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Thursday, March 4, 2021
Rep Ohno: 'Give Me Money and I'll Show You How to Get Your Bill Passed'
By News Release @ 10:56 PM :: 2838 Views :: Ethics

Hawai‘i House of Representatives, Representative Takashi Ohno Alleged Violation of Fair Treatment Law and Conflicts of Interests Law

From Hawai'i State Ethics Commission, March 3, 2021

The Hawai‘i State Ethics Commission (“Commission”) has resolved the investigation of Takashi Ohno (“Respondent Ohno”), Representative, House of Representatives, for alleged violation of the State Ethics Code, Hawai‘i Revised Statutes (“HRS”) chapter 84.

On January 26, 2021, Respondent Ohno used a campaign e-mail address to inform recipients about a fundraiser event, entitled “How Best To Testify To Lawmakers and Get Your Way,” to be held on February 3, 2021. A copy of that email is attached as Exhibit 1 hereto. The e-mail solicited donations to Respondent Ohno’s political campaign by stating the following:

I want to share what I’ve learned about the lawmaking process with you. Join my Zoom fundraiser to hear how you can best testify to lawmakers and get your way.

It would be impossible to count the number of hours I’ve sat in committee hearings listening to testifiers try to sway legislators to support (or kill) a bill. I’ve taken note of successful efforts, and I’ve been putting a lot of thought into best practices when preparing to give testimony to elected officials.

So here’s what I hope you’ll do: click on this link, make a contribution of any amount to my campaign (seriously any amount!), and I’ll send you a Zoom invite to my webinar fundraiser. It’ll be worthwhile, I promise!

… 

(d) On January 28, 2021, Commission staff contacted Respondent Ohno via email, notifying him that the Commission had received a complaint regarding this solicitation and recommending he either cancel the event or make the event free for the public. Less than two hours later, Respondent Ohno contacted Commission staff and stated that he would change the event to make it free to the public….

…$250 fine….

read … Full Report

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