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 Eddie Pirkowski. The questions and answers are reproduced below in full. Read responses by Ed Case, Mazie Hirono and Linda Lingle to see how Pirkowski’s positions compare to those of his main competitors. Click on each topic listed below to read Civil Beat’s question and Pirkowski’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?

The president has taken strong and decisive actions to protect the people of the world from terror cells.
As Americans we must all stand and support our president, the Special Forces, C4 and all our brave soldiers with the support of their families are risking their lives to bring the light of freedom to the world with honor.

In this war on terror, the only thing the enemy respects is strength, honor and quick decisive action with no fear. ”Cutting off the head of the snake” is effective. Yes, lethal force is warranted for high value terrorist targets to stop current, planned and/or future actions.

I was raised to respect all life and to use lethal force as only a last resort when life is threatened with imminent danger with no possiblility of negotiated surrender. Due process rights, following the Constitution and the rule of law, with the same rights for all the people of the world will regain Americas’ respect in the world. America is shining light of freedom and we must act.

The real question actually is will this policy action deter and/or stop the terrorists from their attacks. Killing terror cells and their leadership brings temporary wins and their setbacks, but may create martyrs for their causes.

The core real answer is war seldom brings real lasting peace. Peace is only achieved through respect, strength and honor with always the strongest respect for all life, family and the rule of law. This is the America I know.

A negotiated settlement is always the preferred solution to any conflict. There are over 537 conflicts in the world today, 8 are wars, the rest bring fear, hardships and death to many parts of the war, the us needs to be a beacon of light and stand strongly for world peace.reduce wars and conflicts by stopping hunger, protecting access to resources including water, power and home.

Unfortunately, in war collateral damage is a fact of life, there are no “precise weapons” as GA predator drones use hellfire missiles with 500 lb or more warheads. In this case the preference would be face-to-face police actions, bringing all the terrorist cells to justice that may or not be possible based on the location of the cell.

The nation must as a general policy follow the strict rule of law and not kill except as a last resort or as a defensive action, to prevent further loss of life, cutting off the C4 of the enemy coupled with asymmetric warfare is an effective strategy. Respect is gained only through swift decisive action with limited casualties.

The question of legality of entering other sovereign nations without approval is another matter. In general the U.S. policy for all such covert actions must be approval of the Congress and of the host nation before any action risking the lives of our great Special Forces with minimal collateral damage. A police action is the preferred solution always. In many ways the at-a-distance attacks take the humanity and respect out of our actions. In special circumstances exceptions are made to reduce the loss of life and to limit civilian and military casualties.

The words assassinate terrorist targets is telling, the values of America I was brought up with precludes this type of behavior and action. Assassination is not the American way with truth and justice, treat all as you want to be treated, with honor, integrity and respect for law and country. The rights of all must be respected with honor. In truth and honor with respect for all the people of Hawaii, the nation and the world. Vote for Eddie for U.S. Senator in Hawaii 2012 – a real leader with strong confident family values to bring new light and strength with honor to the Senate, the nation and the world. ↩ 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?

Reconsider the $1 trillion in cuts automatic year-end.

Make the Congress and the Senate work for America in a bipartisan manner. Stop gridlock and earmarks, create the line item veto, and stop executive signing statements. Bills sometimes have over 500+ earmarks attached.

Hands off Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, create new Social Security savings accounts at high returns in addition to Social Security. Let our seniors work.

No raising the age for Social Security ever. If you pay into Social Security you get your benefits period. No mandates, Social Security and the U.S. government departments need to be managed better with investments. At high returns for a secure and solvent SS fund for our seniors, our families and our children’s future.

Simpson and Erskine Bowles are both U.S. patriots with a great start on ideas for balancing the budget and eliminating the long term (41 trillion+ USD including war debt) and short-term (14 trillion +- USD) deficits from the president’s commission and bipartisan negotiations.

