 and beyond. He made the following remarks:
- This was the 11th year of the survey.
- The survey was launched on 10/26/22 via the Commission’s website, E-Blast, Facebook & Twitter, and closed on 11/23/22.
- Total outreach via E-Blast was 1,201 made up of 530 candidate committees, 286 noncandidate committees and 385 public subscribers. The Commission’s Facebook and Twitter pages are in the public domain and at the time of the survey launch there were 271 Facebook and 1,106 Twitter followers. There were also 2,753 visitors to the Commission’s website during the time the survey was open and available on the website.
- The survey ran for a total of 29 days.
- There were 122 total responses which is close to the 11-year average of 121 responses. 101 or 83% of the 122 responders completed the survey to the end.
- 8 minutes and 37 seconds was the typical time spent completing the survey with the Commission estimating it was going to take 5-10 minutes.
- The survey comprised of 7 sections and 40 survey questions (32 multiple-choice, 8 open-ended)
Associate Director Baldomero went through each of the 7 sections of the survey:
1 – Background Information Highlights (5 Questions/122 Responses)
o Responders were mostly candidates (38) then treasurers of candidate committees (27) and treasurers of noncandidate committees (14) that reside on the islands of Oahu (67), Hawaii (27), and Maui (14). The responders have a wide-range of experience among the 5 ranges with most falling in the less than 1 year of experience (37), then the 3-5 years of experience (20), 5-10 years of experience (19), and 1-3 years of experience (18) range, but overall this was a balanced group that represented different areas of experience.
o 105 or 86% filed reports electronically, 77 or 63% have been involved in campaign activities, 67 or 55% made a contribution or loan to a candidate committee, and 28 or 23% made a contribution to a noncandidate committee, so this was an engaged group that was quite familiar with the world of campaigning and campaign finance.
o 84 or 69% responded that this was their first time taking the survey with 34 or 28% responding that they took the survey between 2-5 times so it seems that this is a group that will offer us a fresh look at what we do. Only 4 or 3% took the survey between 6-10 times.
2 – Communication/Access Highlights (10 Questions/115 Responses)
o 96 or 83% of responders in this category responded that the Commission’s website was the #1 source for obtaining information from the Commission followed by phone calls or drop-in visits to the Commission’s office (94 or 82%), Guidebooks and Manuals (78 or 68%), and then Emails (72 or 63%).
o Social-media engagement is still lacking with only 21 or 18% followers on Twitter, 5 or 4% followers on Facebook and 11 or 10% just viewing Twitter posts on the Commission’s website, compared to 88 or 77% who are not. Despite that, 77 or 67% were email subscribers who received E-Blasts (i.e., most of the responders came from the E-Blast outreach and the Commission’s website versus Facebook and Twitter posts).
- Electronically filing disclosure reports (90 or 78%) followed by viewing candidate committee reports (69 or 60%), viewing committee reporting schedules (67 or 58%), electronically filing forms (66 or 57%), and accessing guidebooks and manuals (65 or 56%), drove people to the Commission’s website. Overall, it seems that responders are visiting the Commission’s website to electronically file reports and forms, and to view committee reports and reporting schedules. They are also looking for information to help them comply.
- Overall, the responders were satisfied with what they see on the Commission’s website (105 or 91%).
- Of the 64 or 56% who said that they use the searchable database, 63 or 98% said it was a helpful tool that was mainly used to search contributor names and how much money they gave to candidates (57 or 93%) and how candidates spent/expended their campaign funds (46 or 75%).
- The candidate and noncandidate committee data visualization apps were not as popular as the searchable database with 32 or 28% who said they had used it.
Responders commented that they like the E-Blasts and would like to communicate with staff via email. They added that they would like to see E-Blasts more personalized and to receive less E-Blasts that do not apply to them specifically. Other comments included reduction in the number of disclosure reports, to allow data to be uploaded to the candidate filing system (specifically, spreadsheets), and to allow anonymous complaints.
3 – Education/Training Highlights (4 Questions/112 Responses)
- 25 or 22% viewed the candidate committee cyber learning videos and 12 or 11% viewed the noncandidate committee cyber learning videos with 70 or 63% never viewing any videos.
