How well do you know the people who ask for your vote? Politicians will often praise themselves for their ability to make tough choices. Voters can test this assertion with a simple questionnaire. I sent the following list of questions (well, it evolved from one politician to the next) to several candidates for the Hawaii Legislature.
1. Do you support tuition tax credits (deductable from taxable income) for K-12 education?
2. Do you support tuition tax credits (deductable from taxes owed) for K-12 education?
3. Do you support tax funded school tuition vouchers?
4. Do you support raising (to 7 or 8) the age at which the state compels attendance at school?
5. If "no" to question 4, above, do you support lowering the age at which the state compels attendance at school?
6. Do you support legislation which would mandate that the DOE recognize the GED as satisfying the HS graduation requirement, at any age?
7. If "yes" to the question 6, above, what fraction (0 < a/b < 1) of the taxpayers' $13,000/year age 5-18 education subsidy would you support allowing students who graduate (via GED) before age 18 to apply toward tuition at any VA-approved post-secondary institution in the State? ___ (specify).
8. If "yes" to the question 6, above, what fraction (0 < a/b < 1) of the taxpayers' $13,000/year age 5-18 education subsidy would you support allowing students who graduate (via GED) before age 18 to apply toward a wage subsidy at any qualified (say, has filed W-2 forms on at least three employees for at least the previous four years) private sector employer in the State? ___ (specify).
9. Hawaii taxpayers spend over $2.4 billion per year (over $13,000 per pupil). to operate the DOE. Is this enough?
10. Do you support any policy which might reduce the tax-funded dues revenue of the HSTA, UHPA, HGEA, or UPW?
11. If "yes" to question 10, above, what?______________(specify).
12. Do you support "shall issue" legislation that would require County Police Chiefs to issue concealed carry permits and so allow citizens to carry concealed handguns?
13. Do you support "shall issue" legislation that would require County Police Chiefs to issue open carry permits and so allow citizens to carry unconcealed handguns?
Thank you for your attention.
Note to mainlanders: Hawaii is an "agency shop" State. UHPA is the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly, the University of Hawaii faculty union, an NEA subsidiary. HSTA is the Hawaii State Teachers Association, the Hawaii K-12 NEA subsidiary. HGEA is the Hawaii Government Employees Association, an AFSCME subsidiary to which the State sends agency fees and dues which the State deducts from the paychecks of clerical staff and administrators (in Hawaii, principals must support the union). UPW is the United Public Workers, the AFSCME subsidiary to which the State sends agency fees and dues which it deducts from the salaries of school janitors and cooks.
One candidate responded with a question of her own: what organization did I represent? I answered "none", and that's the last I heard from her. One candidate answered all of these questions (wrong, from my point of view), and one answerred most of them (again, wrong from my point of view) and requested clarification on some others. She then gave no response to the clarified questions.
I tried this once before, when I left with the offices of the House and Senate Sergeants at Arms copies (one for every Senator and Representative, with SASE) of a questionnaire on school policy options. ONE member (Senator Fred Hemmings) responded. How can voters provide effective feedback given such stonewall tactics?
It makes no more sense for ordinary citizens in a mass democracy to argue about what government officials should do than it does for the swimming survivors of a mid-ocean shipwreck to argue about what sharks should eat. The government of a locality is the largest dealer in interpersonal violence in that locality (definition). What is gained by surrendering your money and your children's time to these ... people?
A propos of nothing...
Weasel got this right.