Comments Received From My Recent Email Outreach

Below is a sampling of comments that have come in since I sent out an email asking:

  1. Please tell me which new progressive candidate you would like most to see elected in 2018, and why.

2)  Please tell me what is the single most important issue you think a candidate should focus on, and what personal attribute or characteristic you most want to see in a candidate and elected leader.

The responses are below with submitters names and email addresses removed:


Most important issue is getting a county manager, so that the mayor is free to create progressive plans for the island.

Most important characteristic for a candidate is competence.

Thanks for asking, Gary.


Please endorse Randy Gonce for House District 48.  He is a true progressive and a positive force in Hawaii politics.


I’m for Hanabusa for governor, for Joanne Yukimura, Derek Kawakami and Kipukai Kualii for Kauai Council. I’m most concerned that we move forward to ban as many pesticides as possible. I’m for raising the standards of education by paying more for quality teachers and by making all schools face a much more rigorous course of study so that our kids can go to Harvard and Yale too. I’m for placing limits on the number of tourists we get here, I’m for building not more hotels for tourists but instead building small tiny house communities on every island so that the needs of our homeless population are met. I’m for no guns, I read about one country that keeps everyone’s guns locked up at the local police stations, if people want to use their guns to hunt or target shoot they can sign them out. Sounds great to me. I’m for mandate recycling, to make it easy give all consumers colored bins that will be picked up as weekly garbage is. I’m for banning styrofoam and mandating paper products instead of plastic. I’m for throwing out the military on Kauai by cutting most of the Pacific Missile Base’s operations. That’s all I can think of right now. Thanks,


Hello, Gary,

Great to know you are in the leadership team for the 2018 elections.  My time, energy, and

resources are already committed to Don Guzman who is running for Mayor, out of three

candidates, all who have a solid supporter base and history in the Maui County Council.

We’re having a very tight race this time … and our current mayor, who is now term limited,

will be running for Guzman’s council seat, in another interesting race just developing.  Your

Mayor Bernard was here on Maui last Sunday for the Sierra Club annual meeting, at which

time all candidates and elected officials in the audience were given a little time to talk, so I

was happy to be sitting directly in front of the stage to hear them.  Are you backing your

Mayor in the Lieutenant Governor’s race?


The candidate that I most want to see elected is Elle Cochran,

running for Maui County Mayor.  Elle truly cares about Maui’s most important

issues, affordable housing & protecting our environment.

The Council candidates that I support are Kelly King, Tamara Paltin, Keani Rawlins-Fernandez,

Alika Atay, Gabe Johnson & Shane Sinenci.


You ask about candidates for office I support:

Here are 3:

Jessica Wooley House District 48

A women of experience and integrity. A strong supporter of social and environmental causes.

Anthony Austin

Candidate for Congressional  House of Representatives District 2

Honest without doubt. has been active in DEM Affirmative Action and Environmental Caucus

He is a local businessman and consultant helping organize and manage startups. He is extremely well organized and focused. Fiscally conservative and socially progressive.

Mo Radke, House District 49

Local Businessman and Golf Pro.

Chair of the Kaneohe Neighborhood Board and does an exceptional job.

Smart, honest and concerned about how Kanohe develops. quality jobs, affordable housing, homeless, environmental and social issues.


I like you & like majority of kamainas are barely able to support themselves based on their income & rising costs of food, property taxes, utilities & everything else to sustain their lives.  Many as you are aware of are too sick or disabled to hold a job or working for wages so low they have to work 2 or more jobs.  Almost 25% of our population are retired & the numbers are growing.  That’s why when every candidate no matter how sincere or dedicated they may be ask for donations to fund a campaign, it just angers me to realize that the people will never be able to have the candidate they need or want elected into office.  They can’t afford it.  As long as we have a system that favors what money can buy, there will not be a level playing field for every candidate or potential candidate to be able to get in the game.  As it is, no matter the party, the leaders of the party are also corrupt.  The people are not allowed to know all the potential candidates who file an application.  They are pre-selected by the party.