Specific policy decisions-jobs, jobs, jobs we need growth

1) Stop making studies and cut the debt and the debt interest payments now 40% of the U.S. budget and rising.
2) Balanced budget amendment for the Constitution
3) Stop earmarks, with a line item veto for the president, and cut unneccesary spending, duplication and waste. Eliminate and consolidate federal departments and follow the Constitution, keep at state level as a policy. The stronger the states and the people are, the stronger we are as a nation.
4) Make all U.S. cabinet departments carry their own weight, and stop relying solely on the U.S. taxpayer to fund government, R&D private and public partnerships for commercialization of technologies and revenue sharing to fund departments with a positive cash flow,
5) New industry focused R&D centers by industry for innovation. Fund by cutting the 358b USD+ foreign aid with an open eye for effects on hunger, families and poverty
6) Re-automate the U.S. manufacturing and utilities industries, build centers in Hawaii and the nation for 27 industries with cooperative agreements and mous for jobs.
7) Lead the world again in energy, cut energy costs for federal, state and military with algae based green fuels, as a national security issue and energy independence.

Update: National debt is now $15.8 Trillion USD and Total debt is $110 Trillion USD http://www.usdebtclock.org/ (up from 11.5 Trilion and 41 Trillion last election cycle) ↩ 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?

Cut the interest on the debt now 40% of U.S. revenues by increasing the credit rating for Hawaii and the nation.

Create a 13% flat tax and eliminate all other tax burdens including zero alternative minimum tax, zero business taxes, zero capital gains taxes and zero estate taxes.

Make Hawaii the most business friendly state in the nation. Bring new business headquarters to Hawaii with new zero business tax policy, replace revenues with growth and jobs for all the people of Hawaii and the nation.

Make Hawaii a zero tax state, zero business taxes, zero short term and zero long term capital gains taxes, zero estate taxes and cut or eliminate other taxes to increase growth and revenue and make required cuts in spending, not just cuts in the increases in spending.

Make Hawaii and America lead the world again with trust. ↩ 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?

With respect both Senator Akaka and Senator Inouye and their families are to be respected and honored for all their accomplishments and a life of service for Hawaii and the nation.

It will be my honor to lead Hawaii and the nation in the U.S Senate, as the new U.S senator for the great state of Hawaii, I will pledge my life to the service of all the great families of Hawaii and bring the nation again to respect, trust and leadership in the world again as a shining light for freedom with honor and integrity.

The era of earmarks and excessive spending is over in Congress and the Senate, the opportunity to continue to fund existing projects with continuity will be based on the projects merit and its ability to create lifetime jobs for all the people of Hawaii and their families.

My strength as a leader derives from my straight forward approach and getting the job done for Hawaii in the Senate by working in a bipartisan manner with the President and the senators to create jobs, balance the budget and eliminate the long and short term budget deficit to create a surplus for a U.S. trust for America.

Trust and integrity allows me to gain the respect of Senate leaders quickly and to serve on the best committees to support the needs of all of the people of Hawaii and to serve as an example to the nation of leadership.

My approach is to create a new exchanges in Hawaii modeled on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) to create new jobs and the environment to fund new and existing Hawaii projects and to bring the best trading, risk management, asset management and wealth management firms to Hawaii as a new financial services industry.

The goal is to create jobs, jobs, jobs for all the people of the great state of Hawaii and to create innovation. ↩ 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?

Follow the Constitution for Native Hawaiians and all the great people of Hawaii and the nation, we are all created equal. Treat all the people of Hawaii with honor.

Support a dual passport system for Hawaiians with the same rights as the American Indian and Alaskan Inuit sovereign nations with international recognition.

The Akaka bill as written is not going to pass period. ↩ 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?

Keep the no pre-existing condition part of the law, create new state level affordable Hawaii health plans for seniors, families and children focusing on wellness, health and longevity and reducing malpractice insurance costs.

Hawaii and the nation still have the best heath care in the world. Follow the Constitution and states laws and choices for the best doctors and healthcare in the nation for a healthy long life for all the great people of Hawaii.

Taxes that took effect in 2010:

  1. Excise Tax on Charitable Hospitals (Min$/immediate): $50,000 per hospital if they fail to meet new “community health assessment needs,” “financial assistance,” and “billing and collection” rules set by HHS. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,961-1,971

  2. Codification of the “economic substance doctrine” (Tax hike of $4.5 billion). This provision allows the IRS to disallow completely-legal tax deductions and other legal tax-minimizing plans just because the IRS deems that the action lacks “substance” and is merely intended to reduce taxes owed. Bill: Reconciliation Act; Page: 108-113

  3. “Black liquor” tax hike (Tax hike of $23.6 billion). This is a tax increase on a type of bio-fuel. Bill: Reconciliation Act; Page: 105

