comscore District 24 - Michelle Tippens (L)

District 24 – Michelle Tippens (L)

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Full Name: Michelle Tippens

Name on Ballot: Michelle Tippens

Age: 38

Political Party: Libertarian

Running For: Hawaii House of Representatives

District: Makiki – 24th

Email Address:

Current Job: Disabled veteran

Place of birth: Houston

Campaign website:

Job history past 10 years:

I was medically discharged by the U.S. Army in 2002. In 2004, I was rated as individually unemployable by the VA due to my injuries sustained while in military service. I have not been employed since that time.

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

I have never run for public office before.

Other civic experience or community service?

I served in the U.S. Army for over four years. I currently volunteer for a nonprofit group called the Hawaii Veterans Cannabis Alliance, which is focused on helping veterans adjust to civilian life and reducing the number of veteran suicides, currently believed to occur at a rate of more than one an hour.

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

As a candidate, I am most focused toward ensuring the laws of Hawaii reflect the desires of the people. I am personally committed to the fact that a democratic government is meant to do exactly that, be a reflection of the community’s desires and beliefs.

What makes you qualified to be a state representative?

I am a good listener and a committed advocate for the desires of the people. I have been giving testimony at the Capitol for almost three years. I have no commercial allegiances or interests. I am a person, not a politician.

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?

While I understand the need for better roads, I would like to explore other options that could better use the funds Hawaii already has. I would also want to explore other avenues to generate funds that don’t involve tax increases to citizens.

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?

Yes. Unfortunately, this rail project has become a failure before it even finished construction. However, at this point I feel the state is “pot committed” to the project. I would like to review the project as it stands and see if adjustments can be made to make it profitable sooner.

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

Maybe. The state needs to seriously take a long hard look at its financial position before it starts spending more money enforcing anything. The police department can’t afford to fund the enforcement with which they are currently tasked. I would like to see budgets first.

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

Maybe. What is the purpose of the cameras, how much do they cost to purchase and maintain? What benefit does the state anticipate in conjunction with using these cameras?

I would need a lot of explanation to justify such an expense.

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?

Yes. Furthermore, I feel that the disciplinary action process should be reviewed to ensure “repeat offenders” are being terminated from employment with the police department. Being a police officer means being a mentor in the community. Mentors lead by example, not through tyranny.

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