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LWV-Hawaii Legislative Testimony

HB 661

Relating to
Campaign Spending

Senate Committee on Ways and Means (WAM) - chair: Baker, vice chair: Tsutsui

Thursday, March 27, 2008, 9:45 A.M. Conference Room 211

Testifier: Jean Aoki, Legislative Chair, LWV of Hawaii

Click here to view HB661

The League of Women Voters strongly supports H.B. 661, HD1, SD1 which would initiate a comprehensive public funding of election campaigns for candidates for Hawaii County Council in 2010, s012, and 2014 as a pilot program.

It is time, after years of reviewing the concept of full public funding of election campaigns to really test the program. Not only is the time ripe for such a program, we have incumbents in a certain county enthusiastic about running a campaign under the funding proposals and strict rules of a program that has spelled relief from the demands of fund raising and the obligations that private funding can bring.

Many legislative leaders and serious observers of Capitol Hill and the White House have been calling for the public funding of Congressional elections and the updating of provisions and financing of the presidential election campaign funding program. The amount of time spent in fund raising by individual representatives and senators is enormous, and coupled with shortened work weeks and numerous recesses, there is no wonder that they seem to get very little done. Even more disturbing is the perception of national policies determined by members of corporations and industrial leaders who give generously to election campaigns and parties. There have been too many cases of corruption of members of the ruling class by generous donors.

We think that with the public funding of election campaigns, our politicians can recapture the aura of statesmen and stateswomen of yore, bringing more respectability and luster to the word “politician.” Let's give it a try. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

We urge you to pass H.B.661, HD1,SD1.

Thank you for this opportunity to support this bill.


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