Matt Matsunaga

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Matt Matsunaga, son of U.S. senator Spark Matsunaga, served in the Hawaii State Senate for 10 years. Matsunaga is presently running for the 2nd Congressional seat, HI-02, competing with nine other Democrats on the September 23, 2006 primary ballot. In 2003, Matsunaga came in second to U.S. Rep. Ed Case in a special election to fill the 2nd Congressional seat.

In a Honolulu Advertiser article dated September 6, 2006, Treena Shapiro wrote:

He has merged his passions for peace and veteran's rights, participating in several peace-related projects, including a 2007 calender featuring veterans' artistic depictions of peace.
On the energy front, he has worked on a deep-water air-conditioning project that has won support not only from local environmental groups pushing for renewable-energy resources, but the electric utility itself.
"I think the one thing that sets me apart is an emphasis on small business and veterans' rights," he said. [...]
The business attorney and certified public accountant has actually become a small-business owner in his own right, ending two decades with the large Carlsmith Ball law firm, where he was a partner, to become a partner at the smaller Schlack Ito Lockwood Piper & Elkind, where he is also a partner.
When it comes to bringing soldiers back from Iraq, Matsunaga wants to see a reasonable timetable for troop withdrawal that considers the political realities. He adds, "We need to make sure we take care of our veterans when they come home," he said.
As he talks with voters, Matsunaga also brings up his desire to fight for working families. "The American dream of homeownership is a Hawai'i fantasy," he said.
To help the middle class, he'd like to adjust the alternative minimum tax that is meant to collect more from wealthier Americans. In addition, he said, "We need to divert President Bush's tax cuts to the working-class families, not just the multimillionaires."...
While Matsunaga said he shares some of his father's passions — such as peace, veteran's rights and a deep-seated desire to serve the community — he also has other priorities.
His friend and former state Legislature colleague, Sen. Les Ihara, said Matsunaga is well-suited for Congress, with the intelligence and temperament to do the job. "He can analyze issues and subjects. He's quite smart and he's thoughtful. He does his homework. He doesn't flinch from the tough issues," he said.
He said Matsunaga has been guided by values, rather than personal interest, and is able to work with others even if they disagreed with him. [...]
During his 10 years in office, Matsunaga said he led the push to deregulate the telecom industry, making more choices and better prices available for mobile phone users.
After voters gave a thumbs-down to same-sex marriage, Matsunaga helped pass a package of 60 rights and benefits for "reciprocal beneficiaries," couples who can't legally marry.
Organizations such as the Mental Health Association of Hawai'i, the Domestic Violence Clearinghouse and Legal Hotline and Mothers Against Drunk Driving have given him accolades for his work as a legislator.
State Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland, who also served with Matsunaga, said he dealt with issues fairly when he was co-chairman of the Judiciary Committee.
"Matt is very progressive and open to new ideas and has a real strength in the environmental area," she said. "He has a lot of energy." [1]

Matt is married to Janel Aolani Matsunaga, together they have three children.

Related links


External links

  • campaign website
  • Shapiro, Treena. Matsunaga has name, drive to sit in Congress Honolulu Advertiser, September 6, 2006.
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