New boss

November 9th, 2012

State House Republicans have chosen Rep. Aaron Johanson as their new minority leader.

Johanson replaces Rep. Gene Ward, who has led House Republicans for the past two years.

Johanson (R, Mapunapuna-Aiea), who was elected two years ago, will preside over a caucus where four of seven lawmakers — including Johanson — are under the age of 33. Republicans lost a seat in Tuesday’s elections, so Democrats have a 44 to 7 advantage.

“There’s a lot of youth and energy coming into the caucus,” he said.

Johanson said the challenge for Republicans is to “provide a different perspective and add to the dialogue so that the people of Hawaii get the best possible legislation and policy outcomes for maximum benefit.”

11 Responses to “New boss”

  1. ohiaforest3400:

    Great choice. Bright, hardworking, and possessed of a sense of humor, he is self-effacing, yet firm. Johanson will be a real breath of fresh air, especially as compared to his immediate predecessor.

  2. Goober:

    No New Boss, since the same persons are pulling the strings.
    Just a different face on the marionette.

  3. Teddy Freddy:

    meet the new boss same as the ole boss – sorry could not resist

  4. NikkiHeat:

    Yalie who worked in the W White House under Paulson at Treasury. Let’s see if he keeps the plum seats on FIN for himself and his pals rather than the freshmen (Ward, Marumoto, Finnegan and Pine took the seats in recent sessions, with Riviere the only GOP newbe to get a seat in the last two years). Is he gonna have the GOP caucus tip the scales in favor of one faction of DEMS over the other the way Ward and Thielen favored Say (recalll that the GOP groused after the DEMS organized that some GOP members were more deserving of leadership posts than less experienced Majority members. Hope Aaron keeps the GOP out of the DEMS self-destructive internal fight.

  5. Kolea:

    Congratulations to Aaron. He is bright, personable and humble. I hope he retains those traits.

    I recognize the challenge he faces in coming up with alternative policies ideas. I suggest he should look more skeptically at the model legislation being promoted by the corporate lobbying group ALEC than his predecessor. It would be so easy forthe Hawaii Republicans to simply be “cookie cutter” Republican state legislators if they follow that path.

    Clearly, Hawaii voters will respect creative and thoughtful ideas, but even though ALEC has these well-drafted, professionally crafted bills ready for use by Republicans state legislators, those bills would lock GOP Hawaii into being clones of the Mainland GOP, when the challenge facing Aaron and the others is to RESIST falling into that trap.

    It will be interesting if Aaron’s first act will be to help Calvin Say consolidate his grip on the status quo, or help usher in a time of greater legislative transparency and flexibility. A lot of Republicans campaigned as opposing the PLDC and preserving the PLDC is likely to be Say’s top legislative priority next session. While the PLDC is not the ONLY issue, it IS emblematic. It was passed in a very shady way, violating legislative “due process,” it shows contemptforcounty home rule, it exempts state actions from regulations which restrict the private sector, and it turns power to a small group of unelected, political cronies, with minimal accountability.

    If the GOP caucus aligns with Speaker Say, Aaron will signal he is more comfortable accepting crumbs from the Machine than in revitalizing Hawaii’s political culture. This is your first MAJOR test, Aaron. Welcome to the job. Good luck!

  6. flying1431:

    Great Choice, hopefully he will do a better job of promoting the GOP message out about lower taxes, smaller government that Ward failed to do.

  7. NikkiHeat:

    Kolea: With a “SuperMajority” of the House, shouldn’t the Democrats be able to organize without relying on the GOP? And how will the Purity Police in the Democratic Party view cutting a deal with GOP to secure power in the House? For all of Aaron’s virtues (young, smart, statesmanlike, careful in speech), he comes from spending time in W’s regime. Calvin Say might be interested in maintaining his hold on power — his only legacy appears to be to have outlasted every other post-Statehood Speaker’s tenure– but any deal with the GOP would make the Democrats the laughingstock of the nation– that internal bickering makes a powerless GOP minority relevant – what will Calvin or his opponents give up in order to secure GOP support to organize the House?

  8. Goober:

    GOP lost cause they were of a race not in a race.
    Hawaii is not of the Mainland GOP.
    Seems Hawaii is a Democratic (GOP) Government of People.

  9. Kolea:

    Hi Nikki!

    Not sure the “Purity Police” in the Democratic Party would have any tool for going after either faction in the House if they were to rely upon GOP votes. As far as I know, there is nothing in the party rules which would provide an opening. (Though I seem to remember the GOP Hawaii rules have SOMETHING in their rules about caucusing with “the enemy” for organizing the Lege. Forgive me, I am too lazy to find chapter and verse).

    The Democrats you MAY bee refering to as the “Purity Police” are mostly aligned with the dissidents. They are more likely to get annoyed with Speaker Say if HE relies upon Republican votes to hold on to power, than if the dissidents rely upon them to overthrow Say. While not a member of the PP myself, I am inclined to believe relying on GOP votes would be a necessary tactic if the Democratic Caucus cannot settle this among themselves. I would judge the merits of such a deal based upon what is traded away. Though, I suspect, few of us will learn “the real deal.”

  10. Beckie Staffon:

    Obama was born a liar, was raised a liar and is now the Liar in Cheif of the US

  11. Goober:

    There is a #10 born every minute.

Leave a Reply