Achieved from New Beginnings

80% of initial proposals achieved

A Fair and Open System

  • Create an open selection process for all appointed positions including all boards and commissions.  Selection for these positions will be on the basis of qualifications, experience, and personal character, not on the basis of who you know, how much you contribute to someone’s campaign, or to which political party you belong.
  • Recruit nominees from a broad, cross-section of the community, and make sure that department directors and boards and commissions are representative of Hawai`i’s diverse population and geographic regions.
  • Create a transparent system of awarding contracts that brings Hawai`i in compliance with universally accepted standards.  It’s time for “best practices” to replace the “good ol’ boy network.”
  • Empower the Contract Selection Committee, not politically-appointed department personnel, to rank the top non-bid consultants for each contract.
  • Require the governor to approve all emergency contracts that bypass the safeguards on the normal procurement process.
  • Post all contract award information on the Internet so the public and the media can watch what government is doing.
  • Hold myself and those who serve in government accountable to the people of Hawai`i for our official actions, our personal behavior, our campaign promises and for achieving measurable results.
  • Recommend tough, new penalties for public officials who break the law and betray the trust placed in them by the public with mandatory prison time for corruption and fraud.

Also Achieved:

*Worked with non-government personnel with relevant experience to assist with state procurement selections.

Making Government Work Better

  • Implement relevant improvements outlined in previous state audit reports, and others contained in internal departmental audits.
  • Deliver a clear and understandable annual report to the public that shows what portion of state tax dollars are being spent on each service, current financial conditions, areas needing improvement and how to achieve those improvements.
  • Design a Performance-Based Budget that show the public:

a.  Where tax dollars are being spent

b.  The results of that spending

c.  Whether the results accomplish goals we want to achieve

Community-Based Decision Making

  • Establish Governor’s Advisory Councils on the Neighbor Islands, with monthly meetings to seek citizen input on state activities, including recommendations for people to serve on boards and commissions and budget priorities.

Strengthening the Economy:  Tourism

  • Create a cabinet-level position, directly accountable to the governor, that will be responsible for ensuring the sustained health and diversification of the visitor industry.

Strengthening the Economy:  Agriculture

  • All state agencies, including schools, prisons and hospitals should be encouraged to buy Hawai`ian products.
  • The state must maintain vital irrigation systems, before they deteriorate, such as the Lower Hamakua Ditch on the Island of Hawai`i.
  • Improve consolidation facilities at harbors and airports.
  • Remove trade barriers to other states and countries.

Strengthening the Economy:  High Technology

  • Act 221 provides incentives for high technology investments that are considered among the best incentives in the nation, and yet few people or businesses outside of Hawai`i are aware of it.  I propose an aggressive marketing program for Act 221.
  • Support effective funding levels for the University of Hawai‘i’s activities in basic and applied research, technical assistance programs, and technology transfer efforts to strengthen and increase the economic benefits derived from partnerships with local and global businesses.*

*Focused on developing OTTED; worked with both President McClain and President Greenwood on grants such as $28 million for biotech lab.

Strengthening the Economy:  Complementary Industries

  • Entertainment, including the film industry, and Hawaiian music and dance.
  • Biotechnology, crop research and development, seed production, and pharmaceutical products.  We must take full advantage of our outstanding scholars and researchers at the University of Hawai`i, as well as good weather and year-round, multiple growing seasons that can make Hawai`i a leader in agricultural research.
  • Health care, medical research, and medical education focused on Asia and the Pacific Rim.  Health care related tourism is potentially a huge market, which Hawai`i is well-positioned to tap.  We need to accelerate that process.
  • The sports industry should be a priority.  We need to attract more world-class competitions to Hawai`i as we have with the Honolulu Marathon, the Pro Bowl and Hula Bowl, various golf tournaments, and the Ironman Triathlon.

