Political Radar


October 29th, 2013

By voice vote, the state House on Tuesday rejected a resolution by state Rep. Bob McDermott to dissolve the bipartisan House leadership coalition and replace House Minority Leader Aaron Ling Johanson with Rep. Gene Ward.

The resolution would also have replaced Rep. Cynthia Thielen, who supports marriage equality, on the House Judiciary Committee, with Rep. Richard Fale, who opposes gay marriage. The House Judiciary Committee and the House Finance Committee are scheduled to hear a gay marriage bill on Thursday, provided it clears the state Senate on Wednesday as planned.

The resolution would also have stripped Republicans of the three committee vice chairmanships they received as part of the leadership coalition.

McDermott said the coalition of minority Republicans and progressive Democrats behind House Speaker Joseph Souki has been bad for both parties. He also claimed that same-sex marriage split the minority caucus, even though Thielen is the lone Republican to favor the bill.

Thielen said she refused to step down from the Judiciary committee and warned that Republicans will remain on the fringes politically until they move beyond social conservatism.

Rep. Marcus Oshiro and Rep. Jo Jordan, Democrats who lost power under the new House leadersship, were among the Democrats who publicly supported McDermott's unsuccessful play.

The House did approve a resolution to name Rep. Rida Cabanilla the new majority floor leader, replacing Rep. Karen Awana, who resigned earlier this month.

Since House leaders have chosen to assign fellow leaders only to the House Legislative Management Committee, Cabanilla is off the House Judiciary Committee. House Democrats chose Rep. Denny Coffman, who supports marriage equality, to take her place on the committee.

While Cabanilla has been listed as an opponent of gay marriage, she has been counted as a 'yes' vote on the bill in some internal House vote counts because of her new leadership position.

18 Responses to “HR5”

  1. Sally Waitt:

    Terrific that Cynthia Thielen did not step down and thrilled that the best of the best, Denny Coffman is stepping into the judiciary. Mahalo to the Senate for passing marriage equality with a special Mahalo to Senator Clayton Hee for a job well done. A very good day!

  2. Especially Incognito:

    Re-election is close and many will change their skin color.

    It would seem a "special" election is in the making.

  3. ohiaforest3400:

    Shame, shame, shame. Cynthia Thielen has more vision, character, and grace than the rest of the minority caucus put together. McDermott is an embarrassment, Ward a bad joke that isn't funny. MOshiro and Jordan have obviously been drinking some their tainted Kool-Aid. And, as usual, Fukumoto was just plain missing in action.

  4. Kolea:

    Back on 10-10-13, I wrote:

    For the past year, Bob has been forced to remain on Good Behavior by the tactical alliance with the Democrats in the state House. This has resulted in more CIP money flowing into their districts and a calmer atmosphere for debating the bills. But he has had to watch, like a kid looking out the window at a playground, as the Tea Party Republicans in Congress have been free to run wild, speechifying and having fun. Now, finally, a real "Red Meat" issue is tossed in front of him and he can no longer resist. Red Meat! A Red Flag! For the Red Shirt Mob!

    And to Jo Jordan: Really? You find yourself lined up with Bob McDermott and Gene Ward, against Cynthia Thielen, Aaron Johanson and Speaker Joe and that doesn't make you squirm. Not even a little bit? Sister, just because Marcus has lost his way doesn't mean you have to follow him into the fog.

    I still have faith you will vote the right way on this bill. Seriously, if not, you will feel rotten about this for the rest of your life. It will tear at you.

  5. Rainbow Power:

    Rep. Jordan has been a disappointment for some time now. How can she side with people trying to discriminate against her?

  6. Eileen:

    Kolea has it right. Jo, I know politicians have to compromise at times, but I cannot believe you are acting like a Lingle. Please, search your conscience; you will have to live with this decision and it will haunt you if you cave to pressure from others manipulating you. This is such a historic moment for Hawai'i; make sure you are on the right side or you will have your own doubts, as well as those of the public if you vote to appease others rather than yourself.

  7. Especially Incognito:

    Talk irrlevant and the ceiling will fall on all.
    Only a few will be satisfied and the rest
    will just wait for judgement on the day they die.
    Over the cliff like lemmings.

  8. Johnson:

    Jo Jordan, I am deeply disappointed in you. For shame.

  9. Eric Ryan:

    Governor Mufi Hannemann's Keith Rollman is obviously giving Bob McDermott the advice of a lifetime. Oops. That's right. Hannemann didn't make it into the governor's office. I meant to say Governor John Carroll's Keith Rollman is . . . WAIT. Wrong again. meant to say Governor Bob McDermott's Keith Rollman . . . shoot. Something is wrong with that formula. It keeps failing. What could it be? What's the common denominator? Hmmm. There goes the CIP money for Ewa Beach, after being so loyal to Joe Souki for all these months. Waking up to realize you've been had must be how Neville Chamberlain felt when German bombs started landing on England. Paging Winston Churchill. Please report to the Republican Caucus Room.

  10. Kenji:

    Jo Jordan understands the PROCESS, unlike the rest of her moronic colleagues. Kolea does not understand democracy and the democratic process which is why it's easier to call names than talk about issues!

  11. Kolea:

    Kenji, after reading your criticism of me, I checked what I wrote in case I had crossed a line and actually called Jo a "name."

