Full Name: Keone John Nakoa
Name on Ballot: Keone Nakoa
Political Party: Democrat
Running For: Senate
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Current Job: Unemployed
Place of birth: Honolulu
Campaign website: keonenakoa.com
Job history past 10 years:
Law clerk, Craig H. Nakamura, chief judge of the Intermediate Court of Appeals
Legal extern, Mark E. Recktenwald, chief justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court
Constitutional law teaching assistant, William S. Richardson School of Law
Janet Steiger Fellow, Office of Consumer Protection
External affairs intern, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Washington, D.C.
Speech writer, case worker, and legislative correspondent, Sen. Daniel K. Akaka
Substitute teacher, ‘Iolani School
Mail courier, Harvard University
Ever run for public office? If so, when? Outcome? No
Other civic experience or community service?
Honolulu Civil Service commissioner; Democratic Party of Hawaii, District 25 chairman
Anything else you’d like voters to know about you?
I want to serve and give back to the community I grew up in. Following the legacy of Sen. Akaka, I believe that public servants should listen to their constituents and always remember why they were elected in the first place — to serve the community.
What makes you qualified to be a state senator?
I have a broad base of experience working at every level — state, local and federal — and in every branch of government — legislative, executive and judicial. I know the issues that matter most to this community because this is where I grew up — this is my home.
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?
I would oppose raising the gas tax because, in operation, this is a regressive tax. The increase would disproportionately burden many of our working-class families who must drive the farthest to commute to work and school. I am open to hearing the governor’s other 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 would not support extending the general excise tax because it is a regressive tax that unfairly impacts our working-class families, who make up the majority of our state. I would rather focus on developing solutions that distribute the burden more fairly.
Should the state play a role in cracking down on illegal vacation rentals in Hawaii?
Several constituents have mentioned that illegal vacation rentals are becoming more problematic because visitors are disturbing our residential neighborhoods. While enforcement of these restrictions is the responsibility of the city, we must coordinate efforts with the state to enforce the general plan and ensure that our policies support one another.
Should the Legislature require that police officers in Hawaii use body cameras, and help to fund the use of those cameras?
I support the use of body cameras as a common-sense step we can take to rebuild trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve. Many police departments are already using body cameras. As long as they are implemented properly, police and civilians will benefit from this important technology.
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?
I would support public disclosures of crimes and violations of departmental policies if that information is relevant to a police officer’s duties and/or affects the public’s faith in our police department.