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.
The following came from Consuelo Anderson, a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate. There are seven other Republican candidates, including Robert Helsham, Michael Hodgkiss, Ron Curtis, Thomas White, George Berish, Rocky De la Fuente and Eddie Pirkowski.
1. What would be your first priority if elected?
One of my first priorities is to meet with people I personally know in Congress and introduce myself to one of the associate Supreme Court justices who’s a fellow alumni.
2. Under what circumstances should America go to war?
America is fighting wars now. Seven of them. We have troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Niger.
3. Should Facebook be regulated by the federal government? How?
The possibility of federal regulation of Facebook and other social media platforms has more to do with protecting users’ privacy and not censorship. Facebook failed to protect users’ privacy, which is the ethical thing to do, but instead Facebook exploited their users’ information for profits.
The Federal Communication Commission would have the responsibility to ensure that exploitation of consumers information does not happen again.
4. What should the United States do to control carbon emissions and slow climate change?
Whether one believes in climate change or not, the current world population is 7.6 billion as of July 2018, according to United Nations estimations. The United States has a population of 323 million people. China has 1.4 billion people, India 1.3 billion. Our population is very small in comparison to the rest of the world. The only way the United States could possibly make a difference is for every nation to participate in controlling carbon emissions.
5. Is it time to reform Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid? How?
Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid programs need to work more efficiently, especially Medicare and Medicaid.
The federal government needs to stop the practice of placing excess funds into a Social Security Trust Fund and be allowed to borrow from the fund with interest. The government needs to look elsewhere to pay for other expenses and keep the excess funds in Social Security.
Medicare/Medicaid needs to be integrated especially for people who are elderly and participate in both programs. Perhaps by combining Medicare/Medicaid programs they will be able to communicate with each other, work more efficiently, and save some money in the process.
Younger participants of Medicaid services should be required to provide a co-pay of $5 or $10 for their visits and it must be paid at the time of services rendered.
6. Congress has struggled in recent years to reach agreement on budget deficits, the national debt and spending in general. What should be your approach to fiscal matters?
Fiscal matters is a subject about who, what and how the government spends revenue from payroll taxes, corporate taxes, and individual taxes. Although it’s important that our country has a balanced budget, it’s vital for me to do my job in obtaining the funding needed to support our public schools, housing, medical, transportation and infrastructure. Hawaii’s needs come first.
7. Whatever happens in the midterm elections, Congress will remain deeply divided. What specifically would you do to help bridge the partisan divide in Washington?
As I mentioned earlier, I have personal relationships with congressional members on the other side of the aisle from other states. Relationships matter and I look forward to continuing that relationship when I’m in Washington, D.C.
8. What should be done to reform U.S. immigration policies, if anything?
Legal immigration is good for the United States because it makes us a better nation. But, illegal immigration places a burden on our schools, medical facilities, housing and other resources. Taxpayers spent approximately $134 billion a year to cover the cost of illegal aliens at federal, state, and local levels. I prefer that the money be used for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, job training programs, education, and/or lowering our national debt.
9. What is your view of the role of the U.S. military in the islands, and would you like to see that role increased or decreased?
Our military plays an essential role in the defense of our nation and it contributes $12.2 billion or 18.4 percent of Hawaii’s GDP. Tourism is about $14 billion and represents 21 percent of Hawaii’s GDP. As conflicts in the world continue, we will see an increase in our military in Hawaii and their contribution to our economy.
10. What specific reforms, if any, would you seek in gun control policies?
Current gun control policies in Hawaii and other states are already very restrictive.
I would like to see school-aged children that have been diagnosed with mental disorders under the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) be placed in a background check database to prevent them purchasing a gun once they reach the legal age of majority.
11. What other important issues would you like to discuss here?
Education is a priority. Hawaii needs new schools to support our students and teachers, especially in the economically disadvantaged areas. A study by Hawaii Institute for Public Affairs stated “at the current pace it would take 150 years to repair all schools.” That’s unacceptable.
Our students deserve better. We need to show our students we care about where and how they receive their education by providing a learning environment that is clean, air-conditioned, and environmentally safe.