Editor’s Note: In June 2012, Civil Beat sent 10 questions to each of the candidates registered to run in the Aug. 11 primary for U.S. Representative Congressional District 2. Seven of the eight responded, including Bob Marx. The questions and answers are reproduced below in full. Read responses by Tulsi Gabbard, Esther Kiaaina and Mufi Hannemann to see how Marx’s positions compares to those of his main competitors. Click on each topic listed below to read Civil Beat’s question and Marx’s response.

1. President Obama has significantly increased the use of drones to assassinate terrorist targets. The policy has been criticized for denying due process rights for at least one American target, and for the collateral killing of civilians. Do you support this policy — why or why not?

The use of drones against terrorist targets is by its very nature justified. The case involving Anwar Al-Awlaki, an American citizen and Yemeni imam is also justified. The Geneva Conventions outline a framework of combatants (those actively engaged in hostilities) and non-combatants (those not engaged in hostilities, considered civilians). With the rise of non-conventional warfare, namely, terrorism, courts have adjusted their framework. For example, in Israel, their court recognizes non-state terrorist actors as unlawful combatants, those whom have partaken in hostile acts against the country. Without further burrowing into the specifics of these individual cases, the step taken by Israel is one that ought to be taken by the US. An individual who has participated in terrorist acts against the US and lives on foreign soil has by their very nature given up the right to the protections offered by the US government. Drones are used because they are efficient killing machines that keep our troops out of harms way and allow us precision accuracy in who can be targeted. Civilians are going to die in war — we must try to minimize those casualties. Rather than using precision drone strikes, we could be carpet-bombing suspected terrorist bunkers. Drones allow us to be more efficient and bring a non-conventional tactic to those using them against us. ↩ back to top

2. Transportation and infrastructure are critical to an island state — especially the neighbor islands. How would you work to increase federal support for Hawaii’s roads, airports and harbors?

America’s aging infrastructure is a problem to be confronted as soon as possible. In Hawaii we have hundreds of roads that do not meet federal regulations, we have some of the highest fatality rates in the nation, and our air and sea infrastructure is in desperate need of renovation. The best way to achieve change in our state and in our country is to pass federal transportation and infrastructure legislation that provides funds for areas (like Hawaii) that desperately need assistance. Pork Barrel projects may get things done in some cases, but the integrity of a congressman who plays the “sneak-the-new-harbor-into-a-farm-act” game is in question. ↩ back to top

3. A divided U.S. Congress has not been able to come to agreement on how to lower the federal debt, in spite of bipartisan recommendations from the Simpson-Bowles deficit commission and others. What is your evaluation of those recommendations, which include hard decisions regarding entitlement programs, defense spending and taxes?

We need to take another look at bipartisan recommendations and seriously work together to pass legislation our country needs. I believe that we ought to preserve Social Security benefits and only raise the retirement age if absolutely necessary. We need to cut our defense spending, there is no need for us to have a military so large that spends so exorbitantly. As I have consistently stated, we need to be mindful of how our money is actually spent — we need strict oversight to eliminate waste and we need to cut non-beneficial aspects of programs. When it comes to taxes, I support raising revenue through capital gains or dividend income taxes. ↩ back to top

4. The major issue for most candidates is jobs and the economy. Can you identify a concrete example of how you as representative would go about stimulating growth both nationally and in Hawaii?

In America and especially within Hawaii, our small businesses are struggling with being able to cope with reduced consumer spending and high expense burdens. The largest potential reservoir of jobs will be provided by small businesses. Stimulating growth starts with encouraging local industries than can produce regional economic benefit. In our islands, those industries range from agriculture to tourism. Tax breaks, subsidies, and voucher programs need to be implemented to allow businesses to reach their full potential. ↩ back to top

5. Regardless of how the U.S. Supreme Court rules on President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, what would your goals be in terms of health care policy as a representative? Would you support universal health care?

I am happy to see that the Supreme Court has upheld most of the Affordable Care Act. My stance on healthcare is very simple: I firmly believe that access to medical care is a fundamental human right. By that, I mean that access should not be proportionate to ones fiduciary resources, nor should it be related to ones job, nor location of residence. I would support programs that increased access to care for those who don’t have it as well as reduced the cost of care for those who cannot afford it. As a country we need to be realistic with our healthcare solution: we need to come together to build a solution that works. ↩ back to top

6. Global warming is real, and rising sea levels will certainly impact Hawaii. What steps would you take as a U.S. Representative to mitigate the effects of global warming?

Energy in Hawaii comes from sources that are recognized as bad for the environment. We can make changes to where we get our power from by subsidizing renewable projects that have a twofold benefit of reducing our environmental impact and decreasing our dependence on imported fuel. Furthermore, through strict oversight and funding only projects that are expected to provide meaningful change, we can keep costs down and help the environment at the same time. ↩ back to top

7. Longtime D.C. observers say the inability of the two major parties to work with each other has never been worse, especially in the U.S. House. Many experienced leaders are leaving office rather than continue in such a hostile climate. Is compromise necessary to governance — and if so, how would you reach out to your colleagues to craft and pass legislation?

For the last 30 years I have represented clients in battles against corporations and insurance companies. I served three law-making terms in the Oregon Legislature. My negotiating and lawmaking experience supersedes all the other candidates in this race. I will use the experience I have to compromise and find solutions to the problems this country faces. ↩ back to top

8. How is the 2nd Congressional District different from the 1st Congressional District? Or are their issues largely the same?

There are many issues that are common to both districts, such as infrastructure upgrades and education, but the second congressional district differs in that the issues we have are underrepresented. For example, the second district’s unique opportunity for agricultural and sustainable energy development has been largely ignored. The plight of farmers on Maui has been disregarded, and the struggles faced by low-income families on the Big Island have been brushed aside, with attention focused on Honolulu projects. If elected I will change the status quo — the second district will truly be represented in Congress. ↩ back to top

9. What is the best thing the 112th Congress did, and why? What’s the worst thing, and why?

The worst thing the 112th Congress did was rooted in the inefficiency and fighting along partisan lines that further disenfranchised the American people and ignored the real problems needing solutions in this country. The best thing the 112th Congress did was preserve student loan interest rates so that education could remain within the grasp of as many as possible. ↩ back to top

10. What is an issue you think is important to address as a U.S. House candidate — one that perhaps has not been given sufficient attention during the campaign?

As a U.S. House candidate, I firmly believe that one should represent the interests of their district. Unlike my opponents, I understand the problems faced by the residents of the second district face; including, for example, the struggles faced by low-income families and the lack of assistance available to agricultural businesses. The interests of the first district may seem to be in line with what is needed in our district, and in many cases, they are. We should not be deluded, however, into thinking that my Honolulu-based opponents plan to bring more tourism to the neighbour islands when they say they want more tourism. ↩ back to top