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VIDEO: Ed Case – Candidate Profile 2012

June 21, 2012, 1:23 PM HST · Updated July 25, 3:56 PM
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Ed Case. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Interview by Wendy Osher; transcribed by Wendy Osher

INTRO: Tell us about yourself and your campaign.

“Aloha, I’m Congressman Ed Case, humbly asking to serve you and all of Maui and our Hawai’i as your next United States Senator. I was born and raised in Hilo—the fourth generation of my family in Hawai’i. Both my wife Audrey and I have deep roots right here on Maui. My great-grandparents moved here in the early 1900s and spent their whole lives contributing to this community; and Audrey’s grandparents as well moved here in the early 1900s and spent some time of their lives before moving on to the Big Island. We have four great kids—all in their 20s. This election is as much about them and their children, as it is about us. I worked in Hawai’i’s business community for 30 years, served eight years in our state Legislature, and of course was honored and privileged to represent Hawai’i and Maui in the United States Congress for over four years (2002 to 2007). We have so many incredible issues as we look forward now to the future, to the next generation of our country and of our state. Whether it’s growing our economy or balancing our budget, or just plain getting Washington working again, we must turn to the decisions and challenges of our time. I hope to earn your vote in the few weeks remaining until the primary election, and then on into the general election. Please, check us out at www.edcase.com. Mahalo for your consideration and aloha.”

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Question 1: What is your number one priority for Hawaii in this upcoming term and how do you plan to implement action to accomplish this goal?

“Our number one priority together for our country, for our Hawai’i and for Maui, must remain growing our economy and creating and maintaining good jobs for ourselves and for our children.

That is important because that’s where most of us earn our livings, pay for our kid’s educations, pay for our houses, and do so many other things that we want and need to do for our families.

It’s also important because a strong economy generates revenues for our government—revenues that our government can use and does use to deliver core functions of government like protecting us all; like taking care of the needy. And those are the areas where our economy must contribute to our overall society.

Now how do we grow an economy nationally and here at home? Well, first of all we always have to focus on the basics, and I’ve done that for 30 years—working with businesses as a private lawyer and running both of the businesses that I worked for managing the two law firms that I worked for.

I know that it all starts with reasonable levels of taxation and reasonable levels of regulation. If they are too high either one of them—it will kill your business, and you’re just not going to be able to make it. That’s the struggle that we have in our country right now—to keep the tax load reasonable for our businesses and to keep regulation reasonable.

We also have to focus on what I call the four T’s: technology, tourism, trade, and training. We need to focus on tourism, number one, because that’s our number one industry and we have to maintain that industry. We need to focus on technology which we’ve done very well right here on Maui. We need to be able to provide for international trade with the coutries—especially in the Asia Pacific (region). Finally, we need to be able to train our fellow workers to handle the jobs of the future.

These are the areas that we must focus on—because if we don’t grow our economy, nothing else will really matter in the long run—and that’s where I think I’m especially able to contribute to our future.”

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Question 2: Why should Maui constituents vote for you; and what direct impacts do you hope to make in Maui County if you are voted into office?

I ask the residents of Maui County to vote for me because I believe that I’m balanced. I can deliver the best service for you in the United States Senate; and because I believe that I can best contribute to the solutions that we all want for our country, for our state, and for our Maui.

Really, I would simply ask you to look at my record—the record that I carried from my years of serving you in the United States House of Representatives from 2002 to 2007.

For starters, there’s an old saying that says, ‘half of life is just showing up.’  Well, I show up right here on Maui all of the time—and on Moloka’i, and on Lana’i. I did 172 talk stories right around my district over four years—so over 40 a year.

These weren’t the carefully censored and micromanaged talk stories that you see so many politicians do. There wasn’t anybody but me and you.

I went to the communities throughout Maui County—not just Wailuku; not just Kahului—but Moloka’i, Lana’i, Hana, Lahaina—all over, so that I could bring your government right to your doorstep.

That gave me an opportunity to tell you what was going on in Washington, DC, and also listen to you—to absorb what you had in your mind, and take it back to Washington to do the job up there.

I think I also know Maui County the best of any of the candidates in this race –not only because of my family background; not only because I’ve been coming to Maui (visiting and working on Maui my entire life); but because I think I’ve demonstrated by my actions that I care about what Maui County wants and needs.

Finally, let’s take this really to the national level because everything we’ve talked about nationally—from growing our economy, to balancing our budget, to fixing Washington–impacts our country today, impacts our state today, and definitely impacts Maui County today.

I believe that with the mix of my professional experience in both government and business, and the commitment I hope I’ve shown to you to get the job done—that we can in fact address, face up to, and overcome our challenges.

Question 3: What concrete examples can you give of your experience that makes you more qualified that other candidates included in the US Senate primary ballot?

When we look at the challenges that our country faces, our state faces, and Maui County faces–we can see that some of them are big picture, national issues; some of them are issues that just affect our state; and some of them are very specified to Maui County and to its communities.

On the national level, (again) in four plus years in congress, I contributed to solutions to our national economy to try and balance our national budget, which I think is in crisis right now; to preserving Social Security and Medicare; to saving our environment; to working across the gamut of all of the politicians in congress to try to get solutions to problems without regard only to party, or only to where somebody was from, or whatever they believed.

For me it’s just about finding the folks that want to solve our problems and getting them done. I can do that for Maui County and nationally—and I did do it.

In terms of some of our state and county issues, I was reminded just this morning that in the early part of the last decade, around 2002-2003, we had a major crystal meth epidemic that was going on, really.

I turned that up in Congress, and tried very hard, and succeeded in getting additional funding for treatment; getting additional laws on the books that would take the materials that people used to make crystal meth out of drug stores; and also to help with law enforcement.

I brought the top person in the United States House of Representatives, in charge of drug policy, right here to Maui—we did a full-on congressional hearing right here in Kahului. We took the results of that congressional hearing back up to Washington and got some solutions. That’s some of the things that I’m able to do.

I would also just go back to my talk stories because I’m proud of those talk stories and I believe that that is a way that I can keep in touch with Maui County all of the time.

Certainly as your United State’s Senator, I would pledge, number one, that I’m not just going to wave to you good-bye at the airport and say, ‘see you in six years, I’ll let you know how I did.’

It’s going to be an ongoing partnership between me and you; and I hope very much to help Maui County and the United States Senate.

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