Minutes for October 11, 2023 Meeting

Posted in Minutes

Campaign Spending Commission Meeting
Zoom Video Conference
October 11, 2023
10:00 a.m.

Commissioners Present
Stanley Lum, Neal Herbert, Vic Bonfiglio, David Chee

Gary Kam

Staff Present
Kristin E. Izumi-Nitao, Tony Baldomero, Terence Lau
Deputy Attorney General Candace Park


Call to Order
Chair Lum called the meeting to order at 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 9/13/23
Commissioner Chee moved to approve the minutes on 9/13/23.  Motion seconded by Commissioner Bonfiglio.  Motion carried (4-0).

New Business
*Docket No. 24-01 – In Re the Matter of Christy Gusman and Christy Kajiwara-Gusman – Executive Director Izumi-Nitao reported that a complaint by the Executive Director had been filed against Respondents for failing to file the Supplemental Report.

She reported that in the Organizational Report filed with the Commission, Respondent Gusman is the candidate and treasurer of the candidate committee called Christy Kajiwara-Gusman.

Pursuant to HRS §11-334(a), Respondents were required to file the Supplemental Report for the period covering 1/1/23 through 6/30/23 by 11:59 p.m. Hawaii standard time on 7/31/23.  Respondents did not file the report by the deadline.

On 8/1/23, Commission staff notified Respondents via first class mail of their failure to file the report and that a fine would be imposed.

On 8/8/23 and 8/21/23, Commission staff left voicemails with Respondents informing them that they needed to file the aforementioned report and that a complaint would be filed if they failed to do so.

Respondents have not filed the report.

On 8/31/23, Commission staff sent Respondents a copy of the complaint and set the matter on the 10/11/23 Commission agenda.  Respondents have not responded to the complaint within 30 days from the mailing of the complaint, and therefore, pursuant to HRS §11-403(c), the Commission may treat the failure to explain or respond as a rebuttable presumption that a violation has occurred.

Notably, on 9/29/23, Respondent Gusman made a $200 payment via PayPal which does not fulfill the terms of the complaint.  Further, Respondent Gusman did not file the Supplemental Report.

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 $500 (but acknowledge a $200 payment) for the failure to file the Supplemental 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; order that any and all administrative penalties be deposited into the general fund pursuant to HRS §11-410(e); and order that the report be filed within 2 weeks of receipt of the order.

Commissioner Chee 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 Vice Chair Herbert.  Motion carried (4-0).

*Presentation, Discussion, and Approval of the Commission’ Annual Report for FY 2023 – Executive Director Izumi-Nitao presented the proposed draft of the Commission’s Annual Report for FY 2023 which discussed Commission activities covering the period 7/1/22 to 6/30/23 as applied to the Commission’s Strategic Plan.  She commented that upon approval, the annual report will be posted on the Commission’s website.

Vice Chair Herbert moved to approve the FY 2023 Annual Report.  Motion seconded by Commissioner Chee.  Motion carried (4-0).

Old Business
*Consideration, Discussion, and/or Approval of Commission Legislation for the 2024 Legislative Session – Executive Director Izumi-Nitao reported that as a result of the last CSC meeting, she and Commissioner Chee discussed CSC-02 (24) which was proposed at the 9/13/23 Commission meeting to address the concern of defining “owner.”  She reported that they are recommending to eliminate “owners” to avoid a possible constitutional challenge.

Commissioner Chee commented that defining “owner” could be difficult as well as enforcement.  He further added that often officers, who are easier to ascertain, are the owners.

  • CSC-02 (24), RELATING TO CONTRIBUTIONS BY STATE AND COUNTY CONTRACTORS AND GRANTEES OF THE STATE – Amends HRS §11-355 by applying the ban on contributions from state and county contractors to grantees of the state under Chapter 42F, and grantees of a county under county law, and to the officers and immediate family members of the government contractor or state/county grantee. Currently, only the entity that is the government contractor is prohibited from making political contributions.  A contractor can easily get around the ban by having its officers and their immediate family members make contributions, including false name contributions.  This bill will prevent this problem.  Also, state and county grantees are in the same position as government contractors.  Both receive state funds that have been appropriated by the Legislature.  Thus, the ban should apply to state and county grantees too.

Vice Chair Herbert moved to approve CSC-02 (24) proposed legislation for the 2024 Legislative Session.  Motion seconded by Commissioner Chee.  Motion carried (4-0).

Report from Executive Director
*Report on Compliance of Filing Timely Disclosure Reports – Executive Director Izumi-Nitao provided an update on compliance of past disclosure reports. She stated that many of the non-filers represent the same committees that have failed to file prior reports and have been brought to the attention of the Attorney General’s Office – Civil Recoveries Division.

 *Discussion and Approval of the 2024 CSC Meeting Schedule – Executive Director Izumi-Nitao proposed dates for the 2024 CSC Meeting schedule which, if agreeable, will be posted on the CSC website.  There were no concerns raised.

Next Meeting:
Scheduled for Wednesday, November 8, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. via Zoom.

Chair Lum asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting.  Commissioner Chee moved to adjourn the meeting.  Motion seconded by Vice Chair Herbert.  Motion carried (4-0).

Meeting Adjourned at 11:00 a.m.