CSC Newsletter – January 2012, Vol. 18, No. 1

Posted in Newsletter

REMINDER – Supplemental Report Due for Candidate Committees, Noncandidate Committees, and Corporations.   The next report due for Candidate Committees, Noncandidate Committees, and Corporations is the Supplemental Report covering the period July 1 through December 31, 2011.  The Supplemental Report must be electronically filed on your respective filing system (i.e., Candidate Filing System (CFS), Noncandidate Committee Filing System (NCFS), and Corporate Reporting System (CRS)) and is due no later than 11:59 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time onJanuary 31, 2012.  Failure to file this report in a timely manner will result in a fine.


The Campaign Spending Commission announces the February 2012 class schedule.  All classes are open to the public and there is no fee to attend but a reservation is required.  The locations and dates are as follows:

Kauai – Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012

Kauai Community College
OCET, Room 104
3-1901 Kaumualii Hwy., Lihue, HI

Maui – Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012

Maui Community College
Laulima Building, Room 227
310 W. Kaahumanu Ave., Wailuku, HI

Hawaii – Friday, Feb. 24, 2012

University of Hawaii at Hilo
Mookini Library, Room 359
200 W. Kaiwi St., Hilo, HI

Oahu – Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012

Honolulu Community College/PCATT
Building 2, Room 505
874 Dillingham Blvd., Honolulu, HI

The following classes will be offered: 1) Candidate and Candidate Committee; 2) Candidate Filing System; 3) Partial Public Funding for Candidates; 4) Hawaii County Council Comprehensive Public Funding; and, 5) Noncandidate Committee. Visit the Commission’s website for class times and to make a reservation.


The federal lawsuit before U.S. District Judge J. Michael Seabright is ongoing. However, as a result of a permanent injunction, the Commission will not be enforcing contribution limits to noncandidate committees making solely independent expenditures. To properly administer this provision, noncandidate committees making solely independent expenditures must affirmatively state that they are noncandidate committees making solely independent expenditures by checking off the appropriate box on Commission forms.


In March 2011, the Commission launched the corporate reporting system.  Pursuant to HRS §11-332(a), corporations are required to file a report with the Commission for contributions from its own treasury that aggregate more than $1,000 per two year election period made directly to a candidate or candidate committee.


The Commission operates from a trust fund called the Hawaii Election Campaign Fund.  This fund depends on Hawaii taxpayers checking off the box on their state income tax form which permits $3 from state funds (or $6 if married and filing a joint return) to be allocated to our trust fund.  Tax filers are informed that participation is voluntary and does not increase their tax or reduce their refund.  Monies in this campaign fund help to provide accountability, transparency and integrity by providing full and partial public funding to candidates and paying operational expenses of the Commission.


After serving 8 years on the Commission, Commissioner Steven Olbrich left the Commission in November 2011. We extend our deepest gratitude for his dedication, support, and guidance in improving campaign finance in the State of Hawaii.


In August 2011, the Commission hired Sandrina Lee as Elections Assistant.  Previously, Sandrina was a legal clerk at the Department of the Attorney General, State of Hawaii.

CSC Reports
Next report due for:
Candidate Committees, Noncandidate Committees and Corporations
Supplemental Report due January 31, 2012

CSC Meetings
January 11, 2012
February 8, 2012
March 14, 2012
April 11, 2012
May 9, 2012
June 13, 2012


The Commission is composed of five volunteers representing the general public who are appointed by the governor from a list of ten nominees submitted by the judicial council. In 2011, Tina (Pedro) Gomes, G. William Snipes, and Mara Miller were selected to serve on the Commission.

Tina is an independent consultant specializing in data research and collection, statistical analysis, design study, and reports and presentations.  She holds an A.A. in Liberal Arts from Maui Community College, a B.A. in Human Relations in Organizations from the University of Hawaii, and a M.S. in Criminal Justice Administration from the University of Cincinnati.

After a 25-year career as an attorney in the U.S., Hong Kong, and Singapore, Bill became a private mediator in Maui.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from St. Lawrence University in New York and a J.D. from Stanford University.

As an independent scholar, Mara delivers lectures, gives workshops, and consults internationally on East Asia, gardens, environmental philosophy, gender studies, and social studies education.  Mara earned degrees at Cornell University, the University of Michigan, and Yale University (philosophy).


Under HRS §11-156, the chief election officer or county clerk shall deliver certifications of election to the persons elected only after they have filed their expense statements (i.e., disclosure reports) with the Commission. The Commission interprets this to mean that elected officials must have filed all reports as opposed to just the Final Election Period Report. Election officials have been informed of this interpretation and have agreed that they will not be issuing certificates of election to any candidate until such time as the Commission informs it of compliance with this requirement.


For the 2012 legislative session, following legislative direction, the Commission submitted a bill to the Speaker of the House for introduction in the House and Senate.  Among other things, the proposed measure seeks to move the due date of the 1st Preliminary Primary Report to thirty days prior to the primary election.  The measure would also amend the law to require noncandidate committees to identify the candidates supported or opposed by the committees’ independent expenditures.  The measure also seeks technical, nonsubstantive amendments to the duties of the Commission for clarity and consistency.


Pursuant to Act 244, 2008 Session Laws of Hawaii, Part I, Section 3, the Commission determined on September 1, 2011, that the Hawaii Election Campaign Fund has the minimum funds required to certify candidates participating in the pilot comprehensive public funding program for the 2012 Hawaii County Council elections. The program shall become effective January 1, 2012. As a result of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Arizona Free Enterprise v. Bennett, 564 U.S. __, 131 S.Ct. 2806 (2011), the “equalizing funds” provision of Act 244 (section 13) will not be implemented and thus equalizing funds will not be disbursed to certified candidates.


In October 2011, you should have received an email notification from the Commission’s new Email System.  We used your email address obtained from the “Electronic Filing Form” which was previously filed with our office.  We intend to use this system to remind you of important deadlines, to inform you of any relevant campaign finance updates, and to send you our newsletters.  Candidate and noncandidate committees can correct or change their email address by logging into their respective electronic filing system and clicking on “Administration” then “Edit Organizational Report.”  Corporations can correct or change their email address by logging into the Corporate Reporting System and clicking on “Administration” then “Edit Corporate Information.”  If you would like to invite others to receive these emails, please visit our website at and click on the orange email icon at the top of our home page.


In July 2011, the Commission launched Facebook and Twitter pages to increase, enhance, and supplement our communication efforts to inform you of important and time sensitive campaign finance information. You will find links to these social media sites on our home page.


With the implementation of our new Email System and to reduce costs, we will be phasing out the mailing of our biannual newsletter. Our next newsletter which will be issued in July of this year will be the last mailing.  Please make sure your email address is current to ensure future receipt of our newsletters.