Takai cam­paign fund ques­tions

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - VIEWS & VOICES -

There’s some­thing un­seemly when, in the 18 months af­ter a po­lit­i­cal can­di­date has died, his cam­paign com­mit­tee’s trea­surer has re­ceived nearly $90,000 for con­sult­ing ser­vices. Whether le­gal­i­ties have been breached, though, is questionable in this case of Dy­lan Beesley, who was trea­surer of the re-elec­tion cam­paign for the late U.S. Rep. Mark Takai, a cam­paign aborted in May 2016 amid Takai’s can­cer bat­tle; he died about two months later.

Fed­eral Elec­tion Com­mis­sion records show Takai’s cam­paign col­lected $1.1 mil­lion for that re-elec­tion bid and spent about $791,800 through De­cem­ber 2016. To date, the cam­paign has re­funded at least $177,000 in con­tri­bu­tions.

Since Takai’s death, though, $86,508 went to Beesley’s Lanakila Strate­gies, a con­sult­ing firm that’s listed as “not in good stand­ing” with the state Depart­ment of Com­merce and Con­sumer Af­fairs for not sub­mit­ting busi­ness reg­is­tra­tion fil­ings for 2016 and 2017.

That cloud might be mi­grat­ing over to­day’s con­gres­sional can­di­dacy of state At­tor­ney Gen­eral Doug Chin, who on Fri­day said he’s keep­ing Beesley as his cam­paign man­ager and ex­pressed con­fi­dence that rules have been fol­lowed since the FEC is highly reg­u­lated with re­ports go­ing through com­pli­ance re­views.

Still, it would have been bet­ter for all in­volved, in­clud­ing donors who gave to Takai, if the late con­gress­man’s cam­paign fund had been cleanly rec­on­ciled well be­fore now. >> By Gene Wein­garten

Bar­ney & Clyde

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