Full Name: Joseph William Kent
Name on Ballot: Joe Kent
Political Party: Libertarian
Running For: Senate
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Current Job: Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
Place of birth: Des Moines, Iowa
Campaign website: www.libertarianpartyofhawaii.org
Job history past 10 years:
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, vice president, two years
Department of Education, Hawaii, four years
Department of Education, Minnesota, four years
Ever run for public office? If so, when? Outcome?
In 2014, I ran an unsuccessful bid for U.S. Congress
Other civic experience or community service?
Ron Paul National Delegate for Hawaii 2012
What makes you qualified to be a state senator?
My qualification: I am committed to defending your rights and your liberties. Most politicians do not even meet that basic qualification. The only person who you should trust with power is the person who does not want power.
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, we have plenty of money. The budget for the Department of Transportation has grown by 29 percent in the past decade, yet our roads are still rated among the worst in the nation. We would have better roads if we simply outsourced the entire department to a private company.
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. We should lower taxes to bring our economy back on track. In the meantime, there are many, many creative solutions to rail that are being offered. Let’s choose one that allows us to live within our means.
Should the state play a role in cracking down on illegal vacation rentals in Hawaii?
No. Airbnb contributes more than $74 million to our local economy, and only makes up 1 percent of housing in the state. Instead of scapegoating Airbnb, we should free up more housing for everyone else by cutting red tape and making it easier to build affordable housing.
Should the Legislature require that police officers in Hawaii use “body cameras,” and help to fund the use of those cameras?
Yes. But an easier solution would be to simply train police not to be so upset when they are filmed by citizens in public.
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, we need to update UIPA section 92F-14(b) which exempts police from providing information about misconduct. Updating this law to allow more transparency would have a huge impact in increasing accountability for police officers.