Editor’s Note: In June 2012, Civil Beat sent 10 questions to each of the candidates registered to run for the U.S. Senate in the Aug. 11 primary. Eight of the 11 responded, including John Carroll. The questions and answers are reproduced below in full. Read responses by Mazie Hirono, Linda Lingle and Ed Case to see how Carroll’s positions compare to those of his main competitors. Click on each topic listed below to read Civil Beat’s question and Carroll’s response.

1. President Obama has significantly increased the use of drones to assassinate terrorist targets. The policy has been criticized for denying due process rights for at least one American living abroad, and for the collateral killing of civilians. Do you support this policy — why or why not?

Yes, I support the use of drone attacks on enemy combatants regardless of their nationality. Terrorists, who are actively engaged in actively plotting to kill American citizens, are not entitled to the protection of due process any more that if they were confronted by police on the streets of an American city shooting at civilians. They would be justifiably exposed to lethal force to protect the general public. All measures must be taken to protect the lives of innocent civilians in all cases. ↩ back to top

2. A divided U.S. Congress has not been able to come to agreement on how to lower the federal debt, in spite of bipartisan recommendations from the Simpson-Bowles deficit commission and others. What is your evaluation of those recommendations, which include hard decisions regarding entitlement programs, defense spending and taxes?

The Simpson-Bowles deficit commission was a step in the right direction towards recognizing the tough problems we face; unfortunately the commission did not go far enough and was too focused on raising taxes instead of solving the real problem which are national debt, and entitlements.

I would aggressively seek real savings by drying up boondoggle projects and other blatant cases of mismanagement. I would suggest a simplification of the tax code by emasculating the IRS and instituting a flat tax. I would also stop the massive payouts to “allies” that never deliver, and international police actions that sap our military and financial resources.

Here’s a partial list to consider:

  • Annual cost of Afghanistan War: $487 Billion
  • Pentagon weapons “overruns,” $295 Billion
  • Health care fraud $60 Billion annually
  • Corporate “welfare” $92 Billion

And, that is just the tip of the iceberg. ↩ back to top

3. The major issue for most candidates is jobs and the economy. Can you identify a concrete example of how you as senator would go about stimulating growth both nationally and in Hawaii?

As Hawaii’s Senator I would focus on those things that can specifically help us here in Hawaii.

Hawaii has several opportunities for economic development and job creation that can be accelerated. Our agriculture industry is stalled, primary as a result of the lack of competitive shipping costs. We could produce a wide range of agricultural products if the cost of importing equipment and supplies, as well as the cost of exporting our products were reduced.

Hawaii also has a unique opportunity to develop alternative energy technologies. This is an area of intense interest with the Department of Defense and could lead to research and development partnerships that could provide a focus for the University of Hawaii and the potential rise of a viable knowledge industry for Hawaii. Specifically I would push for:

a. Tax reform – our system of taxation is unfair and overly complex. We should replace the burdensome personal income tax (of which 50% of our citizens ignore) with a flat tax system, or even a national sales tax on consumption. The incentive to start and maintain small business is strangled by overtaxation, especially here in Hawaii, when local taxes are added to the burden.

b. De-regulation – the second factor stifling growth of the economy is federal over-regulation. Excessive government interference is the direct result of top-heavy government bureaucracies regulating business activities with little oversight. Especially in Hawaii, the abusive Federal procurement system has made it difficult for small businesses to compete. This occurs at the federal and local level, and often poses conflicting and redundant “authorities.” Government should be helping to remove obstacles for businesses in order to succeed, not by creating new ones.

c. Energy Independence – Another of the barriers to economic growth is the artificial dependence on imported oil. American oil resources are abundant, but access and recovery have been prevented by a variety of political and regulatory roadblocks. This has forced a “dependency” on foreign suppliers who can manipulate the American economy by adjusting the cost of oil. This dependency has also led us into many foreign wars in order to protect our vital supply lines for this commodity. Allowing the American oil industries to access our own resources would stimulate the economy, reduce energy costs, detach us from foreign manipulation and create thousand of jobs within the oil industry itself.

My overriding responsibility as Hawaii’s representative to the U.S. Senate would be to help make these things happen. ↩ back to top

4. Sen. Dan Inouye has brought countless dollars to the state over his long career, not only for defense projects but to help with energy, agriculture, education, security and Native Hawaiian issues. Should you be elected to the Senate, Inouye could leave office during your time in office. How would you work to continue funding important projects in the islands, especially as a junior senator in a body that values seniority?

I would strive to continue to expand upon and assist our Senior Senator’s ability to develop DOD research and development activities here in Hawaii. My military background and established relationships with the Pacific military command structure would position me well to help Senator Inouye’s good work in this area.

The expansion of joint military and private sector duel use projects, especially those related to alternative energy, renewable fuels and energy conservation strategies could prove extremely helpful in developing a full-fledged knowledge industry in Hawaii. ↩ back to top

5. The Akaka Bill on federal recognition for Native Hawaiians has consistently stalled in the U.S. Senate because of GOP opposition. Do you support federal recognition, and if so, how would you go about securing it?

