ENDING THE CORROSIVE INFLUENCE OF MONEY IN POLITICS
Expanding access to voting and empowering people to choose our leaders and hold them accountable is the cornerstone of democracy that we should be protecting. Hawaii has been among the states with the lowest voter participation. At the same time, the US Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC has allowed billions of dollars of money to flow through superPACs and influence decision-makers around the country. These things must change.
In 2019 Chris led the effort to make it easier to vote in Hawaii and increase turnout, negotiation the passage of a bill making Hawaii the fourth state to vote entirely by mail.
“We wrote this bill to expand voting hours and access, and make it easier for everyone to vote. We hope to see voter participation rise this coming election,” Chris said. In the 2020 primary election, voting by mail broke all turnout records and led to a stunning 60.8% increase in people voting over the 2016 primary election.
Chris also passed a law making voter fraud a felony, preventing fraudulent elections advertising that has been used to misdirect voters in other states around the country.
Money in Elections
Chris has fought to get money out of politics and in his first year in office passed an amendment prohibiting state contractors from making political contributions, helping to prevent the pay-to-play culture that exists elsewhere. Chris followed up by passing a groundbreaking law that requires secretive superPACs to disclose their top donors in all elections advertising. He also added provisions to a bill that add additional reporting requirements for candidates to report who is giving them money, to increase transparency for voters.
When it was revealed that some government leaders were getting paychecks from other interests that could influence their decision-making, Chris led negotiations to pass a bill banning the Governor and all Mayors from getting paid by special interests while serving in office. To stop the revolving door of government leaders becoming lobbyists and helping clients get special deals, Chris passed a law prohibiting the Governor and leaders of all State Departments, and decision-making boards and commissions, from lobbying the state for a year after leaving public office.
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