Editor’s note: For Hawaii’s Nov. 8 general election, Civil Beat asked candidates to answer some questions.
The following came from Michael Last, Libertarian candidate for the state House, District 5, which includes Naalehu, Ocean View, Captain Cook and Kailua-Kona. There is one other candidate, Democrat Richard Creagan.
Name: Michael L. Last
Office seeking: State House, District Five
Occupation: Retired consulting electrical engineer
Community organizations/prior offices held: Board member, community association
Age as of Aug. 13, 2016: 69 years
Place of residence: Ocean View, Hawaii County
1. This year has seen an outsized influence from people who want big changes in how government is run. What would you do to change how the Legislature is run?
Remove all laws that inhibit what an adult can do with their own person or property (provided it doesn’t infringe on the person or property of a non-consenting other adult).
2. Hawaii is the only Western state without a statewide citizen’s initiative process. Do you support such a process?
Yes. The public should have the right to initiate change.
3. Hawaii has long been dominated by the Democratic Party establishment. Should this change, and if so, how?
Absolutely. Offer term limits for all elected officers. For more than 40 years this state has been dominated by one political party.
4. What specific steps would you take to strengthen Hawaii’s lax lobbying, ethics and financial disclosure laws?
There is no need to strength the existing laws, just make them fully compliant by all candidates.
5. Would you support eliminating Hawaii’s high fees for access to public records when the request is in the public interest?
Yes. All such fees, whether in the public interest or not, need to be reduced.
6. Voters complain their elected officials don’t listen to them. What would you do to improve communication?
Publish all elected officials’ home addresses and telephone numbers. No more hiding behind secrecy due to the possibility of a presumed threat. If a candidate is worried about a threat, they should not run for public office.
7. What do you see as the most pressing issue facing your district? What will you do about it?
Give the voters a true choice, not more of the same political talk. My current opponent was first appointed by the former governor, a governor that was subsequently voted out of office.
8. There is a desire to grow the economy through new development, yet also a need to protect our limited environmental resources. How would you balance these competing interests?
Government action to provide development should not be the overriding motivation. Business will survive on their own, without government intervention.
9. What should the Legislature do to improve police accountability?
Require all police officers, including corrections officers, to wear body cameras (or similar devices) to record their actions.
10. Hawaii is the fastest-aging state. What would you do to ensure we’re taking care of our kupuna?
The government should remove itself from regulating how people live. This should be left to the religious communities.
11. What would you do to improve Hawaii’s public education system?
Remove the requirement that ALL teachers in the public sector be forced to join a labor organization. There is no reason for such a requirement in the public sector. If a public school teacher does not show results, they should be fired.