The state Campaign Spending Commission at its Wednesday meeting fined House Majority Floor Leader Rida Cabanilla $500 for filing “false or inaccurate” campaign spending reports, and another $50 for filing the reports late.
Cabanilla held a fundraiser in March, which raised nearly $5,800 and expended nearly $2,900, but her campaign spending report said she had no activity during that period.
Cabanilla didn’t attend the meeting on Wednesday but issued a statement afterward apologizing for her error.
“I accept the Commission’s finding and will comply with the administrative fine that has been recommended,” Cabanilla said. “I made an error on my supplemental campaign spending report and sincerely apologize to my constituents and the Commission for the mistake.”
Ironically, Cabanilla just replaced Rep. Karen Awana as the majority floor leader because Awana also ran into trouble with the Commission.
Awana was fined $8,590 for 54 violations of the state’s campaign spending law, including filing inaccurate or false reports, reporting her campaign contributions late, and not keeping accurate records.
To end negative media attention on his Majority Floor Leader, House Speaker Joe Souki replaced Awana with Rep. Rida Cabanilla.
However, the speaker has no plans to replace Cabanilla at this time.
In a statement to Hawaii Reporter, Souki said: “Rep. Cabanilla has admitted to the error on her report and will pay the full fine as ordered by the Commission. I see no reason for further action by me.”