Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Last chance to stop out-of-state campaign contributions, vote buying

by Larry Geller


Tomorrow (Wednesday, 3/24) at 9:30 a.m., a crucial bill will be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee, its last stop before conference committee. All kinds of funny things can happen to this bill tomorrow (although the real dirty tricks usually happen in conference).

HB2003 is the campaign finance bill. The hearing notice is here.

Your testimony is important, and it’s easy to send in via the computer (see the hearing notice for info). But please check this out and send soon, within today, since the bill is the first up on the agenda tomorrow. You can email it, or send via the Capitol web page. It’s almost too easy, try it out.

The best description of the issues is in Common Cause Hawaii’s action alert, Save Our Campaign Laws. Here is their appeal:

HB 2003 is a huge bill (over 100 pages long!) on campaign finance. This bill will have its last committee hearing this Wednesday, March 24, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. in the Senate Judiciary Committee, before it goes on to Conference Committee. We urgently need your help -- please act now for Wednesday's hearing!

The action alert lists the important points and will help you with your testimony.

I’m really bugged by the bit about letting candidates contribute to community groups. That’s like buying votes. In the 2008 session, when House Judiciary Chair Jon Riki Karamatsu made his now infamous speech about wanting to support all those charities, it lead to derision that stopped the change. I posted a video of it. This year I couldn’t get a video, so it squeaked by. Rats.

Legislators are lawmakers and not philanthropists. We should not let them buy votes with political contributions.

This bill also raises the out-of-state campaign contribution limit to 30%. That’s too high. It opens our lawmakers to influence by out-of-state special interests, not our needs.

So you see, there are things you can testify about. Last chance. Today. Please don’t put it off. Even a short email is useful. Again, check out the Common Cause Hawaii link above for pointers.

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I wouldn't hardly have a clue as to what's going on up there without Disappeared News! Mahalo Larry!!! testimony sent.
The new site is so easy to use: http://capitol.hawaii.gov/emailtestimony/

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