- For those who attended training, most of them said that it had been more than 3 years ago (18 or 16%) or 1-3 years (10 or 9%) and the last 6 months (10 or 9%) since they last attended an in-person training or viewed the cyber learning videos. 66 or 59% have never attended training or viewed the Commission’s learning videos before.
- 57 or 51% have viewed the Candidate Committee Guidebook, 51 or 46% viewed the Treasurer’s Guidebook, and 50 or 45% viewed the Candidate Filing System Manual, and so it seems that this was the preferable way of obtaining information on the requirements.
Responders commented that staff should conduct trainings during off-work hours and to update the training videos. They also commented that all candidates running should be provided hard-copy of the manuals and that they would like to see instructions for amending reports with pop-up tips.
4 – Compliance/Enforcement Highlights (5 Questions/110 Responses)
Associate Director Baldomero summarized that most responders responded that they were compliant and that the details are outlined in the survey.
5 – Public Funding Highlights (5 Questions/107 Responses)
- Only a small number of responders in this category (16 or 15%) have qualified for and received public funding versus 63 or 59% who have not. Of the 16 receiving public funds, 8 or 32% received the maximum amount.
- 70 or 65% support public funding versus 37 or 35% who did not.
Responders commented that voluntary contributions to the Hawaii Election Campaign Fund should be allowed and all candidates should receive the same amount of public funding regardless of the office they run for.
6 – Other Highlights (6 Questions/103 Responses)
o 63 or 61% of responders in this category said they would support a general fund appropriation to see public funding continue versus 40 or 39% who said they would not. Right now, there is about $1.8 million in the Hawaii Election Campaign Fund. 37 or 36% have been checking off the $3 tax check-off versus 66 or 64% who have not.
- 81 or 79% knew that the $3 check-off did not affect their tax liability or decrease their refund versus 22 or 21% who did not. It seems that the responders are aware that checking off the box does not affect their tax liability or decrease their refund, but they are still not checking the box.
- 60 or 58% responded that Super PACs were a concern versus 43 or 42% who said they were not a concern. This could be a result of the increased Super PAC activity in this year’s election in the form of negative ads that oppose candidates.
Responders commented that they are concerned about Super PAC fundings not being transparent, and that Super PACs create an unfair advantage for certain candidates. They also commented that there is too much special interest money in Super PACs, and they do not like the negative campaigning they engage in. Other responders feel that Super PAC activity is fine as long it is done legally and reported to the public.
7 – COVID-19 Closure Highlights (5 Questions/101 Responses)
o Since the government stay-at-home order was issued by Governor Ige in March 2020, 76 or 75% of responders said that they were able to obtain answers and assistance by phone with 59 or 58% saying they were able to obtain answers and assistance by the Commission’s website and 33 or 33% by Email.
o 64 or 63% said they were able to obtain answers and assistance on the same day while 15 or 15% said 1-2 days later.
- 8 or 8% said they attended a monthly Commission meeting by Zoom. 35 or 35% did not know the Commission was meeting regularly.
Responders commented that the staff should have physical presence on neighbor islands, and to post searchable list of committees that had violations and fines. They also commented that the filing system should be more user friendly and to allow spreadsheets to be imported to the filing system.
Vice Chair Herbert commended Associate Director Baldomero for his good work.
Executive Director Izumi-Nitao stated that the survey results will be posted on the Commission’s website.
Report from the Executive Director
*Report on Compliance of Filing Timely Disclosure Reports – Executive Director Izumi-Nitao reported the following:
- Final Election Period Report:
- Kauai County candidates who were successful (report was due on 11/28/22):
- 8 candidates filed on time.
- Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Hawaii County candidates who were successful (report was due on 11/30/22):
- 11 candidates filed on time.
- OHA candidates who were successful (report was due on 12/1/22):
- 6 candidates filed on time.
- All other candidates who ran in the 2022 election and noncandidate committees (report was due 12/8/22):
- 346 candidate committees were expected to file.
- 297 candidates filed on time.
- 46 candidates did not file on time.
- 3 candidates filed late.
- As of today, 26 candidates have not filed the report.
