Campaign donations should not be limited

Mayor Alan Arakawa is being called out for making donations from his campaign funds to Maui’s nonprofits, designating them as “advertisements” because of the “limit” on how much can be donated to nonprofits. However, there is no limit on how much can be spent on advertising. This seems wrong to me.

If a candidate were to receive $1,000,000 from the Koch Brothers, like they do in Congress, for example, and spent it all on advertising that would be OK. The candidate wasn’t bought and paid for? Yet if the candidate were to “donate” more than $8,000 from their campaign funds to Maui’s nonprofits it would be inexcusable. Why? Were Maui’s nonprofits serving our community being bought and paid for, or were they being funded to support those in need in our community?

In my opinion, seeing that a candidate supports our community nonprofits in this way is the best sort of “advertising,” showing us, the citizens, where they are in their heart and mind.

I do fundraising for our Maui nonprofits to help them serve our community. I see this as my kuleana, and I support a candidate donating their campaign funds in this manner as well.

If there is no limit on advertising expenses from one’s campaign funds there also shouldn’t be a limit on donations to our Maui nonprofits, which is more important to me than them spending thousands of dollars on TV ads just talking about doing it with our tax dollars. Think about it.

Harlan Hughes