Making Democracy Work
Campaign Finance Reform
Due to limited resources, the LWVHI, working in conjunction with the Honolulu League, is focusing its Making Democracy Work efforts on one indicator: campaign finance. We will work on the other four indicators as additional volunteer time and interest permits.
Our major MDW campaign finance reform effort is organizing a broad-based citizen coalition of consumer, senior, education, social welfare, environmental, community, and party leadership groups and individuals to work for full public financing of election campaigns and other campaign reforms in the state of Hawaii.
The coalition, Clean Money, Clean Elections Alliance (CLEAN, for short) has formalized with elected officers, by-laws and an organizing resolution promoting its goals of:
Leveling the electoral field so that any qualified candidate has the opportunity to run for office regardless of wealth or access to it;
Eliminating the undue influence of large contributors;
Breaking the connection between the influence of special interest money and elections; and
Freeing candidates and public officials from the burdens of fundraising and allowing them more time to serve the public interest.
CLEAN has had six organizing meetings since May and so far its Follow the Money research project is 60% complete, identifying the financial interests of large contributions in the 199595 calendar years, to demonstrate how money impacts policymaking. League volunteers helped to speed up the Campaign Spending Commission's release of 1996 numbers by helping with double checking of their data entry.
- Reducing the escalating cost of campaigning;
CLEAN now has eight official group members: League of Women Voters of Hawaii, League of Women Voters of Honolulu, Common Cause Hawaii, Advocates for Consumer Rights, Hawaii Green Party-Oahu Committee, Liliha Neighborhood Board, Graduate Students Org. of UH, and Kalihi Valley Neighborhood Board.
Four senators and two representatives have offered to introduce our 1998 Clean Money bill so far, which is being drafted for group review.
We are planning our pre-session media strategy and also a Jan. 31st Clean Money Campaign Reform conference to inform legislators, the public and media.CLEAN has applied for grants to three foundations (so far) to support our public education; research, and operating expenses for the first year and are also applying for IRS 501(c)(3) status.
We are developing a speakers bureau to go out to neighborhood boards and other public groups with information on Clean Money campaign reform.
INVITATION TO NEIGHBOR ISLAND LEAGUES:
If you're looking for a way to participate in Making Democracy Work, we would like to expand CLEAN to other islands besides Oahu and would welcome your participation.
Chair, Making Democracy Work