comscore District 13 - Karl Rhoads (D)

District 13 – Karl Rhoads (D)

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Full Name: Karl Allen Rhoads

Name on Ballot: Karl Rhoads

Age: 53

Political Party: Democrat

Running For: State Senate

District: 13

Email Address:

Current Job: State Representative

Place of birth: Michigan

Campaign website:

Job history past 10 years:

State representative, 2006 to present

Chairman, Judiciary Committee, 2013 to present

Chairman, Labor & Public Employment Committee, 2009 to 2013

Ever run for public office? If so, when? Outcome?:

Member of the state House of Representatives, 2006 to present

Member of the Downtown Neighborhood Board, 1997 to 2006

Other civic experience or community service?

Director, Pacific Gateway Center (formally the Immigrant Center), 11 years.

Director, Honolulu Tower Association of Apartment Owners, six years

Chinatown Citizens Patrol, 14 years

Anything else you’d like voters to know about you?

I will work hard to earn your trust as I have worked hard to earn the trust of my House constituents in Kalihi, Palama, Iwilei and Chinatown. I share your values of hard work and ohana and I will do my best to make you proud that you supported me.

What makes you qualified to be a state senator?

I share the values of our community: hard work, honesty, playing by the rules and not drawing unnecessary attention to yourself. My 10 years of experience in the state House and four years as chairman of the Judiciary Committee will enable me to hit the ground running in the Senate.

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?

In general, I oppose tax increases. In the short run, we need to spend the money we already have in the funds dedicated to road repair. In the long run, I would consider the gas tax increase, if needed, because every year it is not changed, inflation erodes its value.

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?

Rail is a city project where no city sources of funding have been utilized. Like any bill, I would consider it, but the Legislature has done more than its part for rail. The city borrowing some money for a capital project that will last 100 years would be perfectly reasonable.

Should the state play a role in cracking down on illegal vacation rentals in Hawaii?

Yes and no. The state should enforce the General Excise and Transient Accommodations Tax laws, which should be easy enough in the internet age, but the zoning aspects of the problem are a city responsibility. I support city and state officials cooperating to carry out their enforcement duties.

Should the Legislature require that police officers in Hawaii use “body cameras,” and help to fund the use of those cameras?

As Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, I put in many hours last legislative session trying to pass a body cameras bill. The state Constitution prohibits unfunded mandates. My efforts focused on establishing uniform rules that would protect both the public and police officers for counties that adopt camera usage.

Dozens of police officers in Hawaii 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?

As chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, I helped pass a bill that expands the information available about disciplined officers. Politics is the art of the possible and that expansion was what was possible. Like many legislative questions, finding the right balance is often the most difficult task.

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