Name: Sam Puletasi
Age: 56
Current occupation: Democratic Party of Hawaii Region Chairman; Former U.S. I.C.E. Senior Special Agent; National Union Steward AFGE/FLETC Instructor
Political experience: Active current/former advocate community leader: Neighborhood Board Member, State Medical Board, League of Women Voters, Planned Parenthood, Filipino Urdanetta Association, Surfrider foundation, Lion’s Club, active political candidate, sponsor/entertainer for many good cause events, etc.

What should the government’s role be in providing access to health care? What should or should not be covered in a basic policy?

The government has a responsibility to ensure that the billions of dollars invested annually in programs must be used wisely to reduce the burden of illness, injury, and disability and to improve the health and functioning of the population. It is imperative that the federal government exercise strong leadership in addressing serious shortcomings in the safety and quality of health care in the United States.  Balanced and efficient regulatory oversight is necessary. Basic policy must cover both existing and pre-existing conditions including full coverage for dental care.

Deadly mass shootings have fueled arguments for increased gun control. Do you agree? What should or should not be changed about America’s current gun laws?

I will continue to vigorously support gun control to protect our children and hopefully minimize the tens of thousands of gun related deaths that occur every year.  Let the state regulate its own gun laws consistent with peoples’ behaviors.  Requirements for gun use, sale of ammunition, must be implemented and carefully regulated.

In light of recent nuclear threat concerns, should the United States play a more or less prominent role in international relations? What actions should be taken?

The current diplomatic approach appears to be working as it is with North Korea and such practice must be applied internationally to ensure safety and security for our future generations. 

A White House proposal aims to slash the Department of Interior’s budget by $1.6 billion, and shift funds from new land acquisition to the development of oil, gas, and coal. What elements of this plan would you keep, what would you change, and why?

We must consider what is necessary and what’s unnecessary under the DOI.  Energy production is vital to our national security and our national economy.  The high cost of gasoline has risen significantly thus affecting many Americans and the U.S. must develop its own ways to become self sufficient.

If you could introduce one piece of legislation, what would it be and why?

Amnesty for aliens with status violations only on a give and take bill.  To qualify, they will have to pay an application fee which must go straight to state general fund for various educational, veterans, disabled and senior citizen programs.  Detaining, deporting, having people undergoing immigration hearings are costly to the tax payers.  Focus more emphasis on areas that are attracting illegal immigration like employer sanctions, alien smuggling/harboring, human trafficking and terrorism.  Often, the Americans are the perpetrators for committing these crimes.