    Sure enough, I had. I had called her "Sister." Unlike the false protestations of some of the faux Christians who proclaim they "love" everyone, I tend to be a bit more sincere, even when I am SOMETIMES diplomatic. In the case of Jo Jordan, I know her personally and feel a very sincere affection for her. I consider her a friend and, most of the time, an ally on things I care about. And I still have faith, as I wrote, that she will vote the right way on this.
    - - - -

    As for "PROCESS," I am not sure what you mean in this case. There are several processes at work simultaneously, intersecting and, sometimes, in conflict. This special session is fully legal and proper. When the Governor asked it be called, it was not scheduled to occur immediately, to "rush" the bill through, but everyone was CONSCIOUSLY given plenty of time to organize their arguments, their "evidence" and their supporters in order to make their strongest case. There are those who had WISHED the Guv had "rushed" it a bit more. But he was very clear, everyone must have a chance to advance their arguments.

    You chastize me for not understanding "democracy." Given my propensity towards verbosity, I am TEMPTED to not touch that one at all. But...let me suggest what you undoubtedly already know, "democracy" is a more nuanced thing than simply "Majority Rules." The genius of the sort of "democratic republic" form of government created by the US Constitution is expressed in the systems of "checks and balances." The principle of "majority rules" is balanced and in dynamic tension with the assertion of individual rights, exempt from (or semi-exempt from) being over-ruled by the will of the majority. But, hey, at times, if not now, you undoubtedly keep that in mind.

    The Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment guarantees everyone equality under the law. Majoritarian preferences (I almost said "prejudices," silly me) do not trump the right to equal protection. Gays and lesbians deserve equal protection under the law, regardless of how many Bible-thumping drones insist Wayne Cordeiro is God's representative on Earth and that we are bound to follow certain passages from Leviticus, while ignoring other, less-homophobic passages from that same book.

    US history, going back to the earliest British colonies in North America, has been a tension between liberty and those who insist they KNOW God supports their social vision and wants them to impose that vision on others. The Puritan ancestors (figuratively, ideologically) of today's fundamentalists, were a humorless, tyrannical lot, who whipped, burned, tortured, branded and hung people whose religious and social views varied from their own. This is what SOME of those testifying harken back to as a Golden Age of "Religious Freedom"!

    Having set out this framework does not imply I believe a majority of Hawaii residents oppose marriage equality. I have great confidence a majority support it. The basis for my judgment is the polling data which shows VOTERS are about evenly split and the undeniable knowledge younger residents have not acquired the anti-gay bigotry of their parents and grandparents. But that younger people do not vote, as they are alienated from our political system to the extent the unrepresentative body of actual VOTERS is evenly split.

    But I am unwilling to put the Constitutional right to Equal Protection up to a vote. No more than I am willing to put up for a vote the right of some other unpopular minority, say "Republicans," up to a vote of the majority.

    But, hey, what do I know about "democracy and the democratic process"? Obviously, not much.

    Good thing you didn't provoke my verbosity gene!

  12. Nala007:

    Kolea - thanks for discussing the false claim that this issue is being "rushed." The Christofascists keep repeating that lie. As they came up to testify, they kept complaining that the process is rushed and that there voices aren't being heard (as their voices were being heard before the legislature and broadcast via TV and internet throughout the state).

  13. Nala007:

    Their rally outside the Capitol on Monday was a sea of intolerance. It was a mob scene of shoulder to shoulder ignorance, fear, and prejudice all in the name of Jesus. Surprised they didn't have a book burning.

  14. 808Outsider:

    Representatives are supposed to vote based on the will of those they represent, not based on their personal views. I've been told Rep Theilen's view on SSM does not reflect the views of her District. So I'm sure some of those Legislators that are for SSM are not really representing their districts.

    I believe Rep Souki began this fiasco by changing out Rep Cabinella a NO vote for Coffman a YES vote, which leads me to think that maybe they didn't have the votes to get SB1 out of committee. If not, why the change anyway, why not leave the committee membership as is until you start the new session in January? It all gives the perception of deceit, no wonder voter turnout is so low in Hawaii, people see this crap and want nothing to do with it.

    From an Independent/Libertarian point of view, this is exactly the kind of politics we see in Washington DC, thank you Governor. If either side is so confident that the citizens of Hawaii support their side, then why not let the people decide. If the only reason to pass this is to allow tax benefits for same sex couples, thats pandering to a specific constituency. If that is not the case then why waste the money and time with a special session.

    Don't be fooled, these Legislators don't care either way about this issue, their just doing the biding of the special interest groups (ACLU, NOM, etc...) in hopes of garnering more money to help them remain in power.

  15. Especially Incognito:

    "Contrary Mary".

  16. Especially Incognito:

    Should it run.

  17. Kolea:

    808Outsider wrote:

    "Representatives are supposed to vote based on the will of those they represent, not based on their personal views."

    Sorry, but you are mistaken. Citizens cast their votes for candidates for a variety of reasons. In aggregate, voters choose elected officials we hope will make better decisions than the opposing candidate.

    I doubt I ever voted for someone with whom I agree 100%. Have you? I vote for someone who agrees with me more often than not, but also in the hope they will study the issues and make a good decision.

    There is no contractual obligation for an elected official to vote in keeping with the views of their constituents. But if they anger their constituents too much, on two many issues, those constituents will factor that in at the next election.

    Cynthia Thielen is extremely popular in her district. In part, this is because she is known to be moderate, even "liberal" on social issues and the environment. She is also seen as independent from both the Democrats and the extremists in the GOP.

    If the Tea Party wing if the GOP decides to run an extreme conservative against hr because of her support for marriage equality, they might succeed, given the low turnout in the Republican primary. But that would not prove she has lost the support of her district. It only means most reasonable people from the district will be voting in the Democratic primary.

  18. Especially Incognito:

    I pay for a conservative or liberal,
    I expect my monies worth.

    It is written and it is done. Words
    needs to be defined and not made up
    to suit one's need. "Can't refuidate".

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