Candidate Q&A: 23rd District state representative, Position 2

This is part five in a series of Q&As with candidates for local office in the Nov. 6 general election. This week: Drew Hansen and James Olsen, 23rd District state House of Representatives, position 2.

Members of the state House of Representatives are elected to two-year terms, are paid $42,106 a year and receive the same benefits as state employees.

Drew D. Hansen
Residence: Bainbridge Island.
Occupation: Representative, 23rd Legislative District, state House of Representatives; attorney.
Education: A.B., Harvard University; B.A., Oxford University (Rhodes scholar); J.D., Yale Law School.
Online: www.drewhansen.com.

Herald: What qualifications do you have for this job?
Hansen: I currently serve as the appointed representative, completing the balance of former Rep. Christine Rolfe’s term. I have a record of working across party lines on common-sense ideas for job training and job creation. The Washington House of Representatives passed three of my jobs bills this session by wide bipartisan majorities — two are now law, including a bill that eliminated a tax that was standing in the way of new Kitsap County tourism and recreation jobs.

I fought successfully to double the size of the Olympic College engineering program so we can train more engineers for the shipyards — a critical priority for me, as I served for many years on the Olympic College Foundation Board. I plan to continue my focus on jobs if I am elected.

Herald: What are your top five priorities if elected?
Hansen: Jobs, education, veterans, transportation, and the environment.

Herald: How would you accomplish your priorities?
Hansen: In the same way I have during the past session — by working across party lines on practical ideas for job training and job creation.

Herald: What makes you different from your opponent?
Hansen: My record of successful work with both Republicans and Democrats on jobs issues.

Herald: What’s the most important job of an elected official?
Hansen: To uphold the constitution and the laws of the state. Beyond that, in this economy, an elected official’s most important job is to focus on jobs.

Captain James M. Olsen
Residence: Bainbridge.
Education: Hobart College, BA; post-graduate military studies, National Defense University, Washington, D.C.; Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island.
Online: www.voteolsen23.com

Herald: What qualifications do you have for this job?
Olsen: Thirty years military service as an officer, including six commanding-officer assignments in military units of communications, port safety, logistics, and expeditionary warfare. I served the U.S. with duty, honor, integrity and innovation, receiving numerous military awards for performance and leadership.

First-hand understanding of governmental reform: USCG project officer for major U.S. Coast Guard government reorganization led by Vice President Al Gore, saving millions in federal leases, manpower efficiency, and higher productivity for U.S. taxpayers with improved readiness and customer service.

Forty years experience as a private-sector businessman providing affordable rental housing with detailed understanding that free-market solutions are always the best solution. Long-standing champion for limited-government solutions, not growth in Olympia government and programs. Also a whistle-blower on local government waste, fraud and abuse.

Champion of everyman and everywoman over elite special interests, in state and/or out of state. Fiercely independent of political pressure to conform.

Thirty-year Coast Guard record as proven facilitator/negotiator able to work with a variety of state, federal, and non-governmental agencies for collaborative solutions.

Herald: What are your top five priorities?
Olsen: One, fostering an Olympia business-favorable environment for jobs, jobs, and more private-sector jobs.

Two, regulatory reform — elimination of redundant and outmoded state regulations that cripple small-business creation and success. Protect the environment with sane regulations while respecting property rights and Constitutional freedoms.

Three, education reform with full constitutional funding of K-12 education through sensible innovation such as public charter schools, teacher evaluations, and use of 21st Century digital innovations.

Four, tax reform to include passage of two-thirds supermajority Constitutional Amendment plus opposition to state income tax. Reform will include B&O tax and L&I tax.

Five, pension reform to resolve the $39 billion unfunded/underfunded public-sector union pension liabilities. Bring current and future public-sector labor unions pensions and benefits into alignment with private-sector rates.

Herald: How would you accomplish your priorities? 
Olsen: Olympia must undergo a stem-to-stern reorganization. This process will be difficult but absolutely necessary for a new Washington Prosperity (See Google: Reform Kitsap - Reform Washington). I will work tirelessly with all parties and factions, cross any aisle, and walk any distance to bring systemic reform to Olympia. I know no fear.

Herald: What makes you different from your opponent?
Olsen: I am a proven free-market businessman who believes in limited government. I have military experience (30 years) and private-business experience (40 years). I am not a niche climate-trial lawyer but will be an everyman citizen-legislator. I am a Roman Catholic who stands for compassion, religious freedom, and against government intrusion into religion. I am opposed to special-interest money in Olympia. (Google: Appointed Rep. Hansen: Follow the Money).

Herald: What’s the most important job of an elected official?
Olsen: Elected officials are warriors who must safeguard the sacred tenets of the U.S. Constitution, Washington State Constitution, and Common Law. An elected official is the man-on-scene for 130,000 constituents, not just trial-lawyer special interests or labor unions. An elected official must use vision, intelligence, integrity and indomitable spirit to move Washington state toward prosperity for all and not more of the debt, doubt and decline we now see in D.C. and Olympia.



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