Minutes for June 4, 2009

Posted in Minutes

Campaign Spending Commission Meeting
Leiopapa A Kamehameha Building, Room 203
June 4, 2009
10:00 a.m.

Commissioners Present:
Paul Kuramoto, Steven Olbrich, Gino Gabrio, Dean Robb, Michael Weaver

Staff Present:
Barbara Wong, Tony Baldomero, Grant Tanimoto, Ellen Kojima, Linda Takushi
Robyn Chun, Deputy Attorney General

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

Consideration of Minutes:
Commissioner Gabrio moved to approve the minutes of the May 13, 2009 meeting as corrected (Commissioner Gabrio clarified that under Hawaii Rules of Professional Conduct a client of his law firm is a client of his, but that he does not personally represent that client).  Motion seconded by Commissioner Olbrich.  Motion carried unanimously.

New Business:
2009 COGEL Conference
Executive Director Wong proposed that because of the Governor’s restriction on all travel, that if Commissioners pay for their own airfare, hotel, per diem, and ground transportation to attend the COGEL conference, staff will seek approval of payment for the Commissioners’ registration fees.

Following discussion of the circumstances, including the economic crisis, consensus of the Commissioners is for staff to seek approval only of the registration fee for the Executive Director. 

Next Meeting:
Scheduled for Thursday, July 16, 2009 at 10:00 a.m.

Commissioner Weaver moved to convene executive session to confer with counsel.  Motion seconded by Commissioner Robb.  Motion carried.  (Aye-Kuramoto, Olbrich, Robb, Weaver / No-Gabrio)

Commissioner Gabrio noted that he is generally not in favor of convening an executive session when it’s a legal issue and it’s possible the Attorney General’s opinion may differ from the draft advisory opinion prepared by the Commission’s staff, and the requestor should be able to respond.  Further, he asked that if the Attorney General’s opinion will be made public, when that would be.

Deputy Attorney General Robyn Chun stated that the Attorney General’s opinion is confidential attorney-client communication and that the client has the discretion to waive the privilege.  Deputy Attorney General Chun further clarified that if privilege is waived, it is waived as to the issue of the opinion.

William Kaneko, Esq. and Corianne Lau, Esq., representing the requestor for the Advisory Opinion, Congressman Neil Abercrombie, asked whether their request for a copy of the Attorney General opinion would be addressed.  Chair Kuramoto noted that a response to the request for the opinion would be sent.

Corianne Lau, Esq. asked for confirmation that the commission would not be deliberating or deciding any matter beyond the specific limitations of section 92-5(a)(4), and that any discussions would be limited to the commission’s powers, duties, privileges, immunities and liabilities.  Further, that they don’t want to intrude on the commission’s ability to seek legal advice but that the Abercrombie campaign would like to address the Attorney General opinion, especially if any issue has been raised that the Abercrombie Committee has not considered and responded to.

Deputy Attorney General Chun stated that HRS section 92-5(a)(4) permits the Commission to convene in executive session regarding the Commission’s powers, duties, privileges, and immunities and liabilities.  Further, these provisions are quite broad, and a duty of the commission is to issue advisory opinions.  She reiterated that the Attorney General opinion is confidential attorney-client communication and can’t agree that the Abercrombie committee has a right to address the Attorney General’s opinion.  Also, the Committee already presented their input at the Commission meeting on May 13th and will have an opportunity to address any issues in the proposed Advisory Opinion at the commission’s next meeting in July.

Public session reconvened at 10:58 a.m.

No further business to discuss.  Commissioner Robb moved to adjourn the meeting.  Motion seconded by Commissioner Olbrich.  Motion carried unanimously. 

Meeting adjourned at 11:00 a.m.