BJ Penn wants to fix Hawaii but he can’t tell you what’s broken or how he would fix it

BJ Penn’s political career is one of those strange byproducts of the pandemic. Penn was a very talented mixed martial artists but his career went downhill when he unretired and discovered a whole new generation of mixed martial artists that surpassed him. On his comeback he strung quite a losing spree.

Penn was knocked out by Yair Rodriguez, got heel hooked by Ryan Hall and dropped a couple of decisions – but the biggest impact on UFC deciding not to offer him new bouts was actually the viral footage of him accompanied by his arrests.

Penn self identified as a martial artist so finding out who he is outside the sport was hard. Penn recently guested on the Joe Rogan Experience and talked with Rogan about his career and his new found political ambitions.

“I’m done, 100%. It was hard for me to get out after being in there for 20 years and that’s your identity,” Penn said. “You know, and then I just kind of got into trying to be a father. I was trying to be around more. And then all this stuff happened, and I find myself [on the JRE podcast].”

“When I first got it decided to get into [politics]. I was just retired. So, I wasn’t trying to keep my everything perfect in public. I was just running around. I was just a guy trying to come off of a 20-year journey of being the baddest man on the planet.”

But the conversation was less than smooth – in the very first 10 minutes of the podcast the two had the following exchange.

Rogan: When you say anti business like, how are they anti business?
Penn: As far as with the regulations, it takes so long, you know, you go to the planning department, and they hold you up for another eight months. And it’s just, you know, the taxes are so high, we got the highest, the highest state income tax…

Rogan: And what is the state income tax in Hawaii?

Penn: I don’t, I don’t got the exact number right now.

Rogan: We’ll get Jamie to pull that up that.

Penn: We talk about that often.

Rogan: So what would you do differently in terms of like, what are they doing? Like, are you saying like planning and regulations like what is that about? Is that about concerns for the environment? Because you’re on an island, like, what is that?

Penn: I don’t know why they’re just so slow. They’re just so slow with that stuff.

Still those pesky policy questions didn’t prevent former Democtratic Governer of Hawaii to endorse Penn. Just yesterday, we talked a little bit about his campaign promises and high profile endorsements.