Lieutenant Governor – Q&A With The Candidates

Lieutenant Governor – Q&A With The Candidates

Hawai‘i’s Next Second-In-Command

1) HOW WOULD YOU COUNTER THE VIEW OF SOME THAT THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR IS A NON-ESSENTIAL POSITION IN STATE GOVERNMENT?

LESTER CHANG (Independent)

That may have been true in the past, but the lieutenant governor will be an integral part of the Hannemann administration. I have the unique experience of having worked with Mayor Hannemann as the director of Parks and Recreation for six years. I know him, know what he expects from his people, and we both know that I can deliver.

Lester Chang

Lester Chang

As lieutenant governor, I promise you I won’t be a “place holder” in a big office trying to kill time. I will take on a significant role and do my share to tackle the big issues facing our state.

C LAYTON HEE (Democrat)

Clayton Hee

Clayton Hee

Many people have shared with me that they believe the office is a “do nothing” office. I will change that perception by continuing to be an active participant in pubic policy as evidenced by my legislative record.

My record of accomplishments included being the author for raising the minimum wage and the Hawaiian Role Commission, as well as leading the Senate through the passage of equal rights, the 665.8-acre conservation easement at Turtle Bay and numerous animal cruelty laws are a few examples of my legislative record and passion that I will bring to the Office of Lieutenant Governor.

MILES SHIRATORI (Democrat)

When I’m elected lieutenant governor, I will have a long talk with the governor. We will come to an agreement where I will convince the governor to hand over more power to the lieutenant governor’s office to handle some duties to help the governor out — the governor can attend more important matters that needs handling.

Once I’m in office, I will put change into motion to fix our government by introducing term limits. Our legislators will collect a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office and make our government more transparent.

KIMO SUTTON (Republican)

Stop high cost of goods and power. When elected lieutenant governor to Governor Duke Aiona, I will help stop the high cost of living in Hawai‘i and better use of low-cost energy. Cheap, clean energy, in the form of natural gas can be shipped here with an exemption to the Jones Act that now stops shipping competition here. I can help Duke to win. www.kimosutton.com look at my issues.

SHAN TSUTSUI (Democrat)

While I understand the misconception about the office, the lieutenant governor plays a valuable role in the administration of the state. As lieutenant governor, it’s necessary to be well-informed of departmental operations and issues to ensure the ability to fulfill the governor’s duties if he/she is absent, like last year when I served as acting governor during the federal government shutdown. I worked with the cabinet to ensure federally funded state services/programs were uninterrupted.

I’m also secretary of state for intergovernmental relations and focus my efforts on special initiatives that complement state programs and operations to help build a better Hawai‘i.

MARY ZANAKIS (Democrat)

I think historically the office of lieutenant governor has been quite useless. If elected, I would like to take on projects to help get things done. I would love to tackle the homeless problem. I have several ideas that would save taxpayers a lot of money. My second choice would be tackling education issues, specifically to increase our test scores.

2) LIST TWO PET PROJECTS THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO WORK ON AND SEE TO FRUITION AS HAWAI‘I’S LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR? WHY ARE THOSE PROJECTS IMPORTANT TO HAWAI‘I’S PEOPLE?

LESTER CHANG (Independent)

As part of the Hannemann/Chang team, I believe we can re-establish confidence in government by restoring openness and sound business management practices to state services. Hawai‘i’s people deserve a thorough accounting of their tax dollars and should be assured that all facets of government are performing efficiently, honestly and with full transparency. As a graduate of the University of Hawai‘i, you can expect me to be a voice for the Hawai‘i education system. If elected, I am confident that Mufi and I can restore the trust and confidence of Hawai‘i’s people in their government.

CLAYTON HEE (Democrat)

I would like to work with the Department of Agriculture in addressing the spread of invasive species that will cripple the economy of Hawai‘i and, as important, cause havoc to local people. The discovery of little fire ants is the latest problem that will cause harm to people and pet animals.

I would also like to continue to work to protect the retirement pensions and health care for retirees. We cannot shirk our duty to those who sacrificed to make Hawai‘i a better place for future generations.

MILES SHIRATORI (Democrat)

First, I know firsthand what the problems are for our kupunas, for I took care of my parents for 14 years. I will work hard for our elderly. Make should there is affordable housing and reasonable long-term health care.

