November 9th, 2010

State House Speaker Calvin Say, (D-St. Louis Heights, Palolo Valley, Wilhelmina Rise), has 24 votes to remain as speaker, two votes shy of the majority of the 51 members necessary to control the chamber, several sources said.

State House Rep. Sylvia Luke (D-Pacific Heights, Pauoa, Punchbowl), has 16 votes in her dissident faction, sources say.

That leaves three lawmakers — Rep. Roy Takumi, Rep. Jessica Wooley and Rep. Cindy Evans — who have not committed, according to sources.

Evans said she believes it is healthy for majority Democrats to have a leadership debate and determine whether they need to change to operate better. “We would never have that discussion if everyone just signed up” for Say, she said. “I believe groups have to storm to find their norm.”

Say would either have to pick up two votes from the undecided or convince some of Luke’s faction to break ranks.

A stalemate could force Say and Luke to negotiate and open up an opportunity for a third speaker candidate to emerge.

16 Responses to “24-16-3”

  1. ohiaforest3400:

    No doubt, the three will push for as much as they can get short of sending the bigger group to negotiate with — GASP! — the Republicans! A couple of them really worked this angle two years ago . . . .

  2. No more Say!:

    Say has said ENOUGH! He is responsible for why we delayed on HB444, he’s the reason why 8 years of a Lingle regime happened.

    Elect Sylvia as your new Speaker! We need a bigger push!

  3. ohiaforest3400:

    One of those who worked the system last time says it’s now 24-19. Much as I support civil unions, I can’t let the past handling of that issue by Say, or the high regard in which I hold Sylvia Luke, dictate acceptance of the whiny Scott Saiki, self-serving Mark Takai, or preening Scott Nishimoto. Why she aligns — demeans — herself with the likes of them is beyond imagination.

  4. PardonMe:

    I agree with Ohia. I heard from those in the big square building that it’s 24-19. Its refreshing to see people acting and thinking independently! I think the Say/Luke fight has gone on long enough (it’s like a bad re-run, it keeps coming back) and we need our leaders to look at a new option.

    I see potential in Marcus Oshiro he strives for compromise which is the role of House leadership. He navigated our state through the perilous furloughing and cut backs of the Lingle administration.

    The Democratic Representatives really need to think over this one, this will affect them in the Republican rematch in 2012. Stop being divisive and start being inclusive (isn’t that what they ran on a week ago?) Come on guys you gotta be like one big ohana, put the bad behind you and start looking at that “new day in Hawaii” it’s 2010, not 1990- gotta say bye bye to Uncle Calvin. Mahalo for his time, service, and leadership but now it’s some one else’s turn.

  5. Karl Barth:

    Why do folks lobbying for Civil Unions continue to lay the delay at the feet of Calvin Say– the entire House, with the exception of now-former Rep. Joe Bertram– agreed by voice vote to set the matter aside. At the end of the session, Speaker Say did not stand in the way of Majority Leader Blake Oshiro and then-Judiciary Chair Jon Riki Karamatsu’s efforts (and the apparent will of the Democratic caucus) to resurrect the bill, and I believe Speaker Say voted for the bill. HB 444 would not have been in such a predicament if U.S. Rep.-elect Hanabusa and soon-to-be Senate President Tsutsui had not amended the bill at the last moment during the previous session. Even if the House had the balls to vote on the bill early in the session, they still would not have had the votes to override Linda Lingle’s veto (26 days left, baby) and the civil unions rallies would have overshadowed other pressing business during the session.
    Since the new Governor indicates a willingness to sign a Civil Unions measure, Speaker Say requires only 26 votes to pass a similar bill, provided the returning Reps vote as they did last session (there may be shifts for people who hedged by saying during campaigns they would consider placing the issue on the ballot). Senator Hee, who will have the bill in the Senate, also has not indicated what he intends to do (and he may simply wait for the House to act while he pushes his Kahuku football play-off exception bill).

