First Quarter Edition 2000 Home   Newsletters

Spring 2001

Summer 2001

State League Convention
Flawed Process (Jean Aoki)
Money and Politics (Nikki Love)
President's Message (Maile Bay)
Judiciary Study Committee Receives Grant (Jean Aoki)
Campaign Finance Reform Legislation (Laure Dillon)
Education Committee Report (Mary Anne Raywid)
Health Care Laws and Domestic Violence
Local League News - Honolulu
Local League News - Kauai
Local League News - Hawaii
Coalition Against Legalized Gambling (Grace Furukawa)
Programs Recommended by the Board of Directors
Studies Planned by Local Leagues for 2001-2002
Report of the Nominating Committee

Campaign Finance Reform Legislation


Friday, March 23 and the last day possible, the Senate decided to hear our House Bill 169. It would create a Pilot Project for candidates for the Honolulu City Council elections to have full public funding for their campaigns in 2002. Participation would be voluntary. Three committees met together: Transportation, Military Affairs & Government Operations (TMG), chaired by our nemesis of last year, Senator Cal Kawamoto; the Tourism & Intergovernmental Affairs (TIA) Committee, chaired by Senator Donna Kim; and the Judiciary Committee, chaired by Senator Brian Kanno.

Two and a half hours of testimony were heard with most members of the committees present. The majority of the testimonies and letters were in support. Some who spoke against the bill think the current matching funds program, which allows half the money for campaigns to come from private funds, is sufficient. Our bill wants to eliminate private contributions completely.

At the end, the three chairs had a five second huddle, and without asking for a vote of committee members, decided to DEFER the bill-which killed it. We believe we had the votes of the majority of Senators to pass the bill, but we will never know for sure.

If the bill were to die, it was important to the League and the Hawaii Clean Elections coalition to know who voted for and who voted against the bill. Senator Kawamoto was reported in the press to have said that he used that method (to defer) because some members did not like the bill and did not want to take a public vote for fear the vote would become "a campaign issue."

It is clear that new rules are needed in the Senate to end such questionable practices. It is also obvious that those in power have no intention of reforming the campaign funding system and are quite happy with the contributions and the influence that is exerted by special money interests.

Laure Dillon

First Quarter Edition 2000 Home   Newsletters Summer 2001