Strengthening the Economy:  Other Initiatives

  • Remove barriers to business and job growth by working cooperatively with the counties to cut unnecessary regulations and consolidate the permit system into a real, “one-stop shop.”  The goal should be informed decisions rather than mindless paper shuffling.
  • Support university-led research by assisting in obtaining the millions of dollars available in federal grants to create new businesses and jobs.  Work closely with University of Hawai`i President Dobelle and the Bush Administration on obtaining these grants.
  • Encourage the Bush Administration to re-establish the importance of the East-West Center in Pacific/Asia relations and economic development.

Improving Public Education:  Return Control of Schools to Communities

  • Fund district operations on a per pupil basis so that funding is fair and equal in all districts.  Fund construction on a needs basis since some districts have much older schools than others.
  • Manage and implement all repairs and maintenance on the district level, removing the Department of Accounting and General Services (DAGS) from its current role as statewide carpenter, plumber, and painter.

Improving Public Education:  Provide Choices For Parents and Students

  • Enthusiastically support alternative programs, including community-based charter schools, magnet schools, e-schools (Internet learning), and home schooling.  Teachers’ existing benefits and retirement credits should be maintained at charter schools.  The current practice of penalizing teachers in charter schools is patently unfair.
  • Work in cooperation with labor and business to create meaningful apprenticeship programs in vocational/technical schools that prepare students to get a job upon graduation if that is their choice.
  • Allow home-schooled students to participate in sports and other extracurricular activities.  their parents have paid taxes and test children should have access to such programs.

Improving Public Education:  Follow the Money

  • Redirect 50 percent of the money currently spent on the DOE’s centralized bureaucracy so it is actually spent in the classroom or at the local school level.
  • Close the shockingly wasteful DOE supply storeroom as recommended by the state auditor.
  • Issue debit cards to teachers that allow defined types of purchases with a dollar limit to keep within budget.

Also achieved:

*Conducted audit of the DOE procurement practices in 2009.

Improving Public Education:  Improve Special Education

  • Petition the federal court to clarify the state’s responsibility under the Felix consent decree.  Money that should be spent on special-needs children is instead being spent on consultants and lawyers.*
  • Work with the Bush administration and Hawai`i’s congressional delegation to increase federal funding of special education.
  • Appoint one person to take the lead on Felix, who is accountable directly to the governor for achieving not just technical compliance, but a truly appropriate education for all students.*
  • Review standards that are used to identify “Felix children” to determine if students are being properly classified.*
  • Work with and support legislative investigating committee’s attempts to hold the DOE accountable for all money spent on Felix.*
  • Recruit special education teachers within the state by offering various incentives, such as tuition reimbursements, while eliminating any pay differential for teachers recruited from the mainland.

*Felix consent decree was ended in 2005, freeing the State departments of Health and Education from 12 years of federal oversight.

Also achieved:

*Encouraged new longitudinal data system in our Race to the Top application.

Protecting Our Environment

  • Support tourism, agriculture and a healthy and harmonious lifestyle by preserving our natural beauty and environment.
  • Support broad-based, community decision making on development and preservation projects.
  • Create markets for recyclable products (lubricants, bottles and cans) by using tax or market incentives.  Recycling will only work if someone wants to use the end product.  State government should be a leader in purchasing and using recycled products to help develop those markets.
  • Work closely with federal, state and county agencies to eliminate pointless duplication and the wasting of resources on multiple reviews of programs and projects.  The goal should be intelligent regulation, not bureaucratic obstructionism.
  • Promote and support watershed management and preservation of aquifers.
  • Increase shoreline setbacks for structures, and strictly enforce prohibition on seawalls.
  • Vigorously enforce anti-pollution laws already on the books.
  • Appoint people with environmental or conservation experience to boards, commissions and agencies whose decisions impact our land, water, and natural resources.

