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Doug Chin
Attorney douglas chin.jpg
13th Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii
Assumed office
February 2, 2018
Governor David Ige
Preceded by Shan Tsutsui
14th Attorney General of Hawaii
In office
March 12, 2015 – February 2, 2018
Governor David Ige
Preceded by Russell Suzuki (Acting)
Succeeded by Russell Suzuki
Personal details
Born Douglas Shih-Ging Chin
(1966-07-21) July 21, 1966 (age 51)
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Kathleen Amy McNulty
Children 2
Education Stanford University (BA)
University of Hawaii, Manoa (JD)

Douglas S. Chin (born July 21, 1966)[1][2] is an American lobbyist and politician. A lawyer by training, he is the 13th and current Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii, since February 2018. Chin was the Attorney General of Hawaii from March 2015 until February 2018, when he succeeded by law to the position of Lieutenant Governor, following the resignation of Shan Tsutsui. On December 18, 2017, Chin announced his intent to run for the U.S. House of Representatives.[3] He is a member of the Democratic Party.

Early life and education[edit]

Douglas S. Chin was born in Seattle to Chinese[which?][where?] immigrant parents, his mother a librarian, and his father a civil engineer. He grew up studying violin and piano.[4] He earned his B.A. in English from Stanford University and his J.D. degree from the University of Hawaii's William S. Richardson School of Law.


Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle hired Chin as a city prosecutor in 1998. Chin spent 12 years at the Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney's office and was named first deputy in 2006, during which time Hawaii's prison population increased from roughly 5000 to 6200 people incarcerated. Hawaii's incarceration rate has since been on the decline upon the departure of Carlisle and Chin's from the offices of Prosecutor and Deputy Prosecutor.[5]

Chin was an associate attorney at the law firm Carlsmith Ball from 2005 to 2006, a corporate lawfirm that specializes in representing banking corporations and investment firms . Carlisle nominated Chin to be the city's managing director in 2010.[4] In 2013, he returned to Carlsmith Ball, where his primary responsibility was as the managing partner overseeing the administration of the firm. During that time he acted as a paid lobbyist for Corrections Corporation of America, the private prison entity that owns and operates Arizona's Saguaro Correction Center, which currently incarcerates over 1,400 people from Hawaii.[6] Governor David Ige nominated Chin for Attorney General of Hawaii in January 2015.[7] The Hawaii Senate was unanimous in its confirmation of Chin on March 12, 2015.[8]

He unsuccessfully led a suit on behalf of the State of Hawaii against Native Hawaiian homesteaders, arguing that the State is not bound to provide $28 million of sufficient funding for the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. On May 9, 2012, the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled the state failed to adequately fund the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL), and that beneficiaries can sue the state for sufficient administrative and operational funding. In January 2016, the state Attorney General’s office appealed the First Circuit Court decision, further delaying funds from flowing to the DHHL and its beneficiaries.

Chin also led a suit on behalf of the State of Hawaii against the federal government that, on March 15, 2017, blocked implementation of President Donald Trump's Executive Order 13780 entitled, "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States".[9]

Chin filed a motion asking for clarification on what a bona fide relationship with someone in the United States means. This was in leading the fight against the travel ban imposed by president Donald Trump, after the Supreme Court allowed it to go into partial effect in late June 2017. An expedited process was requested for the clarification.[10]

Congressional campaign and Lieutenant Governorship[edit]

On December 18, 2017, Chin announced he would run for Hawaii's 1st congressional district in 2018 to succeed the retiring Colleen Hanabusa.[3] In January 2018, he announced he would resign as Attorney General effective March 15, 2018 in order to focus on his congressional campaign.[11][12]

On January 31, 2018, Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui resigned from his office. By law, the attorney general is third in the line of succession, but Hawaii Senate president Ron Kouchi and Hawaii House of Representatives Speaker Scott Saiki turned down the job.[13] Chin intends to serve as Lieutenant Governor while running for Congress.[14]


Corrections Corporation of America[edit]

On January 4, 2018, Karen Chun, former Vice Chair of the Maui Democratic Party, filed a complaint with the Hawaii State Ethics Commission, alleging that Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) failed, on four occasions, to report that they were paying Doug Chin to lobby on their behalf.[15][16]

According to the complaint, lobbying disclosures for May 1 - December 31, 2013, January 1 - February 28, 2014, March 1 - April 30, 2014, and May 1 - December 31, 2014, omitted payments made by CCA to Chin in the amount of $68,748.[17]

The complaint further alleges that the disclosures were only amended on April 8, 2015, after Chin was appointed Attorney General and confirmed in January 2015. According to the complaint, this had the alleged effect of hiding part of Chin's lobbying history from the public during the vetting and confirmation process.[18]

The complaint further alleged that, as Attorney General, Douglas Chin blocked the release of information to the media about problems at a mainland facility run by CCA where Hawaii inmates are sent.[19]

Campaign Manager[edit]

