Monday, March 30, 2009

Video contest publicizes election reform


HONOLULU -- Clean elections advocates have launched a video contest to get the word out about two initiatives currently being considered in the state Legislature.

First prize in the contest is a $100 amazon.com gift card. Second prize is a $50 gift card and third prize is a $25 gift card. Rules are here.

The contest is sponsored by the Coalition to Stop the Tsunami – a group that includes Common Cause Hawaii, Kokua Council, Citizen Voice, Americans for Democratic Action/Hawaii, Progressive Democrats of Hawaii, Advocates for Consumer Rights and the Hawaii Pro-Democracy Initiative.

Campaign finance bills at issue during this legislative session include:

Big Island Fair Elections Pilot. This pilot project is for public funding of Hawaii County Council elections in 2010, and the following two elections. The House passed HB 345, which would delay the pilot to 2014. The bill is pending in the Senate.

Corporate Campaign Donations. Legislators want to allow corporations to donate more than $1,000 in campaign contributions, but opponents have stopped two attempts this year to raise the $1,000 limit. There could be a third attempt using SB 93 and/or HB 345, opponents say.