Van K. Tanabe (D): Candidate for Governor

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·      Budget philosophy: What is your budget philosophy? Do you foresee increases in revenue through tax hikes and fee increases or do you believe in cutting spending?


My philosophy is to increase the budget not by raising taxes but by creating better jobs for the people of Hawaii. To do this we need to think out of the box. First the state will transform Kalaeloa into a resort development with theme parks. Picture a ”Six Flags Hawaii” and a “Sea World Hawaii” between three 5-star hotels along the coastline of Kalaeloa, I use “Six Flags” and “Sea World” to let you know that we are building world class theme parks. After completing this project we will have created over 35,000 good jobs. That’s something we really need to help our employment shortfall and since it’s on the Westside of Oahu it will reduce the traffic going into town every morning. Remember I said that the state will build all of this so instead of collecting 4% of the dollar we’ll be getting 100% of the revenue. With this increase in revenue Hawaii citizens will no longer pay taxes on food and medicine and further more Kalaeloa is ceded land so 5% of total profit from all sources will go to OHA to perpetuate the Hawaiian culture.

·      Taxes and fees: Are Hawaii’s taxes high enough? If you do plan to raise taxes and fees, which specific taxes or fees would you increase? Would you sign a pledge that says you will not raise taxes?

Yes! Hawaii’s taxes are probably the highest in the nation. Except for the 4% general excise tax which is the equivalent to a sales tax in other states, then Hawaii would have among the lowest sales tax in states that have them. As far back as I can remember our sales tax has always been 4% . In January of 2007 the GE tax was increased by .5% to fund the cities rail project. This project will cost the people of Hawaii $5,000,000,000.00 (more like 10-15 billion) and take approximately 10 years to complete (more like 15-20 years) to take 6,000 cars off the freeway!! As governor I would seriously consider raising the GE tax to 6% but I would rescind the bottle bill and the rail tax. With this increase 1% would be used to improve education and 1% would go into the general fund and I also have a plan to eliminate taxes on food and drugs. The rail project should be supported by private funding by those who will benefit the most.

·      Rail: What is your plan should the rail project be built? How would you pay for rail if not enough Federal Money comes in, and/or the ½ per cent GET is not enough to cover the cost of the construction or maintenance or do you see the need for a tax hike? Do you support expansion of the rail and if so, to which parts of the island?

Hawaii needs a “Mass Transit” system. They should have started it in 1992 after the city spent millions going to other cities around the world to study their systems! Better late than never I guess but I would prefer a system that runs along the existing railroad tracks. They could even repair and use the tracks to transport equipment, materials, and manpower directly to the jobsite. This would eliminate any inconvenience to the general public during the construction of the project and we could even use the tracks to maintain the system after it’s built. We should start the line in Koolina* then pass through Kalaeloa* on the way to Ewa, Waipahu, Pearl City, Pearlridge*, Aiea, down to Pearl Harbor*, the Airport* through Nimitz Hwy. pass Alakawa*, Dole Cannery*, Aloha Tower*, Restaurant Row*, Ward Warehouse*, Ward Centre*, Ala Moana*, and finally into Waikiki*. We can even tie the University of Hawaii* from Waikiki. Each of the locations with an asterisk would be required to help fund the rail system. Their contributions would range from 5 to 50 million a year and will continue after construction is complete to maintain the system and help keep the fares cheap for local residents. Instead of steel on steel technology I would want a system that uses rubber or air to minimize noise. Also I would prefer a transit system powered by solar energy instead of electric power. Rail will not solve our gridlock woes, but we still need it as a alternative means of transportation.

·      State of the roadways:  What are your plans to fix Oahu’s roadways so they don’t deteriorate so quickly into potholes and broken pavement? How much needs to be invested and where would the money come from?

Hawaii’s has some of the nation’s worst roadways and obviously need to be repaired and maintained. Didn’t someone wage war on potholes just a few years ago? How soon do they forget, and they hope you forget too! There should be enough money generated from our vehicle taxes and the taxes they’ve been adding to the price of gasoline. Where does all that money go!?! Earlier I mentioned raising the GE tax, if they can’t find all that money that they’ve been taking from us I guess we can use some of that money.

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

As governor I have a plan to provide over 75,000 good jobs for the people of Hawaii. This will also greatly improve the overall economy of the state. My first project is to transform Kalaeloa into the states very own resort/theme park development. We will start by building three 5-star hotels, then a “Six Flags Hawaii” and a ”Sea World Hawaii” I only use the term Six Flags and Sea World to let you know that these will be world class theme parks. At the completion of this project there will be over 35,000 needed good jobs! Being on the west side of Oahu this will significantly reduce the traffic going into town. Plus because all of this belongs to the state of Hawaii, all of the revenue belongs to the state not just 4% but 100%!! With all this new revenue now being generated we will not have to pay taxes on food and medicine anymore. Next I want to build long-term care facilities in every zip code from Hilo to Hanalei because Hawaii has a serious problem with the lack of affordable long-term care. By providing this needed service we will be creating over 15,000 good jobs in every community eliminating long commutes to work. There will be 15,000 more jobs in agriculture and another 15,000 more in the development of green energy. To improve the states economy the people must first have good secure jobs so they can support their families!!

·      Education: What are your plans to improve public education?

