BY JOHN WILLOUGHBY – I’ve been asked a recurring question over the past few months: “Why should Hawaii families vote for you?”
I’m glad some Hawaii voters have asked… I’m surprised more people (including those in the media who have largely overlooked the district two race) haven’t. The mid-term election is just four days from today, so I’m not going to waste time mincing words.
It’s been over a year since I announced that I would be running for U.S. Congress. Initially, I ran into stiff opposition from the Hawaii Republican Party, but I stayed true to my convictions and decided to run despite their reticence.
I seriously believed at the time (and still do), that Hawaii district two voters should have a choice. They should have an opportunity to hear a variety of opinions and ideas about substantive issues and proposed solutions to the problems facing Hawaii families. I was hoping to have many opportunities to debate the incumbent Mazie Hirono with hopes of highlighting the differences between us. Unfortunately, she has refused.
Naturally, Mrs. Hirono and I both feel we have the unique qualities required to serve the families of Hawaii. But when placed side-by-side, one can see that the differences between us could not be clearer and the qualifications and experience I can offer Hawaii voters are far superior.
We are being told that we can expect wide-scale changes in Congress after the November election. As many as 100 Congressional seats may change hands leaving a large number of Committee vacancies to be filled. We know that House Committee memberships are assigned based on a newly elected Representative’s background and experience.
As a 26-year retired military officer (having served in combat, intelligence gathering, and serving many years in overseas duty assignments, etc.), I would line up for membership in the vitally important House Armed Services, House Foreign Relations, and House Veterans Affairs Committees. Possessing an active Top Secret SCI Security Clearance, I would also be considered for immediate membership in the House Intelligence Committee.
As a Commercial Airline Pilot for the past 12 years, I would also line up for membership in the crucial House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, where I will join Congressman Charles Djou in moving forward legislation seeking an exemption for Hawaii from the Jones Act. (An exemption would lower the price of virtually every good and service sold in Hawaii up to 22%, and would make our local products more marketable on the mainland and around the world.)
More importantly, my experience in high-stress, fast-moving positions that require keen judgment and high levels of responsibility and decision making are well-known and have been consistently recognized. I have no qualms about comparing the levels of responsibility Mrs. Hirono and I have experienced and have to offer Hawaii voters.
Whether in command of an aircraft with 20 Navy crewmembers in combat, or a commercial airliner with 360 passengers and crew flying into Chicago during a blinding snowstorm, I can’t afford to take my responsibilities lightly – Ever. I can’t simply hide out and I can’t just wait for conditions to improve. In my business, I am literally responsible for the safety and wellbeing of thousands of families and business people every month. The number of safe landings must equal the number of takeoffs, and the number of men, women, and children who walk safely off the plane at the end of the flight must equal the number that board – every single flight. Every day of my life, my mantra must be, “failure is not an option.” I will take that same level of intensity, responsibility, and accountability with me to Washington on Hawaii’s behalf.
By contrast, Mrs. Hirono’s Party will become the minority in Congress and her support for high-tax, high-spending social justice policies will become a thing of the past.
Quite frankly, Mrs. Hirono is not in the same league. The reality is that her name recognition was barely enough to garner 21.8% percent of the vote in a ten-way runoff back in 2006. Sadly, it was enough to earn her the seat in Congress. Her current membership notwithstanding, she has been unable to gain a common frame of reference, and that is why her claim that she is the only candidate in this race with the experience to be a U.S. Congressman would not stand up to close scrutiny.
Specifically, there are several reasons why you should vote for me. First, my ideas on how to approach the morass our economy is facing are much more substantive. I will move forward on plans (described on my website) to reduce the tax burden on Hawaii families and small businesses, while Mrs. Hirono wants to continue with plans to saddle Hawaii families with the largest tax increases in Hawaii and U.S. History this January.
I will fight to stop the government’s incessant and reckless deficit spending that jeopardizes our children and grandchildren’s future, while Mrs. Hirono wants to continue borrowing money from China to finance her costly, wasteful, deficit bailout schemes.
And I will support legislation to help our Hawaii small businesses create permanent, well-paying jobs for our high number of unemployed and underemployed workers, while Mrs. Hirono wants to make our families more and more dependent on government handouts.
Secondly, I have already established life-long relationships with current members of the U.S. Senate such as Lamar Alexander, Bob Corker, Mike Enzy, John Ensign, Saxby Chambliss, and Orrin Hatch. And in the House of Representatives, with even prominent Democrats such as House Majority Leader Stenny Hoyer, Representatives Ike Skelton, and Sam Farr, and Republicans James Gerlach and Bill Shuster. Simply put, I know how Washington works. It won’t take me 2 or 4 or 6 years to figure things out as it has Mrs. Hirono. Nor will I be reluctant to fight against bureaucrats and politicians who make policies that aren’t in the best interest of Hawaii families.
Conversely, Mrs. Hirono has been nothing more than a “rubber stamp” for Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. Instead of doing what Hawaii families elected her to do, she does what they order her to do – over 98% of the time.
Thirdly, I am not a career politician and I have no further career aspirations. I will serve no more than two terms. That will allow me to spend every minute in Congress working for Hawaii families instead of trying to get re-elected, or spending your valuable time courting special interests and lobbyists to curry their favor and raise campaign contributions.
And I firmly believe that a member of Congress should not profit from their public service nor leave Washington better off financially than when they arrived. Not only will I not accept healthcare benefits superior to those I already receive in my current employment (Kaiser) or that I can purchase as a retired military member (TRICARE for Life), I will donate every single penny more than I would have received from my current job (which is about half of a current Congressman’s salary) to Shriners Hospital for Children in Honolulu. That is a promise.
Finally, Mrs. Hirono and I also differ on Christian values. I am the only candidate who is Pro-life, Pro-family, Pro-traditional marriage, and the only candidate to stand beside Hawaii families in opposition to HB444.
I also stand beside the Chiefs of all the Armed Forces and an overwhelming number of our military in uniform who oppose lifting the military’s long standing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. I also oppose overturning the Defense of Marriage Act, which properly defines marriage as between one man and one woman, and does not force us here in Hawaii to recognize same sex marriages or civil unions performed in States on the mainland. Most importantly, I am not afraid to allow God back into our schools and communities.
I hope this has given you some idea why you should vote for me over Mrs. Hirono. But the bottom line is that, unlike Mrs. Hirono who considers her office a “lifetime appointment,” I place a great deal of respect in your vote – I’m here to earn it.
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