by Andrew Walden
Confronted by an impending deadline to respond to a campaign spending complaint filed by the Hawaii Republican Party, HD 11 candidate Kaniela Ing is now facing new troubles.
The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission Friday named Ing as one of only two candidates statewide failing to report the expenditure of publicly provided campaign funds. Ing received $1895 from the taxpayers—an amount the GOP alleges was inflated by the use of illegal campaign contributions. But, according to CSC, Ing did not meet the August 31 report deadline and as of Friday September 7 still had not filed.
Also failing to file according to CSC, Honolulu Council candidate Sy Cullen.
According to Tony Baldomero, Associate Director of the Campaign Spending Commission, fines run up to $50 per day for the first seven days and $200 per day thereafter. As of Monday, Ing and Cullen will each owe as much as $950 in fines. Cullen did not win his primary, but, according to Baldomero, Ing will be barred from receiving additional public funding until the report is filed and the fines are paid.
Ing’s latest troubles come on top of up to $14,000 in fines and potential felony charges stemming from the GOP’s August 24 complaint. Ing’s alleged violations include:
- use of illegal campaign contributions to obtain public funding,
- Mr. Ing taking over $5,900 in cash from his own Committee without appropriate receipts or descriptions,
- holding multiple fundraisers without the required notices, and
- failing to report expenses for fundraisers.
On his Facebook page, Ing responded to the Campaign Spending allegations claiming: "This is not a campaign where the candidate invites developer and lobbyist friends to a restaurant for $500 donations.”
Ironically, the first allegedly illegal Ing fundraiser cited in the GOP complaint was held at the Pacific Club – center of old boys and old money in downtown Honolulu. And according to CSC reports, Ing contributors include Hawaii Electric Registered Lobbyist Robbie Alm and Solar City Registered Lobbyist Jon C Yoshimura. Yoshimura, a former Honolulu Council Chair who temporarily lost his law license in 2001 after lying about a drunk-driving hit and run accident, is now a pro-rail candidate for the Honolulu County Council District 6.