Monday, August 6, 2012

Hawaii Religious Groups Miraculously Escape Paying Fine

from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser (Aug. 6, 2012):

In the world of political lobbying, things are not always black or white. Depending on who's doing the lobbying, or the monitoring, there can exist a mighty wide area of gray.

So it is that the Hawaii Family Forum and the Hawaii Catholic Conference have agreed to revise some of their spending reports with the state Ethics Commission and pay $3,000 to resolve complaints about their lobbying activities. It's not a fine, mind you, but payment that goes along with public transparency to resolve charges of improper disclosure of lobbying.

For its part, the Catholic Conference said it hadn't realized it had to separately file lobbying reports for its political activism, and has now done so.

This case "should send a message to others who lobby elected officials to inquire into whether filings are warranted in their particular case," said former Ethics Commissioner Jacqueline Kido. "We have a lobbying law for good reason." Amen to that.

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