Monday, November 18, 2013
Campaign Spending Commission violation draws $500 fine, but when will Ethics Commission act?
by Larry Geller
Today’s Star-Advertiser breaking news includes this report (snip):
State Rep. Rida Cabanilla has been fined $500 by the state Campaign Spending Commission for filing an inaccurate or false campaign-finance report.
[Star-Advertiser, Rep. Cabanilla hit with $500 fine over campaign finance reports, 11/18/2013]
The Campaign Spending Commission has acted, but what about the Ethics Commission? A 2012 financial disclosure form omitting required income figures is still posted on their website with no indication of correction.
Disappeared News first reported starting in March, 2012 on a small sample of posted financial disclosure filings that showed errors or were false. One of the three forms in error was signed and filed by Rep. Rida T.R. Cabanilla Arakawa. See: Financial disclosures the Ethics Commission should have caught (3/1/2012).
Click over to that article to see images of the form with the “Amount” column clearly blank.
Checking in monthly after that, there was no action on these reports by the Ethics Commission. At least, the posted form remained uncorrected. Checking today, it remains uncorrected. Admittedly, they could have forgotten to post a correction, but you’d think that if that were the case, the legislator would have pointed the omission out to them.
The statutes (laws) are different, and it’s not easy to determine who is fined for what by the Ethics Commission, but checking to see if the error was corrected requires only a visit to their website. Yes, that statute is ripe for revision so that the public can have transparency into Ethics Commission actions. The Legislature routinely declines to even hear ethics bills that are introduced each session.
Images of the forms are included in the article linked above.
Seems to me the Tom Bower vigilante approach to the homeless was the more striking issue in the Star Ad.