Full Name: Tom Brower
Name on Ballot: Tom Brower
Political Party: Democrat
Running For: Hawaii House of Representatives
Email Address: email@example.com
Current Job: State House member
Place of birth: Honolulu
Job history past 10 years:
Full-time legislator, state House of Representatives
Ever run for public office? If so, when? Outcome?
Other civic experience or community service?
Eight-year Waikiki Neighborhood Board member, previous president of Waikiki Residents Association
Anything else you’d like voters to know about you?
I haven’t made a lot of money in life so I value a more cost-effective government. My spirituality helps me be humble and work with both Republicans and Democrats. Since being elected I have strived to be a full-time, open-minded legislator.
What makes you qualified to be a state representative?
I am a 33-year Waikiki resident with a diverse background: 25 years in the private and nonprofit sectors, 10 years in government, eight years on the neighborhood board. As an elected official, I’ve been resourceful and proactive, dedicated to finding sensible solutions to constituents’ neighborhood concerns.
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?
Not yet, let’s first talk about the backlog of $650 million in federal highway funds. Let’s implement more efficient DOT spending practices. In recent years these same fees were increased with mixed results. We need to discuss the specific outcome expected in these current proposals.
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?
I currently do not. Since being elected, I have taken a conservative approach to the budget. I understand that tax increases are sometimes necessary, but I am also aware of how they can hurt struggling families, small businesses and seniors on fixed income. We must live within our means.
Should the state play a role in cracking down on illegal vacation rentals in Hawaii?
Yes, as House tourism chairman, I have helped to enact laws to create a level playing field that treats everyone fairly. Those efforts have resulted in more tax revenue and required rental operators to provide contact information and license numbers in online ads.
Should the Legislature require that police officers in Hawaii use “body cameras,” and help to fund the use of those cameras?
Yes, there should be a pilot program to demonstrate the effectiveness of body cameras. After an evaluation, should we see an increase in transparency in law enforcement and public confidence in policing methods, the program should become permanent.
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, transparency in law enforcement ultimately leads to greater public confidence in police procedures. While initially there may be growing pains to more open disclosure, the end result will be greater confidence and trust in the law enforcement process.