Phil Sterker: House Candidate District 16 for Kauai-Niihau

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Phil Sterker


Name: Phil Sterker


Current job: retired

Residence: How long you’ve lived in the district: 11 years

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 have never run for public office before but feel as a concerned citizen that I need to become more involved at this time.   I have been involved in a number of local, state and national elections and am not without knowledge of what it takes to be a legislator. I was a rancher, builder, contractor, developer, small business and resort owner.   I was raised during the Depression and served in the Army Air Corps (now the US Air Force) and stationed in HI during WWII. I was honored to be elected to the International Board of Directors of Lions Clubs International that serves its 1.5 million members throughout the world.
Major issues: What are the biggest issue in your district/state and your proposed solutions?

Jobs, jobs, and more jobs.   Employment will not improve unless there are incentives to the small business people that will make it more attractive and productive to hire. We also need an audit of the Dept. of Education and a decentralized school system. Not enough of the funds are getting to where they need to be… .with the teachers and students. We need to be looking to the future for renewable energy and have less dependability for foreign oil.   Incentives need to be given for innovative alternatives with wind, hydro and wave energy development.
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 am a Fiscal Concervative and believe in smaller government, fewer taxes and more individual liberties.   I would not vote on any legislation that would raise taxes!   There are so many unused funds, duplication of services and misuse of funds that should be investigated. When we as families have a reduction in wages, we find ways to trim down.   Government should do the same and not spend more than what they make.   We must get rid of all the “pork” and get back to the basics of keeping within a budget and cut the spending.
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 have 
signed the pledge through the Grassroots Institute that states that I will not raise

Rail: If the city has difficulty raising enough revenue for the rail, would you
support state tax support for the rail project?

As the preceding answer states…. would not raise taxes.
Legalized Gambling: Do you believe gambling should be legalized in Hawaii in
any form and if so, in what form?

I would approve of a lottery if it was only done
 to aid education.
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 audit of the DOE and
streamlining of the support academic jobs.

Economic Growth: What are your plans to promote long-term economic growth 
for Hawaii?

Economic growth can only be done through an increase in jobs.   If
 we strengthen our education system and become more welcome to new
technology the jobs will evolve. Of course we need to become more small
business friendly with incentives and lowering of taxes.
Crime: What is your solution to making Oahu a safer place to live and visit?

Many places on the mainland use a couple of methods to improve safety. One is
to have a “Senior Patrol” that is empowered to give tickets and make arrests.
This is a volunteer force with only stipends for pay.   There are lots of retired
people that are still willing to give time to their communities.   The other way is to
increase the “Neighborhood Watch” program by involving more young people.
Teaching the importance of living within the law at a young age is one of the
most important things a police officer can do.

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 do not believe in stricter
 gun laws.
Homeless: What is your solution to homelessness?

For the majority of our
 homeless, they need to find employment. Incentives for food and clothing could
be given for their service in keeping beaches and temporary living arrangements
 cleaned up. There are many of these people that are willing to work if they were
given a chance.   The homeless that have mental problems need to be in a safe
place where they would have appropriate care.
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

The system needs more monitoring and limits put on the number of
people allowed to come to Hawaii.

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?

 with any controversial legislation, I think the Akaka Bill should go to the vote of
the people and not be decided by the few legislators.
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? I would support an exemption as one of the problems
that small businesses have is the shipping cost. They could be much more 
competitive if there was not so many
Any additional comments: There is just too much governmental spending. Too 
many people are looking for free handouts.   It is the “what can the government 
do for me” rather than what can I do for myself and my family. We need to get
back to people becoming more involved in their communities and giving of time
through volunteerism. Not everyone can donate money but they can donate
time. I want to represent the people of my District and will listen to their voices 
on issues.

Contact information

Phone: 808-332-0660 or cell 808-639-9631


Mail: 4460 Ikena PI. #68, Kalaheo, HI 96741

Campaign Slogan or Theme (optional) ” Vote for me so I can be the voice for you”