1. Name: Adrienne S. King
2. Current job: Attorney, King and King
3. Residence: How long you’ve lived in the district: Since 1972
4. Background: What qualifies you for the position? What else have you run for? Have you been in public office before and if so, what position?
I bring a new, outside-the-government, common sense perspective to resolving the issues facing us today. My almost 40 years of professional and community service has provided me with a range of experiences with a broad cross section of people that I believe is needed in government today.
I served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, putting away bad guys, Chief of the Trials Division in the City Attorney’s office, mostly defending the police, and for the last 25 years running a small business with my husband, King and King Attorneys-At-Law focusing on divorce, paternity, child custody, abuse and other aspects of family law. I have served on a Family Law legislative task force and as a fundraiser for the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation. I am on the board of the Ka Iwi Action Council and am active in my church, St. Andrew’s.
My husband and I drafted and worked to secure passage of the law which made the Prosecuting Attorney of the City and County of Honolulu an elected position. I ran for that office in 1980, and for the House in my district in East Honolulu. While I have not yet been privileged to serve in elected office, I was appointed by Mayor Fasi to serve on the Zoning Board of Appeals, and was elected Chair, and by Governor Lingle to serve on the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women.
From my work “in the trenches” helping people to solve problems, I know first-hand what Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona means when he says “it is easier to build healthy children than to fix broken adults.” I have been doing both in my personal and professional life. I have seen the effect on families of government policies that do not empower and encourage people to take personal responsibility and strive for excellence, but lead them to believe they are entitled to something for nothing and are incapable of achieving success on their own merits. I seek to provide new, effective leadership, one that encourages, empowers, and enhances people’s natural abilities and dreams for themselves and their children.
5. Major issues: What are the biggest issue in your district/state and your proposed solutions?
The 3 biggest issues facing the state are 1) the education system, 2) the economy, and 3) efficient use of tax dollars.
I support a comprehensive, independent, management and fiscal audit of the DOE. The last such audit was in 1973, before cell phones, personal computers and the internet. It was before the de-coupling of the DOE budget from the control of the Dept. of Accounting and General Services. Decentralizing control over the implementation of state and national standards, increased funding for charter schools and pairing the private sector in intern and support programs are examples of what can be done to improve and enhance the education system. Teacher evaluations and merit pay are ideas that the teacher union’s leadership has appeared to accept in light of its requirement to ensure Race to the Top funds
As a small business owner myself, and as who has talked with other small business owners from Ka’u to Kapa’au, and Lihue to Kapa’a, reducing the regulatory burdens, streamlining the permit process and lowering taxes and fees are mandated solutions to improve the economic climate in the state. Taxes and fees, rules and regulations should be reviewed with every business affected to determine if they actually liberate people to pursue their dreams or stifle them to the point of giving up, thus depressing the economy.
Tax dollars could be used more efficiently by the use of technology to streamline the delivery of essential government services. For example, putting the permit process on-line with a 30 day deadline for approval, will provide transparency and accountability, creating the confidence and stability that small businesses need to plan and grow.
6. Budget philosophy: What is your budget philosophy? Do you foresee increases in revenue through tax hikes and fees or do you believe in cutting spending?
I do not support tax hikes. We must look to cut spending, ways to make the delivery of essential government services more efficient, and how better to involve the private sector and local communities in solving problems.
7. Taxes and fees: Do you believe Hawaii’s taxes should be lowered or increased? If you do plan to raise taxes and fees, which specific taxes or fees would you increase? Or would you sign a pledge that says you will not raise taxes?
I signed the no new tax pledge over 6 months ago. I support decreasing taxes and fees, not increasing them.
8. Rail: If the city has difficulty raising enough revenue for the rail, would you support state tax support for the rail project?
9. Legalized Gambling: Do you believe gambling should be legalized in Hawaii in any form and if so, in what form?
I do not believe that legalized gambling in Hawaii will actually generate an increase in revenue and provide positive outcomes for our state. I have not been impressed with stories from other states that legalized gambling has had an overall positive impact, financially or socially, for example, New Jersey and Michigan.
10. Public Education: What are your plans to support the public education system while ensuring accountability and results for our students? Do you support an appointed or elected school board?
I support an appointed school board, if we actually need a school board. I agree that the Superintendent should be a cabinet position, considering that the DOE consumes 40% of the state budget. An independent, comprehensive, fiscal and management audit should be started immediately. The parameters agreed upon to secure Race to the Top money should be vigorously followed. It appears the union leadership is finally agreeing to some sort of teacher evaluations and merit pay. Teachers themselves should be involved in implementing standards, not these improvement model companies that assume they know better how to fix education than the teachers themselves. These companies are getting huge amounts of money and their actual effectiveness should be examined to determine if all that money would be better going to the teachers and the students and in fixing the school infrastructure than these outside experts.
