THE HOT LEGISLATIVE RACES
Voters will have a choice between Scott and Scott for the House seat representing Kapahulu, McCully and Moiliili, where incumbent Democratic Rep. Scott Saiki is being challenged by Republican Scott Matsumoto.
Foes differ on
The candidates may share the same first name but they differ on the issue of domestic partnerships, which give many of the rights and benefits of marriage to couples who are not married.
Domestic partnerships are "not only gays and lesbians, but people who just want to live together," said Matsumoto. "That doesn't help the families. It devalues marriage."
Saiki, a 36-year-old attorney, said setting up domestic partnerships allows people to have financial security.
"I think when you talk about family values, a lot of times it comes down to economic protections. That's what keeps families intact sometimes," said Saiki. "So something like a domestic partnership could benefit families and promote family values. Especially if it's economic or financial security."
Matsumoto said he will also work on legislation to keep gambling out of Hawaii, tougher restrictions on children's access to pornography on the Internet and reducing taxes by cutting government.
Saiki believes the biggest concerns in his district are growth issues and improving the infrastructure of public schools.
Both candidates oppose converting the Ala Wai Golf Course into a regional park.
"The governor still hasn't provided many details and there's not a clear and better alternative," Saiki said. "I'm gonna have a real hard time supporting the proposal."
Matsumoto said making the golf course into a park will attract criminal activity at night and cost taxpayers a lot of money to maintain.
"You can't really close the busiest course in the U.S. -- it's not like its been underutilized," he said. "And right now, the golf course does create a nice, green open space which divides Waikiki from the rest of the community. And it's financially self-sufficient."
Jaymes K. Song, Star-Bulletin
Scott T. Matsumoto (R)
House District 20Kapahulu, McCully, Moiliili
Occupation: Agent/account executive for First Hawaiian Insurance
Background: Married, father of two
Scott K. Saiki (D)
Background: Elected to House in 1994.; vice chairman, Judiciary/ Hawaiian Affairs committee; member, labor & transportation panels
The two big "E's" -- education and the economy -- are foremost on the minds of the two candidates vying for the 26th House District seat that covers Punchbowl, Pauoa and Nuuanu.
tops in 26th
Sylvia Luke wants to lower class sizes in public schools to no more than 20 students for each teacher. Recent legislation requires grades K-2 fall under such a student-teacher ratio, but Luke said she wants the standard to apply through 12th grade.
The 33-year-old incumbent also wants to push to get more funding for computers in schools.
While much lip service is given to getting more textbooks into classrooms, Luke said, computers are more essential because they can be more easily updated through software and the downloading of information off the Internet.
David Pang, Luke's GOP challenger, said he believes in performance-based salaries for teachers. One of the things used to determine a teacher's salary would be evaluations done by school administrators and parents.
"Parents need to have direct input to say what is happening to their kids," said Pang, a 30-year-old Papakolea businessman.
Pang said the evaluation would work three ways, with administrators and parents also being evaluated on how they deal with the students.
As for helping the economy, Pang wants to establish Hawaii as a hub for telecommunications through tax incentives and cutting red tape.
"We need to reduce the amount of overregulation we have that hinders new businesses," Pang said, adding that he speaks from personal experience.
Luke said she also is in favor of reducing government red tape to help business. She proposes making more forms, such as unemployment and workers' compensation forms, be available to constituents 24 hours a day on the Internet.
"We should have it more convenient," Luke said.
Gordon Y.K. Pang, Star-Bulletin
Sylvia J. Luke (D)
House District 26Punchbowl, Pacific Heights, Papakolea, Nuuanu
Background: Born in Korea, moved to Hawaii at age 9; lived in district total of 12 years, including last five years
David Pang (R)
Occupation: Small-business owner, sells veterinary pharmaceuticals to Asian countries
Background: Born in Taiwan, moved to Hawaii at age 4; lived in district last three to four years
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