Editor’s note:For Hawaii’s Aug. 11 primary, Civil Beat asked candidates to answer some questions.
The following came from Wendell Ka’ehu’ae’a, a Democratic candidate for governor. There are five other Democratic candidates, including Ernest Caravalho, Colleen Hanabusa, David Ige, Richard Kim and Van Tanabe.
OccupationRetired from radio, television and farming
Community organizations/prior offices held
Co-chair Hilo Veterans Day Parade.
1. Homelessness continues to be a major problem in Hawaii. What specific proposals do you have to help reduce homelessness?
Have nonprofit organizations on each island be funded by the state because these group work 24/7 directly with our homeless ohana. Help young families afford homes/apartments.
2. What should be done to increase affordable housing, especially for the middle class? What could you as governor do specifically?
On the average affordable means $250 to $325. And make it easier on the credit background check. Use developers, who will work with the state. Build fewer million-dollar homes that are out of reach for our ohana.
3. Do you support or oppose holding a state constitutional convention? Why or why not?
At this point, make corrections to our state system now, before we create another delay in our “No growth Hawai’i.
4. Do you support or oppose allowing citizens to put issues directly on the statewide ballot through an initiative process? Why or why not?
Yes! The present state government and elected career politicians are the cause of “no action.” Our residents and ohana have zero benefit because of the “Don’t Rock the Boat” mentality.
5. Are you satisfied with the current plans to pay for the state’s unfunded liabilities? If not, how would you propose to meet pension and health obligations for public workers?
If the public worker in government can’t make a living on the present benefits, we who work outside the umbrella are doing with less.
6. Hawaii’s public records law requires that records be made available whenever possible. Yet state agencies often resist release through delays and imposing excessive fees. What would you do to ensure the public has access to government records?
Hawai’i public records will be open as the state’s new governor.
7. Illegal vacation rentals have proliferated throughout Hawaii. The state is not collecting tax revenue on many of these properties and residents worry about overcrowded neighborhoods and other problems. Do you see this as a problem given Hawaii’s booming visitor industry, and what do you propose to do about it?
Commercial vacation rentals will be closed down if state income taxes are not paid. Enforcement and zoning is the key.
8. Is Hawaii managing its tourism industry properly? What should be handled differently?
The Hawai’i tourism industry is Oahu-thinking. As governor, each island will take its own visitors industry.
9. Do you support amending the state Constitution to allow taxing investment properties to fund the public education system? How would you implement it if it passes?
No. As governor, I would propose a state lottery to directly support our educational system, state roads and airports.
10. Would you support using liquefied natural gas to generate electricity as the state transitions to renewable resources to supply power?
More information is needed. Safety is important. All this talk of renewable resources is a joke. The residents and ohana will never see any reduction in their monthly electric bills.
11. What should Hawaii be doing to prepare for the effects of climate change, including sea level rise and threats to coral reefs?
The news of “Tutu Pele,” is an event not control by government. Only the coral reefs, drift nets and opala can be control by the people.
12. What other important issue would you like to discuss here?
We all can stop the career politicians by voting for Wendell for governor.
Stay Up To Date On The Coronavirus And Other Hawaii Issues
Before you go . . .
During this unique election season, we appreciate that you and others like you have relied on Civil Beat for accurate, objective coverage of the candidates and their races.
Covering the pandemic has taken a lot of our collective energy. But through it all, our small team of reporters made sure you didn’t forget about electoral politics. Because we know that elections not only test society’s participation in our democracy, but journalism’s commitment to safeguarding it.
If you’ve relied on our election coverage this season, please consider making a tax-deductible gift to support our newsroom.