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Kaniela Ing (D)

House District 11 (South Maui)

August 6, 2014
The Maui News

Age: 25

Birthplace: Maui

Residence: Kihei

Article Photos

Kaniela Ing

Occupation: State representative, since 2012; legislative researcher, Office of Hawaiian Affairs in Washington, D.C., 2010-11; legislative aide, Honolulu City Council, 2010

Education: University of Hawaii at Manoa, master's degree, public administration, 2012; bachelor degrees in psychology and political science, 2010

Community service: University of Hawaii Student Body president, 2009-10

Fact Box

Candidates for state Senate and House seats were all asked to answer:

* Hospital privatization. What is your position on the privatization of Maui Memorial Medical Center and the Hawaii Health System Corp.?

And, they were asked to choose and answer one of the following:

* Health Connector. What do you think of the state's rollout of the Health Connector? And what do you think should be done to "fix" it? Or should it be scuttled entirely?

* Political contributions. To what extent do you see political campaign contributions affecting Hawaii elections? Is there need for reform? If so, what would that be?

* Same-sex marriage. What do you think of the Hawaii Legislature's passage of a bill to legalize same-sex marriages? Is this the end of this issue?

* Electricity costs. Hawaii electricity consumers pay the highest power rates in the United States. What, if anything, can be done about this?

* Sunshine Law. Do you think Hawaii's Sunshine Law adequately protects the public's right to know? If not, what change is needed?

* State unfunded liabilities. Do you think enough is being done to address unfunded liabilities?

Family: Single

Hospital privatization: "I sat in a recent meeting with Maui Memorial Medical Center administrators, doctors, nurses, staff and fellow legislators. Many divergent opinions were shared about the future of health care on Maui. The one thing we all agreed on is that major change in needed in order to accommodate a growing population and maintain quality health care for all of Maui's residents. Our current paradigm is just not sustainable.

"While I believe hospitals should provide a social safety net for those in need, we need to be more fiscally responsible in the management and operation of these systems. This is why I believe the state should not consider complete privatization, but rather continue to evaluate the possibilities of public-private partnerships. Discussions are in the horizon with elite institutions like Mayo Clinic and with private local systems like Queen's. However, this must be balanced with the protection and support of local employees, including medical professionals and all hospital support staff. The right partnership can go a long way."

Political contributions: "When I first decided to run for office in 2012, I offered fresh politics that truly represented the people and not just the large special interests who write large checks to campaigns. This is why I knocked on over 15,000 doors, making the peoples' concerns my priorities.

"Since then, I have felt tremendous pressure from lobbyists, political action committees, unions and community activists on all levels, especially before key votes. However, knowing that I was only beholden to the people of South Maui people - the grass-roots force got me elected - allowed me to vote my conscience.

"In my first term, I passed the most significant election reform law in decades. It is expected to increase turnout by 5 to 8 percent by eliminating arbitrary voter registration deadlines, preventing voter fraud by modernizing election systems and helping solve recent election mishaps. This will likely grow and shake up the voting bases of our incumbents, thereby making us more accountable to the people.

"I am now focusing on a comprehensive public funding option for state candidates. If a candidate raises $5 from 200 district voters, that candidate will receive a competitive amount of public funding. This will tip the scales of Hawaii politics back to the public interest."



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