Current job: Owner, Showers of Blessing Christian Bookstore
Residence: How long you’ve lived in the district: I have lived in Wahiawa since birth, 53 years, minus 7 years spent in California.
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 been a small business owner for the last 21 years. Through this I have seen the ups and downs of our economic situation. I feel it is time for a fresh approach in the legislature. I know what my constituents are looking for and feel because of my extensive experience in the marketplace. I have never run before.
Major issues: What are the biggest issue in your district/state and your proposed solutions? The biggest issue today is our economic situation. To start, the size of our government needs to be trimmed I would like to propose that we trim from the top starting with the legislature. This will not occur all at once, but it definitely needs to happen in order for us to have a workable budget. Secondly, I would like to work to propose a quarterly report card for all government agencies that will be public, showing all income and expenditures so that they are accountable to the tax payer.
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? The state is spending more than we are taking in. We need to try harder to make the cuts where necessary. I have signed a pledge that I will not vote for tax increases. Working within the means of the State’s budget will be a key to solving the budget deficit.
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 already signed a pledge that I vow not to raise taxes in my term.
Rail: If the city has difficulty raising enough revenue for the rail, would you support state tax support for the rail project? I am not in favor of raising taxes to support the rail project when we do not know yet if we can afford it. Again, I do not support operating above our means. The rail project does not benefit my constituents in District 39.
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 gambling in Hawaii should be legalized in any form. I do not see any benefits coming from this.
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? Before anything else, I believe the public education system needs a complete and thorough audit to determine that the monies are being spent on the most important areas; in the classroom and for students. Then a quarterly report as mentioned above. Then we can look at what we have left and work within our means to assure that ALL children are getting the best education possible so that they can become tomorrow’s leaders. We need to have better priorities on where the money for education is going. I will support an appointed school board.
Economic Growth: What are your plans to promote long-term economic growth for Hawaii? I would like to stimulate local ventures. I would like to encourage more local businesses to keep spending in the state instead of dependence on mainland and foreign businesses. I would like to encourage more local products, produce and agriculture. We need more successful entrepreneurs to promote Hawaii to bring more dollars into our state. This would be more long term than some kind of quick fix.
Crime: What is your solution to making Oahu a safer place to live and visit? We need to start taking ownership of our neighborhoods. Bring back the Aloha Spirit that we all grew up with and take ownership of the street that we live on. When a criminal is caught, ensure the punishment is appropriate for the offense. I’d like to encourage and implement more active neighborhood watch programs and get each community and its members involved. This is a big issue in my district and it seriously needs to be addressed.
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 believe that the current laws are appropriate and should remain in place.
Homeless: What is your solution to homelessness? The problem of homelessness is not a state or county issue. It is a problem that belongs to all of us. I would propose that we ask for more nonprofit groups to get involved in reaching out to these people with provisions, counseling and training that would help them to become self-sufficient. Instead of a hand-out, let’s give them a hand-UP and help them get back on track to becoming productive members of society. Everyone needs to make an effort to make this happen, not just one agency.
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? I do not know at this time the details of the Compact with Micronesia. Therefore I would not be able to give an accurate answer. Although I agree with the governor and officials that this is costing our state a lot of money and something may need to be done about it, I would have to thoroughly review the compact before having an answer to this problem.
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? I am undecided on this issue.
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 support an exemption for Hawaii from the Jones Act. I believe it would help lower the cost of living for our state.
Endorsements you would like to list: Hawaii Family Forum, Hawaii Christian Coalition, Hawaii Right to Life.
Any additional comments: I would like to encourage everyone in the State to be diligently praying for all of those seeking office. Study each candidate carefully, and ask yourself which candidate represents your beliefs and vote for them. I look forward to seeing you in January at the State Capitol!
Phone: (808) 271-0485 cell
Mail: P.O. Box 861029 Wahiawa, Hawaii 96786
Web site address: www.samcurtis.org
Campaign Slogan or Theme: Vote for Sam Curtis. Every House needs a Handyman, He will help give the State House a complete makeover.