Here is a question from Ikaika from Upcountry. Why should I vote for you over Alan or Don?
That is a very fair question. Of course, he is referring to Mr. Fukuyama and Mr. Guzman. During this whole campaign process, I have crossed paths with both of them on a few occasions. I really like both of them a lot. They are good people and really good candidates. In all honesty, there are things on both of their resumes that I honestly cannot compete with. I am not denying that.
Now I can give you a bunch of crap about how I am better than them, but that is what that would be. The fact is that I am not claiming to be the best candidate. However, when putting together a basketball team, you can’t just fill the team with scorers. You also have to have rebounders and guys that can play defense.
I don’t feel that I am the best candidate in this race, but I feel very strongly that I am the right one. The reason being is that there is nothing unique about either Mr. Fukuyama or Mr. Guzman. You have heard what they say in every election. When is the last time Mr. Guzman had to pull graveyard on top of his legal career?
I am not bashing him for that. He has worked very hard to get where he is and his wife is a doctor. He says that he is truly blessed to live on Maui. With all due respect Mr. Guzman, you have lived a very blessed life. While Maui is a great place, it is very hard for people to live and make it here.
I worked as a teacher at Baldwin High School for 11 years. During most of that time, I had to work a second, and sometimes a third, job. I still struggled to make it. I could go on vacation maybe once every two years and it was just back home to Michigan. It is not like I was able to go to Europe.
That is the reality for too many families on Maui. I spoke recently to a local man at the plaza in Pukulani. He told me that he works two jobs and his wife has three. They had a family reunion a few weeks back in Kauai and they couldn’t afford to go. That is just another island and surely they could have stayed with family. Yet they couldn’t afford to go. Just think about how big of a problem that is. As much as my opponents will say that they will create opportunities for families like this, can they really be as passionate about this if they haven’t lived it?
My plan of lifting restrictions on small businesses is exactly what these people need. It will not only create more opportunities but it will also provide competition which will drive the prices down. They will have more and spend less.
This same gentleman told me that he would love to have more Upcountry. He says he hates having to go down to Wal Mart for something simple such as shoes. I asked if he would like a Wal Mart or something similar up there and he was all for that. That shows that contrary to the belief of a few, there are people here who want growth. I was fortunate enough to meet State Senate District 7 candidate Kanohowailuku Helm recently. We both spoke at a Tea Party event. One thing he said really made sense. He said that he understands what the people want, but at some point the people need to start thinking in terms of what they need. I really enjoyed listening to him and I wish I could vote for him but he is not in my district.
The other thing with me that makes me the right choice is that I truly believe in government by the people. I believe and will push for the council allow the people to vote on major projects such as the Mega Mall in Kihei. That way there is nothing to protest when something passes.
I recognize that I don’t have all the answers, but I am good at finding someone who does have the answer I am looking for. If I were in office and had a legal question, Mr. Guzman would be the first person I would call. He is a very sharp attorney and I would be foolish not to use him. Mr. Fukuyama has a strong business background and I know there would be times I would utilize him as well.
In closing, there are many letters to the Maui News weekly complaining about the county council yet very few are willing to step up and oppose them. Also the voters continue to vote for the same thing. If you want something different, you have to vote for something different. As much as I like both Alan and Don, they are nothing different from what the council has had. If you want real change, then vote Erin McLaughlin on August 11.