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Hawaii State Legislative Candidate Charged for Distribution of Unauthorized Mailers

Attorney General Doug Chin announced that Eric H. L. Ching, a candidate in 2016 for the state house of representatives district 31 seat (Moanalua, Red Hill, Foster Village, Aiea, Fort Shafter, Moanalua Gardens, Aliamanu, Lower Pearlridge), was charged yesterday with two misdemeanors for sending mailers without identifying the individual or organization that had paid for it. Incumbent state representative Aaron Ling Johanson defeated Ching in the general election.

Click to read the complaint

The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission required Ching to pay a civil penalty of $25 on four previous violations. After repeatedly being warned to follow the same campaign law related to advertisements. Ching sent two more mailers that lacked the required disclaimers. The Commission only referred the matter to the Attorney General’s office for criminal prosecution after the fourth civil fine was assessed.

Ching is now charged with two counts of Unauthorized Advertisements, in violation of sections 11-391(a)(1) and 11-412(a) of the Hawaii Revised Statutes. The maximum penalty for each count is a $2,000.00 fine and up to one year in jail.

Attorney General Doug Chin said, “Campaign laws keep Hawaii elections fair and transparent.”