In January 2018, the Honolulu Star Advertiser reported that Dylan Beesley, who at the time was serving as Douglas Chin’s congressional campaign manager, had authorized, as campaign treasurer for the late U.S. Representative Mark Takai, nearly $90,000 in consulting fees for his own firm in the year and a half after Congressman Takai passed away from pancreatic cancer in July 2016.[20]

According to the report, Congressman Takai’s re-election campaign issued more than a dozen payments between August 2016 and September 2017 to a company controlled by Beesley.[20]

Beesley said that after Congressman Takai’s death the Federal Election Commission obligations required some personnel to continue to manage the campaign’s affairs and conclude its activities at the request of Congressman Takai's family.[21][22]

Congressman Takai's father-in-law released a statement supporting Beesley, saying the family authorized Beesley to accept payments while winding down the campaign and setting up a foundation.[22][23]

Reportedly, Chin also stood by Beesley, noting that the Federal Election Commission highly regulates campaigns and that Beesley didn’t appear to have violated any rules. Chin further indicated that it is not his place to pass judgment on the payments the Takai campaign made to Beesley’s company.[21]

However, Chin also reportedly told Beesley to “get his house in order.”[24]

It was further reported that Beesley's company, Lanikia Strategies, was listed with the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs as "not in good standing" because Beesley had not submitted business registration filings for 2016 and 2017. Chin reportedly said that he was not happy about that at all, and told him no money from the Chin congressional campaign would go to a business that's not in good standing. Subsequently, Chin stated that Beesley had updated the filings.[25]

State Rep. Kaniela Ing, one of Chin’s primary opponents for Congress, reportedly said he viewed the payments as fraudulent and disrespectful to Congressman Takai’s legacy and supporters, and called on Beesley to return the funds or use them to establish a foundation in Takai’s name.[21]

Ing also reportedly noted that he intended to file a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission, focusing on the FEC's allowing the winding down of campaigns for six months, while Beesley received payments for over a year.[26]

State Sen. Donna Mercado Kim, another of Chin’s primary opponents, reportedly stated that she thought the situation raised concerns about the expenditures, and she found it shocking that Chin did not find what Beesley did unethical."[21]

Honolulu City Councilman Ernie Martin, another of Chin’s primary opponents, reportedly said defending Beesley was a serious conflict of interest for the state’s top law enforcement officer (Chin), and said that Chin should resign from his post as then-State Attorney General.[22]

California Congressman Mark Takano, a friend and colleague of Congressman Takai, reportedly noted that people should and would question [Beesley's] practices, and that he didn't know that Congressman Takai would want to see that happening with money he raised for re-election.[22]

On January 18, 2018, the Campaign Legal Center filed a complaint with the U.S. Federal Election Commission, claiming that Beesley violated the law.[22][23][27]

According to the Center, “After a Member of Congress leaves office, their campaign committee may legally donate leftover funds to charity, transfer funds to their party, make contributions to other candidates, or pay for the costs of winding-down their campaign or closing their office, which FEC regulations anticipate should take about six months. Yet nearly eighteen months after Takai’s passing, his campaign committee appears to be doing little else besides providing campaign treasurer Dylan Beesley a source of income.”[27]

Anti-Gay Speech and Conversion Therapy[edit]

In 1995, Douglas Chin, then 27 years old, delivered an anti-gay speech at the Oahu Church of Christ. A recording was made of Chin angrily yelling:

"But but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but [sic] my family taught me something different. My family taught me something different than what the Bible teaches. Well. Okay. The bible is right, your family is wrong [about tolerance of homosexuality]. Is there any shame in that? Hey! What’s so bad about that? God is right. Your family is wrong. Is there anything wrong with that? That’s fine! Okay. Let’s do something constructive with that. But but but but [sic] ..."[28][29]

On February 19, 2018, during the race for Congress, Chin, Lieutenant Governor at that time, said he had "really grown up since [1995] and I regret if I had any sort of tone." He further said, "I apologize if I used anything that caused people to feel uncomfortable or overly guilty."[29]

Chin noted that, as Attorney General, he defended the Hawaii Marriage Equality Act in the Hawaii Supreme Court and fought the Trump Administration to defend the rights of transgendered service members, and, as Lieutenant Governor, announced his support for a proposal to ban gay conversion therapy.[29][30]

State Representative Kaniela Ing, one of Chin's opponents in the Democratic primary for Congress, accused Chin of covering up his true feelings for political gain. Ing noted "To see [Chin] fighting for this conservative, anti-gay, anti-women values for his whole life, then all of a sudden change his mind, is disingenuous."[29][30]

Ing further issued a statement, reported by Big Island Now:

"Doug Chin has spent his entire adult life as a conservative pastor preaching anti-gay and anti-choice sermons. In 2016, his church held a pray-the-gay-away conference, so it’s very frustrating to me to see him flip-flop now that he is running for Congress ... If Chin truly had a change of heart, he would apologize for his years of denouncing LGBTQ people and denounce the destructive teachings of his Church."[31]

