Now that the primary is behind us, the real action on the Congressional election front has just begun.

This is especially true in the 1st Congressional District, where Senate President Colleen Hanabusa is challenging incumbent Charles Djou, who won the special election in May to serve the remainder of former Congressman Neil Abercrombie‘s term. Incumbent 2nd Congressional District Representative Mazie Hirono also faces a challenge from Republican John Willoughby.

We asked these four candidates for Congress 10 questions about the critical issues facing the state and nation. Read and compare their answers.

Here’s a copy of the letter we sent the candidates earlier this summer, before the primary. We asked all the candidates the same questions.

To read their answers:

Dear candidate:

At Civil Beat we’re trying to provide our readers with an understanding of the critical issues facing the state and nation and of how the candidates for the U.S. House and Senate think. Together with (the reporter) who is covering your race, I have prepared a list of 10 questions that we would like you to answer. We are providing exactly the same questions to your rivals. Our plan is to do something similar to the way we’ve handled the responses from governor candidates to our questions about their positions on education. We will publish a series of articles based on your responses to these questions and we will make them available on the site in their entirety.

I would be happy to discuss this project with you personally if you have any questions. My contact information is at the bottom of this e-mail. We would ask that you return the completed questionnaire no later than end of the day Wednesday Aug. 11.

We appreciate your serious consideration of these questions and look forward to sharing your answers with the people of Hawaii.


1) Would you support extending the Bush tax cuts? If so, why? If not, what should be done with the tax cuts and why?

2) Should American citizens suspected of terrorism and arrested on foreign soil be held without trial? Should the government use drones for targeted killings away from the battlefield? Is waterboarding torture? Why or why not?

3) Should the U.S. ban deep-sea offshore drilling? 

4) Would you support the U.S. extending its mission in either Afghanistan or Iraq? Should the U.S. consider a preemptive strike against Iran?

5) Do you support the regulation of the financial industry just signed into law? Why or Why not?

6) What is the biggest environmental problem facing the country and why? What would you do about it?

7) Do you support a cap and trade approach to reducing carbon dioxide emissions or would you favor a carbon tax instead? Or neither?

8) Do you support the Akaka bill? if so, what would you tell Hawaii residents will happen if it it passes? What will it mean to the state? If not, why not?

9) What is the best thing the last Congress did? Why? What’s the worst thing? Why?

10) Transportation and infrastructure are critical to an island state. How would you work to increase federal support for Hawaii’s roads, airports and harbors?

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