CommissionWhen Hawaii's public school teachers and University of Hawaii faculty went on strike last month, supporters, including politicians, helped with donations.
eyes financial aid
Politicians are warned about
their donations to
By Richard Borreca
The state Campaign Spending Commission cautions politicians, however, that they cannot use their campaign money for donations to strikers.
The commission's rules, which strictly separate uses for campaign funds, say the money can only be used to advocate a politician's candidacy or to run a campaign.
Executive Director Robert Watada added, however, political parties are not bound to the same regulations, so contributions from parties, such as the Democratic Party donations of bottled water to strikers, is permitted.
But for others, the law forbids donations from the campaign treasury.
"Although strikers may be in need of assistance, there is no basis in the law or rules that would allow for campaign contributions to be used for such purposes," the commission opinion stated.
Karen Ginoza, president of the Hawaii State Teachers Association, said she was not aware that striking teachers were getting any contributions from politicians.
"The question has never really come up," she said.
She doubted that the rule would have more impact on strikers or strike tactics.
"It was the community coming out to give support for the teachers. We encourage the teachers and the legislators to get together and to know each other, so we urged the legislators to visit the strike lines," she said.
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