1st District


POSTED: Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Neil Abercrombie


Age: 70

Job: Congressman

Past: State legislator, Honolulu City Council member, college professor

What is the most pressing problem in your district, and what would you do about it?

Our economy and energy needs are intertwined as our most immediate, pressing problem. Honolulu's rail transit project will benefit the statewide economy, pumping nearly a billion dollars in federal funding—in the immediate future—into Hawaii and enable us to avoid the mainland recession. “;Transit Oriented Development”; will expand commercial activity for businesses and create opportunities for public-private partnerships to build affordable workforce housing near and/or around transit stations, along with child and adult care facilities for commuting workers. It will also help to address our energy and transportation needs, providing commuters an alternative to gas-guzzling vehicles.

  What qualifies you to serve in the U.S. Congress? 

Ability to provide experienced, bipartisan leadership in the U.S. House. Produced bipartisan legislation addressing the energy crisis and spearheaded House approval of the first bipartisan bill to redeploy U.S. troops from Iraq. Currently serving as chairman of the House Armed Services Air and Land Subcommittee, with jurisdiction over the Air Force and Army. Also, member of the House Natural Resources Committee and its Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans Subcommittee. Elected to nine consecutive terms as Hawaii’s U.S. representative for the 1st Congressional District. Previous experience as Hawaii state representative, Hawaii state senator, and Honolulu City Council member. 

What should the United States do in Iraq and Afghanistan? Explain.

As chairman of the House Armed Services Air/Land Subcommittee, I’m fully aware that U.S. military readiness is in a crisis and must be restored and reset, as a result of the war in Iraq. Our military has accomplished all it can. There is no military solution in Iraq; a political solution is needed.

The readiness crisis has severely impacted the ability to reach a military resolution of the challenges in Afghanistan. Military action in and of itself will not succeed. The situation there must also be addressed politically. This requires a new evaluation of what can be done. 

What should the U.S. do to reduce its dependence on imported oil?

I have led a bipartisan House effort to increase domestic production of oil and natural gas. We’ve introduced legislation to open more miles of coastline for natural gas and oil drilling and to provide tax incentives for renewable energy production. Royalties and revenues from expanded domestic drilling, estimated at $2.6 trillion, would go to establish funds to help conservation and environmental efforts and the development of renewable energy.

We must also boost refinery capacity, probe record windfall profits, and close loopholes to stop speculation in the commodity markets. 

What can Congress do to improve the sagging U.S. economy?

We need to pass a National Energy Policy. Instead of sending $700 billion overseas every year to purchase 70 percent of the energy we consume, we need to keep that money in this country, helping build our economy and providing jobs for our citizens. 

We also need to stop spending $12 billion a month in Iraq. Rather than being used for failed policies and waste and fraud, we can redirect its use for pressing domestic needs, such as improving our schools and hospitals and caring for our veterans.

Should Congress continue efforts to pass a native Hawaiian sovereignty bill? Explain.

Yes. I introduced the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2007, the House companion bill to Sen. Daniel Akaka’s measure in the Senate which recognizes native Hawaiians as indigenous people, similar to American Indians and Alaska Natives. I secured passage of this bill in the House to give the native Hawaiian community the tools to guide its own destiny, manage the lands and assets set aside for it by law, and have a direct voice on issues critical to their well-being and cultural identity. We must continue to work for the bill’s passage in both the House and Senate.



Steve Tataii


Age: 59

Job: Independent conflict resolution consultant, teacher, author

Past: Authored three books relat-ed to Iraq wars

What is the most pressing problem in your district, and what would you do about it?

Quality education. High cost of living and the need for higher-paying jobs stem from lack of better education, enabling our community to overcome its hardships and create a better living environment. Additionally, our young, with better education, will be able to stay away from trouble and focus on productive and positive activities to benefit them from in specific, and their community in general. To learn more about my related issues, visit

  What qualifies you to serve in the U.S. Congress?

I have the vision to solve macro-level problems of local, national and global communities. Clearly, if elected, I will easily have the upper hand over most if not all other U.S. congressional delegates. My approach to solve our problems will include all sectors of communities across the board, and my office will be open to hear issues and grievances. My primary aim will not be at making a career out of politics, rather to serve well and get the job done. I will help to complete the postwar reconstruction as I would have if my victory was allowed in 2002.

What should the United States do in Iraq and Afghanistan? Explain.

To immediately begin promoting the correct post war priority tasks; helping the Kurds to complete their nationhood through international recognition of South Kurdistan as an independent state in North, and do the same for the Arabs in the South to become an Independent “Arabistan” state in South to prevent more looming wars along. 

Afghanistan has been substantially cleared from al-Qaeda elements, often of “Arab” states. We should now help Afghanis rebuild their nation, take control of their own lives. We need to focus on the Afghan-Pakistan border to finish off the terrorists now on the run. 

What should the U.S. do to reduce its dependence on imported oil?

To speed up our alternative energy projects such as electric cars, solar, wind and ocean. Also we must use other logical working habits by helping our communities get adjusted to jobs near their homes, and try to encourage employers help this process, and even provide those job trainings. We, especially in Hawaii, must seriously promote “Building safer bicycle lanes and their routes,” which will benefit young and old to save on energy, and also get the exercise they often never get. Again, to learn more please visit my Web site at: 

What can Congress do to improve the sagging U.S. economy?

Cut down on government wasteful spending. Employ watch-dog groups to identify corporations practicing unfairly for profit to reduce waste and corruption. Regulate excessive over pricings. Reducing small business tax, identify healthcare providers’ fraud, creating a semi-universal health-care system, and again, through alternative energy plans, save on high cost of energy by becoming less dependent on imported oil. These are a few priority target points to start from. 

Should Congress continue efforts to pass a native Hawaiian sovereignty bill? Explain.

Congress must first be much more educated about this subject, and then the bill should be revisited by Sen. Akaka, and other selected Hawaiian experts; to iron out any unfinished parts, or clarifications, before it is properly discussed on the floor of Senate and House. The bill must be clear in its language and intentions. To learn more about related topics visit my Web site at: 


Li Zhao (Libertarian)


Daniel Brackins (Republican)