Caught by surprise

LIHUE — Some Hawaii candidates were taken by surprise recently when they received fines for not reporting the cost of advertisements to the Campaign Spending Commission within 24 hours of the contracted purchase.

The law was passed during the 2013 legislative session and implemented during the 2016 election, but fines weren’t imposed until this year’s election cycle because the commission didn’t have a fine schedule adopted until now, said Tony Baldomero, associate director for the Campaign Spending Commission.

“Once we got that in place, we had to change our rules and then we had to adopt an administrative fine guide and once we had that in place, we had a mechanism for fining,” Baldomero said.

A report is due within 24 hours of executing a contract for an ad that will be either broadcast, published or sent by bulk rate mail either 30 days prior to the primary election, or 60 days prior to the general election, he said.

“For the general election, we are in that 60-day window now, so those statements are coming now.”

In August, 24 candidates throughout the state received fines and in September, 31 candidates were fined, he said.

At the Aug. 8 meeting, fines were reduced for Rep. Dee Morikawa from $250, to $83.33 and Friends of Lenny Rapozo, mayoral candidate, from $500, to $166.67 and at September’s meeting, mayoral candidate JoAnn Yukimura’s fine was reduced from $1,750 to $583.33.

Morikawa said this was her first time receiving a fine and she’s a little embarrassed by it because she’s a stickler for following the laws and rules.

“This one really caught me off guard,” Morikawa said.

The intent of the law is to make sure those who pay large amounts of money to advertise on behalf of a candidate report it, she said.

“We’re used to reporting fundraisers, but we’re not used to reporting advertisements or brochures, but it’s the same idea, so everyone knows we’re going to be printing a brochure or an ad way in advance,” she said.

It’s about transparency, but there’s something wrong with the law and they’ll have to tweak it so candidates who have little money aren’t penalized, she said.

“Unfortunately many of us who got that notice didn’t understand the law, so we got in trouble, but the Campaign Spending Commission made a lot of money from this,” she said.

Morikawa said she hopes all of the candidates understand that if they don’t report their advertising contract, they’ll get fined.

Rapozo and Yukimura could not be reached for comment.


Bethany Freudenthal, Crime, courts and county reporter, 652-7891,

  1. Reverend Malama Robinson October 2, 2018 9:45 am Reply

    What a bunch of nonsense! There should be and inform the reporting is due notice!!!!
    But this is he result of 125 years of fraud and unlawful occupation…. all protected persons need to get onboard with the truth and uphold Hawaii’an Kingdom Laws…

  2. I saw a Vampire once October 2, 2018 11:21 am Reply

    What kind of advertising? Illegal. What is the job? Politics

  3. debra kekaualua October 2, 2018 6:45 pm Reply

    “i didnt know”, shoulder shrugging, etc. How long have these people been in this political racket? Good money thrown against 125-years war that u.s.a. continues to wage. KPD employees for example, 90% are not from here and the other 10% are about to retire. Every Department is facing the same turnover, so it is perfect for us to move in, downsize all departments directors and staffing, especially Human Resources Director that is out from Kusaka administration noted to be racist in the book called KPD Blue. A lot of us elders know this is a true story and occurred at a time, where we as an island were too close and the coconut wireless was always in full steam ahead mode. We know what you never Wanted us to know, now it is payback time.

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