|13th Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii|
February 2, 2018
|Preceded by||Shan Tsutsui|
|14th Attorney General of Hawaii|
March 12, 2015 – February 2, 2018
|Preceded by||Russell Suzuki (Acting)|
|Succeeded by||Russell Suzuki|
July 21, 1966 |
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
|Education||Stanford University (BA)
University of Hawaii, Manoa (JD)
Douglas S. Chin (born July 21, 1966) 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 Congress. He is a member of the Democratic Party.
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. 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.
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. 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. Governor David Ige nominated Chin for Attorney General of Hawaii in January 2015. The Hawaii Senate was unanimous in its confirmation of Chin on March 12, 2015.
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".
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.
On December 18, 2017, Chin announced he would run for Hawaii's 1st congressional district in 2018 to succeed the retiring Colleen Hanabusa. In January 2018, he announced he would resign as Attorney General effective March 15, 2018 in order to focus on his congressional campaign.
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. Chin intends to serve as Lieutenant Governor while running for Congress.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
However, Chin also reportedly told Beesley to “get his house in order.”
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.”
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] ..."
On February 19, 2018, during the race for Congress, Chin, Lieutenant Governor at that time, said he had "really grown up since  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."
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.
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."
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."
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."
|Attorney General of Hawaii
|Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii
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