Civil Beat asked the Democratic and Republican candidates in the 1st Congressional District race to write an article in response to this question: “If you could change three federal laws, which would you choose and why?”

Their answers tell voters a lot about the candidates.

Here’s a quick summary:


  • We need a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. A balanced budget amendment would require the federal government to live within its means by directing Congress to spend only what the Treasury takes in as revenue.
  • We need to reform the earmarking process. Earmarks need to be proposed, debated and considered in an open forum.
  • Congress needs to reform the legislative process. To provide transparency and greater opportunity for comment on legislation, the Speaker of the House should not schedule a vote without giving Representatives at least 72 hours to review and evaluate each bill.


  • We need to repeal the current version of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) in order to offer our nation’s children a better chance at success. We need balanced, effective and fully funded educational standards to help us meet our commitment to the next generation of Americans
  • We need to repeal the current Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, which blocks openly gay Americans from serving in our nation’s military. Doing so will bring to our nation the kind of mutual respect and tolerance of diversity that we value in Hawaii.
  • We need to reform our campaign spending laws to ensure that Americans maintain their access to their government.

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