This year, there are four Republicans running for the pleasure of losing to incumbent U.S. Senator Brian Schatz, D–Hawaii (okay, I’m kidding, though given the immense power the Democratic Party holds over Hawaii, Schatz’s incumbency and you-know-who being the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, I’m only half-kidding). One of them is Waiane resident John P. Roco.
For Roco, running for the U.S. Senate in Hawaii is nothing new. He’s previously run in the Republican primaries in 2010, 2012 and 2014 (he did best in 2010, when he got 16.4 percent of the GOP vote). Perhaps the fourth time will be the charm…
MAUTIME: What is your top priority if elected?
JOHN ROCO: Sort out as best as possible the protocol process for incoming immigrants to weed out all who are incompatible with safety in USA
MT: What event in your life best prepared you for public office?
JR: I just had open heart surgery December, 2015, and am happy to be here, on this earth. Without modern technology, I would be gone. When viewing all of one’s professional and personal work, from the perspective of time that is granted, not something limitless, one has focus. I am now so much more focused on doing what is right, here, while I still on this earth, standing. My profession of mental health counseling gives me further insight into laws that will protect all.
MT: Who should be the next President of the United States?
JR: I have not given any endorsements yet; that is a mutual process, a relationship sometimes between individuals who may meet, and iron out differences, rough edges, while highlighting their similarities.
MT: Which person who previously held the office you’re seeking do you hold up as a model? Why?
JR: Hiram Fong was a ground breaker fighting for Hawaii statehood, and able to see through issues while working with people, on the ground.
MT: What (if anything) should the U.S. Congress do to reduce gun violence?
JR: Enforce the laws on the books. Education is an important priority, teaching responsibility, also screening out individuals incompatible with responsible citizenship in the United States of America.
MT: What (if anything) should the nation be doing (that it isn’t already doing) to alleviate climate change?
JR: Grants in major educational institutions for energy sources research, and pushes for degree programs, majors and minors, filling out the field with innovative researchers, a new generation of clean energy.
MT: In Strieff v Utah, the U.S. Supreme Court just ruled that police can keep evidence seized from stops made without reasonable suspicion if police find an even minor arrest warrant on the person stopped. Do you support this? Why or why not?
JR: The Strieff v. Utah case originated from an anonymous tip to the police of drug activity; thereafter, police surveillance lead to the detention whereafter a ‘small traffic warrant’ was found on Strieff. That traffic warrant lead to the search, and finding of drugs and paraphernalia. I agree with this. Small traffic warrants, are not minor. If one operates vehicles there is a responsibility to follow laws, whether or not paying fees, going to court. That is life. If someone has a ‘small traffic warrant,’ expect to be scrutinized.
MT: Do you support full legalization of marijuana? Why or why not?
JR: No, I do not. It may appear recreational and harmless, but behaviors may change causing injury or death, as happened to my 4th Grade teacher’s friend, who thought she could ‘fly’ while on marijuana. Also, not enough research has focused on long term side effects in the hippocampus, a seat of memory in the brain.
Photo courtesy John Roco