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LWV-Hawaii Legislative Testimony

HB 1147

Relating to
Campaign Spending

House Committee on Judiciary (JUD) - chair: Karl Rhoads, vice chair: Sharon E. Har

Tuesday, February 5, 2013, 2:05 P..M.. Conference Room 325

Testifier: Wynnie Hee, LWV Legislative Committee Member

Click here to view HB1147

Chair Rhoads, Vice-Chair Har, and Members Belatti, Brower, Cabanilla, Carroll, Ito, Kawakami, Lee, Tsuji, Wooley, McDermott, and Thielen:

The League of Women Voters of Hawaii supports the intent of HB 1147, which would require noncandidate committees to identify certain top contributors for advertisements. We understand that a couple of editing corrections need to be made, that in two places “three” should be amended to “five”: Section 2, Chapter 11(1) and Section 2, Chapter 11 (5)(b).

The intent of HB 1147 is to increase transparency in campaign spending, in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision allowing corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections.

The language of this bill seems a bit repetitive, but its intent is to make a distinction between “top contributors for the advertisement” and “top contributors to the noncandidate committee.”

In today’s unlimited campaign spending environment -- in order for citizens to “follow the money,” so to speak -- we must require noncandidate committees that are making only independent expenditures to name up to five top donors (of $5000 or more) to their advertisements or the non-candidate committee itself. For example, if a noncandidate committee has many contributors but none have contributed specifically for an advertisement, then the “top contributors to the noncandidate committee itself” need to be named in the advertisement.

The League of Women Voters of Hawaii believes that this is an important, much needed bill. We urge you to amend the language of this bill for clarity, if necessary, and to pass this bill.

Thank you for this opportunity to submit testimony.


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