- 276 noncandidate committees were expected to file.
- 265 noncandidate committees filed on time.
- 11 noncandidate committees did not file on time.
- As of today, 4 noncandidate committees have not filed the report.
- Expenditures of Public Funds Report was due on 12/8/22:
- All 10 candidates who were expected to file were on time.
- 346 candidate committees were expected to file.
- Kauai County candidates who were successful (report was due on 11/28/22):
Chair Lum asked if there were any questions or comments. There were none.
*Report on Commission to Improve Standards of Conduct (CISC) – Executive Director Izumi-Nitao reported that CISC’s final report was submitted to House Speaker Saiki on 12/1/22. She added that the proposed bills submitted by the Campaign Spending Commission were recommended for consideration.
*Report on the 2023 COGEL Conference – Executive Director Izumi-Nitao reported that General Counsel Kam, Chair Lum, and Vice Chair Herbert attended this year’s COGEL Conference in Montreal, Canada.
Executive Director Izumi-Nitao shared that there were over 400 attendees this year out of which 160 were new attendees. Disciplines covered in this conference were campaign finance, ethics, elections, freedom of information, and lobbying. She further shared that she participated on the program committee and was asked to co-chair the conference in 2024. She thanked Vice Chair Herbert and General Counsel Kam for their participation in the panel discussions.
Executive Director Izumi-Nitao further shared that she attended sessions on pay-to-play laws and facilitated the session titled, “Show Me The Money, Is It Getting Harder To Follow?” as well as plenary sessions concerning prevention of corruption and collusion in public contracts which included a case study in Quebec. She also attended sessions concerning campaign finance which included topics on campaign finance updates, cryptocurrency, and “Avoiding Gotcha: Increasing Compliance Through Effective Enforcement,” which General Counsel Kam was a panelist. Other highlights included sessions concerning regulation of political online ads and disinformation, a discussion of the disturbing trend in retweeting disinformation and timeliness of correcting disinformation, and the rise of paid social influencers and paying for “likes” of ad posts. Executive Director Izumi-Nitao stated that the 2023 COGEL Conference is scheduled for 12/3/23 through 12/6/23 in Kansas City, Missouri.
General Counsel Kam shared that he attended the session on campaign finance update on legislation and regulations and he discussed Act 169 and Act 187 from last legislative session with the attendees.
Chair Lum shared that he enjoyed the session which the McGeorge Law School president spoke of using personal touches in his work such as handwritten letters of acceptance to all the students who are accepted to the school as well as the steps he took to overcome the school’s deficit. Other highlights included a plenary session which discussed a story about a veteran politician who dealt with a spouse with serious mental issues. He mentioned that the only negative feedback about the conference was the audio issues.
Vice Chair Herbert shared that the conference was professionally done and informative. He said that Hawaii’s Commission is small compared to the other states and other places also conduct hybrid meetings. Vice Chair Herbert also shared that he enjoyed the dark money discussion, and the idea of reporting the original source of contributions. Other highlights included how LLCs are difficult to track in California, how Canada has severe penalties for transparency violations, and the recommendation to document conversations over the phone when asked questions that are not straightforward. Vice Chair Herbert said he will research some of the things he learned at the conference so that he can be better informed.
*Update on the Certification Process of Candidates Elected in the 2022 Election – Associate Director Baldomero reported that the certification process is progressing well and ongoing. This process requires staff to determine that all winning candidates (115) have filed their reports and paid all their fines. So far, staff certified those who won in the following races: Governor, Lieutenant Governor, all Kauai County races, all Hawaii County races, and OHA. Today, staff will certify Maui Mayor, Maui County Councilmembers, and the Honolulu City Councilmembers. Remaining candidates to be certified are the winning candidates who ran for State House of Representatives and State Senate. They will be sworn-in on 1/18/23.
Chair Lum asked for a motion to adjourn this meeting. Commissioner Bonfiglio moved to adjourn. Motion seconded by Commissioner Luke. Motion carried (4-0). Meeting adjourned at 11:40 a.m.
Scheduled for Wednesday, January 11, 2023, at 10 a.m. via Zoom