Fall 1999 Home   Newsletters

Summer 2000

Council Edition 2000

State Council Meeting 2000
President's Message (Virginia Isbell)
Members Wanted for I & R Study Committee (Marian Wilkins)
Democracy Network (Suzanne Meisenzahl)
Legislative Program 2000 (Jean Aoki)
Campaign Finance Reform Bill (Laure Dillon)
Raywid Busy on Education Front!
Access Room Celebrates 10th Anniversary! (Jean Aoki)
League Local News - Honolulu (Grace Furukawa)
League Local News - Big Island (Virginia Isbell)
League Local News - Kauai (Carol Bain)

Campaign Finance Reform Bill

House Bill 1879 (HB 1879) is a campaign finance reform bill currently before the state Senate for hearing. It was successfully heard and passed through three committees in the House. It provides for publicly funded election campaigns in 2002 for the Honolulu City Council election. This race was chosen for this pilot program because it could involve about 80% of Hawaii's voters, and it is affordable ($1.2 to $1.5 million). Funding is available from the Hawaii Elections Campaign Fund which consists of money from the $2 check off on our income tax forms.

The bill grew from a feasibility study provided by Act 254 in the 1998 Legislature. The bill was to be patterned after the Model Bill developed by Public Campaign in Washington, D.C.

HB 1879 requires candidates who want to participate in this program to forgo use of their own money or that of contributors. In order to qualify, they must prove community support by obtaining qualifying signatures and donations from 1% of the registered voters in their districts (this number is subject to change). The qualifying donations is set at $10 now, but we will try to lower it to $5 or even lower. They will also be able to collect up to $2000 (subject to change) in "seed money" contributions of not more than $100 each to give them a little money to use for expenses while collecting qualifying signatures.

Once qualified, candidates will receive a fixed amount of money to run their primary campaigns. This will be not less than $30,000, and probably more depending on the decisions in the Senate if the bill survives. If a candidate goes into the runoff/general election, at least $15,000 will be added.

In summary,

  • This is a pilot program for one election only; the Honolulu City Council 2002 elections.

  • Candidates must agree to not use private money or campaign contributions.

  • 3 candidates from each district can be funded on a firstcome, first-served basis.

  • $2,000 (we recommend raising this amount) in "seed money" contributions from any locale may be sought with a $100 maximum contribution to test the waters.

  • 1% of the registered voters in a district must sign in favor of a candidate's bid for office accompanied by a small qualifying contribution (about $1 to $5).

  • $30,000 will be supplied each candidate for the primary election.

  • $15,000 will be supplied to primary election winners for the runoff/general election.

  • Winning publicly funded candidates may not receive campaign contributions after the election, up to the time they register to run in the next election.

Laure Dillon

Fall 1999 Home   Newsletters Council Edition 2000