Full Name: Glenn Wakai
Name on Ballot: Glenn Wakai
Political Party: Democrat
Running For: Senate
Email Address: email@example.com
Current Job: Senator
Place of birth: Tokyo
Campaign website: www.glennwakai.com
Job history past 10 years:
State senator: November 2010 – present
State representative: November 2002 – 2010
President, High Impact Communications (public relations): September 2005 – present
Ever run for public office? If so, when? Outcome?
Yes, 2002, 04, 06, 08, 10, 12. Victorious
Other civic experience or community service?
President Reach out Pacific (nonprofit taking medical and educational donations to Micronesia)
Board member: Goodwill Contract Services, and Japanese Cultural Center
Anything else you’d like voters to know about you?
I don’t believe in throwing money at every societal problem. Leaders with creativity and dedication can come up with solutions. Partnering with the private sector needs to be considered in improving government services.
What makes you qualified to be a state senator?
I believe in a government that is Better, Faster, and Cheaper. I am an advocate for improving government services by spending existing revenues more strategically and growing our economy. Rather than digging deeper into people’s pockets through tax increases, let’s fertilize the business environment and create more pockets.
Gov. Ige says he will once again propose increases to the state gas tax, vehicle weight tax and state registration fees to help pay for state road projects. Do you support his proposal?
No. However, I do support an increase in the vehicle weight tax for owners of alternative fuel vehicles. Since those drivers pay no gas tax, an unfair burden is placed on others for needed road expansion and maintenance.
If the Legislature is again asked to extend Oahu’s half-percent excise tax surcharge to finance construction or operation of the rail system, would you support such an extension?
No. I have never voted for an increase in the GET to pay for rail. Honolulu needs rail, but the management of the project has been flawed from the beginning. If we cannot clearly explain what residents are paying for, we shouldn’t tax them.
Should the state play a role in cracking down on illegal vacation rentals in Hawaii?
Yes. There are more vacation rentals in Hawaii than there are hotel rooms in Waikiki. They take away revenues from hotels and pay no occupancy taxes. The city should license vacation rentals and the state should get its fair share of hotel taxes out of them.
Should the Legislature require that police officers in Hawaii use “body cameras,” and help to fund the use of those cameras?
Yes. The city and state are constantly being sued by citizens for alleged police abuse. Some legit. Most baseless. Many citizens display their best behavior when they know their actions are being recorded. Body cameras will motivate more people involved in an incident to act responsibly.
Dozens of police officers throughout the state are disciplined each year for committing crimes or violating departmental policies, but little information is released about the officers or their cases. Do you think there needs to be greater public disclosure?
Yes. Those who carry a gun and choose to violate public safety instead of protecting it, cannot hide behind their badge. More important than disclosure, is the need for consequences for officers who abuse their position.