Ed Case

He backed gay marriage when it was politically risky 

In Amy Agbayani’s Community Voice, she endorses Donna Kim’s campaign for U.S. representative for Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District (“Campaign Corner: Donna Kim Is The Choice For Women,” July 25).

Ms. Agbayani has been a long-term advocate for LGBT rights so it is surprising that she would ignore Donna Kim’s consistent opposition to LGBT equality. Most recently, as a state senator, Donna Kim voted against marriage equality when it was up for a vote before the state Senate in 2013.  

Ms. Agbayani also ignores Ed Case’s consistent record of long-term support for the LGBT community going back to a time when it wasn’t politically fashionable or safe. As a state representative in the 1990s, Case was one of a handful of legislators who stood with us and opposed the 1998 constitutional amendment that nullified the state court’s rulings in favor of marriage equality.

In fact, when the constitutional amendment was still a bill before the state House, Mr. Case opposed it and voted against sending it to the voters for ratification in 1998. Over 90 percent of the state legislators voted against us but Ed Case stood firm in his support.

— Alan R. Spector, Kaneohe

Editor’s note: Alan R. Spector was the co-founder and co-chair of Equality Hawaii, which was the state’s largest LGBT Advocacy organization before it ceased operations in 2017.

Rental Tax Credit

Veto was the right move, but …

I agree with Mayor Caldwell’s decision to veto the property tax break for military home buyers, partly for the reason he states, that it is unfair to other public safety officers (“Caldwell Vetoes Military Property Tax Break,” July 26). But mostly because our state’s No. 1 housing problem is a lack of affordability for local residents period.

A better application of any type of housing tax break would be to address our broader housing problem: making it affordable for local residents.

One of the most inequitable tax deductions has been the mortgage interest deduction that favors homeowners over renters. Homeowners receive generous mortgage interest and property tax deductions while building equity at the same time. Renters receive none of those benefits.

A state tax credit on rents would provide some help for struggling local families to make ends meet and maybe even make a down payment on a home.

— Mark Doo, Honolulu

Elections 2018

Trump needs all GOP support

Send a message to all of those Republicans running for Congress or governor: If you are not for President Trump you can kiss my vote goodbye (“Hawaii Elections Guide 2018,” June 7). I don’t want to send someone to Congress who will be like the Democrats.

President Trump is doing beyond what we expected and he needs all of the support of the Republican Party. And if any one from Hawaii who claims to be Republican but is like those “no Trumpers” in Congress. I will not add to that list. Aloha.

— Richard Rabe, Waipahu

The risky business of changing your mind politically

Neil Groupthink is not a new discovery. The Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget (1896-1980) considered the education psychologist worked with educators in the school system. He emphasized critical thinking skills and said it was imperative for our students to be in an environment where they could learn by doing and learn from their mistakes to develop critical cognitive skills. Being able to think for themselves.

With this approach to education, students develop positive self-esteem, the resiliency to bounce back from criticism and trust their own judgment. Then, of course, Benjamin Franklin said the Public Library needs to always be free, it is the best defense against tyranny.

Politically I am an independent for this exact reason. I choose not to be stereotyped; I’d much rather start a conversation to find out what someone else’s values are, and they do not always line up with their party.

— Deborah Coleman, Kula

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