By Malia Zimmerman | Hawaii Reporter
The politicians are of some of Hawaii most famous, dating as far back as Frank Fasi, when he was Honolulu mayor for more than two decades until 1994. These politicians accepted illegal donations – either that were made in a “false name” or were over the limit – or excessive contributions.
The donors sometimes used employees to launder money to their favorite candidates, and then reimbursed the employees. They also donated more than the legally allowed limits detailed here.
Collectively, 26 political campaigns owed the Commission nearly $2.2 million.
The candidates were told their campaigns must “escheat” or forfeit the money to the Commission.
But in total, $1.8 million was never turned over to the Commission, including six politicians paid no money from their campaigns.
And there is no way to recoup the outstanding money still owed, according to Gary Kam, the Campaign Spending Commission’s attorney. That’s because the politicians have closed out these campaigns and have no money left in them.
“We were advised by the attorney general in 2006 that we could not go after the escheats to the state after these candidates close their campaigns, because these are not fines,” Kam said. “Keep in mind, the contributors have already been fined, that is where the penalty comes in.”