The Hawaiʻi

State Constitutional Convention Clearinghouse

Information Related to Hawaiʻi's November 6, 2018 State Constitutional Convention Referendum

Hawaii has two constitutional referendums on the Nov. 6, 2018 ballot. This page provides information on the first one, which allows the state to tax property (a government power previously reserved for the counties). Although the subjects of the ballot items are highly different, the politics of the two constitution-related referendums are likely to be closely interrelated.

Vote Yes

Isbell, Alan, Legal defeat underscores hypocrisy of constitutional amendment challenge, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, September 20, 2018.

Rosenlee, Corey, Tax would help kids and deter rich outside investors, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, September 16, 2018.

Hughey, Justin, Constitutional change can help create ‘kingdom of learning’, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, May 22, 2018. Letter to editor.

Isbell, Alan, Proposed constitutional amendment could be an elixir for public schools, Maui News, May 24, 2018. The author is president of the Hawaii State Teachers Association, Maui Chapter.

Rosenlee, Corey, Rich real-estate speculators can afford to help educate keiki, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, May 8, 2018. The author is is president of the Hawaii State Teachers Association.

Vote No

Perez, Joseph, The Legislature already has plenty of ways to raise more money for public education, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, September 20, 2018.

James, Choon, Not all ‘investment real property’ owners are wealthy, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, September 16, 2018.

Borreca, Richard, Passive-aggressive ‘school tax’ proposal could turn out more aggressive than it seems, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, September 16, 2018.

L’Heureux, Ray, and Randall Roth, A proposed constitutional change aims to let the state tax investment property to fund public education, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, September 16, 2018.

Shapiro, David, Be honest about schools tax before it goes on ballot, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, September 2, 2018.

Curtis, Mike, Amendment won’t lock in school funds, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, May 27, 2018. Letter to editor.

Yamachika, Tom, Letting the Genie Out Of The Bottle…For Our Keiki?, Hawaii Reporter, May 7, 2018.

Shapiro, David, Amendment for education would raid county coffers, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, April 22, 2018.


Donnelly, Christine, No guarantees for renter in property tax proposal, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, June 27, 2018.

Editorial: Let public decide on tax for schools, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, April 6, 2018.


Cocke, Sophie, Teachers’ proposal would require hefty hike in property taxes, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, September 18, 2018.

Brace for constitutional amendment campaigns, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, September 17, 2018.

Freudenthal, Bethany, Opposition rises to tax proposal, The Garden Island, September 14, 2018.

Cocke, Sophie, PACs form to sway voters on school tax ballot issue, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, September 13, 2018.

Kauai Chamber opposes tax amendment, West Hawaii Today, September 6, 2018.

Cocke, Sophie, Counties oppose state property tax for public schools, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, August 30, 2018.

Yoshioka, Wayne, HSTA Weighs-In on Constitutional Amendment to Help Fund Public Education, Hawai`i Public Radio, August 15, 2018.

Yoshioka, Wayne, Nov. 6th Constitutional Amendment Question: Investment Property Surcharge for Education?, Hawai`i Public Radio, August 14, 2018.

Campaign Finance

For up to date information, go to State of Hawaii Campaign Spending Information, Ballot Issue Committees.


HSTA for Schools Our Keiki Deserve PAC.  Organizational Report / Disclosure Reports (Reg. 4/30/18). Chair: Wilbert Holck. Key vendors:

1) Hamburger Strategies, a national graphic design firm.

2) Anzalone Liszt Grove Research, an Alabama-based firm that does political consulting, including public opinion research, for Democrats. Its clients include former President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for President, and it boasts huge success:

“In addition to our success electing candidates, we also boast the best win-loss rate on ballot initiatives in the country, racking up 92 wins and 10 losses. We have provided message guidance that helped lead to major victories on marriage equality, access to contraception, paid-sick day legislation,  protecting our environment and much more.

As pollsters, we’re committed to going beyond simply providing numbers. While we’re proud of our ability to collect good data, we believe polling is of little use unless it is paired with clear, actionable strategic advice. We believe in being an active part of the consultant team to ensure the strategic recommendations derived from our research are well executed, disciplined, and exceed the expectations of our clients.” From its website, accessed Sept. 13, 2018.

On its website, it also quotes the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza saying it was“The best pollster you’ve never heard of.”  But J.H. Snider wasn’t able to track this down from the Washington Post.  See Johnson, Dennis, Democracy for Hire: A History of American Political Consulting, Oxford University Press, 2017, and Chris Cillizza, Winners and Losers: Of Mountaineers and Magnolias, Washington Post Blog, May 14, 2008.


Affordable Hawaii Coalition PAC. Organizational Report / Disclosure Reports (Reg. 7/26/18). PAC Chair: Stanley Lau. No vendors/expenditures are listed on its preliminary report.

Watumull Properties Corp PAC. Organizational Report / Disclosure Reports (Reg. 8/28/18)

Lawsuit Over Ballot Wording

Clearinghouse of legal documents maintained by The Tax Foundation of Hawaii.  Includes pro and con legal documents.

Lee, Suevon, Judge: Property Tax Measure For Schools Can Stay On Ballot, Civil Beat, September 7, 2018.

Cocke, Sophie, Judge refuses to block November ballot question, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, September 7, 2018.

Editorial, Do The School Tax Ballot Question Right Or Don’t Do It At All, Civil Beat, September 7, 2018.

Cocke, Sophie, Judge to hear challenge to property tax ballot, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, September 6, 2018.

Daranciang, Nelson, Investment tax wording on ballot spurs suit, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, August 29, 2018.

Yerton, Stuart, Honolulu Lawsuit Aims To Stop Proposed Ballot Measure On Education Funding, Civil Beat, August 27, 2018.


Do you agree with Friday’s ruling that keeps the “school tax” constitutional amendment question on the November ballot?, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, September 11, 2018.

Recent History Of Hawaii Constitutional Amendment Referendums

From 2008 to 2017, Hawaii held 25 referendums. Of these, 14 passed and 11 failed.  See 2018 Hawaii Ballot Measures, Vote Smart.  Accessed 29 August 2018.


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