HILO, Hawaii – Hawaii County Councilman Danny Paleka, seeking re-election to Puna’s district 5, thanked his supporters during the Democratic Party’s traditional Grand Rally in Hilo on Friday night. Especially the ones who called him after reading the front-page article that morning in the local news paper.
The West Hawaii Today reported that Paleka had to pay a $1,250 fine after the state Campaign Spending Commission found his 2014 campaign failed to report numerous contributions and expenditures.
Paleka, who had never run for public office before, said the early days of his campaign were hectic and some things fell through the cracks. His sister, Kaui Paleka-Kama, had been his campaign treasurer, and she couldn’t keep up with the process and with the software required to report campaign finance, he said.
The paper reported that Paleka’s amended reports show he failed to report more than $24,000 in expenditures and almost $10,000 in contributions.
The paper reported Paleka-Kama was upset about the errors.
On Friday night at the traditional election-eve Democratic Party Grand Rally in Hilo, Paleka singled out his sister in the crowd while he was thanking his supporters, announcing “I just want to say I love you” and that “when you give family members a task, you know… the last election cycle was really fast and furious.”
Paleka’s opponent in the primary is Jennifer Ruggles. Ruggles was apparently not present for Friday night’s Grand Rally, so she did not make speech.