‘Desperate’ times

November 23rd, 2012

Rep. Marcus Oshiro, currently the chairman of the House Finance Committee, issued a statement Friday in response to the announcement this week that a faction of Democrats in the House planned to form a coalition with the chamber’s seven Republicans in a challenge to the leadership of Speaker Calvin Say. The new speaker would be Speaker Emeritus Joe Souki.

In his written statement, Oshiro first shot down rumors that he may leave his House seat to join the Cabinet of Mayor-elect Kirk Caldwell at Honolulu Hale.

He then addressed the leadership situation, calling Souki’s coalition a “desperate power grab”:

“It concerns me that Speaker Emeritus Souki has made an agreement with the Minority Leader to offer leadership positions to members of the Minority in exchange for votes to support his quest to be Speaker. As a life-long Democrat, I am troubled that this was not discussed with the members of his own Majority Caucus, nor have the ramifications for this maneuver been fully vetted. If this plan goes through, House Republicans will be able to run in the next election on the accomplishments of the Democrat Majority, and most important, the potential for gridlock at the committee level is heightened. This is not in the spirit of true bi-partisanship; rather, it is a desperate power grab to win the Speakership without consideration for the health and welfare of the body.

“Finally, the public should realize that the House organization is not official until the 51 members vote on an organization resolution at the start of the legislative session. There is still time to consider who is best to lead the House, and I hope Majority and Minority members will think clearly on their options.”

With the seven Republicans, Souki would have 28 votes, two more than the 26 needed to control the 51-member House.

Say says he won’t hand over the gavel until the vote on leadership occurs on Opening Day of the Legislature, Jan. 16, and state Democratic Party Chairman Dante Carpenter says he may make another appeal to members to work out their differences within the caucus and not seek GOP help.*

(*UPDATED at 2:20 p.m. to CORRECT that Carpenter only is asking members to work out leadership within the Democratic caucus, not that he favors one faction over another.)

7 Responses to “‘Desperate’ times”

  1. Teddy Freddy:

    Where was Mr. Dante when Say’s Dem Majority was ripping and shredding environmental protections contrary to the Dem principles? Where was Mr. Dante when Oshiro simply blew off the public and the environmental community this past legislative session. Maybe finally Mr. Dante will recognize the DINO problem and do something about it. Sharon Har a Democrat? I don’t think so. James Tokioka a Democrat? Naa, he actually campaigned for Lingle before he switched and ran for the House. I can go on. I would take Gil Riveria any day and not just cause he’s Green. Say’s minions can claim to be Dems but they only do so because they are opportunists and there are no goodies given out to Repubs. Say’s Dems know nothing of ideology and Dem values and only seek the goodies and the power that comes with the majority. A majority of the so-called dissidents do care about values and Dem ideology. Not all, but a majority within the new majority are for sure the good guys.

  2. Observationist:

    I for one am glad to finally see a change and of course the republicans are not gonna team up with the current old boys running the house or reps. These are the fools that wanted to raise taxes on pensions and sell us out to all the developers.

    Since the republicans are now the ones trying to protect our environment I look forward to some bipartisan working together. Hopefully it will get all the old boy cronies to retire.

  3. Goober:

    “desperate times call for desperate measures”


    “in adverse circumstances actions that might have been rejected are the best choice”

  4. Bart:

    I agree with Rep Oshiro and Democratic Party Chair hat it will be unfortunate if the new Speaker has to rely upon Republican votes to break the current impasse caused by the Dems being evenly split between Say and Souki. But let’s not pretend it is only Souki who approached the Republicans for support. In 2011, when faced with a similar impasse, Say got support from the Republicans, an advantage who used to wrest concessions from the dissidents. That should be the same pattern here and the Say supporters should yield to the inevitable, abandoning Say in return for committee assignments and other concessions. Just like the dissidents did last time.

    It is good to see Carpenter distancing himself from the comments attributed to him earlier. The Democratic Party leadership should not allow divisions within the House caucus to split the Party itself along the same factional lines. Whichever faction emerges in control, the Party will be trying to work with them to pass meaningful legislation and cannot afford to offend half the Democratic House members if it hopes to be successful in implementing its platform planks and resolutions.

  5. Hawaiino:

    TF is certainly concerned with his particular interest, the environment, somewhat to a fault. Moral causes tend to do that to their proponents, I judge his use of hyperbole, “shredding enviornmental protections” to characterize him.
    His criticism of the current majority as closet Republicans and that if anyone has green leanings they are preferable just based on this single issue is pretty narrowminded of him. He should be very happy with Speaker Joe, a “green”($$$$) from way back when.

    Get a grip regarding whats going on here TF, your naïveté is showing.

  6. Teddy Freddy:

    Thank you Hawaiino for pointing out my unfettered zeal for environmental protection does somewhat skew my overall perspective. Point well taken. However, my “criticism of the current majority as closet Republicans” is a valid one, green issues not withstanding. I believe that if the core values of each legislator were analyzed, a solid majority of Calvin Say’s majority would come out on the Republican leaning side of the equation. In fact, I think this would be the same if done in the Senate. To be clear I don’t believe most see themselves as preferring to be Repubs but most do lean toward big business, lean toward preferring less government, lean toward being tough on crime and drugs, lean toward believing that people with money are somehow more entitled than people without, etc. Look at the way they vote for goodness sake. Look at the policies of our State. If Hawaii was as Democratic as our super majority would have you believe we should be the most progressive State in the union. But sadly we are far from that. This I believe is a fundamental problem with Hawaii’s non existent two party system. Because the Dems are so dominant, most legislators just choose the D when they decide to run not because of the platform or values but because that is where the majority is, that is where the power is and that is the only way to get elected in most districts.

  7. Goober:

    lingle who?

Leave a Reply