I feel since the GOP believes government should be run like a business, perhaps every candidate should fill out a job application along with a personal financial credit history report to verify fiscal responsibility.  If a candidate can’t manage their own finances, how can the people entrust him or her to manage or make financial decisions for the rest of the country?  A health evaluation report by a 3rd party physician to verify mental, emotional stability & current physical health status.  A statement by the candidate giving full background description of self & qualifications for position applying for.  There should also be a vision statement of the goals he or she hope to achieve & positions on other issues.

These should be able to be posted freely online via email, fb, tweeter or what have you that is available today or printed in the local newspapers for those without modern technology.  Another way to get around costs is to post all the potential candidates job application on a public viewing bulletin board at any County, State or Federal buildings or Libraries or Schools.

They require it of any employee applying for a job.  The people should require no less.  Their title does not make them more powerful than anyone else.  It should not provide them entitlements beyond reasons.

The problem is we are still a very segregated Country.  They keep us segregated by States, Counties, religion, race & financial status.  As long as they retain these divisive situations to exist, they also retain their control over the masses, because it prevents a bonding to evolve.  That’s why we always have to answer these questions on forms, applications, etc.  Sure the reasons is they try to be fair & offer positions to a quota of each, but eliminating such divisive inquiries would make it more fair to those who have the most qualification for the job.

Point is I think with todays technology there are ways to get the message out there in a more affordable way than before.  As long as public media & the internet is not censored.  That would be the hammer that hits the nail on the head & end our civil rights for good.  That & taking our right to own a weapon to protect our physical selves.


Thank you Gary for your email.


I do not wish to nominate any new candidate right now because as an incumbent I need to be able to work with whoever is elected and it would be difficult to get my bills through if I back someone who loses because the winner will remember what I have done.


As far as character:  I think we need to find someone who is willing to buck the trend.  Being in the Hawaii legislature, I have found that it is easy to be pro-environment and in fact, we have policies already in place towards energy sustainability.


Although it is still a good idea to be vigilant and ensure that we do not back-track from those goals, I think it is more difficult for a candidate to embrace penal reform.  It is a knee-jerk reaction to punish everyone who doesn’t agree with our goals by making them a criminal and that includes making the sale of oxybenzone a crime because it won’t be the president of CVS who will be arrested, it will be the Avon lady; or tying up a dog when you go to work because it will more likely be a disgruntled neighbor turning in another neighbor rather than a puppy mill owner.  It is far more potent to exact heavy fines proportional to income on abusers rather than to burden an already over-taxed judiciary and jails with petty crimes where the offender will learn to be a worse criminal.  The community correctional centers like OCCC which house misdemeanants and pretrial detainees are the most overcrowded so it’s the petty crimes that we create that is creating the overcrowding.  1 reason why I introduced the decriminalization of drug paraphernalia which passed the first year I introduced it and it was signed by the governor into law in 2017 – I felt that was the most progressive bill in 2017 because it bucked the trend and made Hawaii the only state to decriminalized drug paraphernalia (It was a Class C felony which gave the prosecutors an unfair advantage over otherwise petty crimes)


Good luck finding ELECTABLE candidates.

Here’s my take.

In Hawaii, politicians (and the State and County employees they help get their jobs)

virtually all cater to special interests.

I’m not talking about just the usual crowd which includes the likes of A & B, Grove Farm, Sygenta,, even Big Save. The biggest special interest group of all is ORGANIZED LABOR. Here I mean unions like Longshoremen, Teamsters, Electrical workers, etc.

And the most powerful of all  ……………  HGEA

These guys back candidates who will play ball with them – Union leaders look out for their own interests.

HSTA wants to improve pay, benefits and working conditions for it’s members while paying lip service to

improving education for our keiki. More pay and benefits for HSTA members (and the bloated staff of DOE)

has not and will not result in better educated children.

Sadly, even HAPA is sucking up to HSTA, — example the comment in the HAPA email dated Feb. 19.

“In solidarity with our teachers at the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA ), we share their request to support legislation seeking to address our chronically underfunded schools”

Why should the HSTA Board be deserving of kudos because they “voted to support state legislation requiring

mandatory disclosure & notification, and buffer zones around schools.”  ALL responsible citizens should favor

such legislation.

It will take a paradigm shift to get better government at the State and County level. Voter turnout is pathetically

low on Kauai. Round up the usual suspects, and it’s easy to get the ten thousand or so votes needed to take and maintain political power on Kauai.

