Oppose HB2533 (Karl Rhoads’ Golden Parachute)

( Links: Bill Status | Bill Text | FIN Hearing NoticeHB2533 FIN PrimerHB2533 FIN Testimony )

Synopsis

HB2533 is a vehicle to ensure unpopular incumbents for the House of Representatives will have a funding source for their re-election, despite their previous actions or betrayal of public trust.  An unpopular incumbent would have to collect 200 donations of just $5 each to have access to almost $30,000.[1]

Hearing Information

Written Testimony Submission (Late testimony accepted until hearing time)

Deadline:

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 @ 3:00PM

In-person:

Bring two copies to Room 306 at the State Capitol

Online:

http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/submittestimony.aspx

Fax:

Neighbor Island: 1-800-535-3859 (For Oahu, please use the website)
In-person Testimony (Please submit written testimony 24 hours in advance)

Date:

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 @ 3:00PM

Location:

Room 308, State Capitol

Parking:

Capitol Basement (Metered) or Ali’I Place (Diamond Head side of Alakea Street, between King and Hotel Streets, just past the Manadalay Restaurant)

Supplemental Information

While the intent of public financing is intended to “level the playing field” so that additional individuals could seek elected office, it is quite clear that the intent of the originator (Rep. Karl Rhoads) and the timing of the bill’s introduction is to ensure that unpopular incumbents still have an accessible funding source when they operate contrary to the public interest and are subsequently unable to access campaign funding.

It is the responsibility of every elected official to represent the public interest.  If an incumbent fails to represent the public interest, it is easy to see that campaign contributions would be difficult to access.  In the light of the actions of the 2013-14 Legislature, it is also easy to see why legislation for “public financing” of election campaigns would be favored by incumbents, especially since in-person testimony before the legislature opposed same-sex marriage by a margin of 8 to 1.

The electoral process was created to ensure that candidates that best represented the public interest would have the best chance to be elected to office.  Instead, the mantra of “public financing” is being used to ensure that unpopular representatives have a “golden parachute” for when they are derelict of their duties and obligations to their constituents.


[1] At $1.40 per person in the area of jurisdiction, candidates for the House of Representatives would be eligible for approximately $30,000.

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