WHY ARE YOU RUNNING FOR ELECTED OFFICE?
I am simply doing what I have been working towards my entire life to do, I have dedicated my life to humanity. I am running to serve the people and advance the Libertarian principles of free-market economy with maximum civil liberties.
- Masks or No Masks, should it really be a question?
I wear a mask when I am going to be around others. I practice social distancing and I am working with limited volunteers in person. I am in the neighborhoods dropping off what we would normally call door knockers, but I’m not knocking. I do want to meet you, but I also want to continue to limit face to face interactions for safety. If you see me say hello, honk you horn, give me a wave or a Shaka, if you want to chat more call me or email me.
2. If elected, what would be your first priority to help Hawaii’s businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic?
As a legislator I will immediately do everything I can to overturn the lockdown mandates that have crippled our existing businesses. The road forward must be led by the people and the market, not by government mandates. The State and Counties would do best by cutting spending to live within the reduced tax revenues. They will need to cut spending and be more efficient with what they have. Less regulations and other changes to free up capital and business opportunities are also key.
3. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic Hawai`i’s economy has taken a significant hit- tourism is at a near standstill, businesses are closed, and people have been laid off or furloughed indefinitely. Our budget shortfall is estimated to be approximately $1 billion dollars in the next fifteen months. If you were put in charge of recovery efforts how would you help the people struggling and make up for the budget shortfall?
I would love to see gambling be decriminalized. I can’t see us like a Vegas, with casinos, because that’s not Hawaii. I imagine it could be run by the same folks doing it now, just in a zoned area of town. Maybe in the second city, it could give folks a reason to ride the Rail. A lottery would be fun too.
4. Do you believe the response to the COVID-19 crisis could have been improved, and if so how?
Studies show that Hawaii’s economic depression may lead to hundreds of deaths from suicide or substance abuse, so the state should have taken a more balanced approach to protecting the public’s health. It should have simply encouraged safety measures such as voluntary mask wearing and voluntary social distancing for people at high risk while allowing freedom of movement and commerce.
5. Hawai‘i law does not guarantee any paid, short-term sick leave to workers. Do you support legislation to guarantee paid sick days to Hawaii’s workers?
This year has shown us all the importance of staying home when you are sick. People should not have to fear taking a sick day when they need it.
Criminal Justice Reform
- A lot has changed over the last year we know that some of may have once supported the building of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) on Mauna Kea. The State spent $15 million dollars for law enforcement personnel security for TMT. Do you support the continued funding for “security” for TMT?
No. The police do not need to be there. The police are not and should not be used as the government’s at home military to keep the citizens inline.
2. Should state money be appropriated to build family visitation centers at correctional facilities in Hawai`i? Explain your stance.
Yes. As a former prison guard for the military and as someone who visits their brother behind bars, I say yes. Visitation is essential for rehabilitation and justice.
3. What sort of policies would you implement to ensure that we protect our keiki in Hawai`i from child abuse and neglect?
Make sure cops are easily accessible and identifiable. When there is danger the police should be easily identifiable and accessible so that citizens and especially children can turn to them for help and assistance.
4. 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. How important do you see this as an issue for Hawaii? What should be done to improve policing and police accountability throughout the state? Do you support police reform efforts such as mandatory disclosure of misconduct records by police agencies and adequate funding for law enforcement oversight boards that have been established in recent years?
Get rid of qualified immunity so police are responsible for their actions. Close the loopholes in Hawaii’s transparency laws to allow for all police records to be handed over.
- What do you think is one strength and one weakness of Hawai`i’s state government currently? Explain.
Strength: good at listening to the people and constituency.
2. What do you see as the most pressing issue facing your district? What will you do about it?
Normally traffic is the biggest issue, but the economic downturn has put renewed focus on economic opportunity as the most crucial issue for my district. Hawaii should slash spending, lower taxes and get out of the way so entrepreneurs can rebuild and diversify the second city.
3. What are your top five legislative priorities for 2021 and do they include employer mandates such as an increase to minimum wage; paid family leave; and paid sick leave?
This year has shown us all the importance of staying home when you are sick. People should not have to fear taking a sick day when they need it. As a Libertarian I oppose all the measures you noted as they involved forcing business and workers to accept government regulation of their agreements. I believe in unions. Unions allow employees to assemble and negotiate with employers to come up with practical solutions without the need for government intervention.
My first priority will be redistricting, this is a census year and how Kapolei develops is at stake. Will Kapolei be the second city as planned or just overflow housing? My next priorities are as follows: a. cutting state spending so that the drag on our economy is minimized. b. eliminating criminal laws that bar Hawaii from having recreational marijuana and gaming industries c. criminal justice reform to find less expensive ways to protect the public while recognizing individual rights d. civil service reform which would include legislative consent to all public employee contracts before they become law, and doing away with the high three and bumping.
3. Businesses are concerned about the lack of government transparency, particularly with information surrounding COVID – on everything from decision making on mandates to locations of COVID cases. What are your thoughts on government transparency and what improvements would you make?
I imagine every candidate will favor more transparency, so if elected I will have plenty of allies to get what needs to be done. I believe anything that is funded by taxpayer money should be easily available to the public and the press to audit. I liked that some state senators showed up unannounced to a health department to check in on things. That was in the interest of the people and as a state senator I intend to do the same, show up when the people demand accountability. Public safety laws, the police department, a lack of auditing on state contracts, and other issues are all in dire need of being addressed.
