‘The Job Interview’: Kahele touts leadership style, pledges focus on high price of paradise

The panelists thought Kahele was charismatic and had big ideas, but dodged some of the questions.
Published: Jul. 28, 2022 at 2:50 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 28, 2022 at 5:17 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - During a one-hour discussion with HNN and Civil Beat journalists for “The Job Interview,” U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele touted his leadership during the Red Hill tainted water crisis.

He also said he helped steer federal dollars to Hawaii during the pandemic and vowed to make Hawaii more affordable if elected.

“I think within our constitutional laws and with the laws of this state, we need to prohibit outside foreign investment from coming into Hawaii to buy our properties and to borrow land,” said Kahele.

SPECIAL SECTION: “The Job Interview”

Kahele wants housing in Halawa instead of a new stadium and he’s against the Thirty Meter Telescope project.

The Congressman was asked if he was more a of a Frank Fasi type of leader or more open-minded.

“You know, I realize that I’m not the sharpest tool in the tool shed and that there’s other people that are very smart in critical subject matter areas. I’m always willing to listen to bring people together. I’ve done that on a series of issues, whether it’s Red Hill or Mauna Kea. This is how I’ve led over the last six years,” said Kahele.

The conversation got heated when Kahele discussed criticism of his proxy voting record and his employment with Hawaiian Airlines.

THE JOB INTERVIEW: Watch “The Job Interview” with Kai Kahele on Thursday at 8 p.m. on K5. You can also watch all of our in-depth conversations with candidates in our special section.

“There is nothing that prevents any member of Congress from having outside employment,” said Kahele.

The panelists thought Kahele dodged or lacked details with some of the questions, but overall was charismatic and had big ideas.

“His whole body persona, his physical presence. How many times did he hit the table with his wedding ring? There’s an energy there which I think is very appealing to a lot of people in Hawaii,” said Chad Blair, Civil Beat politics and opinion editor.

“He’s a smart man,” he added.

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