BY SEN. SAM SLOM – Now that the Hawaii election campaign season is picking up steam and there are many federal, state and local candidates seeking your vote, do you know where YOUR legislator or candidate stands on important current issues? Have you asked?
Hawaii has a long history of voters NOT asking candidates their position on controversial issues until after the election, if even then. What do we ask? Usually, we want to know: (1) what Hawaii high school did you graduate from? (2) who is your spouse or significant other? (3) …you portagee? (4) where did you play football?
Instead, we should be asking questions related to taxation, more or less government, transparency, expansion or contraction of personal liberties and solutions to unfunded government liabilities (because you must pay).
This year’s elections, probably more so than any other previously, citizen voters must hold office holders accountable. Before they give them money and support. Heck, when you buy a car, or refrigerator, or tv, or Spam musubi, you ask more penetrating questions. Apply this to the election process.
Many politicians don’t want you to ask them their position. They prefer their sign waving style or glossy brochures with plenty of pictures. Or social media expertise. They duck and weave pretty good. Don’t let them do it! They are YOUR servants. Don’t let them forget it. Get them to pledge their position— in writing.
Being just a single issue voter may not totally be informative of a candidate’s overall service, but it is human nature. So if a social issue, or property issue, or the rail is most important to you, make sure your candidate answers you and sticks with—or his/her voting record reflects — a consistent position.
I’ve always thought providing transparency is the best policy. Here are some of my positions on issues over the years that might prove helpful in asking your own questions. Maybe your issues are different. Maybe you disagree with some of those positions. That’s okay. No one candidate can hope to please every voter on every issue but at least they should be questioned.
Issue Senator Sam Slom Position
- $9.03 Billion + Fixed Heavy Steel Elevated Rail (Train) NO
- 2nd Amendment: “Castle Doctrine” YES
- 2nd Amendment: Concealed Carry / Open Carry YES
- Agricultural Lands – Protect YES
- Akaka Bill NO
- Alternative Energy (Solar/Wind/Geothermal) – Voluntary Incentives YES
- Deregulate HECO Electric Monopoly YES
- Ban Totally: Plastic Bags NO
- Beverage Container Recycling Tax NO
- Budget – Adding New Special Funds NO
- Compulsory Fluoridation Of Public Water NO
- Decreasing General Excise Tax YES
- Decreasing Personal Income Tax YES
- Definition of Marriage – Man & Woman only YES
- Education – Decentralized School Boards YES
- Education – Merit Pay For Teachers YES
- Eliminating Estate “Death Tax” YES
- Eliminating GET On Food & All Medical YES
- Gas Cap NO
- Hurricane Relief Fund – Return $ To Premiums Payers YES
- Initiative / Referendum / Recall YES
- Ka Iwi Resort Development in Hawaii Kai NO
- Lanai / Molokai Big Wind Turbines for Electricity to Oahu NO
- Undersea Electric Cable ($2-$3 Billion) NO
- Legalize Gambling NO
- Medical Marijuana For Severely Ill YES
- More Compensation/Benefits For Police Officers YES
- Partial Birth Abortions NO
- Physician Assisted Suicide NO
- Raising Taxes NO
- Reduce Unemployment Tax YES
- Rights Of The Unborn YES
- Solar Water Heaters Compulsory NO
- Barrel Tax on Petroleum NO
- Tax on Pensions NO
- Term Limits for Legislators YES
- Traffic Van Cameras / Red Light Cameras NO
- Truth in Accounting Legislation YES
- Unicameral Legislature YES
- Union Card Check NO
- Workers Comp – Increased Cost to Business NO
- UH Tuition Subsidy for Illegal Immigrants NO
- State Bank (Taxpayer Funded) NO
- Exempt State/County Development Projects from Environmental Process NO
- Hawaii Health Connector Exchange (Obamacare) Conflicts NO
- Sugary Beverage (Soda) Tax/Ban NO
Just ask now before you vote. Then make sure you vote in this year’s earlier August 11 Primary and that your vote counts.