By Derrick DePledge
The Hawaii Republican Assembly has taken a swipe at bipartisanship in a recent missive to conservatives.
The splinter group's message is that the new bipartisan coalition in the state House is overrated. Progressive Democrats and minority Republicans formed the coalition with veteran House Speaker Joseph Souki to topple longtime Rep. Calvin Say from power.
But despite Republican losses and (former Gov. Linda) Lingle's disastrous 25% loss to Mazie Hirono, the intense desire to appear 'bipartisan' and to 'work across party lines' continues with those who are currently sitting in the state house. Based on their unanimous support for a massive increase in the state's budget, this new mix of GOP legislators serving in the State House have found a way to embrace government bloat and waste as long as they can get funding for their districts and a handful of inane vice-chair positions on a few committees.
While Democrat House Speaker Joe Souki is probably very proud of Rep. Aaron Ling Johanson's House Republican Caucus for proclaiming the new state budget as "fiscally conservative", it strains credulity to call a $2 billion increase anything but wasteful, reckless and fiscally irresponsible, especially with the incredible amount of debt the state carries.