November 21st, 2010

State Rep. Jessica Wooley and state Rep. Cindy Evans, two of the holdouts in the House leadership struggle, met privately with state House Speaker Calvin Say on Friday and informed him that they support state Rep. Roy Takumi for speaker.

Say has 24 of the 26 votes he needs to remain as speaker, while state Rep. Sylvia Luke has 16 votes in her dissident faction. Wooley, Evans and Takumi had yet to commit until Friday.

“It’s time for change and an end to the divisiveness in the House. I have remained uncommitted for over two weeks because, like Rep. Takumi, I believe that we need to maximize the leadership and talents of every member, and we can do that only with a compromise,” Wooley (D-Kaneohe, Kahaluu, Laie), said today. “Our main responsibility is to improve the quality of life for the state, and we can do that best if we all work together.

“I am talking to House members on both sides of the divide to form working and policy groups now because we are ready to work. We have so many challenges in front of us and we have a responsibility to our constituents to end this stalemate. I urge my colleagues to realize that no matter which side they are on, it’s time for a compromise. It’s time to unify the House and for us to work together.”

Say and his allies did not consider the situation an impasse as of Friday, since the three votes were still on the table and speaker believed he had options in the form of leadership posts and committee chairmanships to offer.

If Wooley and Evans are now behind Takumi, and Luke’s 16 votes are solid, it may be difficult to describe the situation as anything other than an impasse.

Takumi has been actively courting votes. His pitch, according to several sources who have been approached, is not to try to peel votes away from Say or Luke. The Pearl City Democrat is asking for commitments in the event of a stalemate.

Say loyalists are reluctant to break ranks since they signed their names in support for the speaker. Reneging would be unlikely unless the speaker himself acknowledges there is an impasse or the situation drags on for so long that it is obvious there is stalemate.

Takumi said on Friday that if he becomes speaker he would choose from both the Say and Luke factions to form his leadership team and committee chairmanships.

11 Responses to “3”

  1. Nikki Heat:

    So Takumi would “choose” his leadership team and committee chairmanships? I wonder how Evans and Wooley justify getting behind the AFL-CIO officer if he’s just gonna divvy out the goodies like any other Speaker candidate? At least Say and Luke are honest about organizing realities and not hiding a power grab behind the rhetoric of uniting the House majority.

  2. Teddy Freddy:

    Wow Nikki. I hear just a hint of hostility toward the good man Takumi. Don’t you think every candidate brings some inherent bias? Every strong leader comes with some predisposition, strong core values and personal bias. I think Roy is as honorable a man as they come and would do what what he could to host and honor the “big tent” of values represented by his caucus. “Choosing from each camp” makes sense. It also makes sense that the “leader” proposes a team that is composed of members from various factions as a starting point for discussions. To imply that Takumi is making a “power grab” is a bit of a stretch.

  3. Voice Ofreason:

    It’s kinda strange for Rep. Evans to be speaking about the “divisiveness” in the House because of the Say/Luke organizational fight. As the Majority Floor Leader, Rep. Evans was clearly a supporter of Say. For her support, she was given the very important position of Majority Floor Leader, or the number four position in the succession of presiding officer. Rep. Wooley was also a supporter of Say, having cast her vote as part of a block of votes that the freshman class organized to strengthen their position in the 2008 reorganization.

    If both Evans and Wooley remained supporters of Say, Say would have the 26 votes necessary to organize. In other words, there would not be any divisiveness since the dissidents would not have the votes to reorganize. Instead though, citing the need to bridge the divide among Say and Luke, she is supporting a “compromise” candidate for Speaker in such an orchestrated manner that one could not view it as anything other than a power grab by three very ambitious legislators.

    Shame on Reps. Evans, Wooley, and Takumi. Putting your own ambition ahead of the people’s needs is truly selfish, pathetic, and unscrupulous.

  4. Observer:

    Time for Say to relinquish the Leadership. Hawaii needs a fresh outlook on solving the problems.

