Who Gets Your Vote For Governor? – Q&A With The Candidates

Who Gets Your Vote For Governor? – Q&A With The Candidates

The Candidates Share Their Views

1) WHAT WILL BE YOUR TOP THREE PRIORITIES UPON TAKING OFFICE?

NEIL ABERCROMBIE (Democrat)

Neil AbercrombieEducation: There is no greater investment we can make in our future than education. We look forward to providing preschool for all Hawai‘i’s children.

Economy: A healthy economy is the key to ensuring future generations can afford to stay in the Islands. We’ll continue to invest in upgrading our infrastructure to create jobs and improve our economy while prudently managing state finances.

Environment: Hawai‘i’s environment is special. We’re going to work with the utilities to further advance clean energy. We’re also going to keep the country country by continuing to preserve important open spaces and agricultural lands.

JAMES “DUKE” AIONA (Republican)

Homelessness, small business friendliness and strong families are at the top of my priority list.

I’m the only candidate with solutions to Hawai‘i’s homeless problem. Both Homeless Court and the National Guard Veteran Outreach Program will measurably reduce our homeless populations with increased access to mental health and substance abuse programs and job training.

Small businesses are Hawai‘i’s economic engine. I want to promote a business-friendly atmosphere (getting government out of the way) so small businesses can create jobs. We also need to attract more opportunities in technology, science and research.

As the family goes, so goes the community. I am focused on programs which will strengthen and unite our family unit.

MUFI HANNEMANN (Independent)

Mufi Hannemann

Mufi Hannemann

We are going to draw from my experience as mayor. My immediate priority upon taking office is to assemble a nonpartisan cabinet that will be selected based on qualifications and merit and not on politics. Second, review the legislative package that we’ll inherit as to whether it makes sense, as well as take steps to begin an audit and review of certain programs by a volunteer group aimed at making government more efficient and accountable. Third, reach out to the Legislature to signal a new era of collaboration and invite other elected officials and the community to participate in this dialogue.

DAVID IGE (Democrat) 

For the economy, we need to strengthen our tourism industry’s efforts to promote travel to Hawai‘i. I’ll use my private sector experience to work with businesses to encourage responsible development and provide good-paying jobs for our residents.

For the environment, I’ll emphasize protecting Hawai‘i from invasive species and helping farmers double our share of locally produced food. I’ll also push for more investment in renewable energy and take action to increase the amount of rooftop solar that ratepayers can install.

As for education, I’ll work to empower public school principals and teachers and encourage creative approaches to teaching.

VAN TANABE (Democrat)

First, we’ll legalize the “Ohana Lottery” (Google Ohana Lottery for details) — this will generate $300,000,000 annually for the state and help hundreds of Hawai‘i families. Second, to improve our economy I have a plan to create over 50,000 needed jobs throughout the state. At the same time reduce traffic by 20,000 cars and eliminate taxes on food and drugs. Third, my plan for the homeless will not only get them off the street but will also help them to become productive citizens to stay off the streets. For details of my plans, visit votetanabeblogspot.com or call 699-9250. Aloha.

2) WHAT HAS BEEN THE IMPACT OF HAWAI‘I’S HOMELESS PROBLEM?

NEIL ABERCROMBIE (Democrat)

The impact has been substantial. That’s why our administration has taken steps to tackle this issue head-on. We started by creating a first-ever statewide homelessness coordinator position within our cabinet. We are also working closely with Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, perhaps the closest both the Governor and Honolulu Mayor have ever collaborated. We’re working to implement the Housing First model, which seeks to get people off the street and into housing to receive the services and counseling they need. At the end of the day, we’ll need everyone’s help to fix this.

JAMES “DUKE” AIONA (Republican)

Duke Aiona

Duke Aiona

From a financial perspective, in 2013, Representative John Mizuno estimated that the average homeless person costs Hawai‘i taxpayers over $100,000/year. This is in addition to costs such as the impact on tourism and public safety for both residents and visitors.

Public safety and public health has also been compromised by homelessness. Our visitors, our residents and even the homeless are threatened by the increasing homelessness. The time is now for actionable, measurable solutions.

