The Democrats have done it again. They are trying to sneak one under the peoples’ noses once more by amending bills that are still alive just because their own bills seem to be dying. I urge you all to continue to call your legislators. And most of all give, House Speaker Calvin Say (586-6100) and Rep. Scott Saiki (586-8485) a call to let them know that you are on to them and their phony attempts to bring integrity back to government.

Remember that infamous ”’fake”’ campaign finance reform bill (HB 284)? Well, it seems to be dying or at least on its last breath. The House Democrats are well aware of this so they gutted a bill from the Senate that is currently in their hands and inserted all of their offensive language that would continue to allow contractors to donate to the Democrats and increase the financial influence of unions and special interest groups and make it tougher for the Republicans to raise any kind of revenues to help elect more Republicans to office.

The new bill, called Senate Bill 459, Senate Draft 1, House Draft 1, says that it makes it illegal for companies to donate to campaigns. However, this bill would allow all the officers and board members of these companies to donate to campaigns whereas current law prohibits these individuals from donating because they are considered a part of the corporation. For example, if 30 people owned a company and the company gave $6,000 to a gubernatorial campaign, then all 30 people would not be allowed to donate anymore money to that candidate. However, under this new law, the company would not be allowed to donate but all 30 owners of the company would. In a time when we are trying to control the increasing costs of running campaigns, this is surely one way to keep the upward trend to continue.

Second, this bill excludes the cost for services and goods such as property rental, food, and invitations up to $1,000 for a candidate and $2,000 for a Party. What this means is that the Democrats can have 10 unions throw a fundraiser or a rally and pitch in $1,000 each for a candidate to pay for the $10,000 cost to throw the fundraiser and none of this would count as a contribution by the unions or to the candidate. This is just dirty politics.

Third, SB 459 increases the amount a candidate can donate to community organizations. This may seem nice and helpful to charities that are currently hurting for money, but this basically comes down to buying votes. This favors rich incumbents who have money to burn. Shame on Sen. Cal Kawamoto (586-6970). He is currently under investigation for excessive donations to these groups and he is the one who proposed this bill in the first place to get himself out of trouble.

Finally, this new law removes reporting requirements of fundraisers and allows for an unlimited number of fundraisers for candidates. Currently, any fundraiser with donation requests of over $25 must be reported to the Campaign Spending Commission and candidates are limited to 2 fundraisers.

The Democrats do not to provide full and open disclosure of their fundraising activities and they want to be allowed to have as many fundraisers as they want. This clouds the whole fundraising issue by not being open and honest with the public and by allowing multiple fundraisers, this will again increase the cost of running a campaign because now candidates will continue to ask you for more and more money. This is simply not the direction we want to go.

I cannot stress how important it is to call your legislators. Again, you can find your Senator’s and Representative’s contact information by logging on to www.capitol.hawaii.gov and clicking on to Senate or House and then to Members. This site will also allow you to check on the status of these bill and many others.

I hope that you will continue to work hard for our Governor and our Republicans in the legislature. I know it has been a lot of work to stay on top of these Democrats but it is a very necessary step.

”’To reach legislators, see:”’ “Representatives at a Glance” and “Senators at a Glance”

”’Brennon T. Morioka is the Chairman of the Hawaii Republican Party. He can be reached via email at:”’ mailto:headquarters@gophawaii.com

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Hawaii Reporter is an award-winning, independent Hawaii-based news and opinion journal founded in 2001 and launched in February 2002. The journal's staff have won a number of top awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, including the top investigative news reporting awards, business reporting awards, government reporting awards, and online news reporting awards.