LIHUE — By Thursday, candidates are required to submit campaign finance reports to the State of Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission, but not all candidates must submit a report.
“Unless the candidate tells us they will not be receiving or spending over $1,000 the candidate has to file this report by Thursday. If they are a candidate we call them $1,000 or less candidates, they don’t have to submit a report,” said Campaign Spending Commission Associate Director Tony Baldomero.
Those candidates will file reports in December.
Thursday’s reports will cover the period of Jan. 1 to June 30.
As of Monday, Kauai County Council Vice Chair and candidate Ross Kagawa, was the first of Kauai’s candidates to submit his report.
Candidates who file reports late will face fines, Baldomero said.
“It’s $50 a day for the first seven days the report is late, $200 each day after, not to exceed 25 percent of that candidates contributions or expenditures in that reporting period for that report whichever is greater,” he said.
Campaign finance reports are available to the public so voters know who is supporting candidates financially, Baldomero said.
“It gives them a better idea on some of the positions the candidate may stand for that’s not always the case but you may for example have an environmental group donate to a candidate that supports environmental issues being promoted by that organization,” he said.
The next report is due the first of August, which is 10 days before the primary election and then there’s a report due 20 days after the primary election, he said.
“These are all what we call disclosure reports on Aug. 8 we have a special report due it’s called the Late Contribution Report and that is for contributes that they received between July 28 and Aug. 7 that’s more than $500,” Baldomero said.
This election cycle is busy for Kauai, with 24 council candidates seeking three open seats, as well as seven mayoral candidates. Historically, Baldomero said, when there are open seats on the council, there will be a higher number of candidates.
“It presents a great opportunity because about 90 percent of incumbents get voted back into office in the state of Hawaii,” he said.
The Commission, he said, has jurisdiction over candidates running for state and county offices. In the 2018 election, there are 295 candidates running for 102 out of 128 state and county seats in Hawaii.
Kauai isn’t the only county facing a competitive election season.
For Honolulu City Council, there are four seats up for grabs with 14 candidates. On the Big Island, all nine seats are up for grabs, with 19 candidates and in Maui, 22 candidates are running for seven seats, Baldomero said.
Bethany Freudenthal, Courts, Crime and County reporter, 652-7891, firstname.lastname@example.org