Thursday, November 21, 2019
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Friday, December 09, 2011
Pay to Play Fines Unpaid: Hirono for Governor Campaign Closes Owing State Elections Fund Over $98,000
By Andrew Walden @ 11:00 AM :: 12734 Views :: Democratic Party, Ethics, Development, Politicians

Pay to Play -- What's That?  Hirono for Governor Campaign Closes Owing State Elections Fund Over $98,000

By Andrew Walden, October 11, 2006 

Former Democrat Gubernatorial candidate Mazie Hirono’s campaign committee may never pay over $98,000 in unpaid assessments for illegal campaign contributions says the Executive Director of the State Campaign Spending Commission, Barbara Wong.

According to Wong, Hirono, a former lieutenant governor who ran for governor in 2002 and is now campaigning for Congress, closed out her gubernatorial campaign committee in May 2006 without paying assessments for $98,367.84. The assessments were levied after the Campaign Spending Commission investigators uncovered thousands of dollars in illegal campaign contributions, contributed to Hirono as a part of Hawaii's extensive "Pay to Play" scandal.

Her committee, “Friends of Mazie Hirono”, which served her failed 2002 gubernatorial candidacy, was terminated in May of this year with transfer of a final payment of $18,573.58 -- the committee’s entire remaining bank balance -- to the State Elections Fund.

This, along with an earlier payment of $38,000, leaves unpaid assessments for illegal contributions totaling $98,367.84. The assessments were levied as recently as April 21, 2006, as previously unknown illegal campaign contributions were uncovered.

Explains Wong, “If they left their committee open, we would still be after them. Once the campaign committee is over we cannot escheat something that is not there.” For the Campaign Spending Commission to be authorized to pursue the candidate as an individual or to pursue a new campaign committee formed by the same candidate, changes would be required to be made to state campaign laws. Said Wong, “We gotta look at legislation.”

Wong points out that due to state law, a candidate may continue using the same campaign committee to run for different state and county offices but to run for federal office such as Congress or Senate, a new committee must be formed. Thanks to a loophole in state law, a candidate’s new committee is not responsible for illegal campaign contribution assessments levied against a previous campaign committee.

Hirono is not the only politician with unpaid assessments. Former Maui Mayor Kimo Apana closed out his campaign committee with a final payment of $2,415.12 for illegal campaign contributions. That combined with a payment of $14,400 “some years ago” leave much of Apana’s campaign committee illegal contribution assessments -- reported to total $110,000 -- unpaid. Former Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris’ campaign committee is reported to owe as much as $925,000 for illegal contributions and Hirono’s former boss, Gov. Ben Cayetano’s committee is reported to owe as much as $487,650.

One of the Campaign Spending Commission’s so-called “conciliation agreements” (CA 04-16) on the agency's web site shows that Dexter C. Kubota, president of KFC Engineering Management, directed $31,165 in illegal contributions to Hirono’s committee. The agreement is dated Nov. 10, 2004 and signed by Kubota.

Link to Conciliation Agreements: http://www.hawaii.gov/campaign/fines.htm

These illegal contributions to Hirono and the others came as part of Hawaii’s “Pay to Play” scandal. About 100 corporations, many with multi-million dollar state road-building contracts, made illegal excessive or false-name contributions to Democrat Machine politicians’ campaign committees in exchange for favorable treatment in contracting.

The Democrat-controlled Legislature responded by raiding the state’s “special funds” to fund lucrative construction contracts for their contributors. The scheme, which heavily involved the Cayetano/Hirono administration, fell apart after Hirono lost the 2002 gubernatorial race. Investigations by former state Campaign Spending Commissioner Bob Watada, who retired Oct. 31, 2005, revealed the massive scandal resulting in fines against the corporations involved in the scheme and assessments demanding repayment of the illegal contributions from the candidate committees who received them.

In spite of all the incentives for the Hawaii Democrat Machine to spend on road building, most of the contract funding went to wasteful projects. As a result, many Hawaii communities suffer from lack of roads, serious traffic jams, and many traffic deaths.

Hirono’s new Congressional campaign committee is also called, “Friends of Mazie Hirono.” The mailing address is even the same post office box as her gubernatorial campaign committee, but according to Wong it is a different legal entity.

An Oct. 10 statement released by Hirono’s Congressional campaign committee is titled, “Leadership and Ethics.” In it she argues that electing her to Congress “will play an important part in helping ensure that Congress is in the hands of reliable, responsible leaders.”

When asked about her role in the Pay to Play scandal, Hirono’s campaign manager Julie Stauch indicated she had never heard of it, saying, “What’s that?” Stauch said she would have to do some research before providing a more substantive answer. Wong indicated that no other Hawaii media had inquired about the status of Hirono’s Pay-to-Play illegal campaign contribution assessments.

---30---

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940

ABCDEFG Blog

ACA Signups Hawaii

ACCE

ALEC

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii

AMVETS-Hawaii

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust 

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

ChinaTownWatch.com

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

Conservative Forum for Hawaii

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DeedySupport.com

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

HIEC.Coop 

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube

HPACC

Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

Judgepedia Hawaii

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

KeyWiki

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii

NARTH

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Salvage The Rail

Save the Plastic Bag

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT