Editor’s Note: In July 2012, Civil Beat sent six questions to each of the candidates registered to run in the Aug. 11 primary for Hawaii State Senate District 7. Two out of three candidates responded, including Kanohowailuku Helm. The questions and answers are reproduced below in full. Read the response by his competitor, Barbara Haliniak. Kalani English did not send in his questionnaire. Click on each topic listed below to read Civil Beat’s question and Helm’s response.

Preferred Candidate Name: Kanohowailuku Helm

Senate/House District Number: Senate District 7

Date of Birth: 09/08/1980

Place of Birth/Hometown: Molokai

Current Profession/Employer: Homestead Farmer/Musician

Education/Alma Mater(s): Ongoing

1. With the exception for Honolulu rail, the state has not raised the general excise tax in decades. Would you consider increasing the GET to help the state meet its budget demands?

No. The state first needs to learn to be a better shopper. ↩ back to top

2. Lawmakers proposed relaxing environmental regulatory review to spur development and job growth in the 2012 session, and the issue is expected to resurface next year. Where do you stand?

All new and large projects need full regulatory review. Small repairs and retrofits may be ok with different standards. ↩ back to top

3. Gambling — are you for it or against it? If not, why not? If so, what type of gambling and with what kind of restrictions?

It would be interesting to know what types of gambling are being proposed, and what the real costs and benefits from such activity might be. ↩ back to top

4. The Sunshine Law is a hallmark of an open democracy accountable to its citizens. Yet, the Legislature exempts itself from this requirement. Do you support more transparency in government operations, or are there legitimate reasons to conduct some of the people’s business behind closed doors?

Yes, I support maximum legal transparency, including the legislature itself. Leaders have to practice what we preach. ↩ back to top

5. What is the best legislation — and worst legislation — that the Legislature has approved in recent years? Please explain.

The worst legislation of the past session was SB2785, the undersea cable bill, which guarantees profits to energy developers at the expense of Hawaii ratepayers. One of the best is the sunshine law, which should be strengthened. ↩ back to top

6. What is an issue that you would champion at the Legislature — one that perhaps has not received much attention, or an issue that is important to your district?

Number one is legislation allowing Molokai and Lanai to opt out of the sea cable project altogether. Number two is legislation to strengthen democracy, including a more open primary process and much better access to government in remote, rural areas. ↩ back to top