CANDIDATES: JUNE 16 BROADCAST
INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAIʻI
Other Candidates in the race for U.S. House District 2 (Democratic Primary)
A total of 6 candidates are running in the race for U.S. House District 2. Two of them appeared in a live broadcast of Insights on PBS Hawaiʻi on Thursday June 16, 2022. PBS Hawaiʻi invited the other four candidates to share their views in written form up to 750 words. The candidates are Nicole Gi, Brendan Schultz, Steven B. Sparks and Kyle T. Yoshida. Two of them responded to the invitation by the noon June 15, 2022 deadline. Their responses are below.
Throughout history, many of the rich and powerful have maintained their dominance using a “divide and conquer” strategy. They redirect (justified) outrage from the people being taken advantage of, turning it towards a neighbor instead. The British turned the people of India against each other by stoking fights between the different religious groups. Plantation owners in Hawai’i separated the worker camps by ethnic group.
Today we are divided against each other along more lines than I can count. I believe that members of Congress have the potential to lead by example, and if elected I would channel the community’s advocacy toward “punching up” instead of infighting.
Instead of being angry at immigrants trying to make a better life for themselves and their families, let’s be angry at the U.S. government for spending billions of dollars intervening in conflicts abroad that destabilize those areas and force many of their citizens to flee.
(Or if that doesn’t work for you, at least redirect your anger towards the giant corporations, particularly in agriculture, that bus in many more migrants to work their land than ever cross the border on foot – wall or no wall.)
I would fight for the freedom of Julian Assange. I would work with my constituents to focus on protecting press freedom and holding those who committed the crimes Assange exposed accountable, rather than focusing on the inconvenience of the truths he exposed.
I would hold Dr. Fauci accountable for continuously changing his story on masks, and covering up the gain-of-function research funding his NIH provided, rather than shame average citizens who have different views on COVID than I do.
I would focus on improving our election system with a presidential popular vote, paper ballots, and more, rather than ridicule people who don’t trust our election system – especially given what happened in Florida and Gore vs. Bush, and what has happened to Tommy Waters with his election recounts.
If elected, I would ask you to be mad at the policies driving up housing costs in Hawai’i, that force you to have a neighbor so close to you, instead of being mad at your neighbor’s dog who won’t stop barking. I’m mostly kidding about that last one, but my larger point still stands. It’s easier to be angry at what’s right in front of you – I’m guilty of it too. But we need to take our limited bandwidth and shove it at the elites instead, if our community is going to make significant progress.
I understand why people do not trust powerful organizations and individuals that have betrayed them so many times in the past – in most cases, I don’t either – and I’d work to hold them more accountable.
Many of us have seen the local scandals with the Kealohas, Cullen, and English, among others. Here’s a very incomplete list of lies the national government has admitted to:
- Secretly arming Khomeini in the “Iran-Contra affair” during the 1980’s
- Rationale for getting into, and staying in many wars, such as the Vietnam War (exposed by the Pentagon Papers), the Iraq War and “Weapons of Mass Destruction,” and the Afghanistan War (exposed by the Afghanistan Papers)
Here are just a few examples of the absurd actions that “intelligence agencies” of the United States, like the CIA and FBI, have been confirmed to have conducted:
- Encouraging and paying Muslims, such as Rezwan Ferdaus, to commit terrorist acts during numerous sting operations after the 9/11 attacks
- Developing the plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2020
- Project MKUltra, an illegal experiment on thousands of victims in an attempt to develop mind control strategies through administering LSD, electroshocks, sexual abuse, and more
Here are a few examples of horrors giant corporations have been found guilty of:
- Pfizer has paid billions of dollars in lawsuits for intentionally concealing safety issues with its products
- Abbott knowingly operating an unsafe facility long before it had to recall its baby formula this year
- Monsanto paid a $12 million settlement in 2021 for exposing workers to toxic pesticides in Hawai’i
We need people in office who understand who we should be fighting against, so that they can fight for funding to be taken away from those powers and funneled to community needs. Each member of the House of Representatives is also given over $1 million dollars per year as part of their “Members’ Representational Allowance” to spend on their “representational duties,” including but not limited to staff. It’s time we put it to good use.
Steven B. Sparks
I am Steven B. Sparks and I live in Pahoa, Hawai’i. As of June 6th, 2022, I am a candidate for U.S. House of Representatives for District 2, Hawai’i. My business experience is in wholesale. retail, and construction. I have owned and managed 4 restaurants, one in Hawai’i. I have been President of a Construction Company and was an owner/landlord in Hilo for 13 years.
I am a community organizer in that I am President of the Puna Community Medical Center Foundation. Our nine member Board of Directors is currently in the process of building a much-needed hospital complex in Puna. I have also been on the UNA/USA Board of Directors and I was President of the Nanawale Homeowners Association in Puna.
I am a liberal Democrat and very Progressive. I support a Woman’s Right to Choose, a ban on assault rifles and any handgun with more then 6 bullets. I am primarily interested in Housing. We need more low-income housing in Hawaii and the Country. We need Federal assistance to build 100,000 new low-income housing units in our state and 3,000,000 new units in the country.
This can be done through a plan I call the Low-Income Rental Loss Swaps which I took to Washington in 2016 and presented to Brian Schatz’s staff and Tulsi Gabbard’s staff. It would give incentives to builders and landlords to build more low-income and affordable housing because it turns any losses in a sellable/tradeable commodity; on par with bundled mortgage securities.
I support improving Social Security by lifting the cap on who needs to pay FICA from their paychecks. There should be no cap on Social Security withholding/payments so we can stop the solvency problem that the current system has, and increase benefits to all. Medicare should cover everything. Medicaid needs to be put in a different Program to benefit more people. Medicaid must have a completely new administration process, separate from Medicare, to make it effective. This separation will give the both programs more latitude and make them more aware of the people’s needs.
I am in favor of the Green New Deal as proposed by The House of Representatives in 2021. The Green New Deal will bring about positive Climate Change adjustments to our manufacturing, transportation, and infrastructure systems as well as new jobs in all these sectors. If put in place the Green New deal could possibly put us on a path of slowing down the effects of climate change. This will have a huge effect on the people of Hawai’i.
The Jones Act requires that domestic freight transported on U.S. waterways be conducted by crews that are at least three-quarters American, and on American owned vessels built in U.S. shipyards. This adversely affects Hawai’i due to our dependence on shipping. It does not apply to modern transportation systems and increases shipping costs. The Jones Act should be repealed.
We have international relations that need to be transformed, such as our relationship with China. China is in a capitalistic mood of growth and wants to compete not cooperate with other countries. This makes it hard to have meaningful communications about systems of interaction and cooperation. To build better relationships with China and our Asia-Pacific neighbors we need to be good neighbors and consider the needs of other Countries and help as much as possible. We need to form a NATO-type alliance with our Asia-Pacific neighbors
who want to live peacefully. Seeking to include North Korea in this alliance would possibly bring about a lessening of tension in that area.
I feel we can balance the budget if we allow departments of the Federal government to apply surcharges for their services. The U.S. taxpayers totally fund more than eleven agencies, (FDIC, SEC, OCC, NCUA, CFPB, FINRA, SIPC, FIO, EBSA, ERISA, PBGC.) They need to be funded differently by the people who actually use them. With a 1.25% service fee on all speculative transactions, we could raise trillions of dollars in revenue annually. I estimate we can fund the agencies and pay off the national debt in 20 years.
I have not touched on Food, Solar, or Health Care.
If I am elected I will work tirelessly for all the people of Hawai’i and bring about the best we can possibly be.
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