Supporting the University of Hawai`i

  • Appoint to the board of Regents individuals who share my vision for a world-class University of Hawai`i and who bring value to the table.  The old days of political appointees who don’t bother to ever really understand the University’s potential or to fight aggressively on its behalf, will be gone.  This is a crucial first step in unleashing the vast potential that the University represents.
  • Support genuine autonomy for the board of Regents in running the University system.  For example, the Regents should have complete independence in setting tuition and fees, and in bargaining with their employees.  Their duty will be to serve the University, not the governor who appoints them.
  • Support effective funding levels for the University of Hawai`i’s activities in basic and applied research, technical assistance programs, and technology transfer efforts to strengthen and increase the economic benefits derived from partnerships with local and global businesses.
  • Encourage state agencies, contractors, and grantees to use University of Hawai`i faculty and students as consultants and researchers.
  • Encourage all businesses and non-profits to develop cooperative research and work/study programs with the University of Hawai`i.
  • Allow the University to retain the funds it generates internally and make sure that state funding is not diminished as a result of these additional funds generated through University initiative.
  • Assist the University in obtaining millions of dollars in existing federal grants by working directly with the Bush Administration and federal agencies responsible for awarding those grants.
  • Encourage labor, business and individual donors to help build an endowment for the University of Hawai`i that will help it attract world class researchers, provide financial aid to students in need and develop new programs to help the University take a real leadership role in rebuilding our economy, protecting our environment and improving our way of life.

Fulfilling Commitments to Native Hawai`ians

  • Personally lobby the Bush Administration and the Republican leadership in Congress on behalf of Hawai`ian rights.
  • Support federal and state funding for the recognized initiatives leading to the implementation of Native Hawai`ian self-determination by popular vote of the Native Hawai`ian people.
  • Support continued state and federal funding for Native Hawai`ian health care programs.
  • Preserve and increase the use of the Hawai`ian language, culture, and music as central, unifying elements of our way of life.
  • Achieve within five years both the state and federal government’s legal obligation to distribute homestead lands to all individuals holding a legal right to such a homestead.  This will finally implement Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana`ole’s vision to restore Native Hawai`ians to the land as expressed in the Hawai`ian Homes Commission Act.

Assuring Public Safety

  • Support and advocate compensating local police officers on par with mainland communities of comparable size and risk.  We need to end the migration of Hawai‘i-trained police officers to the mainland because of large disparities in compensation.
  • Encourage and support community-based programs that empower people to prevent or reduce crime, such as neighborhood watch and community policing.
  • Work to secure increased federal funding for the highly successful, community-based Weed and Seed Programs.
  • Focus on breaking the cycle of domestic violence by working with established programs to address the core issues causing domestic violence.  The cycle must be stopped.
  • Impose strict, mandatory penalties on those who sell and profit from illegal drugs, especially crystal methamphetamine.
  • Keep the age of consent at 16.

Also achieved:

*Started the planning process for Pu‘unene prison facility on Maui.

Improving Health Care

  • Invest in caregivers, and help alleviate the shortage of nurses by increasing student capacity at the UH School of Nursing.  We must also revisit our licensing and immigration procedures so that nurses who already live in Hawai`i can actually work as nurses.
  • Provide a greater diversity of health care choices.  For example, increase healthcare options to include health maintenance organizations, preferred provider organizations, low and high deductible plans, as well as medical savings accounts.  Consumers who would like to combine a medical savings account with catastrophic care insurance ought to have that option.  This is popular elsewhere but currently prohibited in Hawai`i.
  • Increase competition to control cost, by encouraging entry into the Hawai`i market of additional health care insurers, HMOs, etc.
  • Seek federal reimbursement on behalf of local hospitals and physicians for the millions of dollars of health care costs resulting from the federal government’s compact of Free Association.
  • Provide community health centers with consistent funding and adequate reimbursements to cover their costs.

Also achieved:

* The Administration implemented Premium Plus, which helped to subsidize the health insurance costs of new employees hired off unemployment rolls.

Encouraging Alternative Energy

  • Design all state projects and building to use renewable energy to the maximum extent possible.
  • Establish conservation goals for all government departments.
  • Target renewable energy research as an area of excellence for the University of Hawai`i.  Assist the University in attracting grants and federal funding to initiate these programs.  Make state government a partner, not a burden, in the expansion of research funding for the University.

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