3. 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.
It’s time to eliminate the Jones Act. This outdated law has tortured our island for 100 years. It boggs our supply lines and increases the cost of everything here. We can do better. State lawmakers should send a powerful message to congress that we don’t pay for higher shipping prices any longer.
4. How would you address concerns about a lack of transparency at all levels of government?
It’s 2020 and the technology is here to be more transparent, but there are security and privacy issues that must always be considered. I share every citizen’s frustration with this issue! Ultimately it comes down to good decision making about what is shared to the public. I do believe anything that is funded by taxpayer money should be available to the public and the press to audit. I truly don’t think this is a situation that can be fixed with legislation. How can morals be legislated? By the time one runs for office, their moral code is set…by life experiences, by parents, by peers, or by religious beliefs.
5. How would you prepare Hawaii for a disaster?
I believe Hawaii has worked hard to prepare for disasters, we have weathered well through the hard work of those who take action. We are lucky we live in Hawaii, the remoteness has protected our islands in the past and recently with COVIN-19. The remoteness and dependency on the Jones Act makes getting supplies to the islands slow. I can’t and wouldn’t want to make any less remote, but I can turn up the heat on the Jones Act.
6. The Legislature passed a law establishing a Law Enforcement Standards Board in 2018. To date, this board has met on two occasions and has not set any standards for law enforcement. Do you support legislation to strengthen the board’s independence, increase citizen oversight, set deadlines, and provide the board additional resources?
The board has failed to meet expectations. I cannot in good conscience use taxpayer money to create another oversight committee for a board whose job is supposed to set the standards and to be the oversight. I support deadlines, citizen oversight, and independence, but I will not support a failed board with additional resources.
On social issues
- What do you think about the state of women in Hawaii’s elected and appointed public offices? What have you done to support women in government? What will you do?
Although Hawaii has had the highest rate of electing female U.S. Representatives in the nation since it gained statehood in 1959, it wasn’t until 2012 that Hawaii elected its first woman U.S. Senator, Mazie Hirono. I belong to Zonta International, a 100 year old organization that works globally to advance the status of women. In the “Perfect Zonta World,” in which women’s rights are recognized as human rights and every woman is able to achieve her full potential, women would have access to all resources and are represented in decision making positions on an equal basis with men.
2. How would you bring resolution to the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT)?
I was on Mauna Kea in 2016, I went on a tour to see the telescopes and watch the stars. It was a wonderful tour and the most beautiful place in the world to watch a sunset, the pictures from it are still breathtaking. We saw the different telescopes, some of them are no longer in service. The guides told us about the scientist how most of the work is done remotely so the only folks who were ever up there were the visitors. We also saw a woman with a small altar on the site of the future location of the TMT. She was up in the cold singing and praying alone. The guides told us a “Crazy Mary” story and that her claim of it being sacred was not recognized. You don’t have to be crazy to know that Mauna Kea is sacred. Egyptians built pyramids to honor the stars and we have built telescopes to study them, but what about the telescopes that are no longer in use? How long will it be before the TMT is no longer used? I believe space exploration and astrophysics is key to our future, but holding things sacred is where we are now, and that is a good thing. My resolution would be to re-use existing telescope locations to accommodate the TMT.
- What, if any, actions would you work towards in your first 100 days to address the threats facing Hawaii due to climate change?
The climate is changing, and Hawaii should adapt not through government mandates, but through individual choices.I have a personal vendetta with plastics and trash on the streets, I will continue to pick up the trash. I can’t do it all by myself, I’m only stopping if it is in my lane. I do and will continue to encourage others to be vigilant and have some initiative, instead of ignoring the trash. There has been a new “R” added to the old green mantra, it is “Refuse.”I will continue to encourage folks to refuse plastics and extra trash pawned off by whoever is giving it away.On another note Hawaii’s public utilities commission has locked the state in old energy systems which are inflexible with more environmentally-friendly alternatives.
- Hawaiʻi has one of the highest houselessness rates in the country. The number of unsheltered people has exploded in the past decade even though we have had low unemployment and a relatively strong economy. With COVID-19’s harm to the Hawaiʻi economy, the number of people experiencing houselessness is likely to grow. What do you believe is working and is not working about Hawaii’s approach to houselessness?
The first thing that is working is the mindset of how we address it. Most of these surveys I have filled out so far have addressed our neighbors as homeless, but I know there are many people who are at home, just without a house. They have jobs, go to the gyms, they choose to live this way or that as we all do. There are many things we choose to do in life, we can choose not to live in a house, we can even choose not to eat or drink for some time. Humans can sustain life without food or water or houses longer than needing to go to the bathroom. That is what is not working, it’s dirty and no one wants to talk about it, and I think if we had more publicly available facilities to accommodate this basic human necessity of using the bathroom everyone would benefit. With COVID-19, I believe most people’s choice would not be the sidewalk if they had an alternative. It is cleaner, safer, and would benefit everyone to have more public bathrooms. Before we make another dog park we need some more public bathrooms around for the humans.
2. How do you plan to address houselessness in Hawaiʻi in the short, medium, and long term?
Public bathrooms. Identify small public lands and easements in targeted areas. Allocate funding, possibilities for advertisers and non-profits. Employ engineers, builders, and plumbers. Maintenance to be determined. Operation and accommodation should be compliant with the minimum ADA standards.