(Frederick Fogel is seeking the State Representative District 3 seat. Following are his answers to Big Island Chronicle’s voters guide questionnaire.)
Full name: Frederick F. Fogel
Occupation: Retired strategic planner and quality improvement advisor to the Head, State of Hawaii Department of Defense (national guard)
Political affiliation: Libertarian (but I consider myself nonpartisan)
What compels you to run for public office/seek re-election? Give people an opportunity to vote for someone in the middle – socially progressive (live and let live) yet fiscally conservative (if you ain’t got it, don’t spend it).
What qualifications and attributes do you have that would make you successful in the State Legislature? Able to listen, talk, and weigh pros and cons.
What do you believe is the single most pressing need for the area you are seeking to represent? Monorail between Hilo and Kona via Ka`u.
Have you ever owned a business? If so, what, where and for how long? Yes, Maine Coon cattery, Volcano, six months.
How do you intend to stimulate economic development/job growth in the area you seek to represent? Reduce governmental red tape and fees.
What is your position on geothermal? Go for it – as long as health and safety issues are adequately addressed.
How do you envision the state fulfilling its sustainability goals? Relying more on Big Island agriculture and actually embracing alternate energy by requiring our electric company to purchase and distribute all alternate energy generated.
What can be done at the state level to address this county’s persistent solid waste problem? Help finance another Hilo dump and full-service transfer stations island-wide (open seven days a week) to actually encourage people to “reduce, reuse and recycle.”
What are your thoughts about the state’s unfunded mandates? Fund them.
What is your position on marijuana, or cannabis, and the pitch for it to be legalized and taxed? Legalize cannabis, eliminate all growing restrictions and tax legitimate businesses only.
What do you think about gambling and perennial efforts to balance the state’s budget by legalizing some form of it in Hawaii? Leave the gambling decision (and all associated revenue) to each county.
What is your position on the state’s medical marijuana program? Implement an effective program providing legal access to cannabis.
What are your thoughts on Hawaii’s education system, local school boards, and charter schools? Eliminate the state Board of Education, implement county school boards comprised of active principals, give parents a voice through student vouchers, give principals the authority to spend their money any way they see fit, pay good teachers more, let the poor teachers go, reduce overhead and red tape, and by all means support charter schools (or any school) that does a better job at half the cost.
Where did you have your campaign material (e.g., pamphlets, bumper stickers, yard signs and banners) designed and printed? As I do not accept campaign donations, will probably not have bumper stickers, yard signs, banners, shirts, and give-aways. However, I’m planning one mail-out prior to the general election detailing my views (printed locally) and will use a local firm (yet undetermined) for mailing.
Is there any legislation currently on the books that you are going to seek to repeal? If so, which one(s) and why? The repeal of any law that attempts to legislate morality (the government has never been and will never be a parent), the repeal of any law that infringes on personal choice – provided the consequences thereof only impact the person making the choice (that’s what freedom is all about.)
Should you be elected, what is your first planned piece of legislation, and why? Internet voting (to increase voter participation) followed closely by tort or personal liability reform (to limit outlandish awards for “pain and suffering”). But I’d love to see… term limits for state senators and representatives (perhaps then they wouldn’t think of politics as a career), doubling the legislative session from five months to ten months with no increase in politicians’ salaries (perhaps they’d get more done in a year), voter approved pay raises for all politicians (after all the politicians work for the people who pay their salaries), primary elections run by the political parties not the state (let the parties vet their candidates if they so desire, put all qualified candidates on the general election ballot and move nonpartisan elections to the general – the person with the most votes wins – after all we are a republic, not a democracy), It would also be great to restructure the Senate, with each county electing the same number of (say six) senators. Leave it up to each county if they want to create districts or simply elect senators at large (to decrease Oahu-centric representation in the Senate and perhaps increase representation from the smaller islands of Molokai, Lanai and Niihau.)
Why should constituents vote for you? I’m not a career politician and therefore willing to make fundamental improvements to the way government operates.