comscore District 02 - Clifton K. (Clift) Tsuji (D)

District 02 – Clifton K. (Clift) Tsuji (D)

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Full Name: Clifton (Clift) K. Tsuji

Name on Ballot: Clifton K. (Clift) Tsuji

Age: 75

Political Party: Democrat

Running For: House

District: 2

Email Address:

Current Job: State Representative

Place of birth: Kalaoa Mauka Plantation Camp, Hilo, HI

Campaign website: N/A

Job history past 10 years:


Hilo High School, University of Hawaii-Manoa, Pacific Coast Banking School at University of Washington;

1969-2003, Central Pacific Bank, retired senior vice president & neighbor island regional manager

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

2004-Present, state House of Representatives (Will be completing six consecutive two-year terms.) Current chairman of Committee on Agriculture. Also served as chairman of Committee on Economic Development

Other civic experience or community service?:

Military: U.S. Army Reserve, 442nd Infantry, Company B, Hilo, Honorable discharge, 1959-1965

Appointments: Hawaii Health Systems Corp, 1966-2000; 2000-2004, board member and 1966-2000. State of Hawaii Medical Advisory Commission, 1986-1994


Business Education Partnership annual award, 2003

Hawaii Florists & Shippers Association recognition, 2009

University of Hawaii, Hilo Distinguished Service Award, 2009

BIO Legislator of the Year Award, 2010

Hawaii Dental Association State Legislator of Year Award, 2014

Hawaii Farm Bureau Legislator of the Year Award, 2015

OTHER PRESENT COMMUNITY SERVICE: Hilo Medical Center Foundation, Hawaii Island Japanese Community Association, Pacific Tsunami Museum, Hiroshima Kenjin Kai, Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce, Kumamoto Kenjin Kai.

NFIB Spirit of Business Award, 2013

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

2016 Legislative Session, four bills introduced are now law: 1) HB 2422,simplifies the cumbersome process for liquor licenses, first official bill signing by governor, Act 12; HB 1999/Act 221, HB 1997, Act 229, and HB1050.

What makes you qualified to be a state representative?

Even prior to being an elected official, I have consistently represented our community before the Legislature. As representative, I have consistently produced community benefits. These are a few: Introduced legislation relating to coqui frog (Act 51, 2005) Introduced drought mitigation legislation, Act 238, 2007, reinstated ag inspectors

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?

The legislative body has supportive ability for such a proposal as tax increase. Presently, I take a very cautious approach for such increase.

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 take a very hesitant view of this increase. Many unanswered questions regarding the project. Specifically what is this half-percent surcharge expected to accomplish. I hesitate to support a never-ending extension, i.e., a rail to nowhere. Simply covering a shortfall is not a sufficient answer.

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

Yes, I believe we should by collaborating with our real estate entities, such as brokers, developers and landlords. Believe our law enforcement officials may consider this an additional burden.

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

I tend to support the idea of our Legislature being provided with further information via legislative informational briefing to understand “body cameras” and to what financial support may be required.

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 believe the news media could influence this need for public disclosure.

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