NAME: Brian Schatz
OCCUPATION: State Legislator representing Tantalus, Makiki and McCully
RUNNING FOR: U.S. Congress, 2nd District
MAUITIME: Why should people vote for you?
BRIAN SCHATZ: Because I have the energy level and skills to compete in a room full of 435 barracudas!
MT: Are you sure about that?
BS: Yes, I’m sure about that.
MT: What’s the biggest problem facing your district?
BS: Lack of infrastructure.
MT: So I take it you’ve been to Maui?
BS: I’ve been there 15 times already for this election.
MT: What do you intend to do about the problem?
BS: Bring home federal money for bypass roads in Lahaina and Kihei. I think those are the two biggest jam-ups.
MT: Is Maui going to have an infrastructure-related disaster very soon?
BS: Well, I’m a hopeful person. I think that the business cycle will slow and development won’t be so rampant. You also need to get the right people on the County Council who take things seriously–there are some good candidates there. In order to avoid a disaster, those two things need to happen. And I think they will.
MT: What are your feelings on Hawaiian sovereignty?
BS: Self-determination is critical to protect Native Hawaiian institutions and programs. More importantly, the federal government must recognize there was a Hawaiian nation that preceded America. Without that recognition, Hawaii will become a different place.
MT: What do you think of the proposed Superferry?
BS: Unintended consequences like over-crowding and difficult shipping for farmers.
MT: How about George W. Bush?
BS: Overwhelmed. Petulant.
BS: Mixed blessing.
BS: Illegal, but not as bad as ice.
MT: What’s the most difficult thing that ever happened to you?
BS: Coming to terms with the death of a loved one.
MT: Care to elaborate?
BS: No, sorry.
MT: What’s the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?
BS: Peeing my pants in the middle of class in fourth grade.
MT: I appreciate your honesty. You must’ve been a dedicated student.
BS: I don’t know why I peed in my pants!
MT: What’s the last book you read?
BS: Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat.
MT: What’s your favorite thing about Maui?
BS: The people.
MT: Everyone says that!
BS: Well, it’s true. That and the fact that you can get good Mexican food on Maui.
Photo of Brian Schatz: Ricky Li/Flickr