Dean Schmucker, 2010 candidate for State House District 8, Transcript:
Introduction: My name is Dean Schmucker, and I’m a candidate for State Representative House District 8. I believe that the most important issues facing Hawaii today are structural issues in the Legislature itself. That’s why I am advocating term limits for legislators. I also believe that the unicameral system is a better system where we don’t really need senators and representatives to do basically the same amount of work. If we can get rid of one house, we can slash our budget by two-thirds. Finally, there is also the issue of the sunshine law. How many people know that the sunshine law applies to every government
body in Hawaii, except one. Guess which one? It’s the legislature. They are the only ones who aren’t. So I believe that the legislature should also be subject to the sunshine law, and agenda should be posted, and we should know that that’s what they are going to discuss before they ever discuss it. And also, I believe that medical tort reform is long overdue. Doctors are fleeing the state in record numbers, and I believe one of the main issues is the cost of medical malpractice insurance. So, I believe if we can reform that, then we can get a more responsive legislative action towards the doctors.
Civil Unions: What is your position on civil unions? Should same sex couples be granted the same rights and privileges as legally married couples? Answer: The Kalam Cosmological Argument demonstrates objectively the existence of a creator. I believe that the Bible is the word of our Lord, of our Creator to our people. Because we are created, and because we are created accountable to our creator, I believe that same-sex unions are afront to that creator, therefore, I am opposed to any form of recognition of same-sex unions.
Honoapiilani Hwy: The widening/realignment of the Honoapiilani Hwy has been discussed for years, yet only a small portion is currently under construction. How long will it really take and what alternatives do you envision to alleviate infrastructure concerns now? Answer: Well, it took 20 years to plan even the portion that we are getting right now, as much needed as it was, so I think behooves us to start right away to start the planning of it. The portion running mauka from Lahaina requires extensive funding, and I believe it’s important that the Maui delegation commit to a unified stance on this because right now whenever there’s a fire, we’re basically cut in two. As far as design, one thing that I always thought would be great, and again, I don’t know whether it can be done or not, would be to create a new highway from the end of the Pali to Olowalu; and then convert the existing highway into some sort of a linear park.
Protection of Natural Resources/Water: The state commission on water resource management recently issued rulings on streams in East Maui and at Na Wai ‘Eha in the West Maui Mountains. Are the new in-stream flow standards sufficient or will they ultimately hurt the struggling sugar industry? Answer: Well, first of all, why is it so important for water to run into the ocean? We live on an island where every drop of water is fought over and there’s a great amount of controversy over the allocation of it. So, why is it so important for it to flow into the ocean? That’s my first question. But, I do admit that in all likelihood, the sugar industry is probably less than efficient in using the water. So, the restricted flow could have the benefit of causing them to be a bit more efficient in the use of our precious commodity of water.
Education: What do you plan to do to prevent a repeat of the furlough Friday situation at public schools? Answer: I agree 100% with Duke Aiona on this one. The very first thing is to audit the DOE. We’re spending like $13,000 per kid–that should put us in the top 10, but our results are abysmal. I think we’re like 49th. This absolutely shouldn’t be. I say, make sure the money that is allocated actually reaches our classrooms instead of being used for questionable background services somewhere, who knows where. That seems to be not the way to go. I had the privilege of visiting Kihei Charter School a couple of weeks ago, and I went through their facility and saw what they were doing, and I was blown away. For less than half of what the DOE collects, they are able to produce a far superior product.
Closing thoughts: Well, I just ask the people what sort of government do we want? Do we want a government that arrogantly dictates to us what we will have? Or do we want a government that listens and actually responds to the people? This is why I am for term limits. Our legislature should be full of people that are just ordinary citizens like farmers, or businessmen, or teachers–who aren’t in there to make it a career, but are there to have the privilege of serving the people. I would pledge to respectively listen. I want to consider the privilege of serving as just that–a privilege. And a word of warning, the party in power is absolutely committed to raising taxes. They have no other choice. If they are to meet the commitments that they’ve made to the unions, they will have to raise taxes. I believe that is absolutely the wrong way to go in a recession. So anyway, if there is anybody interested in supporting my campaign, my website address is http://www.dean4house.com/, and I would appreciate your support. Mahalo nui loa.