(Editor’s note: Fred Fogel sought the State House District 5 seat two years ago. Now he is seeking the newly reapportioned State House District 3 seat. Following are answers to his BIC voters guide questions posed to him in 2010.)
1. What can you do to help resolve the transportation problems in Puna?
A good start would be to convince the county that doing nothing because ‘it’s not my road, it belongs to the state’ doesn’t help. The county should be able to take steps to remediate congestion problems on 130 if the state refuses to do anything. Then follow the guidance of the Puna Community Development Plan (including roundabouts.) The plan is well thought out. An alternate (Railroad Ave) route is a necessity.
2. What is your position on the regulation or lack thereof of marijuana or cannabis?
For starters it’s unacceptable that the county police have ignored the lowest priority ballot initiative and continue to participate in cannabis eradication efforts. Shame! Secondly, it’s idiotic that Hawaii issues medical cannabis permits, but patients can’t legally purchase it. Cannabis should be legal. Farmers should be able to grow it for export.
3. Two part question on education: 1. what are your thoughts about local school boards?
I fully support local school boards comprised of principals, not more bureaucrats. Fire the Board of Education (and, while you’re at it, trim the DoD.) 2. How will you work to ensure equal funding for public charter schools? Implement a voucher system.
Let the parents determine which schools close and which ones stay open.
4. What is your first planned piece of legislation should you be elected to the State House/State Senate, and why?
Term limits for all elected officials, and add to that voter approved pay raises. Government has gotten out of hand. Seniority has blinded our lawmakers. We need a continuous influx of new politicians with new ideas and a renewed energy.
5. Why should constituents vote for you?
I will only support changes that promote smaller government (rather than increasing taxes, fees and governmental borrowing) and changes that provide more personal freedom. Aren’t you tired of the government telling you what you can’t do for your own good? I certainly am.
6. Two part question: Is there any legislation currently on the books that you are going to seek to repeal?
If I had my way, in order to pass a new law lawmakers would first have to take two off the books (but that’s only a dream.) These aren’t exactly laws, but here are a few ideas. Repealing the present state income tax system in favor of a flat tax would be a good start. Follow that up with a repeal of the common political practice of raiding funds designated specifically for another purpose, and the repeal of adding riders to bills that have nothing to do with the purpose of the bill. If so, which one(s) and why? These are basic systemic changes that would improve the way government conducts business. (I have a few more ideas if you’d like to hear them.)
7. Two part question: What is your stance on civil unions? Definitely in support. It’s an equality issue, pure and simple. Slavery was abolished in 1865. Women got the right to vote in 1920. Racial segregation officially ended in 1954. Race-based legal restrictions on marriage ended in 1967. Gay clergy eligible for all Episcopal ministries in 2009. Some equality issues just take longer than others. If elected, would you re-introduce legislation to this effect? Certainly.