Ok, the Hawaii Primary Election is over! Time to start prepping for the General Election in November! And what better way than by getting to know a few of the candidates.
Danny Pekus is one of them. He ran unopposed in the Primary as a Republican in the 11th District state representative race. That seat is currently held by Democrat Kaniela Ing, who just trounced Democratic challenger Deidre Tegarden in the Primary.
MAUITIME: What is your top priority if elected?
DANNY PEKUS: My platform addresses a lot of issues that we need to be concerned about within our community and our state. I don’t have one main issue and I’m tired of our American voters only voting on one main issue. There are numerous items that need repair with our government that affects our community, state, and nation. Education is of major importance because a lot stems from there, such as, ability to get a job, and the ability to earn a good wage or salary. Affordable housing and homeless is another issue. Economy and out fragile environment and a lot of the issues within each area affects the other.
MT: What event in your life best prepared you for public office?
DP: There are numerous events but working in a poorly managed government public arena of education I have seeing spending waste, too much regulation, and not doing what is best for the children, this is upsetting. Also when working in the private workplace seeing government spending waste, government not transparent and tell the truth to our citizens, and getting too complicated. We need to simplify government.
MT: Who should be the next President of the United States?
DP: The next President of the U. S. needs to work upon the same issues as we do in the local community except on a national scale. Who I back does not have a direct bearing on this local election and should not be a determinant. I find that too many individuals today just look at the letter after your name to determine if they will vote for you which in a way is too shallow and I want everyone to vote for me that can agree with most of my platform policies. I do understand that we can not agree on everything and individuals should not vote based upon one issue, but that happens today sadly to say.
As for a leader, we do not have to like our leaders as an individual, they just need to lead and do what our government is supposed to do: protect, infrastructure, schools, fire protection, manage the economy so people can keep and maintain good paying jobs, military and the biggest one today is to be honest with our voters.
If I am elected I plan to get every bill put in front of me on my website, talk about them on the radio and in the newspapers and try to get every bill written so that everyone can understand them. I also disagree with any bill having any riders/earmarks or attachments to other bill. They should stand alone on their own with a YES or NO vote. Also, if my constituents in my voting district want a vote of a YES or a NO vote on a bill that might be against my views I will have to go with my voters views because that will be who I am voted to represent.
MT: Which person who previously held the office you’re seeking do you hold up as a model? Why?
DP: I really do not have a model for my position that I am seeking. I am coming from a completely different point of view because I feel that what we have been doing here, and across the nation, has not been working and that is why Americans are so fed up with government as a whole.
MT: Do you support or oppose the current law that exempts police officer misconduct records from public disclosure? Why?
DP: I do not think that anyone should be exempt from their work record becoming public unless it is not confirmed for any job, be it teaching or working in the private sector. Everyone is Innocent until proven Guilty but if someone has something on their work record that could affect the public it should be public. That does not necessarily mean that anyone should lose their position (depends upon the severity) but might have to re-earn the trust at work and with the public while on probation.
MT: Right now Hawaii has two minimum wages–one for workers, and one for restaurant workers who receive tips (which is lower than the first minimum wage). Do you support this? Why or why not?
DP: Raising Minimum Wage is a “Vote Getter” for the typically un-educated or lower educated individuals. We need to make two-year college and trade schools more affordable to increase these individuals marketability in the work force. We also need to develop affordable housing and a system and places for the homeless to temporarily live and work off some of their stay while getting mental health and/or job training skills. When minimum wage goes up it can push business out of business, or cause a inflationary spiral in the market place, or can increase the unemployed since companies that cannot raise the prices of their product since the market will not bear it they will have a tendency to release employees.
MT: What should Hawaii’s minimum wage be?
DP: I feel that minimum wage should be minimum wage, period. But it should not be at a level that it negatively affects the businesses, the economy, and ultimately the government revenues. Minimum wage was never meant to be a “Living Wage.” It was made for first time workers (high school kids) and elderly to pick up some extra income.
MT: The proposed merger between Hawaiian Electric and NextEra–will this be good or bad for Hawaii? Why?
DP: What I have read seems to be good so far but I will continue to research the merger. I think that merging companies, from a business standpoint can reduce costs and people can benefit but to a point because approaching a monopoly is not good either. And in a way, most utility companies approach the monopoly mode.
Hawaii’s clean energy transformation is good and by bringing the expertise and resources of NextEra Energy to our state to achieve even higher levels of renewables and lower energy costs for our customers is the ultimate goals.
While the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved the proposed merger. The merger will bring together two industry leaders in clean and renewable energy.
Also following the spinoff, American Savings Bank will remain based in Hawaii as an independent public company, and continue to provide a full range of financial products and services, including business and consumer banking, insurance and investments, corporate banking and commercial real estate lending.
Photo courtesy Danny Pekus