Maui Election

VIDEO: John Roco – Candidate Profile 2012

July 20, 2012, 6:10 PM HST
* Updated July 23, 12:24 PM
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John Roco. Photo by Wendy Osher.

[flashvideo file= /] Interview and transcription by Wendy Osher

INTRO: Tell us about yourself and your campaign.

Hi, my name is John Roco for US Senate for Hawai’i.  This campaign really is something that really came out of the HHS mandate issue.  We currently have a situation wherein, religious groups, schools, hospitals, will be required to provide insurance that provides pills that could cause abortions even if its against the religion of those groups.  This is an affront to religious liberties.  This is an affront to the first amendment rights.  This really is the huge issue that is impacting me a lot and a lot of the people that have been talking with me and are very involved with this.  There have been rallies over this issue–and nation-wide also.  This really is the huge reason–the impetus–of my race for the US Senate right now.

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.

My number one priority probably is to try to help inform all of Hawai’i that HR1681–every child deserves a family act–is a bill that was supported by a current US Senate candidate when she was in the House of Representatives, that would close all Catholic Charities adoption and foster care across the United States of America because Catholic Charities will not place with gay or lesbian couples.  Now, it’s not just live and let live–it’s let’s close that group, even though it’s been doing all this work in the spirit of St. Damien.  That really is my number one issue.  A lot of people just don’t know what’s happening right now.  The types of issues–the types of things that are being done that would impact many people’s lives and charities that are helping so many children. 


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


First of all, I need to actually thank Maui, because actually in the Primary, just a couple of years ago, I received a good percentage of the vote for Maui–20-30%–when I was running against Cam Cavasso.  So first, I need to thank Maui.  Secondly, I need to say that when I was active with this HR1681 issue, I was the rally captain for O’ahu–and I received emails from people from Maui that really wanted some more activism on this issue an some more education on the HHS mandate issue in Maui itself.  I actually, later today, I’ll be going to a church here on Maui to speak to one of the representatives there that wanted some help on this HHS mandate issue, and is helping organize people to stand up and say this is wrong.  We should be able to practice our religion without being forced to even if the federal or White House, or the government feels that abortions are right, we shouldn’t be forced to provide this insurance for the people that are employed by a church or hospitals or schools.  I already know that three are people on Maui that already have been asking me to help out here.  It’s a situation across the board. 

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.

It’s very interesting about this question because long before this became a heads-up issue–probably about nine months ago, I was fighting this HR1681 to help educate people what would be happening across our country.  It’s very interesting because there was recently a tourism debate that was happening and the most interesting thing that I noticed about this debate–I speak Chinese… I did business in China before–and there’s a huge issue in terms of tourism that could really impact Hawai’i, and that is the Senkaku Dispute, which wasn’t even mentioned.  The Senkaku dispute is a dispute between islands, between Japan and China–and the United States is kind of muddled up in the middle.  If there is tension in that dispute, and US sides in large extent with Japan, it could truly impact Hawai’i and Maui tourism.  As we know, the tourists right now that spend the most money are the ones from China.  This experience that I have, whether in business, whether as a counselor in recognizing situations–whether as an organizer trying to help organize these rallies for our religious rights, this is the type of experience that I bring to the table.  Just as a person that has kids that want a better place for the kids’ sake, and grand kids, this outlook far into the future –as to what relates best, that’s what I bring to the table.


Closing thoughts:

My name is John Roco for US Senate for Hawai’i.  You can read more about my campaign at  Thank you very much.  Thank you.

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