Sam Slom (R): State Senate, 8th District (Hawaii Kai, Aina Haina)

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Name: Sam Slom
Current job: Owner, SMS Consultants; President, Smart Business Hawaii; State Senator 8th O’ahu

Residence: How long you’ve lived in the district: 18 years (51 years in Hawaii)


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? Educational and business experience. UH Manoa graduate; law school graduate. Have been employed in sales, as an economist and business researcher for Bank of Hawaii; college instructor at Hawaii Pacific University (Business, Economics, Finance, TIM), radio & television moderator/producer; president of Hawaii’s most effective small business advocacy organization, owner, small business consulting firm (SMS Consultants) and State Senator since 1996. Have not run for other office other than Constitutional Convention (1978)

Major issues: What are the biggest issue in your district/state and your proposed solutions? (1) Jobs and the Economy. Reduce taxes and costs on those who create jobs in order to provide economic incentives and make Hawaii a better place to do business and to work. Allow farming to continue and increase without tax punishment. (2) Cost of Living.  Reduce taxes to increase take home pay and increase competition to lower costs of everyday products and services. Eliminate costly and burdensome requirements that drive up the costs of home construction and ownership. Take other measures to make Hawaii affordable again.  (3) Education. Provide incentives for teachers and students who perform better. Remove Principals from unions. Provide educational vouchers. Complete a full financial AND management audit of the DOE. Decentralize the statewide district. Appoint the Board of Education and allow Governor to select Superintendent. Do not close small, well performing schools. Increase the number of Charter Schools. (4)Environment/Standard of Living. Protect the environment and stop further development in the mountains and by the sea such as Ka Iwi. Preserve our beaches and coastlines as provided by current law. Discourage overcrowding by requiring infrastructure and transportation development prior to new residential areas. Add incentives for alternative energy, not mandates for one size fits all projects.

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? My philosophy is simple: do not spend more than is earned; do not spend at a rate greater than the taxpayers’ ability to pay. Do not engage in excessive or wasteful spending. Require fiscal notes for all public appropriations. Use zero sum budgeting to start fresh. Reduce the amount of borrowing and debt. I continue to oppose any new or increased taxes, fees or special funds. Spending must be cut as is done by every small business, individual and family in tough economic times.  We need to expand Hawaii’s tax and revenue base by expanding a healthy business climate.

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? Our high taxes should be lowered, and in the case of personal income and corporate income, be eliminated. I have continued to sign a pledge not to vote for tax increases and have a 100% record in opposition of new or increased taxes.

Rail: If the city has difficulty raising enough revenue for the rail, would you support state tax support for the rail project? Absolutely not. Am totally opposed to this elevated heavy rail project.

Legalized Gambling: Do you believe gambling should be legalized in Hawaii in any form and if so, in what form? I do not support legalized gambling in any form EXCEPT to support lottery if, and only if, the State personal Income and GET taxes were eliminated in entirety.

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? See “major issues” above. Appointed Board or eliminate BOE entirely.

Economic Growth: What are your plans to promote long-term economic growth for Hawaii? Provide a positive business and investment climate in Hawaii through reduced taxes, incentives, true public-private partnerships and by listening to and adopting proposals from entrepreneurs and investors. Finding ways to attract more outside capital by a demonstrated improved business climate.

Crime: What is your solution to making Oahu a safer place to live and visit? Punish criminals swiftly and to the maximum allowed by law. Treat property crimes more seriously. Require restitution for all crimes.  I support the election of judges and AG.

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? Current laws are over strict. Each Session I introduce a concealed carry, and open carry, bill. I support expanding 2nd amendment rights.

Homeless: What is your solution to homelessness? Get City & State to cooperate on the same page. Prioritize the homeless with highest priority for help to those who work and have children. Seek legislation to require medical care for those who need it. Work with non-profits to create more shelters (temporary) and direct personal assistance. Demand more funding from the Federal Government for the Micronesian/COFA program.

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? If the Federal Government wants this program to be in place, it cannot be an unfunded or lightly funded mandate; Hawaii must insist on greater financial and resource participation by the U.S. government or else establish another state port of entry or disband/reduce the program.

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 totally oppose the Akaka Bill; it has already divided residents. Adoption would bring more negative race-based changes to Hawaii. It has never had full debate in Hawaii and the only vote ever taken in the Legislature featured my lone NO vote. It needs a referendum here, changes, and alternatives to a government-within-a-government. Saying that, I remain supportive of the Hawaiian Homestead Act and the sanctity of the Bishop Will for Kamehameha Schools.

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 economic doubt that the Jones Act increases costs for surface goods to Hawaii. I am in total support of an exemption for Hawaii (and Alaska) and elimination of this law which does not provide the benefits or protections for the U.S. shipping industry once claimed.

Endorsements you would like to list: (partial to date) Hawaii Association of Realtors®, Hawaii Right to Life, NRA, Paychecks Hawaii

Any additional comments: NO NEW TAXES!

Contact information:

Phone: 808-349-5438 (H) 396-7566  (O) 396-1724


Mail: 6600 Kalanianaole Highway, #212, Honolulu, HI 96825

Web site address:

Campaign Slogan or Theme: “Making Hawaii Affordable Again”