Minutes for July 9, 2008

Posted in Minutes

Campaign Spending Commission Meeting
Leiopapa A Kamehameha Building, Room 204
July 9, 2008
10:00 a.m.

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

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

Call to Order:
Meeting convened at 10:00 a.m. with Chairperson Kuramoto presiding.

Consideration of Minutes:
Commissioner Olbrich moved to defer consideration of the June 12, 2008 minutes until the next meeting (he was not present at the June 12, 2008 meeting).  Motion seconded by Commissioner Gabrio.  Motion carried 3-0.

Old Business:
Draft Advisory Opinion 08-01 / Rescind Advisory Opinion 03-05
Chair Kuramoto asked that the matter be deferred until the next meeting when the other members are present for further discussion of the issue.

Commissioner Olbrich moved to defer the matter until the next meeting.  Motion seconded by Commissioner Gabrio.  Motion carried 3-0.

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

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.

A motion was made to dismiss the complaint by Chairperson Kuramoto, seconded by Commissioner Gabrio. Chairperson Kuramoto and Commissioner Gabrio voted to dismiss the complaint with Commissioner Olbrich abstaining from the vote, 2-0-1.  Because a majority of 5 Commissioners (3 votes) did not support the motion, the motion failed.  A motion was made by Commissioner Olbrich to defer this matter until the next meeting.  Motion seconded by Chairperson Kuramoto.  Motion carried 3-0.

Communication to Commission:
Strategic Plan, Goal 4(c): Training Video Modules on the Web
Fourteen training modules have been filmed and are being edited by the Information and Communications Services Division.  The videos should be posted on the Commission’s website in the next few weeks.

Strategic Plan, Goal 4(a): Training Classes Update
Training classes were held on Kauai on July 8, 2008, with classes to follow: Maui on Friday, July 11, Kona on Wednesday, July 16, Hilo on Thursday, July 17, and Honolulu on Friday, July 18.

Marketing Program
The Commission staff will be at Kahala Mall, Saturday, September 6, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to inform about and to encourage people to use the Commission’s website.  The Commission Staff is also looking into providing the demonstration at Pearlridge Center and at malls on the neighbor islands in the future.

Strategic Plan, Goal 2(a): Simplified Multi-Year Educational Plan
The purpose of the Multi-Year Education Plan is (1) to increase awareness of the transparency of candidate and noncandidate committee campaign contribution and expenditure disclosure reports; (2) to increase awareness of campaign contribution laws; and (3) to show the public how to access the reports and the law.

Legislative Update-HB 661 – Late reports fine increase implementation
HB 661 (Act 244) was enacted without the Governor’s signature.  The penalty for late filing, and defective and deficient reports has been increased.  Enforcement will begin with the July 31, 2008 filing.  Notices of the increase were placed on our website and were mailed out in the Campaign Spending Commission Bulletin.

Next Meeting:
Scheduled for Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mr. Olbrich moved to adjourn the meeting.  Motion seconded by Mr. Gabrio.  Motion carried 3-0.

Meeting adjourned at 10:55 a.m.