Editor’s note: For Hawaii’s Aug. 11 primary, Civil Beat asked candidates to answer some questions about where they stand on various issues and what their priorities will be if elected.
1. Homelessness continues to be a major problem in Hawaii. What specific proposals do you have to help reduce homelessness?
Enforce the laws that already exist. Prosecute criminal activity. Help those who want help. Aggressively encourage the use of shelters, which are rarely full.
2. What should be done to increase affordable housing, especially for the middle class? What could you as lieutenant governor do specially?
Streamline the process to build affordable housing. Too much bureaucracy and over-regulation exist presently. I would make building affordable housing a real priority, unlike the present government which just talks about it.
3. Do you support or oppose holding a state constitutional convention? Why or why not?
I support holding a state constitutional convention. It’s been 40 years since the last constitutional convention. We need to re-examine our state constitution and improve it.
4. Do you support or oppose allowing citizens to put issues directly on the statewide ballot through an initiative process? Why or why not?
I support initiative, referendum, and recall. I support democracy.
5. 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?
I support complete transparency in government. As lieutenant governor, I will publicly tell state agencies to stop resisting the release of public records. I will also tell state agencies to be helpful and place public records on the internet.
6. 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?
I support zoning laws. I support enforcing zoning laws. Illegal vacation rentals are illegal. Illegal activity should be stopped. Prosecutions and fines are appropriate.
7. Is Hawaii managing its tourism industry properly? What should be handled differently?
Law enforcement needs to be stronger everywhere and especially in areas where tourists congregate such as Waikiki. More competition would improve conditions for all. Hawaii state government should encourage more airlines to fly into and out of Hawaii, as well as fly interisland.
8. Do you support amending the state constitution to allow taxing investment properties to fund the public education system?
No, I do not. Property taxes should remain at the city and county level.
9. Would you support using liquefied natural gas to generate electricity as the state transitions to renewable resources to supply power?
10. What should Hawaii be doing to prepare for the effects of climate change, including sea level rise and threats to coral reefs?
As Americans, we believe in freedom and liberty. If people choose to live on beachfront property or close to active volcanoes, that is their choice. Government should not step in and provide insurance policies when private sector insurance companies refuse to issue insurance policies.
11. The office of lieutenant governor is often viewed as irrelevant. What would you do to make it more productive?
The office of lieutenant has been underutilized for years. As lieutenant governor, I will be a very proactive advocate for good public policies. I also see the lieutenant governor becoming an unofficial inspector general, which would be very different than the state auditor.
The lieutenant governor is part of the executive branch. The state auditor is part of the legislative branch. The lieutenant governor is elected by the people. The state auditor is selected by the majority of the Legislature.
The state auditor just writes reports, and can’t fine or sue anyone. The lieutenant governor could actually root out the waste and fraud in the state government bureaucracy.
As a Hawaii state constitutional officer, the lieutenant governor has the duty and authority to do much more than past lieutenant governors have done. It’s a matter of backbone and political will, and not just waiting around as a political understudy.
12. What other important issue would you like to discuss here.
I am running for lieutenant governor to improve our economy and create new private sector jobs by implementing good and sensible public policies.
I support tax cuts, and I oppose tax increases.
Businesses will invest, expand and create more jobs when their tax burden is low.
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