Campaign spending violations are being raised this election season. Some call for a closer look into the past campaign of former Gov. Ben Cayetano.
Cayetano ran a successful campaign for re-election as governor of Hawaii in 1998. But, during that time, the campaign spending commission found more than a half a million dollars in contributions to the governor were illegal for various reasons, including dozens of residents who used false names to make contributions or gave more than the $6,000 limit allowed.
Those violations still have some Hawaii residents upset.
"Cayetano needs to pay back that half million dollars and answer to the voters," said John White, with the Pacific Resources Partnership.
"It was definitely higher than any case I'm aware of -- that involved excess contributions," said Gary Kam with the Campaign Spending Commission.
Cayetano was never fined for the illegal contributions and did turn over some of the money to the state.
"They turned in between $8,000 and $9,000 -- whatever was left in their campaign fund," said Kam.
Hearing the issue has been raised 14 years after the violations, Cayetano released this statement:
"If I did anything wrong, I would have been indicted. This is old news and an attempt by my critics to discredit my current campaign for mayor."
But a number a voters felt even though it happened back in 1998, it is still an important issue for this year's campaign.
"Voters want to know that kind of stuff. It could really affect their decision," said Honolulu resident Virgil Bulosan.
Many voters understand that campaigns are complicated and candidates can't know everything about their donors.
"When there is a mistake and the donor did something bad -- that's not the candidate's fault. But when the candidate's told something happened they need to take care of that. If they do then the candidate's acted in good faith," said Honolulu resident Kekoa McClellan.
There are many current issues that are important this election. But for some, it is the character of a candidate that will make the difference when they get into the voting booth.
"Character is important. It's the first thing I see in a person," said Honolulu resident Taimi Taumoefolau.
Even though Cayetano has another campaign underway, he won't have to turn over any additional money to the state for the old campaign spending violations. The Hawaii Attorney General's Office determined a current campaign can't be penalized for past violations, even if it is with the same candidate.
White said Cayetano is now threatening a lawsuit against the Pacific Resource Partnership.
"We will not be silenced by bully tactics and threats of lawsuits," said White "We maintain that these illegal donations are directly tied to non bid contracts awarded by the Cayetano administration. They are part of the pay to play culture that permeated the Cayetano campaign and his administration."