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LWV-Hawaii Legislative Testimony

HB 2004

Relating to
Campaign Financing

House Committee on Judiciary (JUD) - chair: Karamatsu, vice chair: Ito

Tuesday, January 26, 2010, 2:30 P.M. Conference Room 325

Testifier: Jean Aoki, LWV of Hawaii

Click here to view HB2004

Chair Karamatsu, Vice Chair Ito, members of the Judiciary Committee,

The League of Women Voters supports those parts of the bill that indicate the intended amendments clearly.

The bill presents a clear and complete discussion of what ballot issue committees can do and that which they cannot do. Some of our earlier concerns about ballot issue committees have been addressed.

This bill goes further and addresses something that had not occurred to us. Ballot issue committees are finite groups organized to support or oppose one or more issue questions on the ballot. When the election is over, the purpose for their existence is gone. This bill clearly addresses this by laying out the process for the termination of their registration with the Campaign Spending Commission.

HB 2004 adds automated phone calls to the list of actions that come under the definition of advertisements.

This bill while restricting individual contributions to noncandidate committees to an aggregate of $1000 in a single election, leaves the limits on contributions by corporations and companies using money from their treasuries, blank. Of course, we cannot support this blank.

The section on the filing of reports and the allowed penalties for failure to file the reports in a timely manner, or substantially defective or deficient gives the commission the leeway for assessing the fines or not. Yet there are not criteria for the determination of whether fines should be imposed. This has the potential for speculation and distrust of the whole system. We suggest clearer and more definite guidelines, or, preferably, leaving the “shall” in.

Thank you for allowing us to testify on HB 2004.


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