I am quite disturbed to by the fact that half the ballots cast in the last election were mailed in. How many of those were filled out by the voter’s friendly foreman at work or their shop steward ?

I love Kauai – I can’t think of another place I’d rather live. When we moved here a couple of decades ago –

the quality of local government was NOT one of the attractions.


Aloha Gary,

In response to your PHI letter, I’ll answer you in strictly local terms;


The candidate I most would like to see elected now to our council is Luke Evslin.

The issue I feel we most need to address now is limiting further tourism development, and only supporting development of truly affordable housing for local residents (not homes that cost $400,000.)

I live in Kapahi, and Kapa’a right now is well beyond carrying capacity for water, sewer/septic, and roads.  The 2 or 3 new hotel/condo things waiting to be built cannot happen- it is completely crazy to think its possible to shoehorn any more people and cars in this area, and that is true for the entire island as well.  We are pau and the tourism people need to face that before we become an overdeveolped third rate Maui that no tourists are interested in.

As always, my number one interest in any candidate is how well they support protecting our natural environment from the myriad assaults it suffers from daily.

thank you for all you do, I feel you’re doing a fantastic job without being constrained by being an elected official!

Mahalo nui,


Aloha Gary…. It’s like the TGI said in a recent opinion.. We have many people on the island who have resumes of experience in business management skills and yet because of the popularity contest they won’t run and waste their time applying. If we could change the process by hiring the people we need I think they would look at the situation a lot differently. How would we change to hiring the skilled people for the job instead of electing people for the job? Thanks for your time


Dear Gary,

My advice is to watch “Trumping Democracy” Its an eye opener.

(Its free on Amazon prime.)

Best regards,


Aloha Gary… On kauai the “popularity contest” election process takes hold and has forever. Times are changing the county is no longer the way it was and the only change you will make when it comes to the best people is you need to hire them not elect them. Look at the idiots on the council. They are the product of popularity contest candidates. Look at the embarrassing pounding that JoAnn receives daily.The worst of the worst. If we don’t change the way we put people on the council it will remain a frustrating situation and continue to show the lack of quality for the lives for all those who live here. It is the main reason for my most recent letter. The reality is we need well educated masters of business management for our council if we want to stop kicking cans and move this island forward for all of us.  You hire pro’s for the job not friends and family.Thank you have a great day.


I would actually like to see two strong progressive women elected together in 2018  – Tiare Lawrence and Amy Perruso. Both are experienced political leaders with the ability and desire to create a people’s movement. They have different areas of policy expertise, but neither has problematic political instincts in any policy area. I personally favor Dr. Amy Perruso, not just because she has been conducting a solid campaign thus far, but also because hers is the kind of academic, professional and political background, in these troubling times, that will most benefit the legislature.

In my view, the most critical issue facing the people of Hawaii is political corruption, among other things, the widening gap between the people’s needs and the legislature’s ability to act to meet those needs.

The most important attribute we need in progressive candidates is a deep commitment to public service.

Mahalo for asking great questions,


Iʻd love to make every politician, elected or candidate, be offered the opportunity to sign a public pledge to never henceforth take any money from the NRA.  Iʻd like to see any firearm that is not used traditionally to hunt be classified in the same class as nuclear bombs and tanks — weapons of war —  and be made just as unavailable to private ownership as tanks and missiles.

Mahalo Gary for this opportunity.


I’ll vote based on there opinions on GMOs.    Get rid of them


Thank you for being willing to serve!

I hope you consider these:

Most important issue for Democrats nationwide is to find somewhat MODERATE -electable candidates. It seems our “progressives” have become somewhat  radicalized, intractable and divisive and  typically malihini with a limited appreciation of what’s pono least here on Maui.

That being said I’d like to propose the following priorities.

1. Tourism: focus on QUALITY of visitor experience and  on high end tourism. We don’t need to try to accommodate more to earn more $$$ or provide more jobs. (Let Mexico and Florida attract mid market). Our infrastructure is threatened as is the very environment that attracts people to Hawaii. Let’s not “kill the goose…”

2. Related: Address those who are mentally ill who live in our streets and beaches by GREATLY expanding mental health services. 1/3 + of homeless population have brain disease and their increasing  presence is negatively impacting visitor industry especially in City and County of Honolulu.  Since Susan Chun-Oakland left the legislature their has been no champion for this cause.

