Are Hawaii's Rules On How Political Parties Can Be Financed Effective?

Hawaii may have gotten good grades in the State Integrity Investigation for having rules that govern how political parties can raise money. But whether those laws are effectively enforced is another story.

The state got a B, or 86 percent, grade for Political Financing. That's a pretty good grade, earning Hawaii 3rd place among 50 states. Only Connecticut and Rhode Island scored higher. Wyoming came in last.

Yet Hawaii earned a dismal 68 percent on the question of whether campaign financing laws are actually effective. The state gets dinged in part because limits on individual donations to political parties are high.

Overall, the State Integrity Investigation ranked Hawaii 10th after Civil Beat reporters researched 330 “Corruption Risk Indicators” across 14 categories of government. (Click here to learn more about the methodology used for the project.)

Bottom line: Hawaii limits how much individuals can donate to political parties, but critics say the limit is so high it's practically meaningless.

Here's the basis for the 65-percent grade that contributed to the overall 86 percent score for political financing. It's your turn to evaluate whether Civil Beat got it right and to share what you think should be done to improve the situation. Share your comments at the bottom of this story.

Here's the third question of six the State Integrity Investigation asked about political financing.

Are the regulations governing the political financing of parties effective?

Overall score: 65%

Here are the criteria Civil Beat used to answer that question and what Civil Beat found.

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