The Hawaii Legislature is again considering a bill that would prohibit the governor and county mayors from having other jobs outside of their elected positions.
That would include Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, who has reported earning at least $200,000 from Territorial Savings Bank in two of the years he’s been in office. He reported earning less than $50,000 from the bank last year.
House Bill 361, which would take effect Jan. 1, would require the executives to give up other jobs within 61 days of taking office. In addition to Caldwell, two other current mayors would be affected.
This is the third time in as many years that House Speaker Scott Saiki has proposed the measure.
“Holding a part-time job when you’re already governor or mayor creates a conflict of interest,” Saiki said.
The bill would exempt stocks, retirement, social security and real estate income.
House Speaker Scott Saiki has been persistent in pushing for legislation to prohibit moonlighting by Hawaii’s governor and mayors, saying it’s a conflict of interest.
Cory Lum/Civil Beat
Gov. David Ige, who collects rental income with his wife, would not be affected, nor would Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim, whose only sources of income outside of his office are social security and retirement, according to financial disclosure statements.
But Caldwell, Maui Mayor Mike Victorino and Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami would be affected.
Last year Caldwell received from $25,000 to $49,999 as a director for Territorial Savings Bank, according to his most recent financial disclosure filed Jan. 31. In 2012 and 2015, Caldwell reported making at least $200,000 as a bank director.
He is currently out of the country, and his office declined to comment.
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is a member of the Territorial Savings Bank Board of Directors.
Cory Lum/Civil Beat
Caldwell also has 34,227 shares of stock with Territorial Savings worth a total $963,147 as of Friday’s closing price of $28.14 per share. Caldwell hasn’t sold any of his stock since 2017. Any additional income from his stocks would also be exempt from the bill.
That’s all in addition to the $173,184 he gets paid to be Honolulu mayor.
Kauai County refused to provide Kawakami’s most recent financial disclosures without a records request. They were requested Thursday and had not been received as of Friday.
Update:Before running for mayor, Kawakami held six other positions outside of his job as councilman that paid a total $121,800, according to his latest candidate financial disclosure statement received by Civil Beat on Tuesday.
He is still listed as an officer in the family company’s filings.
Victorino’s most recent financial statement from February 2018, when he filed his mayoral candidacy, showed an income of $25,000 to $49,999 as an insurance adviser for Mutual Underwriters, a Honolulu insurance firm. He sold his business to the firm after taking office in December and no longer pursues clientele, he told Civil Beat.
Victorino still receives residuals from business he previously generated for Mutual Underwriters, but he declined to say how much.
“It’s really retirement for my business,” Victorino said. “It’s their way of weaning me off.”
Victorino says he supports the intent of the bill.
“I understand who they’re going after, and it’s not me,” Victorino said. “I’m a small fly in this equation.”
Saiki has consistently said he wasn’t targeting any particular Hawaii leader, but instead is responding to President Donald Trump’s election in 2016.
“I felt that Hawaii should set a standard for prohibiting executives from holding outside jobs while they are in office,” Saiki said.
The first time he proposed the measure in in 2017, it was doomed from the start as then-Speaker Joe Souki referred it to four committees. It was revived last year and passed the full House before dying in Senate committee hearings.
The Senate Government Committee wrote that it had concerns the bill could hurt elected officials who might own small businesses on the side or could discourage potential candidates from seeking higher office.
This year as speaker, Saiki referred his bill to just the House Judiciary Committee, which passed it Feb. 8, and it will now be considered by the full House.
Stay Up To Date On The Coronavirus And Other Hawaii Issues
An urgent message to our readers . . .
It’s a critical time for our community as we all try to navigate unprecedented disruptions to our daily lives.
We want you to know that our nonprofit newsroom’s team of reporters, editors and support staff are committed to providing you with accurate and in-depth information on Hawaii’s important issues, including developments on how our island state is coping with this global pandemic.
Help ensure that our newsroom remains strong during this period when fact-based, trustworthy information is more important than ever. Please consider supporting Civil Beat by making a tax-deductible gift.
Blaze Lovell is a reporter for Civil Beat and a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He was born and raised on Oahu. You can reach him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @blaze_lovell