3. We owe the our people a home! Break the barriers to affordable housing for Hawaii’s citizens and also encourage the return of long term RENTAL apartments…state wide. The condo conversions in the 70’s and 80’s squeezed many out. This includes limiting B&B and vacation rentals.

Mahalo nui loa,


Mahalo for Ms. Saint-Marie’s piece on the war makers.  As I see it the only thing that can the system is a national strike.  The kids from Florida are making a difference in this way.  Dems and progressive’s need to pay attention on how their elected officials vote and if the vote is for their lobbyists interests and not the common than local and national businesses need to be boycotted.

Here’s another native american perspective on rich man’s wars:


John Trudell always inspires me.

Good luck with your political aspirations.  Here’s what you are up against according to Jesse Ventura:


Aloha Gary,  I will review the PHI website to determine its correspondence with my value set; however, I will respond to your e-mail right now.

The #1 task for this legislature is to pass a “Death With Dignity” law.

Too many of us have had to witness the suffering of our grandparents and parents who only wished to say farewell to kin and friends and then pass peacefully without further suffering and erosion of family assets.  I am now 73 years of age and while still very healthy, if/when I become terminally ill, I do not want to suffer; be a burden to my family or society; or exhaust financial resources in vain attempts to prolong my life.

Please assure me that you and your organization will support this bill!



Integrity is my highest priority for a candidate. Also someone who has the ability to cooperate with others and ideally not alienate those with a different perspective.

Preservation and respect of the ‘Aina, na po’e Hawai’i and strengthening the use of The Hawaiian language are also high on my priority list.

Thank you for including me in you list. Sadly I am short on funds as I am retired an am considered very low income.

A hui hou,


The single most important attribute is integrity coupled with humility. The most important issue for me is attention to public education with an emphasis on early education. I haven’t heard of any true progressive candidates but you seem to have a clue. Please inform us.


We already blew it.



Cicero in mind – what I want to see happening, is: showing Monsanto the door! Or, less polite: kick them out of HI.

Mahalo –


Aloha Gary,

Thank you, friend. Buffy Sainte-Marie for any office she wants!

Ditto for former U.S. Representative candidate Kathryn Xian.

And former Republican, Hawaii State Representative Beth Fukumoto.

FYI: UH-Mānoa has enthusiastic new grass roots voter registration.

Dozens of instructors invite Civic Engagement volunteers to their classrooms.

For more info contact: or UH Matsunaga Institute.


If you’re not already working with Luke Evslin, he’s a great candidate for Kauai council.  He’s thoughtful, smart, engaged in the community, and just an all-around great person.  I really hope we can get him elected!


Gary, the candidate that I would most like to see elected in 2018 is Kaniela Saito Ing.  I support the issues that concern him, from Medicare for all, to GMO labelling and pesticides, to getting corporate money out of politics.  I understand that he does not take corporate contributions.


Aloha, Gary. I don’t know if or where this fits, and I don’t even know if he is interested in running for council, but I thought Adam Asquith was spectacular at our last water hui meeting in Kapaa re: the diversions on Waialiali. He told the reps. from CWRM in a very direct and professional way, not to come to Kauai, unless they were coming to help.

It was really very powerful, and allowed no wiggle room. I would love to hear him be direct with certain members of the County Council.


Closing note to readers: I did yes, respond to each and every person that sent in a suggestion or comment.


About garyhooser

This blog represents my thoughts as an individual person and does not represent the official position of any organization I may be affiliated with. I presently serve as volunteer President of the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action (H.A.P.A.) I am the former Vice-Chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaii. In another past life, I was an elected member of the Kauai County Council, a Hawaii State Senator, and Majority Leader, and the Director of Environmental Quality Control for the State of Hawaii - in an even earlier incarnation I was an entrepreneur and small business owner. Yes, I am one of the luckiest guys on the planet. Please visit my website AND sign up for my newsletter (unlike any email newsletter you have ever gotten, of that I am sure) - “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We’re afraid.” “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We will fall!” “Come to the edge.” And they came. And he pushed them. And they flew. - Christopher Logue (b.1926)
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