Panel On Clean Elections Nov. 20 at UH-Hilo

From Noelie Rodriguez:

A panel will discuss Clean Elections and Transparency in a forum on
Thursday November 20 at 6:30 p.m.  in UCB 100 on the University of Hawaii
Hilo (UHH) campus.  The featured speaker will be Carmille Lim the
Director of Hawai’i Common Cause.  Also speaking will be Susan Dursin
from The League of Women Voters and Chris Yuen, attorney, former board
member of The Hawaii Elections Project.

In 2008, UHH students played a leading role in the Legislature to pass
the  Big Island Clean Elections Pilot Program passed, which allowed
Council candidates who qualified to campaign with public funding
instead of depending on campaign contributions from special interest
donors.  The Pilot ran successfully in the 2010 and 2012 County
Council races but has since ended.  (The public program was funded by
the $3 voluntary check off on our tax forms, which does not reduce an
individual’s filed personal income tax.)

Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling, big,
special-interest money has been flooding into political campaigns.
According to the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission, in 2012, over $4
million was spent on Hawaii campaigns by independent groups. In the
2014 election , a single “independent” group, funded almost entirely
by Monsanto and Dow Chemical spent $8 million on a ballot initiative

Nationwide, many Americans believe that the influx of special interest
money in elections threatens the integrity of our democracy.  As an
antidote to big money funding their bid for office, with Clean
Elections, candidates have the option of running on public funding so
that they will be more likely to be answerable to their constituents
rather than to their rich campaign donors.

The 2014 Legislature failed to continue the funding of the Big Island
Clean Elections Pilot Program and ultimately killed a bill which
promoted a statewide Clean Elections program.  However, in 2013, the
Legislature passed a bill which would require stronger disclosures for
independent groups seeking to influence our elections. The forum will
discuss how the 2015 legislature can continue to combat the corrosive
effects of outside money in Hawaii’s elections.

The event is sponsored by Common Cause Hawaii, Global HOPE, and the
nationwide student group, Democracy Matters.

The panel discussion is free and the public is encouraged to attend.
Parking on the UHH campus is free in the evening.

For more information phone Noelie Rodriguez, 934-2635 or 963-6966.

1 reply
  1. Brian Jordan
    Brian Jordan says:

    Sadly, government is now bought by Corporations or Unions in many races. If you care to look at the financial statements it will be painfully obvious. This does not mean elections cannot have surprises like Bernard Akana.
    However voter apathy nationally has led to the elimination of Habeas Corpus. This administration says you can be arrested and held without your family being told for 2 yrs. Homeland Security is an Oxymoron like Patriot Act. The last administration shredded privacy. Today Corporations wan’t to control food seed, and Unions seem more worried about dues than workers. These are sweeping generalizations. Their are good companies and tight unions. Sadly during this election it was obvious these were the two local priorities. On the mainland voting was in greater numbers and more independent. Blue States have elected the best Red and Reds have elected the best Blue. Socialist are now defending the Bill of Rights! Conservatives and Liberals are writing Patriot Acts which eliminate the Bill of Rights. This administration has eliminated Habeas Corpus, denied more Free Speech, deterred Self Defense, and continued the last administrations war on personal privacy and Property Rights. In 2002 4.1 million was taken for relatively small infractions of the law. Today 4.1 Billion Dollars was illegally taken because the DOJ has liberally applied the RICO Statute to take a home where $40 dollars of weed or pills was sold. This is a misuse of Federal Power. Locally well over 100K was spent on a few contested County elections. In 2002 the first baby boomers lost their retirement assets. The fact that only one or two were arrested has led to voter apathy.
    In PUNA 1/2 the voters were disenfranchised. On a personal note people who do not understand the 1st Amendment took signs in the County race. Sadly this can only be regarded as stupidity. Ignorance is when one does not know better. These were deliberate acts. The only other answers for stealing signs of a people you don’t know are insanity or believing you are the Messiah. When I run it is always the same Education must meet the needs of society and HAAS has done this. The national level is buying votes with benefits. Personal responsibility should be rewarded not sloth or laziness. 26 State Veteran Administration have been relieved and 1000 midlevel bureaucrats are to follow.
    Please vote in the next election and if you see someone stealing or defacing a candidates signs have them arrested. These are not patriots they are fascist.
    I appreciate the fact that my 34 dollars yielded enough votes to be of note. More importantly I appreciate the 1st Amendment which allows me to give my opinion. Next election take the time to vote. The rights you save will be your own. America goes to war for no reason. We prop up companies which have no chance of survival and we send jobs over seas. If your Congressional Representative has done either of these it is time for a new Representative. Finally remember the United States Military was the only branch of government to openly oppose war in the Middle East. The last two Commanders and Chief apparently have not lost enough friends to understand war is irrational. Just like giving money to people who openly admit they are lazy and work is beneath them. Having more debates and more Na Leo TV will stop the best government money can buy.

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