MUFI HANNEMANN (Independent)

Homelessness has become a critical issue affecting every aspect of our community, including tourism. Four years ago, we were promised that homelessness would end in a hundred days and, if anything, it has exacerbated. Conspicuously missing from solutions being proposed is a process that involves all stakeholders working collaboratively. A reason Maui Mayor Arakawa endorsed my candidacy is because I proposed forming the Hawai‘i Council of Leaders so that the governor and mayors will focus on streamlining government, increasing efficiencies and working cooperatively on issues, like homelessness, as opposed to dealing with it from a silo perspective.

DAVID IGE (Democrat) 

David Ige

David Ige

Homelessness strains resources of our social services and hurts tourism by its negative image. Yet, we must realize that many families are only a few missed paychecks away from homelessness. As governor, I will work with counties and federal government to expand the supply of low-cost rental housing by increasing funds to the Rental Housing Trust Fund, support the Housing First initiative to provide emergency housing, build micro-housing, and support homeless shelters and military veterans outreach programs. We should help persons return to the Mainland when they lack resources to thrive here and wish to return to their families.

VAN TANABE (Democrat)

Hawai‘i’s “homeless” have impacted everyone from businesses to tourism to public safety. Governor Tanabe’s plan promises to reduce the number of homeless in the first year by returning all out-of-state homeless. I pledge to help the homeless just want to make sure Hawai‘i is their home. Next we’ll help the homeless to resolve their personal issues so that they’ll be able to stand on their own two feet and contribute to society. I’ll ask the religious community to help by having each church sponsor a homeless person, some can sponsor families. They need “Faith” the most! Aloha.

3) WHAT SHOULD HAWAI‘I BE MOST OPTIMISTIC ABOUT — AND MOST CONCERNED ABOUT?

NEIL ABERCROMBIE (Democrat)

Hawai‘i is on the right track. There’s so much to be optimistic about. Hope is back. We’re past the days of “Furlough Fridays,” recessions and a $200 million deficit. Our economy is growing again, people are back to work and we have among the lowest unemployment rates in the country. In addition, state finances are healthy and we can afford to construct new schools, improve highways and modernize the airports. I’m thankful for everyone’s support. We can’t go back.

JAMES “DUKE” AIONA (Republican)

I am optimistic Hawai‘i will be a better place to live, work and play. When we address affordability and homelessness, the impact on our community will be measurable and positive for our entire state. The time is now to solve these issues and we have a great opportunity to do so.

I’m incredibly concerned that lack of balance in government has created an unfriendly environment for businesses and residents. Our high taxes and affordability issues must be addressed immediately.

I’m also concerned about the issues facing families today. We need our generations to stay together to help one another be stronger and healthier.

MUFI HANNEMANN (INDEPENDENT)

We should be concerned about our quality of life and whether the decisions being made today are in our best future interests. The high cost of doing business and buying an affordable home continues to challenge our small businesses and local residents. Our public education and state hospital systems and elderly programs need more substantive support. That’s why we are going to focus on growing our economy, with bold ideas like reviving the interisland ferry system and improving education for our keiki and adults so that Hawai‘i can have a preferable future filled with hope and optimism.

DAVID IGE (Democrat)

I’m concerned that over the last four years, people seem to have lost their trust in government. They feel decisions are made in favor of special interests, not their interests.

I’m hopeful that citizens share my belief that this election should not be bought by big money, but earned by integrity and new ideas. In my three decades in private business and as a legislator, I have a record of achieving results by bringing people together to reach solutions in a respectful, transparent manner. I’m optimistic that people want their next governor to be someone they believe in and trust.

VAN TANABE (Democrat)

If elected the next governor of Hawai‘i, the people will have everything to be optimistic about. Things will definitely get better with the plans I have to improving our economy, education and public safety. Plans providing affordable homes, affordable long-term care for our elderly. My plan for the homeless will help them to become independent and contribute to society. There’s even a plan to eliminate taxes on food/drugs and a plan to eliminate the state’s dependency on fossil fuel, saving millions in taxes. Should someone else be elected, then Hawai‘i will continue to be concerned about everything. Aloha.

 

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