Filipino-American PAC forms in isles
Filipinos meeting in Hawaii this weekend organized efforts to get more Filipino Americans elected to political office.
About 5,000 delegates at the conference helped form a national Filipino-American voter education program and a political action committee that will raise money for their candidates.
"There were attempts here in Hawaii to get a Filipino American into Congress and they failed," said Jon Melegrito, spokesman for the National Federation of Filipino American Associations, which sponsored the conference.
Two Filipino-American candidates -- state Sen. Ron Menor and Honolulu Councilman Nestor Garcia -- ran for Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District seat, but both came up far short of winning the Sept. 23 Democratic primary. Menor finished in seventh place with 6.8 percent of the vote, and Garcia was in eighth place with 3.8 percent.
"The Ron Menors and Nestor Garcias can't really succeed unless we have a strong political action committee that taps big donors and sustains a viable program of supporting these candidates," Melegrito said.
Speakers included former Gov. Ben Cayetano and City Council Chairman Donovan Dela Cruz.
Trip to Maui trips up Oregon lawmakers
PORTLAND, Ore. » A state ethics panel plans to investigate whether disclosure requirements were properly followed after three more legislators and one former lawmaker said they failed to list their trip to Hawaii for a conference held by beer and wine distributors.
Two state senators -- Republicans Jason Atkinson and Bruce Starr -- said beer and wine distributors paid more than $2,500 each for their airfare, hotel, meals and golf at a 2002 conference in Maui. Neither had listed the payments on state disclosure forms as required by law. In addition, Sen. Ryan Deckert and former Sen. Tony Corcoran, both Democrats, said they attended the 2002 conference but did not report that their expenses were paid by the beverage group.
The developments follow reports by the Oregonian this week that three other legislators had attended the beer and wine group's Maui conference in 2004 but failed to report. In another instance this May, lawmakers went to a Hawaii conference using personal or campaign funds and received $30,000 in contributions at the event.
The Oregon Beer and Wine Distributors Association has invited a few lawmakers for an expenses-paid trip to Hawaii every other year in recent history.