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LWV-Hawaii Legislative Testimony

HB 2003 HD3

Relating to
Campaign Financing

Senate Committee on Judiciary and Government Operations (JGO) - chair: Taniguchi, vice chair: Takamine

Wednesday, March 24, 2010, 9:30 a.m.. Conference Room 016

Testifier: JoAnn Maruoka, LWV of Hawaii

Click here to view HB2003 HD3

Chair Taniguchi, Vice Chair Takamine, and Committee members,

The League of Women Voters of Hawaii wants to see a good recodification bill to reorganize the campaign spending laws, one that helps to ensure integrity and transparency and prevent abuses. While HD3 is an improvement over the misguided HD1, it still needs language to close ethical loopholes and preclude undue influence of money in our political system. To that end, we strongly recommend that you include the following in HB 2003. Cutting short the possibilities of influence-peddling will go far in restoring public trust.

  • Limit Corporate Donations to Candidates. Prohibit or set a low aggregate limit on money transferred from a corporation’s treasury to its PAC.
  • Ensure Transparency for Any Corporate Donations. Require corporations to make all donations through a PAC and subject to proper reporting
  • Keep Our Pay-To-Play Law Intact. Maintain the existing prohibition on government contractors from donating to campaigns.
  • Ensure a Policy of Transparency and Integrity. Keep the Campaign Spending Commission’s recommended language that specifies the purpose of the law is to ensure the integrity and transparency, and that any ambiguity shall be construed in favor of transparency.
  • Limit Mainland Contributions. Maintain the current 20% limit of campaign donations from out-of-state donors, so that candidates focus on raising funds from their own districts and in our own state.
  • Maintain Existing Restrictions on Donations from Campaign Funds. Campaign funds should not be used for seeding the community. The existing restrictions help prevent abuses and level the playing field for all candidates.

We urge you to include these straightforward, important fixes that are in the best interest of Hawaii’s citizens.

Thank you for this opportunity to testify.


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