Minutes for May 11, 2011

Posted in Minutes

Campaign Spending Commission
Leiopapa A Kamehameha Building, Room 204
May 11, 2011
10:30 a.m.

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

Staff Present:
Kristin Izumi-Nitao, Tony Baldomero, Gary Kam, Ellen Kojima
Deputy Attorney General Robyn Chun

Call to Order:
Meeting convened at 10:30 a.m. with Chair Kuramoto presiding.

Consideration of Minutes:
Correction – page 2, Docket 11-05, last sentence, capital L for Respondent lee.

Commissioner Gabrio moved to approve the minutes of April 13, 2011 as corrected.  Motion seconded by Commissioner Olbrich.  Motion carried unanimously.

New Business:
Executive Director Izumi-Nitao stated that the following proposed conciliation agreement is a result of an investigation that she initiated in April 2011 pursuant to HRS section 11-314(7) to determine whether there has been a violation of the Hawaii campaign spending law.

The Respondent had been notified of the meeting, had been provided a copy of the proposed conciliation agreement, and waived the opportunity to explain otherwise respond to the notice of violation.  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 amount stated in the proposed agreement.

Proposed Conciliation Agreement 11-12 – In Re the Matter of Hawaii Management Alliance Association
Proposed agreement is offered to settle a claim regarding an excess contribution to the Friends of Gene Ward committee in violation of HRS section 11-364(a).

Executive Director Izumi-Nitao noted that on page 2, No. 5-election period should be November 5, 2008 through November 2, 2010, and because the excess contribution was not returned within 30 days, Hawaii Management will escheat the $500 excess to the Hawaii election campaign fund and pay the assessed fine.

Commissioner Gabrio moved to find probable cause exists that Respondent committed a violation and to accept proposed conciliation agreement as corrected.  Motion seconded by Vice-Chair Weaver.  Motion carried unanimously.

Docket No. 10-06 – Democratic Party of Hawaii v. Republican Governors Association and Friends of Duke Aiona
Parties Present:  Tony Gill representing Democratic Party of Hawaii, Terry Thomason representing Friends of Duke Aiona

General Counsel Gary Kam stated that before resolution of the complaint, Commissioners need to address the request for a continuance made by Mr. Tony Gill.

Mr. Tony Gill stated that the reason for the continuance is that the value of the case is perspective to the future regarding coordination and sees no reason the decision should be rushed.  Another reason is that they just received the motions to dismiss that the Republican Governors Association and Friends of Duke Aiona filed, and that they want the Commission to be fully informed before a decision is made.

Mr. Terry Thomason objected to the continuance and stated that the Friends Committee followed established rules and if the matter is continued, it is an inconvenient with regard to witnesses and asked that the Commission consider the procedures established in HAR section 2-160-68(b).

After some discussion regarding procedures, reliance on the statute and rules regarding coordination and expenditures, rules being based on the Christian Coalition case and the McConnell case which addressed the federal statute; matter to be continued and the Democratic Party to submit their response on 5/16/11 as requested.

Commissioner Gabrio moved to continue the matter until the June meeting.  Motion seconded by Vice-Chair Weaver.  Motion carried. (aye – Kuramoto, Gabrio, Weaver / no – Olbrich, Robb)

It was also noted that the response would be limited to the issue addressed in their letter dated May 11, 2011, which is whether Christian Coalition was still good law after the passage of BCRA and later federal court cases.

Draft Advisory Opinion 11-01 – ActBlue Inquiry
Draft advisory opinion response to ActBlue inquiry regarding the acceptance, disbursement, and reporting of earmarked contributions as a noncandidate committee.

Vice-Chair Weaver moved to accept draft advisory opinion 11-01.  Motion seconded by Commissioner Olbrich.  Motion carried. (aye – Kuramoto, Olbrich, Gabrio, Weaver / no – Robb)

Legislation Update
Conference committee started discussion on HB 257, but because of revisions and the need for the bill to also be referred to the finance committee, it did not meet certain deadlines and it did not make out of conference committee.

CSC 2008-2012 Strategic Plan
Executive Director Izumi-Nitao went through the 6 goals identified in the plan.  Most if not all goals are still ongoing with some items within each goal completed.  Open to any comments and any thoughts on future considerations.

Report from Executive Director:
Update and Report on Failure to File Reports, Unpaid Fines & Subsequent Proceedings
-Will be seeking judicial enforcement of commission orders on Johnathan Able and Michael Hale.
-To date: Failure to File – 10 and Unpaid Fines – 3

Consideration of Section of New Chair
Selection of a new chair to be decided at the June meeting.

For those that need to file the Ethics Financial Disclosure Form due 5/31/11

Vice Chair Weaver moved to convene executive session to consult with attorney on Yamada et al v. Kuramoto et al.  Motion seconded by Commissioner Robb.  Motion carried unanimously.

Public session reconvened at 11:48 a.m.

Next Meeting:
Scheduled for Wednesday, June 8, 2011 at 10:00 a.m.

Chair Kuramoto asked for a motion to adjourn meeting.  Commissioner Robb moved to adjourn meeting.  Motion seconded by Vice-Chair Weaver.  Motion carried unanimously.

Meeting adjourned at 11:50 a.m.