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

It appears that the Obama administration likes to make ‘planned leaks’ of policies of aggression. I support a policy that would lead to peace long term, and not just for the few months or year before ‘planned retaliations’ can take place against us. Obtaining ‘brownie points’ for leaks to the press only endangers U.S. service members’ lives, and those who help us. ↩ 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 ‘he said,’ ‘she said,’ environment has not been doing very well. There are ways to cut spending that will not endanger us later on in security. Hurting our military is not the way to go. I support looking at ways to empower U.S. citizens- giving them greater voice and options, enabling decreased dependence on federal dollars, while keeping promises made. ↩ 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?

First, I would find a way to advertise with Aloha, literally, where I would go. This would be in terms of attire, mood, and welcome. An individual is a walking advertisement. I would follow the example of ‘The Duke’ and encourage spending towards, investment in, and visits to Hawaii. This would be coupled with thriving for homegrown business growth for future. ↩ 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 have received defense dollars in my own business as a sub-contractor, and know the importance and value of the types of relationships required to maintain Hawaii’s importance in this sphere of the world. There needs to be a new voice with insights into this region, such as the very current sensitive Senkaku/Diaoyutai dispute between China and Japan. I seek to educate. ↩ 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?

There is a valid path to address concerns on both sides, and come up with a valid way forward. That is/would be a job. The way forward is not to ‘ignore’ any, whether those to whom this is the ancestral spiritual home, and those who feel ‘left out forever’ generationally in treatment. Both sides have concerns; the way forward is through dialogue, true concern & peace. ↩ 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?

There is a problem with a mandate that forces churches, hospitals, schools, universities, non-profits, to provide insurance that provide pills that cause abortion, if that is against their religion. The First Amendment was forgotten. As a U.S. Senator, the first responsibility is to ensure that no one’s rights as United States Citizens are trampled on and/or bullied away. ↩ 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?

Filibusters are U.S. history & lore. Watch “Mr. Smith goes to Washington.” ↩ 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?

Research first. I have seen how data can be manipulated, whether in a single study or across studies. There must be research that is not ‘agenda-driven.’ That only makes us all sheep to charts and graphs. We need to know actualities. At times, a study will be very simple and revealing. We need to hone in on data which reveals the actualities we need to deal with. ↩ back to top

9. 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 race is quite simple. A visit to my web page will reveal how simple. ↩ 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?

H.R. 1681, “Every Child Deserves a Family Act,” is a bill that has the support of over 100 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, including a current U.S. Senate Candidate for Hawaii. This bill would close all Catholic Charities adoption and Foster Care across the United States of America. This is a most egregious affront to religious freedom and charity. ↩ back to top