Editor’s note: For Hawaii’s Aug. 8 Primary Election, 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 Nancy Olson, Republican candidate for U.S. House District 1, which includes urban Oahu. The other Republican candidates include Arturo Reyes, Taylor Smith, Ron Curtis and James Dickens.
1. The entire country, including Hawaii, has been deeply affected by the coronavirus pandemic. What should national leaders be prioritizing to help keep the outbreak under control and repair economic damage done by measures taken to respond to the outbreak? Reopen with common sense safety precautions. What role can you play as just one of 435 members of the U.S. House to help Hawaii?
With a year-round warm and fresh air environment, the risk is controllable. There have been relatively few fatalities here. Pedestrian deaths and violent crimes are much more out of control.
2. What would be your first priority if elected? Get a commonsense budget. Only spend on necessities, not frivolities like the arts which can be funded by philanthropists. How would that change if your party is in the majority? The minority?
Likely the Republican Party will be in the minority. However, being a moderate I would hope that there would be consideration to rationale and common sense.
3. Recent deaths of citizens at the hands of police are igniting protests and calls for reform across the country, primarily aimed at preventing discrimination against people of color. What should Congress do, if anything, to improve policing and police accountability?
Firstly, I do not believe that there is rampant discrimination. As in every profession there are a few bad apples. Justice and due process has been implemented.
Factually, there are more Black to Black homicides. One crime in 7 million is no reason to riot, loot and destroy property. It looks bad and it creates a further poor image for those who are hurting others.
4. Whatever happens in the general election, Congress and the country will likely remain deeply divided. What specifically would you do to help bridge the partisan divide in Washington?
It has never been an issue in my family, as far back as my great grandparents who were poor immigrants from Holland, Germany and Sweden. I would lead by example. I have had very close Black friends in my lifetime, regardless if others say that is contrite.
5. 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?
A presence here is necessary as a strategic stronghold of the Pacific. We do worry a little about North Korea.
6. 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?
More privatization. Less charitable spending — leave that to philanthropists. Reduce superfluous committees.
7. Under what circumstances should America go to war?
Extreme damage and loss of life as in the Twin Towers.
8. What should the United States do to control carbon emissions and slow climate change?
I would seek the expertise of scientific geologists. Definitely reduce the use of plastics, make them biodegradable and increase recycling incentives.
With the economy in its present state it is illogical to try to eliminate fossil fuels as shipping and travel are essential to Hawaii. The rate of air pollution has significantly been reduced in the last 40 years. This will take time and innovation.
9. Is it time to reform Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid?
There is no need for reform, except to stop borrowing from retirees’ savings.
How? I do not support the Affordable Care Act. Health care is something that has been earned by the American worker. No person is denied emergency care here. If I had all my Social Security and FICA taxes in my pocket, invested at a mere 4% the amount is staggering. How did the government get the right to control and redistribute my earnings?
10. What should be done to reform U. S. immigration policies, if anything?
Other countries require immigrants to come in with a skill, a profession, a contribution to their society. Requirement to learn the national language. Earn a living, earn benefits. We should do the same.
11. What specific reforms, if any, would you seek in gun control policies?
This is a right that will never be taken away. We have the right to hunt for survival, protect our families and property, and defend against revolution.
I strongly support safety training with courses and field training, a waiting period, and medical review. There should be continuity in laws across the republic.
12. The coronavirus pandemic has exposed numerous flaws in Hawaii’s structure and systems, from outdated technology to economic disparity. If you could take this moment to reinvent Hawaii, to build on what we’ve learned and create a better state, a better way of doing things, what would you do? Please share One Big Idea you have for Hawaii. Be innovative, but be specific.
This is a big idea, one that the democratic government does not think we as individuals are responsible with our own money, but here goes. I support the Native Hawaiians in property rights and think that they should have the same benefits in alliance to Native Americans.
My big idea is to bring the lottery and some low-key gambling to the state which can be run by the Native Hawaiians. This has worked across the mainland. Hawaii is one of few states that does not allow the lottery or “Indian Bingo.”
Instead, our residents fly away to spend thousands in Las Vegas or other gambling venues. The revenue from local, small-scale gambling can be taxed to benefit the Hawaiians, public schools and health care.
13. What other important issue would you like to discuss here?
The medical tax needs to be abolished. Property taxes need to be frozen, like Proposition 13.