  5. HappyFeet:

    How does starting another faction end divisiveness? That makes no sense. It also looks like there is already a majority, although not enough of one. (Even if the 3 go with the 16 they won’t have more than the other side) Takumi the compromise speaker? That’s a pretty slick idea though, instead of letting others fight for the last cookie he’s going to be unselfish and take the cookie for himself. Nice. It could work on the playground, let’s see if it works here. Oh, but he really doesn’t want it though right? Doesn’t matter — he’ll still have it in the end. You want to end the impasse? Pick a side, especially when one side is only two votes short and there are three humpty-dumpty wall sitters (now Takumi factionistas). Wouldn’t picking a side be a compromise as well? Now that will show that you: 1) don’t have “too much” political ambition, 2) are not trying a “power grab”, and 3) are just trying to end the impasse.

  6. DD:


    It’s interesting that you define “divisive” as the difference between the 24 votes Rep. Say has and the 26 votes he seems to need.

    What’s “divisive” is not that Rep. Evans and Rep. Wooley no longer support Rep. Say, but that nearly half the Democrats in the House no longer support him either.

    To me that says a lot about his brand of “leadership.”

  7. james_808:

    Sad day if Sylvia Luke ever gets in as Speaker….Great day if you are HGEA.

    HGEA hates Say because he isn’t willing to go along with HGEA’s demands to raise the GET…..So now they go out cherry picking a bunch of candidates that would support that GET tax and support Luke’s faction.

    Don’t believe me? Go check the Primary election endorsements from HGEA and you wonder why HGEA would pick one democrat over another.

    Luke + HGEA + Dissidents = BOH “Bend Over Hawaii”

    If HGEA can’t get you at the polls, they will get you at the Capitol. Lucky we live Hawaii.

    Evans, Wooley, and Takumi…I guess there aren’t enough shovels in the sand box for you guys to play with ah?…pathetic

  8. charles:

    Boy, you would think people at the state capitol would do their jobs rather than blogging, no? ;)

  9. DD:

    James that’s not quite right.

    Everyone knows the reason many unions do not support the current Speaker is because Rep. Say has had a long personal beef with Randy Perreira and others that has worsened over the last few years.

    That’s why as Speaker, Rep. Say pushed so hard to cut back public worker and retiree benefits (and was willing to put his Labor Committee Chair Karl Rhoads into a terrible position) before anyone knew whether such drastic cuts were even needed.

    It is also why Rep. Say refused to go into a Special Session to end school furloughs, even when the Senate was ready to, because of his beef with people at HSTA.

    If the GET was the issue, then HGEA would not have supported candidates who refused raise it (which it did) and should have supported everyone who pledged to raise it (which it didn’t)

  10. John's helper:

    Nothing substantial will pass the Legislature as long as Calvin Say continues to wield power as Speaker of the House. Even governors and presidents have two terms as a limit, yet Say has been Speaker for more than a decade, unwilling to let anyone else have a chance to lead. There’s a name for that unwillingness to give up power when it occurs in other countries. This is a democracy, in and in a democracy, we give others a turn at the helm. How is Speaker Say supposed to teach children to share when he won’t relinquish the headpost that he has gripped for so many years? The Republicans should go with Takumi or Luke and get some fresh people in the leadership post for a change. More importantly the House Democrats should show some guts for once and put someone else in charge so Hawaii can move forward. I hope the freshman are behind a change in leadership.

  11. Declaration of Independence:

    Well, you’ve heard that wonderful Margaret Mead quote about how you should never doubt that “a small group of dedicated people can change the world, and that, indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

    The legislature has been passing laws, setting policy and heading home. It has not had any concerted leadership for a number of years. They may happen upon some lucky bill that will make the headlines like “Shark Fins” but these will not have a true impact on the community that they are charged with leading. Hopefully these revolutionaries will be able to force a change in the broken institution that is the legislature and prove to the world that they deserve more than mediocraty that the legislature has served up year after year and give Hawaii leadership of which we can be proud.

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