Madden wants to control state spending
LAHAINA — Pledging to work from within the community with a focus on real solutions to improve the quality of life on Maui, Republican Ramon Kitaichi Madden is running for the State Representative District 10 seat.
He will battle the incumbent, Democrat Angus L.K. McKelvey, in the General Election on Nov. 2.
Madden, 35, wants to represent District 10 (Lahaina, Kaanapali, Kapalua, Maalaea and Kihei) to fight for Maui at the Hawaii Legislature.
“I live, work and play in West Maui. I believe that too many of the decisions that affect our community happen behind closed doors. We could be, and should be, inspiring the rest of the state, but Maui seems to instead be focused on what is best for Oahu,” he commented.
“The solution is more local control over significant government actions.”
If elected, Madden wants to reduce government spending, improve healthcare and audit the state Department of Education’s (DOE) $2 billion budget.
“The State of Hawaii demands a balanced budget, and our representatives want to raise taxes instead of cutting back. Make no mistake — the budget shortfall is not because of lack of money. The problems we face now are in fact a direct result of out-of-control spending and mismanagement,” he said.
A serious issue in the 2010 elections is Hawaii’s doctor shortage, which Madden feels is “at a crisis level.”
“We should lower doctors’ medical malpractice insurance premiums in Hawaii. If we keep losing doctors to the Mainland, then access to healthcare will be diminished, and people are going to be harmed because they can’t get the care they need,” he noted.
The GOP candidate also supports a full audit of the DOE before the department is granted any budget increases.
“They have not been audited in almost 40 years,” he said. “How can they, or the taxpayers, know where the two billion dollar budget gets spent?”
“The DOE always complains about lack of funds, and yet, they have not had a comprehensive audit of their entire organization since 1973.”
Looking at District 10, Madden said the overburdened and underfunded infrastructure, the economy and education — localizing it “to meet the needs of our unique community” — are primary concerns.
“Our economy in West Maui is small businesses. I believe that we can lower taxes, fees and regulations to create growth,” he explained.
“We should reduce taxes and fees for small business, because it creates economic growth. Recently, businesses have been hit with increased unemployment taxes, additional fees and increased healthcare premiums. If we lower taxes now, we lower the cost of doing business in Hawaii. If businesses are successful, then jobs will be created, ultimately leading to a larger tax base and more tax revenues.”
Madden believes that the state’s education system would improve with more local control and greater accountability. He added that the DOE needs a superintendent of schools responsible to the governor and local school boards.
A teppanyaki chef at Kobe Japanese Steakhouse, Madden attended Haiku School, Maui High and Baldwin High School and the University of Hawaii Maui College.
He said the Save Honolua Coalition inspired him to become active in the community. He attended coalition meetings and later participated in the process to update the Maui County General Plan.
“The more I learned, the more I became fascinated with the process. My hope is that we can repair the damage done by this administration with new representatives, greater transparency and more accountability,” he said.
Madden believes voters are discontent in West Maui and across the state. He feels it’s crucial to elect lawmakers without factions or special interests.
“Our district representatives should only answer to their conscience and to the people of the district they represent,” he added.
We asked the candidate why voters should choose him.
“I believe in smaller government and I will support legislation to help the state out of this debt we are in. We should be lowering the billion dollar tax burden that has been forced on the people of Hawaii. I will support bills that are being debated openly and fairly; bills that will lower taxes; bills that will help our healthcare; and I will support bills that will save jobs,” he replied.
Madden stated that West Maui — the former capitol of Hawaii — has great history, agriculture, tourism, a strong base of small businesses and a tight-knit community.
“Still, to this day, we have everything we need to be self-reliant, from the mountains to the ocean. At one time, all the district areas of Maui were expected to be self-sustainable, and that was the key to our island’s success,” Madden commented.
“If you feel the way that I do, you are not alone. So please tell your family and friends on West Maui, ‘Don’t Get Mad, Get Madden for State House!’ “