11. Economic Growth: What are your plans to promote long-term economic growth for Hawaii?
Lowering taxes and reducing government red tape and bureaucracy to liberate people in a free market will do more to promote long-term economic growth than in centralized planning by politicians and government officials, many of whom have never started or run a business. Many people have expressed to me giving up their dreams for innovative businesses, or their frustrations to try and enhance and expand their current business in the face of absurd government regulations and interference.
12. Crime: What is your solution to making Oahu a safer place to live and visit?
Improving the school system and the economy is a start. People often resort to drugs, which generates a lot of criminal activity, as a way out of frustration and helplessness. Demanding personal responsibility and empowering communities to be involved at the local level rather than an over reliance on government to solve our problems will go a long way too.
13. Second Amendment: Would you support concealed carry or more freedom for law abiding firearms owners, do you feel the current laws should remain in place, or do you believe stricter gun laws should be in place?
I am a firm believer in the right of every law abiding citizen to own firearms. As one who enjoys shooting skeet and pistols, I know the importance of gun safety. I have no reason to support changing the current laws regarding gun ownership in Hawaii.
14. Homeless: What is your solution to homelessness?
I have had discussions with several people, including providers to the homeless, about this issue and everyone has a different answer. Bringing together a large cross section of the community in a permanent voluntary coalition to address this issue, not talk about it, but to problem solve it, seems a logical first step. Groups state-wide could present their perspective sharing what works and why. Setting land and more housing aside has been suggested. Following the Habitat for Humanity model should be explored for those who are capable and willing to take on the responsibility of home ownership. Lowering taxes on rental units and providing other tax incentives for landlords and service providers should be seriously considered. The problem will always be with us, but I believe it can be lessened and more effectively managed with the political will to try innovative approaches.
15. Compact with Micronesia: Micronesians are able to freely move to Hawaii, which they are doing in large numbers to take advantage of the public education system, medical services and other government benefits. But the governor and other public officials say they are taxing Hawaii’s resources and costing the state more than $100 million a year. This is a federal decision, but would you share your view on whether the Compact with Micronesia should remain in place, should there be some parameters put on the Compact or do you have other solutions?
The Micronesians were displaced from their home islands by the atomic testing done decades ago by the U. S. Government. The scientific studies were done to benefit the entire country. The Micronesian people tended to migrate to certain states, Hawaii being one, on which fell a disproportionate burden in terms of public resources. I understand that Governor Lingle has tried to get our congressional delegation to try and rectify this situation to spread out the costs more equitably amongst all 50 states with federal money. These efforts have not been successful. We should continue to pursue federal legislation in this regard, because, as I stated, the costs for whatever benefits the entire country gained from the testing should be borne by the entire country.
16. Akaka Bill: What is your position on the Akaka Bill? Do you believe it will unite or divide Hawaii? What is your vision for how the Akaka Bill will change Hawaii?
The one constant about this bill is that it keeps changing and there seems no consensus from the ordinary citizens, the people, the tax payers on what it means, what its effects will be and why it is really necessary. There has been insufficient public presentation and in depth discussion of the pros and cons of this legislation. The entire bill, as is currently drafted, should not only be printed in the paper and disseminated in pamphlets state-wide, but released on a public website for all to view, with questions and concerns openly expressed, over a period of months. The dialog should not be controlled or regulated by any one side.
From what I do know if it, I do not support it, neither do many Hawaiians, which begs the question, who is Hawaiian? My sons are part-Hawaiian. Is it right for them to get some unnamed benefit at the expense of other “locals” whose families go back generations but have no Hawaiian blood? I understand the emotion behind the thinking that generated this legislation. I question who will really have the power and control over the money and land and how that control is perceived to achieve the benefits sought.
17. Jones Act: Opponents of the federal Jones Act say it increases the cost of living in Hawaii through a shipping duopoly while supporters say it is needed to ensure port security and American jobs. While this is a federal decision, would you share your view on whether you support an exemption for Hawaii from the Jones Act or should it remain in place?
There is no doubt that this act does increase the cost of living in Hawaii for all of us, this has been proven time and again, and I am in agreement that it blocks true capitalism in Hawaii. This type of government regulation is no longer needed; it is time for Hawaii to take its place in the truly global economy.
Endorsements you would like to list:
Senator Sam Slom, State Representative Kymberly Pine, First Kona Tea Party, Hawaii Right to Life, Paychecks Hawaii, Christian Citizens, Conservative Christians
Contact information: Janet Scheffer
Mail: 1163 Ka’eleku St. Honolulu, HI 96825
Web site address: AdrienneSKing.com
Campaign Slogan or Theme (optional): New Effective Leadership