Did members of the Democratic State Committee or the Democratic State Committee as a whole offer Laura Thielen an illegal inducement (a waiver to file as a Democratic candidate for office) in exchange for her campaigning for State Senate as a Republican and/or in exchange for her recruiting her mother, Republican Rep Cynthia Thielen, to switch parties to Democrat?
Did members of the Democratic State Committee demand that Laura Thielen commit a felony under HRS 19-7 as a condition of receiving their permission to run for office as a Democrat?
ILind: Democratic State Central Committee rejects Thielen bid to run as Dem candidate for state Senate
…Thielen was interviewed by more than a dozen members of the Oahu County Committee on March 17 (a copy of a written synopsis of her comments is available here).
Thielen said she was surprised by the nature of some of the questions raised at that time, which strayed far from her beliefs and her commitment to Democratic Party principles.
“In my interview, they actually suggested I run for office as a Republican and then convert to the Democratic Party,” Thielen said. “They would have less of a problem with a Republican who converts than a Democrat willing to work with Republicans.”
“One person on the committee asked, ‘Would you bring your mother into the Democratic Party?’” Thielen said. “Would you campaign for a Democratic candidate running against your mother?”
Thielen is the daughter of Republican Representative Cynthia Thielen (House District 50, Kailua-Kaneohe Bay).
“I have always made it clear that I am a Democrat, and I turned down several requests from high-level Republicans to join their party,” Thielen said. “The Democratic Party has a long history of inclusiveness, including accepting candidates who just the day before were card-carrying Republicans. I’ve never held office as a Republican, I’ve never been a member of the Republican Party.”
The party constitution provides that the State Central Committee decision is final….
Federal Felony Up to One Year in Federal Prison
Title 18 §600. Promise of employment or other benefit for political activity
Whoever, directly or indirectly, promises any employment, position, compensation, contract, appointment, or other benefit, provided for or made possible in whole or in part by any Act of Congress, or any special consideration in obtaining any such benefit, to any person as consideration, favor, or reward for any political activity or for the support of or opposition to any candidate or any political party in connection with any general or special election to any political office, or in connection with any primary election or political convention or caucus held to select candidates for any political office, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
Class C State Felony, Up to Two Years at Hard Labor, loss of office
HRS §19-3 Election frauds. The following persons shall be deemed guilty of an election fraud:
(1) Every person who, directly or indirectly, personally or through another, gives, procures, or lends, or agrees or offers to give, procure, or lend, or who endeavors to procure, any money or office or place of employment or valuable consideration to or for any elector, or to or for any person for an elector, or to or for any person in order to induce any elector to vote or refrain from voting, or to vote or refrain from voting for any particular person or party, or who does any such act on account of any person having voted or refrained from voting for any particular person at any election;
HRS 19-3 outlines the felony possibly committed by members of the Democratic State Committee.
(7) Every person who induces or procures any person to withdraw from being a candidate at an election in consideration of any payment or gift or valuable consideration; or of any threat; and every candidate who withdraws from being a candidate in pursuance of such inducement or procurement;
HRS 19-7 outlines the felony members of the Democratic State Committee allegedly asked Laura Thielen to commit as a condition of receiving their permission to run for office as a Democrat. This practice is similar to that of street gangs which demand that prospective members commit crimes to prove their loyalty and worthiness.
§19-4 Penalties; disqualification for, removal from office; reports of convictions to chief election officer. Every person found guilty of an election fraud shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $1,000, or imprisoned at hard labor not more than two years, or both. Besides the punishment, the person shall be disqualified from voting and from being elected to, holding or occupying any office, elective or appointive. If the person so convicted holds any office, either elective or appointive, at the time of the conviction, the office shall at once and without mention in the sentence or other proceeding be vacated by the conviction. The judge before whom the conviction is had shall immediately transmit to the chief election officer and to the respective county clerks the name of the person, the offense of which the person has been convicted and the sentence of the court. [L 1970, c 26, pt of §2; am L 1970, c 188, §39; gen ch 1985]
ILind: Former Lingle appointee wants to run as Democrat
Thielen reportedly wants to run for the 25th Senate District seat (Hawaii Kai-Kailua) won by Pohai Ryan in 2010 following the retirement of Republican Fred Hemmings. Ryan squeaked past two others in a tight Democratic primary in 2010, and captured just 50.1% of the vote in the general election.
The final reapportionment plan has expanded the district to include more GOP-leaning areas, and Hemmings is said to be considering a return to politics, potentially putting this seat at risk of going to the Republicans again.
Political Radar: Good standing
SA: Thielen is denied status as a Democrat
CB: Hawaii Democrats Reject Laura Thielen
Laura Thielen: Many of the Party leaders, especially on Oahu, are clearly uncomfortable with independent thinking. This is a clear attempt by some Party insiders to limit voter choice to their hand-picked candidates. I and a number of other Democratic Party members think that this is wrong.