[11-355] Contributions by state and county contractors prohibited. (a) It shall be unlawful for any person who enters into any contract with the State, any of the counties, or any department or agency thereof either for the rendition of personal services, the buying of property, or furnishing of any material, supplies, or equipment to the State, any of the counties, any department or agency thereof, or for selling any land or building to the State, any of the counties, or any department or agency thereof, if payment for the performance of the contract or payment for material, supplies, equipment, land, property, or building is to be made in whole or in part from funds appropriated by the legislative body, at any time between the execution of the contract through the completion of the contract, to:

(1) Directly or indirectly make any contribution, or promise expressly or impliedly to make any contribution to any candidate committee or noncandidate committee, or to any candidate or to any person for any political purpose or use; or

(2) Knowingly solicit any contribution from any person for any purpose during any period.

(b) Except as provided in subsection (a), this section does not prohibit or make unlawful the establishment or administration of, or the solicitation of contributions to, any noncandidate committee by any person other than the state or county contractor for the purpose of influencing the nomination for election, or the election of any person to office.

(c) For purposes of this section, "completion of the contract" means that the parties to the government contract have either terminated the contract prior to completion of performance or fully performed the duties and obligations under the contract, no disputes relating to the performance and payment remain under the contract, and all disputed claims have been adjudicated and are final. [L 2010, c 211, pt of 2]


Case Notes


Hawaii's government contractor contribution ban under 11-355 satisfies closely drawn scrutiny; it serves sufficiently important governmental interests by combating both actual and the appearance of quid pro quo corruption, and it is closely drawn because it targets direct contributions from contractors to officeholders and candidates, the contributions most closely linked to actual and perceived quid pro quo corruption. The ban survives closely drawn scrutiny even as applied to plaintiff's proposed contributions to candidates who neither decide whether plaintiff receives contracts nor oversee plaintiff's contracts. 786 F.3d 1182 (2015).

Hawaii's government-contractor ban on direct campaign contributions set forth in this section was constitutional as applied to plaintiff noncandidate committee and government contractor's proposed contributions; given the public role of legislators and the power (or perceived power) they can have in contractual matters, applying the contribution ban was closely connected to the government interest in refuting at least the perception of corruption in the electoral process; it functions to alleviate even the appearance of a connection (a quid pro quo) between a government contractor and a candidate for public office. 872 F. Supp. 2d 1023 (2012).

Plaintiff noncandidate committee and government contractor had standing to challenge the contribution restrictions on government contractors in this section, given that plaintiff was a government contractor, had made substantial contributions to candidates in the past, and sought to make future contributions while it was a contractor; moreover, plaintiff did not have to violate the statute to challenge its terms, and a favorable ruling would have allowed plaintiff to make contributions as a contractor without violating the law. 872 F. Supp. 2d 1023 (2012).



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