Secondly, I would use Barbers Point for the homelessness, where the federal government gave it back to the state of Hawai’i. We can fix it up and provide housing for the homeless, especially our working homeless. They deserve it. We can provide job training for people entering or re-entering the work force — which increases our tax base.

KIMO SUTTON (Republican)

Kimo Sutton

Kimo Sutton

Houseless people and stopping the Health Connector.

The plan Duke Aiona has for the “houseless,” as I call them, is mine, too, as they will have assistance to be court-ordered into agencies like mental health and drug rehab. Others need secure housing and will help get it. I am against the Hawai‘i Health Connector costing over $200 million — we must stop it now. Too much debt and high taxes.

SHAN TSUTSUI (Democrat)

Investment in our keiki is one of the most important commitments we, as a community, can make. One of my priorities is the REACH Initiative to provide afterschool programs for middle/intermediate school students, which I believe can make a difference in the lives of our keiki today and into the future. REACH will help to build a sustainable education and workforce pipeline for Hawai‘i.

I’m also dedicated to building the Obama Presidential Center in Hawai‘i where the president’s legacy may continue by establishing a global think tank and youth leadership academy that will also create jobs and stimulate the economy.

MARY ZANAKIS (Democrat)

Mary Zanakis

Mary Zanakis

Let’s talk about the homeless problem. I believe in the Housing First program in which we get them off the streets first. Secondly, we offer services to help with their mental and physical problems. But rather than paying massive amounts of money to get this done, I propose utilizing our very bright and energetic college students who are majoring in psychology or social work. They would work one-on-one with these people in exchange for college credit. The homeless facility would become their classroom and they would get hands-on experience and the people would get help.

Same with education. Not everyone learns at equal rates. Let the teacher handle the average and bright students. The ones who are struggling could be moved to the side and worked with one-on-one by college students majoring in education. Again, a win-win situation. Work in exchange for college credit and kids get specialized help.

3) WHAT SPECIAL SKILL SET WOULD YOU BRING TO THE POSITION OF LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR THAT NONE OF THE OTHER CANDIDATES POSSESS — AND WHY WOULD THOSE SKILLS BE OF VALUE AS LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR?

LESTER CHANG (Independent)

I’m not a politician seeking an administrative position; I’m a proven executive manager with demonstrated leadership skills seeking the state’s second most important elected position.

CLAYTON HEE (Democrat)

The special skill set I bring as the lieutenant governor is my legislative record of accomplishments. This could not have been possible without the help, collaboration and support of my fellow legislators, as no one person can make laws — it takes a majority of the legislators.

Over the years I have successfully passed approximately 100 proposals into law because of my ability to work with my fellow legislators. I am grateful to my colleagues in the House of Representatives and the state Senate.

MILES SHIRATORI (Democrat)

First, voters have to take a chance/gamble on voting me into office instead of the status quo. What qualifies me — I will stand up and fight the status quo as my other opponents will not. I am a bold and decisive leader who is capable of setting our priorities to improve our lives today and invest in our future and the future of our children. I’m a leader who is innovative and a visionary. I will create new infrastructure, become more energy independent, set land aside for growing our own foods, be good stewards of our environment.

KIMO SUTTON (Republican)

Political and business experience. I am a businessman and politician. I know how to help Duke Aiona win with my experience and was elected to the Constitutional Convention 1978 and 25 years on Neighborhood Board and chair. Also vice chair on elections oversight panel for many years. We must get more people to vote. Please kökua.

SHAN TSUTSUI (Democrat)

Shan Tsutsui

Shan Tsutsui

I believe the future of Hawai‘i will be shaped by a new generation of leaders who will guide our state through a combination of traditional values and innovation in the new millennium. My strength has, and will continue to be, my ability to bring people together in an honest effort to build consensus, which has served me well during my time as state senator, senate president and in all areas of my life. I believe that if we respect one another, we can listen and learn from each other and together work to resolve even our most daunting issues.

MARY ZANAKIS (Democrat)

I am a very good listener and a very good collaborator. I am also a worker bee. I would not want to just sit around when I am in the position to get things done.

 

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