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 Anthony Tony Austin, one of three Democratic candidate for the 2nd Congressional District, which covers rural Oahu and the neighbor islands. There are two other Democratic candidates, Tulsi Gabbard and Sherry Alu Campagna.
District council representative and delegate, Oahu Democratic Party of HawaiI; former chief financial officer for Environmental Caucus, member, steering committee for Veterans Caucus and Affirmative Action Committee, Democratic Party of HawaiI; former member, Kahaluu Neighborhood Board.
1. What would be your first priority if elected? How would that change if your party is in the majority? The minority?
My first priority would be universal health care for all.
2. Who would you support for Speaker of the House?
I would support Nancy Pelosi for Speaker Of the House.
3. Under what circumstances should America go to war?
I believe that only in the event that our national security was threatened to a degree that would cause detrimental actions against America, then and only then should America go to war.
4. Should Facebook be regulated by the federal government? How?
I currently don’t see a need for Facebook to be regulated by the federal government.
5. What should the United States do to control carbon emissions and slow climate change?
The United States Of America should reduce our carbon footprint by investing more in clean energy technologies.
6. Is it time to reform Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid? How?
I think that reforming Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid can be achieved by reducing some of the overhead cost.
7. Congress has struggled in recent years to reach agreement on budget deficits, the national debt and spending in general. What would be your approach to fiscal matters?
Don’t drink champagne on a beer budget! In other words, what we spend should be less than or at least equal to the amount of money we bring in.
8. Whatever happens in the midterm elections, Congress will remain deeply divided. What specifically would you do to help bridge the partisan divide in Washington?
Listen to both sides of the aisle on the issues to come up with the best possible solution.
9. What should be done to reform U.S. immigration policies, if anything?
That’s a difficult one to address. I think a path to citizenship is an option.
10. 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?
I think that strategically it’s important to have the U.S. military in the islands. It’s great for national security and for the economy.
11. What specific reforms, if any, would you seek in gun control policies?
Ban on the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
12. What other important issue would you like to discuss here?
Efforts to extend benefits to our soldiers who have suffered PTSD.
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