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Saturday, August 23, 2014
Grassroot Institute Posts Debate Video
By Grassroot Institute @ 11:53 PM :: 4402 Views :: Politicians

Gubernatorial Forum Spurs Lively Discussion of Key Election Issues

Grassroot Institute hosts first event of its kind in this election cycle, challenges candidates on a wide variety of topics

News Release from Grassroot Institute

HONOLULU, Hawaii—August 23, 2014—The general election season began in earnest yesterday as theGrassroot Institute of Hawaii hosted its Gubernatorial Forum, the first event of its kind in this election cycle. Featuring Republican candidate Duke Aiona, Libertarian Candidate Jeff Davis, and Independent Party Candidate Mufi Hannemann, and moderated by Grassroot Institute President Keli'i Akina, Ph.D., the Forum addressed a wide variety of issues of concern to Hawaii's voters.

Questions asked during the forum ranged from education policy to taxation, as the Forum lived up to its promise to create a fair and neutral environment to explore different views and policies:

On the subject of clean energy, candidate Duke Aiona discussed his support for affordable options, stating, "Has (the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative) lowered costs? No....  How do you do that?  You get the cheapest form of (energy).  And right now, in the mix is liquefied natural gas."

All the candidates present voiced their disapproval of raising the GE tax, while Mufi Hannemann went a step further, saying that he would, "do a management audit of the Department of Taxation . . . We already have on our books over 100 state taxes."

The impact of money in politics also came up for discussion, with Libertarian candidate Jeff Davis calling for a more equitable system: "If we do not take pay to play out of our elected officials lives they will never be for the people, by the people:  They will be for the corporations, by the corporations."

"This Forum was an outstanding opportunity for the voters of this state to get the first full picture of what these candidates stand for," stated Dr. Akina. "I would like to thank Mr. Aiona, Mr. Davis, and Mr. Hannemann for helping make this event such a success. The Grassroot Institute strongly supports an active and informed citizenry, and events like the Gubernatorial Forum help ensure that a diversity of views and ideas are given the hearing they deserve."

The Forum can be viewed in full at

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About the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii:

Grassroot Institute of Hawaii is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research institute dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, the free market, and limited, accountable government throughout Hawai`i and the Asia-Pacific region.  Read more about us at

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About Grassroot President Keli'i Akina

Keli’i Akina, Ph.D.,  is a recognized scholar, educator, public policy spokesperson, and community leader in Hawaii.  Currently, he is President/CEO of Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, a public policy think tank dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, free markets and limited, accountable government.  An expert in East-West Philosophy and ethics, Dr. Akina has taught at universities in China and the United States and continues as an adjunct instructor at Hawaii Pacific University.  Dr. Akina is currently a candidate for Trustee at Large of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs in the 2014 General Election run-off.


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