Editor’s note: For Hawaii’s Nov. 8 General 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 Charlotte Rosecrans, Republican candidate for state House District 26, which includes Makiki and Punchbowl. Her opponent is Democrat Della Au Belatti.

Go to Civil Beat’s Election Guide for general information, and check out other candidates on the General Election Ballot.

Candidate for State House District 26

Charlotte Rosecrans
Party Republican
Age 49
Occupation Owner, electrical contracting business

Community organizations/prior offices held

West Oahu regional vice-chair, Hawaii Republican Party; vice-chair Klean House Hawaii; former youth sports coach.

1. What is the biggest issue facing your district, and what would you do about it?

My biggest concern in my district is the uncertainty of election integrity.

2. Many people have talked about diversifying the local economy for many years now, and yet Hawaii is still heavily reliant on tourism. What, if anything, should be done differently about tourism and the economy?

The present tourist industry should be more efficiently managed, and friendly small business legislation should be passed for agricultural business and manufacturing throughout the islands.

Also pass legislation which is friendly to high-tech manufacturing facilities.

3. An estimated 60% of Hawaii residents are struggling to get by, a problem that reaches far beyond low income and into the middle class, which is disappearing. What ideas do you have to help the middle class and working families who are finding it hard to continue to live here?

As stated in my answer in the previous question, if friendly small business legislation is enacted that will automatically provide a solution by providing nontourist jobs to middle-class citizens.

4. Hawaii has the most lopsided Legislature in the country, with only one Republican in the Senate and only four in the House. How would you ensure there is an open exchange of ideas, transparency and accountability for decisions? What do you see as the consequences of one-party control, and how would you address that?

I would encourage public debate for both parties, i.e., town halls, public television and in-person events.

Essentially, lopsided one-party rule makes for staleness in platform policy. Debates, town halls and two-party rule will automatically engender diversity of thought.

5. Hawaii is the only Western state without a statewide citizens initiative process. Do you support such a process?

No, I don’t support the process, and I would initiate legislation for elected sheriffs, elected board members, and ensure more input from the citizens themselves, which would accentuate free enterprise capitalism and generate more small businesses.

6. Thanks to their campaign war chests and name familiarity, incumbents are almost always re-elected in Hawaii legislative races. Should there be term limits for state legislators, as there are for the governor’s office and county councils? Why or why not?

Absolutely there should be term limits. These incumbents are frequently re-elected because of the citizens’ passivity. These are hard times, hard times require calculated changes in policy.

7. Hawaii has recently experienced a number of prominent corruption scandals, prompting the state House of Representatives to appoint a commission tasked with improving government transparency through ethics and lobbying reforms. What will you do to ensure accountability at the Legislature? Are you open to ideas such as requiring the Sunshine Law and open records laws to apply to the Legislature or banning campaign contributions during session?

Pass legislation for accountability/transparency, until a constitutional convention can establish a permanent ethical oversight committee for the state Legislature. I fully support the implementation of open records and banning campaign contributions during sessions.

8. How would you make the Legislature more transparent and accessible to the public? Opening conference committees to the public? Stricter disclosure requirements on lobbying and lobbyists? How could the Legislature change its own internal rules to be more open?

Authoritative power should be relegated to the ethical oversight committee, in regard to the questions just asked.

9. Hawaii has seen a growing division when it comes to politics, development, health mandates and other issues. What would you do to bridge those gaps and bring people together in spite of their differences?

As per my answer in response to question No. 4, create more public debates, town halls and public discourse on television and via other media sources.

10. 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.

As per my response in question No. 5, I would ensure greater representation by diminishing the all-encompassing powers of the governorship and call for a legislative forum to address the problem.

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