Chin responded, implying that Ing was trying to get into the news but not talk about issues, and defended his church, calling Ing's statement's about it 'unhinged' and seeming to characterize Ing as "engage[ing] in Trumpian tactics."[30]

Personal life[edit]

Chin is married to Kathleen Amy McNulty and they have two children, daughter Fiona and son Ian. He lives in Honolulu.[32][33] Chin attends Oahu Church of Christ.[34]


  1. ^ Kelleher, Jennifer Sinco (March 20, 2017). "Immigration issue is personal to Chin". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Retrieved February 4, 2018. 
  2. ^ "Doug Chin". Democratic Attorneys General Association. Retrieved February 4, 2018. 
  3. ^ a b Samuels, Brett (18 December 2017). "Hawaii AG who fought Trump travel ban to run for Congress". The Hill. Retrieved 18 December 2017. 
  4. ^ a b Koga, Dave (October 8, 2010). "Douglas Chin". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. 
  5. ^ Aiken, Joshua. "Hawaii Prison Population 1978-2015". Prison Policy Initiative. Retrieved 13 September 2017. 
  6. ^ "Lobbyist Registration Form" (PDF). March 30, 2015. 
  7. ^ Reyes, B.J. (January 16, 2015). "Ige names attorney general, PUC chairman". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. 
  8. ^ "Senate confirms attorney general, public safety director". KHON2. March 12, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Judge temporarily halts new travel ban". Hawaii News Now. March 15, 2017. 
  10. ^ Shugerman, Emily (June 30, 2017). "Trump's travel ban faces new legal challenge from Hawaii as battle between administration and state continues". The Independent. 
  11. ^ "Doug Chin leaves AG post to concentrate on Congressional campaign". KITV. January 8, 2018. Retrieved January 30, 2018. 
  12. ^ Dayton, Kevin (January 7, 2018). "Chin will resign as attorney general to campaign for Congress". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Retrieved January 30, 2018. 
  13. ^ Kalani, Nanea (February 2, 2018). "Chin takes state's No. 2 post". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Retrieved February 2, 2018. 
  14. ^ "The Latest: Travel ban foe is new Hawaii lieutenant governor". San Francisco Chronicle. AP. February 2, 2018. Retrieved February 2, 2018. 
  15. ^ "Ethics Complaint Alleges Private Prison Hid Lobbying Payments Made to Doug Chin". Daily Kos. Retrieved 2018-02-22. 
  16. ^ "Ethics Complaint Concerning Lobbying for CCA" (PDF). 
  17. ^ "State Ethics Commission Complaint" (PDF). 
  18. ^ "State Ethics Commission Complaint" (PDF). 
  19. ^ "Public records on Hawaii prisoners held by CCA will cost you $23,000". Mother Jones. Retrieved 2018-02-22. 
  20. ^ a b "Payments by Takai's campaign questioned". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. 2018-01-12. Retrieved 2018-02-22. 
  21. ^ a b c d "Chin sticks with campaign manager". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. 2018-01-13. Retrieved 2018-02-22. 
  22. ^ a b c d e Staff, HNN. "DC watchdog files complaint over staffer still getting paid from late Takai's coffers". Retrieved 2018-02-22. 
  23. ^ a b "Complaint Filed Over Use Of Late Congressman's Campaign Funds". Honolulu Civil Beat. 2018-01-18. Retrieved 2018-02-22. 
  24. ^ "Chin Tells Campaign Manager To 'Get House In Order'". Honolulu Civil Beat. 2018-01-12. Retrieved 2018-02-22. 
  25. ^ "Chin Defends Campaign Manager's Takai Financial Payments". 
  26. ^ "Doug Chin's Opponents Pile On Criticism Of Campaign Manager". Honolulu Civil Beat. 2018-01-17. Retrieved 2018-02-22. 
  27. ^ Hawaii Politics (2017-09-28), Doug Chin, Anti-LGBTQ Preacher (Fake Democrat for Congress), retrieved 2018-02-22 
  28. ^ a b c d Nagaoka, Ashley. "Since anti-gay speech 23 years ago, lieutenant governor says he's 'grown up a lot'". Retrieved 2018-02-22. 
  29. ^ a b c "Bill to ban 'conversion therapy' advances". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. 2018-02-21. Retrieved 2018-02-22. 
  30. ^ "Rep. Ing Rips Lt. Gov.'s Conversion Therapy Stance". Big Island Now | Rep. Ing Rips Lt. Gov.’s Conversion Therapy Stance. Retrieved 2018-02-22. 
  31. ^ Baehr, Brooks (September 22, 2010). "Carlisle names Douglas Chin as new managing director". Hawaii News Now. 
  32. ^ "People Who Make Hawaii Work: Douglas S. Chin". Pacific Business News. January 25, 2013. 
  33. ^ "Travel ban fight personal for Hawaii's 'scholarly gentleman'". Fox News/Associated Press. March 22, 2017. 

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Russell Suzuki
Attorney General of Hawaii
Succeeded by
Russell Suzuki
Political offices
Preceded by
Shan Tsutsui
Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii


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