As governor I have a two part plan to improve our education system. The first part is to give our educators a decent wage. My philosophy is simple, if given a fair wage I believe that the teachers will have a positive attitude. A positive attitude will produce a positive worker, one that will want to teach. The “Ohana Lottery” will provide the money to fulfill the first part of the plan. The second part of the plan is to give the schools more money. How I intend on doing this is equally simple. Instead of having to run around buying all of your child’s school supplies all you would have to do each year is donate $500.00 to the school. Now when your child comes to school everything they need will be provided for them including uniform, backpack, and even a pair of shoes. The balance of the money would be used by the school’s principle to purchase whatever the school needs with the approval of the PTA.  Remember the $500.00 is a donation so you will automatically get a 100% tax deduction. On top of that if your child maintains a 3.0 avg. the state will match your donation with a $500.00 rebate! Should your child excel and get a 3.8 avg. the state will double your donation with a $1,000.00 rebate!! With this program I’m trying to give the teachers and the schools all that is necessary to achieve an education system second to none!

·      Transparency in Government:? What would you do to make your administration more transparent?

After thinking about this question the only way to achieve transparency is to leave the doors open and keep everything on the table. Let the people and media know what government is doing. Who made up close bidding. There shouldn’t be doubt only trust!

·      Maintaining agricultural land: What is your position on agriculture for O’ahu and what are your plans to support Hawaii’s farm operations?

As your governor my plan for strengthening our food production is to invest and support the local farmers and ranchers so we can provide 100% of the food consumed in Hawaii. This would mean total food sustainability like in the days of “King Kamehameha the Great”. My plan is not only to feed Hawaii and our visitors, but to also to export our goods throughout the world. Being blessed with the best weather and having the riches soil for farming, is there any wonder why we produce the best of anything. We already are known for having the best coffee and macadamia nuts and even for some of the world’s finest chocolates. We’re not trying to produce the most of anything but the best of everything. The state will assist the farmers by offering low interest loans and giving tax incentives to help them get started. We will also offer tax credits and incentives to businesses that also support local farmers. The state will further its commitment by only serving locally grow foods at all state facilities. Besides the food will be fresher, tastier, healthier, and safer for all of us. In today’s global uncertainty where one terrorist attack could cut us off from the rest of the world we need  the security of knowing that we can survive on our own should we have to! It’s so imperative that we support our local farmers because as I see it they will be asked to support us one day!

·      Crime: What is your solution to making Oahu a safer place to live, work and enjoy the outdoors? 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?

The way to make Oahu a safer place to live, work, and enjoy the outdoors will take several things. To make it a safer place to live and raise your family I plan to give the counties more money to increase their police force so they will have a stronger presence in the communities. Also we will provide them with the latest equipment in law enforcement so that they can do their jobs and do it safely. The “Ohana Lottery” was designed to fund such increases. To make Hawaii a safer place in general we must take care of unemployment, drug addiction, homelessness, in other words we need to address all the things that add stress and anxiety to our lives and I have solutions to deal with all of these issues. As far as allowing law abiding citizens the option to carry firearms, I’m sorry but not ready to support that.

·      Homeless: How do you propose to mitigate the problem of homelessness? Do believe the city should be in the low income housing business or is that better left to private developers?

As governor my plan for helping the homeless is to first take a statewide census. After we gather the information from the census we will know what are the issues facing these individuals. Some of them may have a job and just need an affordable housing, others have physical or mental disabilities. Perhaps they lack an education or need vocational skills and some have issues dealing with drug addictions. We will even discover that some of them don’t even belong here and should be sent back to where they came from. Before you say that my actions are cruel and lack compassion just think. They may be sending us their criminals! This has been going on for years and isn’t fair to the people of Hawaii. It exhausts our resources and makes it harder for us to help Hawaii’s homeless. Don’t get me wrong I really want to help the homeless, I just want to make sure that Hawaii is their home. The state will help all of Hawaii’s homeless by providing them a safe and clean place to live. Then give them the assistance they need to overcome their obstacles so they can become productive citizens in society. My plan includes reaching out to the religious community and asking every church to sponsor a homeless person. Doesn’t God want us to care for the less fortunate, and they can minister the word of our Lord to them. Perhaps the most important thing missing from their lives. Spread the “Aloha!”

·      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?

The Akaka bill was written to give the Hawaiian people federal recognition as being the indigenous people of the Hawaiian Islands and with that comes federal money to perpetuate the history and the culture of the Hawaiian people. Lots of Hawaiians support the Akaka bill because they believe that upon passage of the bill the people described in the bill will be given sovereign land. Similar to the Native Americans who are allowed to sell alcohol and tobacco and also build casinos on their land which have all prove to be financially beneficial for the Native Americans Tribes. However as far as I know the Akaka Bill forbids the sale of alcohol and tobacco and it also forbids gambling. If I am wrong I apologize, also my understanding is that to get this federal recognition the Hawaiian people must relinquish all of their ceded land. To me that’s a very high price to pay for something that is so obvious. If you traveled around the world and everywhere you went you asked the local people this question. Who are the indigenous people of Hawaii? The African, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Italian, Russian, German, and even the Arab will answer you “Da Hawaiian!” So why is it that the American doesn’t know? Do you think they forgot who they took it from?!? Oh, by the way if the federal and state governments paid a fair amount to the Hawaiian people to use their ceded land there would be more than enough money to perpetuate the culture and to take care of the “Kanaka Maoli!”

·      Endorsements you would like to list:

“People With Common Sense”
“Working Class”
“People Fed Up With The Status Quo”

Contact Information:

Campaign Email:
Campaign Website:

Campaign Address
Private Mail Box #290
4725 Bouganville Drive
Honolulu, HI 96818
Phone: 808-927-0665