Wednesday, July 08, 2009


Common Cause Hawaii requests your action to request veto of HB128

by Larry Geller

This email has been circulated by Common Cause Hawaii. It says it better than I can.

During the 2009 legislative session, Disappeared News reported on legislators’ attempts to chip away at the campaign reforms gained by hard-working advocates over the last decade or more in Hawaii.

We don’t need more corporate control over our lawmakers. We need them to pay attention to what voters need, not contractors.

Please consider writing to the governor asking for her veto of this bill. There’s a sample letter below, but I think you know it works better if you use your own words. Even a phone call asking that the bill be vetoed might help. It doesn’t have to be fancy.

(Disclosure: I’m on the local board of Common Cause Hawaii)

Aloha friends,

And we thought the 2009 Legislature was over!  One more push - we really need your help.

House Bill 128 passed this session, but Gov. Lingle put it on her possible veto list.  She has until July 15 to decide.


As you may recall, HB 128 is a huge bill that started as a simple recodification of the campaign finance laws.  However, as it moved through the legislature, a few bad amendments got added:  (1) weakening the existing restriction on government contractors' donations to candidates; (2) allowing more out-of-state money into Hawaii's campaigns; and (3) allows candidates to "seed the community" by giving more of their campaign funds to schools and libraries.

Because of these provisions, HB128 would allow more special interest money into campaigns and increase incumbents' advantage.  It chips away at reforms that were just enacted in recent years.

Please email the Governor and ask her to veto it!  Below is a sample letter you can use.

Email: or

Fax: (808) 586-0006

Mail:  Office of the Governor
Hawai‘i State Capitol, Executive Chambers
Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96813

Please do it ASAP - she is deciding now.  Thank you for all your help!

FYI Honolulu Advertiser's editorial on this topic:

And full text of the bill:


Dear Governor Lingle,

Please VETO House Bill 128 Conference Draft 2, relating to elections.

This legislation is bad news for our democratic process. It allows more special interest money to flow into campaigns from government contractors, and it allows candidates to raise more out-of-state money instead of relying on their own communities.

Hawaii desperately needs cleaner government and better campaign finance laws.  We want to see progress toward cutting the ties between special interests and public officials.   Instead, the legislature is chipping away at our important campaign finance laws.  I hope that you will take a stand and stop this attempt.  Please veto HB128.

Mahalo for the opportunity to voice my concerns.






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