The League of Women Voters of Hawaii strongly supports the intent of HB 872. We are heartened by the effort to increase disclosure and transparency of campaign contributions, especially considering the January 2010 Supreme Court decision on Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. That decision rejected long-standing corporate and union political spending limits, and concluded that corporations have the same rights as individuals when it comes to political speech. We, our National League, many other organizations and a very large percentage of the US population who were polled found the landmark ruling tragic and deplorable.
In fact, our National League president testified to Congress that the decision “is constitutionally irresponsible and will surely bring about an anti-democratic revolution in how we finance elections in this country... the basic pillars of American democracy have been undermined – that elections should not be corrupted by vast corporate wealth and that the voters should be at the center of our democratic system.” In the 2010 midterm election, we certainly witnessed the effects of the Citizens United decision in the torrent of nontransparent independently-funded campaign ads, many of them extremely negative.
Until Congress can come up with legislation to overcome the negative aspects of the Citizens United decision favoring corporate “citizens”, we must work to ensure fairness in the interest of human citizens. This bill takes positive steps in that direction, and should be passed.
Thank you for the opportunity to testify in strong support of HB 872.