Where Does YOUR Legislator/Candidate Stand on the Issues?

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Sen. Sam Slom

BY SEN. SAM SLOM – Now that the Hawaii election campaign season is picking up steam and there are many federal, state and local candidates seeking your vote, do you know where YOUR legislator or candidate stands on important current issues? Have you asked?

Probably not.


Hawaii has a long history of voters NOT asking candidates their position on controversial issues until after the election, if even then. What do we ask? Usually, we want to know: (1) what Hawaii high school did you graduate from? (2) who is your spouse or significant other? (3) …you portagee? (4) where did you play football?

Instead, we should be asking questions related to taxation, more or less government, transparency, expansion or contraction of personal liberties and solutions to unfunded government liabilities (because you must pay).

This year’s elections, probably more so than any other previously, citizen voters must hold office holders accountable. Before they give them money and support. Heck, when you buy a car, or refrigerator, or tv, or Spam musubi, you ask more penetrating questions. Apply this to the election process.

Many politicians don’t want you to ask them their position. They prefer their sign waving style or glossy brochures with plenty of pictures. Or social media expertise. They duck and weave pretty good. Don’t let them do it! They are YOUR servants. Don’t let them forget it. Get them to pledge their position— in writing.

Being just a single issue voter may not totally be informative of a candidate’s overall service, but it is human nature. So if a social issue, or property issue, or the rail is most important to you, make sure your candidate answers you and sticks with—or his/her voting record reflects — a consistent position.

I’ve always thought providing transparency is the best policy. Here are some of my positions on issues over the years that might prove helpful in asking your own questions. Maybe your issues are different. Maybe you disagree with some of those positions. That’s okay. No one candidate can hope to please every voter on every issue but at least they should be questioned.

Issue         Senator Sam Slom Position

  • $9.03 Billion + Fixed Heavy Steel Elevated Rail (Train)         NO
  • 2nd Amendment: “Castle Doctrine”         YES
  • 2nd Amendment: Concealed Carry / Open Carry         YES
  • Agricultural Lands – Protect         YES
  • Akaka Bill         NO
  • Alternative Energy (Solar/Wind/Geothermal) – Voluntary Incentives         YES
  • Deregulate HECO Electric Monopoly         YES
  • Ban Totally: Plastic Bags         NO
  • Beverage Container Recycling Tax         NO
  • Budget – Adding New Special Funds         NO
  • Compulsory Fluoridation Of Public Water         NO
  • Decreasing General Excise Tax         YES
  • Decreasing Personal Income Tax         YES
  • Definition of Marriage – Man & Woman only         YES
  • Education – Decentralized School Boards         YES
  • Education – Merit Pay For Teachers         YES
  • Eliminating Estate “Death Tax”         YES
  • Eliminating GET On Food & All Medical         YES
  • Gas Cap         NO
  • Hurricane Relief Fund – Return $ To Premiums Payers         YES
  • Initiative / Referendum / Recall         YES
  • Ka Iwi Resort Development in Hawaii Kai         NO
  • Lanai / Molokai Big Wind  Turbines for Electricity to Oahu         NO
  • Undersea Electric Cable ($2-$3 Billion)         NO
  • Legalize Gambling         NO
  • Medical Marijuana For Severely Ill         YES
  • More Compensation/Benefits For Police Officers         YES
  • Partial Birth Abortions         NO
  • Physician Assisted Suicide         NO
  • Raising Taxes         NO
  • Reduce Unemployment Tax         YES
  • Rights Of The Unborn         YES
  • Solar Water Heaters Compulsory         NO
  • Barrel Tax on Petroleum         NO
  • Tax on Pensions         NO
  • Term Limits for Legislators         YES
  • Traffic Van Cameras / Red Light Cameras         NO
  • Truth in Accounting Legislation         YES
  • Unicameral Legislature         YES
  • Union Card Check         NO
  • Workers Comp – Increased Cost to Business         NO
  • UH Tuition Subsidy for Illegal Immigrants         NO
  • State Bank (Taxpayer Funded)         NO
  • Exempt State/County Development Projects from Environmental Process         NO
  • Hawaii Health Connector Exchange (Obamacare) Conflicts         NO
  • Sugary Beverage (Soda) Tax/Ban         NO


Just ask now before you vote. Then make sure you vote in this year’s earlier August 11 Primary and that your vote counts.