State of play

November 3rd, 2010
By

State Senate Vice President Russell Kokubun, (D-S. Hilo, Puna, Kau), may have the inside track for the Senate presidency now that state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa will resign and go to Congress.

But the behind-the-scenes debate is how to split the presidency and the Senate Ways and Means Committee chairmanship between the competing factions of Democrats. Either one faction has to get to 13 – a majority in the 25-member chamber – or partner with another faction to control the Senate.

Here is the state of play, according to several Senate sources:

*Kokubun (9)
English
Gabbard
Green
Nishihara
Takamine
Taniguchi
Tokuda
Wakai

*Baker (6)
Chun Oakland
Fukunaga
Ihara
Ige
Espero

*Kim (7)
Tsutsui
Galuteria
Kidani
Kouchi
Ryan
Dela Cruz

*Update: Espero has pledged to the Baker faction, sources say. Hee is apparently still a free agent. Hanabusa said Thursday that she may weigh in but did not want to be the 13th vote.

*Slom is the lone Republican.

One of the factors in the mix is the likelihood that one or more senators will apply for posts in the new Abercrombie administration, creating openings in addition to Hanabusa’s replacement.

7 Responses to “State of play”

  1. ohiaforest3400:

    Hopefully, the Kokubun/Baker groups can get it together to keep Donna Kim from becoming President or from staying on as WAM chair. That way she can be left free to conduct her personal vendettas cum witch hunts while everyone else tries to get some real work done.


  2. hipoli:

    Who are some of the people we might think will make the short list to replace Hanabusa?

    Isnt Hee openly seeking a cabinet spot?

    I know that there are a lot of heavy hitters who dont want Kim in WAM. Seems to me you start from there. Kokubun and Baker groups should compromise pretty fast.


  3. Yoshi1940:

    Isn’t Donna Kim really close to Mufi?


  4. Kolea:

    Thanks for the team rosters. I can never keep the Senate factions straight in my mind. Exactly which “principles” are at play in how these folks align?

    When Clayton Hee is behaving himself, he can be brilliant. But….

    I think he would be a disaster as a Department director. Please, Neil, I know you are loyal to your longtime friends, but if you start awarding positions on that basis and overlook the obvious problems, you will be dooing your administration from the start.

    This is a time to be smart, not loyal!


  5. Michael:

    hannbusa is still with a job while many are unemployed. She got the raise and now makes more. Those who voted for hannabusa, LIVE WITH IT!


  6. Kaliko68:

    I have to agree with you Kolea, the Senate factions always seem to be changing. For instance, wasn’t Nishihara team Kim before? If he’s jumped ship to join Kokubun that was a wise choice for him, so he wouldn’t be trapped being a pawn for Kim and chairing the Tourism committee again.

    I agree with the Kokubun/Baker team up. It would be ideal that those factions compromise the leadership make-up for the Senate. However, Kim and team works pretty fast and sneaky so I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a Kim and Kokubun team up. I think Kim would much rather retain WAM than be Senate President and Baker’s removal as WAM Chair did not go over too smoothly so I would think she still has eye on the money committee. So I think Kokubun’s faction can sit pretty as Baker and Kim battle it out for WAM and because a Baker/Kim team up would mean hell is freezing over.


  7. Nikki Heat:

    I guess hell froze over Kaliko68 but I think it was getting cold ever since Colleen won on Tuesday night. As you note, Donna can be a pragmatist and her group negotiates quickly and makes decisions– perhaps there’s a lesson there for House members uneasy with current leadership.


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