State House candidate Diamond Garcia has been fined $100 by the state Ethics Commission after he made a campaign video of himself for Facebook that used an upper-level lanai at the State Capitol as the backdrop.

The Capitol is normally a public place, and the setting for the campaign video would normally be allowable, but the Capitol has been closed to the public for months during the pandemic. Garcia, who is office manager for Republican state Rep. Gene Ward, was allowed into the building because he is a state employee.

The commission concluded Garcia’s actions when he shot the video on Sept. 21 were a violation of the state Ethics Code because he used his state position to gain access to a state facility for a private campaign purpose at a time when that facility was otherwise closed to the public.

Garcia acknowledged he had violated the state’s Fair Treatment law, and “removed the video from all social media immediately after being contacted by Commission staff,” according to a published decision by the commission.

Garcia, 22, is running as a Republican against Democratic freshman Rep. Stacelynn Keahaulani Eli for the District 43 House seat that runs from Ewa Villages to Nanakuli and Maili on the Leeward Coast.

A good reason not to give

We know not everyone can afford to pay for news right now, which is why we keep our journalism free for everyone to read, listen, watch and share. 

But that promise wouldn’t be possible without support from loyal readers like you.

Make a gift to Civil Beat today and help keep our journalism free for all readers. And if you’re able, consider a sustaining monthly gift to support our work all year-round.



About the Author