Political Tittle-tattle: News and Entertainment from Hawaii's Political Arena

article top

“Malia headshot Image”

”King of Regulation Legislation With Big Bucks in Campaign Contributions Wants Mo’ Money, Less Regulations for Him”


It is truly ironic. The Senator most known for his desire to regulate Hawaii residents — even down to the way they cross the street (he authored a bill that demands pedestrians make eye contact with any driver near a crosswalk before crossing) — now wants to loosen regulations restricting his own personal political fundraising ability.

Sen. Cal Kawamoto, D-Waipahu, who typically has the most money of any state senator in his campaign war chest, apparently wants to make it easier to get more money from more people for his campaign. Or so it seems from reading his transparent bill — SB 459. Though he writes the bill as if he is tightening campaign contribution restrictions, the reality is the bill does quite the opposite and in fact creates gigantic loopholes in Hawaii’s campaign spending law where there were none before.

Kawamoto, who diluted and tried to kill legislation last year that could have impacted his fundraising capabilities because it prevented those who assign state contracts from receiving campaign donations from contractors with state business, is the lead introducer of the bill. However, following close behind Kawamoto are Sen. Norman Sakamoto, D-Moanalua, and Sen. Willie Espero, D- Ewa, who co-signed the legislation.

”Highlights of Kawamoto’s proposed legislation:”

*He wants to “limit” the aggregate contributions by any person or entity to not more than $25,000 in any calendar year (right now for state Senators the maximum amount by any person is $4,000 per campaign cycle);

*He wants to repeal the requirement that contributions from separate entities be treated as a contribution from a single entity if one entity finances or controls the activities of another contributing entity. (This is what many company owners are doing to make larger contributions to candidates –