  4. Tax on Innovator Drug Companies ($22.2 bil/Jan 2010): $2.3 billion annual tax on the industry imposed relative to share of sales made that year. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,971-1,980

  5. Blue Cross/Blue Shield Tax Hike ($0.4 bil/Jan 2010): The special tax deduction in current law for Blue Cross/Blue Shield companies would only be allowed if 85 percent or more of premium revenues are spent on clinical services. Bill: PPACA; Page: 2,004

  6. Tax on Indoor Tanning Services ($2.7 billion/July 1, 2010): New 10 percent excise tax on Americans using indoor tanning salons. Bill: PPACA; Page: 2,397-2,399

Taxes that took effect in 2011:

  1. Medicine Cabinet Tax ($5 bil/Jan 2011): Americans no longer able to use health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or health reimbursement (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase non-prescription, over-the-counter medicines (except insulin). Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,957-1,959

  2. HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike ($1.4 bil/Jan 2011): Increases additional tax on non-medical early withdrawals from an HSA from 10 to 20 percent, disadvantaging them relative to IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10 percent. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,959

Tax that took effect in 2012:

  1. Employer Reporting of Insurance on W-2 (Min$/Jan 2012): Preamble to taxing health benefits on individual tax returns. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,957

Taxes that take effect in 2013:

  1. Surtax on Investment Income ($123 billion/Jan. 2013): Creation of a new, 3.8 percent surtax on investment income earned in households making at least $250,000 ($200,000 single). This would result in the following top tax rates on investment income: Bill: Reconciliation Act; Page: 87-93

Capital Gains











*Other unearned income includes (for surtax purposes) gross income from interest, annuities, royalties, net rents, and passive income in partnerships and Subchapter-S corporations. It does not include municipal bond interest or life insurance proceeds, since those do not add to gross income. It does not include active trade or business income, fair market value sales of ownership in pass-through entities, or distributions from retirement plans. The 3.8% surtax does not apply to non-resident aliens.

  1. Hike in Medicare Payroll Tax ($86.8 bil/Jan 2013): Current law and changes:

First $200,000
($250,000 Married)

All Remaining Wages

Current Law

2.9% self-employed

2.9% self-employed

Obamacare Tax Hike

2.9% self-employed

3.8% self-employed

Bill: PPACA, Reconciliation Act; Page: 2000-2003; 87-93

  1. Tax on Medical Device Manufacturers ($20 bil/Jan 2013): Medical device manufacturers employ 360,000 people in 6000 plants across the country. This law imposes a new 2.3% excise tax. Exempts items retailing for <$100. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,980-1,986

  2. Raise “Haircut” for Medical Itemized Deduction from 7.5% to 10% of AGI ($15.2 bil/Jan 2013): Currently, those facing high medical expenses are allowed a deduction for medical expenses to the extent that those expenses exceed 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI). The new provision imposes a threshold of 10 percent of AGI. Waived for 65+ taxpayers in 2013-2016 only. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,994-1,995

  3. Flexible Spending Account Cap – aka “Special Needs Kids Tax” ($13 bil/Jan 2013): Imposes cap on FSAs of $2500 (now unlimited). Indexed to inflation after 2013. There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children. There are thousands of families with special needs children in the United States, and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education. Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education. Bill: PPACA; Page: 2,388-2,389

  4. Elimination of tax deduction for employer-provided retirement Rx drug coverage in coordination with Medicare Part D ($4.5 bil/Jan 2013) Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,994

  5. $500,000 Annual Executive Compensation Limit for Health Insurance Executives ($0.6 bil/Jan 2013). Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,995-2,000

Taxes that take effect in 2014:

  1. Individual Mandate Excise Tax (Jan 2014): Starting in 2014, anyone not buying “qualifying” health insurance must pay an income surtax according to the higher of the following

1 Adult

2 Adults

3+ Adults


1% AGI/$95

1% AGI/$190

1% AGI/$285


2% AGI/$325

2% AGI/$650

2% AGI/$975

2016 +

2.5% AGI/$695

2.5% AGI/$1390

2.5% AGI/$2085

Exemptions for religious objectors, undocumented immigrants, prisoners, those earning less than the poverty line, members of Indian tribes, and hardship cases (determined by HHS). Bill: PPACA; Page: 317-337

