Hawaii’s anti-GMO SHAKA movement not disclosing campaign donations

While the issue of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in agriculture has been a highly charged political issue in Hawaii for the past decade, the stakes are higher this year as Maui County voters contemplate a proposal in November to ban genetically modified crops.

The nonprofit group behind the Maui County ballot initiative known as the Sustainable Hawaiian Agriculture for Keiki and the Aina (SHAKA) Movement has been placing ads in local papers and sharing information online to help raise awareness of the initiative.

In less than three weeks, it has raised more than $18,000. Donations have been pouring in since the group’s fundraising campaign on Indiegogo.com  was launched July 28, including an anonymous $9,000 donation pledged Wednesday. The group is hoping to reach $100,000.

But the organization hasn’t registered with the Campaign Spending Commission, despite a law that requires any groups that spend or receive at least $1,000 to influence a ballot initiative to register within 10 days of the initiative being certified. The Maui County Clerk certified the bill June 6.

Mark Sheehan, one of the leaders of the SHAKA Movement, said during a phone interview Wednesday that he wasn’t aware of the commission’s requirement to register. “If that’s what we’re supposed to do, I’ll pass that along,” he said.

Read the full, original article: Donations pour in to influence GMO debate, but are they being disclosed?

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