However well intended, the Akaka Bill seeks to reinstate the concept of division by race that our constitution and decades of the civil rights movement have sought to erase. By drawing false parallels to Native Americans the bill distorts the true and unique history of Hawaii’s people. Further, the tactical expediency of attaching this bill to an expenditure bill so as to avoid open and honest debate would have honored neither Hawaiians nor other citizens of this state and country.

The Bill seeks RECOGNITION OF NATIVE HAWAIIANS. Given the history of Hawaii, to suggest that Hawaiians need recognition is absurd. It is ironic, indeed, that these Senators are seeking something that the “Native Hawaiians” achieved as early as 1840 when the first Constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom was issued by King Kamehameha the Third. It clearly declares: “God hath made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on the earth in unity and blessedness.”

Note: John Carroll believes that all Hawaiians who qualify for homestead lands should be awarded those properties in fee. The system of term leases “administrated” by a governmental bureaucracy is inefficient, prone to fraud and ultimately unfair to individual Hawaiians. Ruby Johnson advises Mr. Carroll on Hawaiian cultural and legal matters. ↩ back to top

6. Regardless of how the U.S. Supreme Court rules on President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, what would your goals be in terms of health care policy as a senator? Would you support universal health care?

The recent Supreme Court ruling on the legality of Obamacare opens the door to more administrative taxes on our citizens. Justice Roberts rightly points out the conflict of Obamacare and the commerce clauses of the U.S. Constitution, He then, inexplicably, allows it to go through anyway.

The socialization of healthcare has a certain popular appeal to those who haven’t thought through the costs and ramifications for personal freedom that this system will create.
The State of Hawaii has an effective system of medical coverage that could serve as a model for the rest of the country. The federal government has no solutions, or ability to administrate a universal healthcare program that could be handled more efficiently at the state level. Healthcare is a state not federal concern.

I will fight to repeal Obamacare as a U.S. Senator. I will also fight to re-establish the constitutionally mandated boundaries of the executive branch of the government. ↩ back to top

7. The filibuster has been used by both parties to block legislation. Do you support this controversial parliamentary maneuver? Why or why not?

The appropriateness of the filibuster, like many components and processes within the federal government tends be subject to the cycles of power. When one party dominates they tend to want to further constrain the influence of the minority party, and when things change, tend to alter their positions. For this reason I believe it is dangerous to meddle with the established processes within our legislative branch in response to self-serving, short term attempts to gain political leverage. ↩ back to top

8. Global warming is real, and rising sea levels will certainly impact Hawaii. What steps would you take as a U.S. senator to mitigate the effects of global warming?

Global warming is far from settled science. While climate change is both real and inevitable, regardless of human activity, the concept of global warming has been resoundingly debunked. I reject the notion that immediate governmental policy is appropriate, especially in support of conspiracies to limit oil exploration or production within the United States. The idea of a “carbon” economy to redistribute wealth is nothing less than an attack on the American economy by globalists. The idea of rising sea levels may be true, but on a level of an inch or two over centuries, not next year. This is alarmist nonsense designed to scare people into counterproductive political entanglements. It is more cost-efficient to deal with slowly evolving climate conditions, if and when they actually occur, than to presume to be able to alter the planet by political policy. ↩ back to top

9. 1. The Citizens United decision has resulted in nearly unlimited amounts of money being spent on behalf of many candidates. Massachusetts candidates Scott Brown and Eilzabeth Warren have pledged to reject super-PAC money in their Senate contest. Would you be willing to do that in your race — why or why not?

My opponent in the Republican primary has accepted the majority of her campaign contributions from mainland PAC’S. I have accepted no money from any PAC’s. My contributions have come from individuals. I believe that one of the greatest threats to democratic representative government is that elected officials are only marginally responsible to their constituents, but pledged to serve the special interests to whom they are beholding for funding their campaigns. ↩ back to top

10. What is an issue you think is important to address as a U.S. Senate candidate — one that perhaps has not been given sufficient attention during the campaign?

Hawaii’s economy has been hamstrung by the old 1920’s era Jones Act. This archaic law was established to protect America’s shipping industry in the ’30’s and ’40’s. Now it only serves to protect the shipping monopolies that cost Hawaii residents an extra 25-30% on everything brought to Hawaii. Hawaii needs to be freed from unfair addition to our cost of living, and allowed to engage in real free trade like ports such as Singapore or Hong Kong. Getting Hawaii an exemption from the Jones Act would stimulate Hawaii’s economy as well as ease our exorbitant cost of living.

In addition to the elimination of the Jones Act. I would be a champion for your constitutional rights. While some candidates talk about “bi-partisan compromise,” I think, some things, like the sanctity of our constitution are worth fighting for. Unlike the other candidates, I am adamantly pro-life. I will vote consistently to protect the constitutional “right to life” of all unborn children. ↩ back to top