  6. Michael:

    How did you get my locker combination?

    I hear names but what party are they associated with? Names don’t mean mcuh
    but I believe the Party name does.

  7. Alan R. Spector:

    @Karl. The “folks lobbying for civil unions” do not represent one group or organization. There are some that have been vocal in their opposition to Speaker Say, others who support Speaker Say, and others who are neutral. Please be careful……and this is for everyone, in forming generalized opinions of all the HB444 advocates or the LGBT community as a whole. I agree with you. It is a fact that the House, under Speaker Say’s leadership twice passed HB444 with Speaker Say voting in support of the bill each time. Many reps and the House as a whole were responsible for the 1/29/10 anonymous voice “vote” that postponed the bill. There are many among us HB444 advocates who understand this and do not lay exclusive blame on Speaker Say. In the end, Speaker Say along with 30 other Reps passed the bill on 4/29/10 and that is what is most important.

  8. Yoshi1940:

    Please, PardonMe… ANYONE but Marcus Oshiro! Well, there are a lot that should not be Speaker either, but Marcus is probably the very worst.

  9. Kolea:


    I agree with your analysis, but gotta second Alan’s clarification. It is really only a few individuals who are blaming Speaker Say for the failure of HB444. The House was actually quite brave to pass th bill first. As you say, it got in trouble in the Senate when the leadership started playing games with it.

    Senator Hanabusa was a more appropriate target for blame, but even that is overly simplistic. Now that she is no longer the “face of the senate leadership,” I think we may find the problem in the senate may be worse.

    Shan Tsutsui played a key role in stalling HB444 in 2009. I expect he was assigned that role as part of leadership. Even though Shan Tsutsui now has the TITLE of Senate President, I expect his freedom of action is still restricted by the decisions of the collective leadership. I do not know Tsutsui enough to have any idea whether he supports Civil Unions (or not). Does he care about the issue as POLICY? Or is does he view the matter more as a political challenge which requires careful legislative gamesmanship?

    Is he the actual leader of the Senate or does Senator Kim call the shots on Civil Unions?

  10. charles:

    If not Marcus, then who? Blake Oshiro?

  11. charles:

    Not to say it has to be an Oshiro. :)

  12. PardonMe:

    Well, if not Speaker, Luke, Marcus, or Blake; who else is there?

    Seems like the ceiling was made low in the House.

  13. Nikki Heat:

    @Charles, @PardonMe, @Kolea, @OhiaForest3400. Why not a woman? It might help the old boys in the House find their better angels to let a woman lead as we begin the season of advent.

  14. Kolea:


    I will try to deal with whatever hand is dealt. I got no influence over the House’s internal leadership fight. I have pretty good relationships with each of the people named.

    I plead the Serenity Prayer.

  15. charles:

    Still no change?

  16. james_808:

    yeah lets vote Speaker Say out over HB444 (because you obviously support it)……great idea….you sound a lot like a Gary Okino but with a muck up of the words.

    One issue candidates don’t win (gary okino) so if thats why you want Luke…keep on walking. Its great you are so enthusiastic about that cause and it looks like this governor will pass. But to attack Say over ONE SINGLE ISSUE is just downright laughable.

    Say had the balls to look HGEA in the face and say “No GET increase” in these tough economic times. Not only is a decision like this more important than HB444, it shows his willingness to strike a balance between labor and business and put the economy first even if it meant p.o. such a union. We kinda want both working together dont we?…

    All Luke, Saiki, Nakashima, Takai, and Co. do is cherry pick candidates based upon who they are going to vote for regardless of their qualifications….you can be so young that you never worked a real job in your life or too stupid to know that its not about what degrees you have or colleges you went to its about learning how to count that makes you effective in the legislature…just say you gonna vote Luke and you will see the money, union endorsements, signwavers flow freely to you.

    SAY FOR SPEAKER….nuff said.

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