We were guided around Oklahoma last week by a pocket size Garmin GPS navigator. We bought it several months ago in anticipation of a trip that was cancelled, so hadn’t made much use of it until now. One word: Amazing. It took us through complicated freeway interchanges and found small country roads with equal ease. It very quickly earned our confidence as it talked us through tricky turns and freeway entrances and exits. I still would have liked the tactile sense of a printed map in hand, at least as a complement to the Garmin, but it really wasn’t necessary to find our way. This model is now selling for just over $100, which seems to me an amazing value.
Thanks to Senator Les Ihara for sending a copy of the proposed House draft of HB 539, the bill regarding corporate campaign contributions. The draft was apparently available at the February 17 hearing but has not yet been entered into the legislative computer system.
This draft would simply delete the $1,000 limit on contributions to political committees, the provision that started all of this confusion, and instead provides that corporations may make unlimited contributions to their own political committees. But by deleting the general $1,000 limit to noncandidate committees, this provision becomes redundant because anyone (corporations included) would be allowed to make unlimited contributions to any PAC, not just their own.
Looking at this draft, perhaps you can now see the point of my defense of the original HD 539, which would have retained the $1,000 limit on contributions to noncandidate political committees while allowing a corporation to transfer up to just $25,000 to a single committee of its own.
My point was that it made good political sense to get on board and support that bill rather than to bash its proponents and hold out for the ideal of a full ban on corporate contributions. I think that point is a lot clearer today, looking at the damage that could be done if this draft becomes law.
One question that remains unresolved is whether the inconsistent language of the current patchwork campaign law would allow corporations to avoid disclosure of their campaign contributions to candidates. That’s been a fear expressed by the Campaign Spending Commission.
I’m not clear on why they take this position.
The law defines a committee as anyone that accepts or makes a contribution or expenditure for or against a candidate or ballot issue (Section 11-191 HRS).
A “noncandidate committee” is defined essentially as a committee that is not a candidate’s committee.
And, later, the statute imposes reporting requirements on all committees, although individuals spending their own money are exempted.
It seems to me corporations spending their own treasury funds are committees under these definitions and, for reporting purposes, would be treated as noncandidate committees and subject to disclosure.
It’s under 60 degrees this morning in Kaaawa. We’re cold, and the cats, being natural heat seekers, are looking for laps and other warm spots to settle down. Ms. Wally in fighting to stay in my lap, and I’ve got the scratches on my legs to show for it.
Finally, if you’re at all interested in adopting one of the beautiful puppies whose pictures have been appearing here for the past few days, now is the time to act. They’re weaned and ready. One went to a new home yesterday. Two others are spoken for. That leaves five available. If you’re interested, let me know and I’ll pass your email or phone on to the puppies’ people.
You can email me or just call/leave a message at 955-1819.
I’ll add a few more photos later this morning.