  1. Employer Mandate Tax (Jan 2014): If an employer does not offer health coverage, and at least one employee qualifies for a health tax credit, the employer must pay an additional non-deductible tax of $2000 for all full-time employees. Applies to all employers with 50 or more employees. If any employee actually receives coverage through the exchange, the penalty on the employer for that employee rises to $3000. If the employer requires a waiting period to enroll in coverage of 30-60 days, there is a $400 tax per employee ($600 if the period is 60 days or longer). Bill: PPACA; Page: 345-346

Combined score of individual and employer mandate tax penalty: $65 billion/10 years

  1. Tax on Health Insurers ($60.1 bil/Jan 2014): Annual tax on the industry imposed relative to health insurance premiums collected that year. Phases in gradually until 2018. Fully-imposed on firms with $50 million in profits. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,986-1,993

Taxes that take effect in 2018:

  1. Excise Tax on Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans ($32 bil/Jan 2018): Starting in 2018, new 40 percent excise tax on “Cadillac” health insurance plans ($10,200 single/$27,500 family). Higher threshold ($11,500 single/$29,450 family) for early retirees and high-risk professions. CPI +1 percentage point indexed. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,941-1,956 ↩ 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?

Keep the same, the filibuster is a strong tool guaranteeing the rights of free speech on the floors of the Congress, the House and the Senate and works to ensure the rights of all the members, and the people.
Make congressional committees work to bring bills to the floor more effectively and vote on them efficiently. It takes way too long to get bills passed in both the House and the Senate due to holdups in committees. ↩ 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?

Cut oil use 40% in Hawaii for creating electricity, use clean natural gas and hydrogen for energy production and upgrade the infrastructure for high tech manufacturing and new automated manufacturing technology.
Use advanced water flow conversion technology to convert to clean flow of ocean to energy substations on the islands,
Clean algae fuels to cut emissions for Hawaii transportation buses and all Hawaii based military air and sea use.
Re-green all of Hawaii, protect our jungles and oceans.
Ocean levels will rise in the next 20 years, plan communities with an eye on the ocean level and impacts on existing structures on all the low level areas of Hawaii.

Structure new emergency response to stronger hurricanes and tsunamis based on the warmer oceans.
Protect the aina of Hawaii for all the generations to come. Create new desalination plants for clean water.
Re-green Hawaii to bring back the rain and to ensure clean water supply for all the islands of Hawaii. ↩ 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 Elizabeth 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?

As a U.S. Senate Hawaii candidate in 2010 and 2006 for Hawaii, I accepted zero funds from anyone for my U.S. Senate run.
With my opponents raising millions it is time for action.
In 2012, my goal is to raise more then anyone in this race, and the right PACs consistent with my values and the values of the people of Hawaii are needed at this time.
Make Hawaii a zero tax state now and lead the nation! ↩ 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?

Experienced leader and businessman for Hawaii: U.S. Senator to balance the budget and eliminate the deficit all the parties of Hawaii vote for Eddie U.S. Senator Hawaii 2012 for new leadership in Hawaii and the U.S. Senate today.

1) Jobs: creating jobs, jobs, jobs for all the people of Hawaii bringing and creating new businesses in Hawaii

2) Zero taxes: cutting or eliminating Hawaii taxes zero tax state, zero business taxes, zero capital gains tax, and zero estate tax

3) Early education: focus on early childhood education through new PhD programs, new education benefits, new teaching R&D centers make Hawaii the nations leader in education

4) New technology R&D centers by industry: bring new green industries to Hawaii expand from 4 industries to 27, create new leaders of today and tomorrow

5) Wars: stop the wars and bring our families together with victory – all the girls, mothers, and the grandmothers need to stand up and stop the killing of our children in wars around the world!

6) Re-green: re-greening of all the Hawaiian islands, replanting forests, restocking oceans and waterways with fish to bring back the rain and protect the aina of hawaii, bring back family farms and gardens

7) Energy: new flow conversion technologies for clean limitless energy on ocean floor between islands and new desalination plants for clean water for all islands

8) Defense: high tech defense for Hawaii in all military and non- military police, firefighters and emergency response.

9) Death penalty: strong deterrent yes, anti gang provisions, anti-corruption laws, 3 strikes, strong judges

10) Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid: protect benefits cut waste, duplication, cap malpractise lawsuits, cut malpractice insurance costs ↩ back to top