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Can Hawaii Attain Food Security?
LWV and KITV Present Election Debate (Pearl Johnson)
Big Island Public Finance Campaign Trial (Beppie Shapiro)
Public Access Room: 20 Years of Great Service (JoAnn Maruoka)
Jean Aoki Addresses Hawaii County Meeting (Helen Hemmes)
Happy 90th Anniversary (Piilani Kaopuiki)
LWV-HI Banner Ad: 'Vote Openly on HB 444' (JoAnn Maruoka)
Forum on Supreme Court decision on Campaign Finance (JoAnn Maruoka)
Lessons Learned from Vote Count (Sue Irvine)
The 2010 Legislative Session (JoAnn Maruoka)
Big Island Report (Helen Hemmes)
We're Cleaning Out
Healthcare Bill (Joy Marshall)
Honolulu League Welcomes New Members
Weekly Obtains Rail Final EIS (Pearl Johnson)
Allow citizens to register and vote on same day (Les Ihara)
League Supports Governor's Rail Review (Charles Carole)
Calendar of Events

Forum on Supreme Court decision on Campaign Finance

Corporate Money in Politics: How Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission Will Impact Hawaii's Campaigns.

(As we go to press, the forum has not yet taken place, thus the future tense)

On Monday, April 12 at 5:30 p.m. in the State Capitol Auditorium, a panel and audience Q&A will address the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that rejects corporate political spending limits. Attendees will learn about the decision, impacts on our campaign finance laws and electoral process, and implications for democracy in Hawaii and beyond. Speakers include:

  • Avi Soifer, Dean, UH Richardson School of Law
  • Barbara Wong, Executive Director, Campaign Spending Commission
  • Derek Cressman, Western Regional Director, Common Cause
  • Moderator: Beth-Ann Kozlovich, Hawaii Public Radio

League joins with Common Cause Hawaii, Americans for Democratic Action-Hawaii, Progressive Democrats Hawaii, and Voter Owned Hawaii to sponsor this forum, which will be taped by Olelo for latter broadcasts.

The Supreme Court case centered on a 90-minute movie about Hillary Rodham Clinton produced by the conservative group Citizens United during her 2008 run for president. In a 5-4 decision in January the majority cast its ruling as a defense of the First Amendment, concluding that corporations have the same rights as individuals when it comes to political speech.

Since 1947, corporations had been banned from using their profits to endorse or oppose political candidates, a restriction that the justices ruled unconstitutional.

As summarized by The Washington Post (1/22/10, the Court’s ruling :

  1. Strikes down a 63-year old prohibition on corporations and labor unions using money from their general treasuries to produce and air campaign ads in races for Congress and the White House
  2. Overturns a ban on corporations and unions airing campaign ads in the 30 days before a primary or 60 days before a general election
  3. Keeps in place a century-old ban on donations by corporations from their treasuries directly to federal candidates. Also upholds disclosure requirements on campaign activity.

LWVUS president Mary G. Wilson testified in Congress and to all US Senators saying, "Congress needs to respond now, recognizing its own authority and responsibility to uphold the Constitution and protect the voters ". In a January 21 press release, she stated “The Supreme Court has made a tragic mistake. Their decision announced today in Citizens United v. FEC is constitutionally irresponsible and will surely bring about an anti-democratic revolution in how we finance elections in this country. Today, 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.”

JoAnn Maruoka

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