Teams

January 3rd, 2011
By

While the state House leadership struggle remains a stalemate, the two sides have been negotiating.

Speaker Calvin Say’s group of 25 has been represented by Say, state Rep. Marcus Oshiro (D-Wahiawa), and state Rep. Isaac Choy, (D-Manoa), sources say.

The dissident faction of 17 has been represented by state Rep. Scott Nishimoto, (D-Kaimuki, Kapahulu, Diamond Head), state Rep. Mark Nakashima, (D-Kohala, Hamakua, N. Hilo), and state Rep. Jessica Wooley, (D-Laie, Hauula, Punaluu).

The dissidents have suggested state Rep. Roy Takumi, (D-Pearl City, Momilani, Palisades), as a compromise speaker, which the Say group has rejected.

One dissident, meanwhile, has received a note from the Say group discussing committee chairmanships and leadership posts to end the stalemate.

If the leadership struggle does not end by opening day on Jan. 19, House Republicans, with their eight votes, may have a card to play.

The last time a leadership fight extended past opening day — in 1971 — it was the Republicans who broke the deadlock.

State House Minority Leader Gene Ward, (R-Kalama Valley, Queen’s Gate, Hawaii Kai), said the GOP caucus would likely stick together if called upon to cast a leadership vote.

Ward said Say helped hold the line against a general-excise tax increase favored by public-sector labor unions and is sympathetic to small-business concerns. He believes it is inevitable that Say will prevail over the dissidents.

“Speaker is wise. He is smart. He is wily,” Ward said.

10 Responses to “Teams”

  1. Karl Barth:

    Glad to see the adults in the State Senate are moving forward with the work of the people while the kids in the House continue to make Big Body moves– while there are some “joint” budget meetings between WAM and last session’s FIN chairs, only WAM can really start working on the State financial plan. Why not reverse the order of considering the budget bill this session (with the hope that the House gets its act together at some point) and let David Ige get a crack at the budget numbers crunching first? But that assumes the Abercrombie-Schatz administration gets it’s Gov Msg on “reprioritized” changes to the legislature in a timely manner. Otherwise, may be the entire session should be delayed.


  2. ohiaforest3400:

    No can delay; the State Constitution says session starts the “third Wednesday in January” come he\\ or high water. Without leadership, cannot even agree with Senate on a calendar that might include plenty recess days to figure it out once session starts. As the First District Rep., Mark Nakashima will be the Presiding Officer until . . . . . . . . ? Until Gene Ward (ulp!) breaks the stalemate? Let’s hope he’s right that the “Wascally Wabbit” Calvin Say pulls it out. It might be the only time I hope Gene Ward is right about anything!


  3. charles:

    While the constitution says the session must start on the third Wednesday in January, it is silent on when it must end. So a 60 day session could go on for ten months, if necessary. So there can be no delay in the beginning of session but then rules prevail and session can end at anytime.

    Let’s hope cooler heads prevail.


  4. Voice Ofreason:

    Let’s do a little math. Speaker Say has 25 votes. The dissidents had 18 votes but lost one when the Governor appointed Rep. Shimabukuro to the Senate. That leaves them with 17 votes.

    The Republicans have 8 votes. If they vote as a block with the dissidents, they would have 25 votes, or an equal number as Speaker Say.

    So how will the tie be broken?

    Whoever the Governor appoints to Rep. Shimabukuro’s seat could conceivably have a lot to say in the organization if (and that is a big if) all of the dissidents and Republicans hold together. But say they do, then wouldn’t you like to know how the replacement is chosen?

    Well, by law, once Shimabukuro resigns from the House, the Democratic Party has 30 days to submit a list of at least 3 party members residing in the district to the Governor. Once received, the Governor would then have 30 days to pick someone from that list.

    The Party went through great effort giving the appearance of establishing an “open” process of requiring community meetings at the precinct level and then at the district level to come up with a list of at least three names for the Party’s Executive Committee to approve before transmitting it to the Governor. Yet, most insiders know that this is a sham since the Executive Committee is dominated by urban Democrats, most of whom have aligned themselves with the House dissidents.

    By law, the Governor must use that list and cannot name an alternate. So if the Party wanted to totally tie the Governor’s hands, they could submit a list comprised of only supporters of the dissidents. . . but that is only if the Party is afraid that the Governor might want to chose someone who would support Speaker Say.

    So who would the Governor like to have as Speaker? Some on this blog suggest that he would support Speaker Say citing their amicable relationship in the past. Others contend that with so much change within the Administration and the Senate, Speaker Say would serve as a stabilizing force, especially when it comes to handling the budget.

    But there is someone on the fifth floor, the Lieutenant Governor, who has long been a supporter of the dissidents and would like nothing better to see Say banished into Siberia. That would allow his cronies (i.e., Saiki, Luke, Nishimoto, etc.) to reap the rewards of power that they have waited so long to gain.

    Doesn’t this sound like a really bad episode of “Dallas”?

    Perhaps the leadership fight in the House is just a prelude to a much bigger battle in four years — when Brian Schatz decides to run for Governor.

    FEAR DARTH SCHATZ


  5. Karl Barth:

    VOR!
    So who are the Jedi (the dissidents who briefly held power by toppling Joe Souki with the help of Calvin Say?), is K. Mark Takai the future Emperor, and who is Darth Vader really? And what Star Wars episode are we in — “Revenge of the Sith” or “Return of the Jedi”? Regardless, I know several folks to nominate as Jar Jar Binks.


  6. ohiaforest3400:

    Voice, dude, you’re scaring me!!! It’s too early in the year for Hallowe’en!!!


  7. Michael:

    There is no “I” in team.


  8. DD:

    We are just a few weeks away from the start of the 2011 Legislative Session, and it looks like the 17 who want change in the House aren’t going to be bought off to go over to Rep. Say’s side. So now it looks like there are two options:

    So if Rep. Say wants to keep his power he can trade something to the Republicans to secure their vote on Opening Day, or negotiate a compromise with the other 17 Democrats.

    No matter what happens, surely Rep. Say will take care of his core groupies, Jerry Chang, Bob Herkes, Ken Ito.

    But if he has to negotiate a compromise to retain his power, then my question is what happens to everyone else on his side that he made promises to when they find out he had to negotiate their positions away?

    Does that mean a third group will form again when they all bolt?


  9. Formerly Undecided:

    The more homophobic Republicans would never go for it but it seems to me that the only real leader in the House is Blake Oshiro. His election would send a signal to the international Gay community that Hawai`i may not be so bad after all and they might start coming back to the islands again (with their large discretionary incomes).


  10. Kolea:

    I just saw the comment by “Voice of Reason” and need to say it is helpful if one’s “reason” is supported by actual facts. This paragraph is patent nonsense:

    “The Party went through great effort giving the appearance of establishing an “open” process of requiring community meetings at the precinct level and then at the district level to come up with a list of at least three names for the Party’s Executive Committee to approve before transmitting it to the Governor. Yet, most insiders know that this is a sham since the Executive Committee is dominated by urban Democrats, most of whom have aligned themselves with the House dissidents.”

    The Rules of the Democratic Party give the power to come up with three nominees to the grassroot officers of the district affected by the vacancy. Contrary to VoR’s misinformation, the list is not sent to “the Party’s Executive Committee” for approval. The Executive Committee has no say on the names submitted to the Governor. Once the names are sent to the party chair, they are checked to against the membership roles to ensure they have been members for 6 months at the time of the vacancy.

    So your conspiracy theory about “urban Democrats” dominating the process in favor of the dissidents is pure, uninformed claptrap.

    Other than that, you remain, of course, the Voice of Reason.


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