One question

If I could ask just one question of the candidates at the forum hosted by Inspire Church in Mililani (Thursday night @ 7PM):

Would you support at all any coalition for House Leadership with liberal Democrats (including, but not limited to Joe Souki, Sylvia Luke and Scott Saiki)?

While each bill must pass on its own merit, the Speaker of the House (and their leadership team) and the Senate President individually determine what the priorities are for their respective chambers. Based on these priorities, many bad bills are given a hearing while other good bills never see the light of day.

In this respect, the first and probably most important decision a freshly elected representative (freshman or incumbent) makes is who they choose to support for the Speaker of the House. The Speaker is not chosen solely on the basis of being a “nice person”, but also based on the agenda they bring for the two years following their installation.

After two years, the legislative priorities of the current House leadership are quite clear:

  • Disdain for due process and contempt for public input [1],
  • Legalization and normalization of marijuana [2],
  • Legalization of gambling [3],
  • Pono choices,
  • An unbalanced budget,
  • Rampant corruption amongst elected officials, [4]
  • Contempt for the destitute, the vulnerable and the homeless, [5]

To vote for the Speaker of the House is to vote for the agenda for the next two years. If liberal Democrats stand for the moral and social decay of the past two years, why would we allow them to lead us again?

Power? Money? (For your district) Self-preservation? It’s not complicated – are we willing to sell out our values and virtues? Money cannot accomplish good in the hands of the unjust. Power is an illusion when it is not righteous.

The choice of the Speaker of the House determines the future that people of faith will face at the Legislature. Because of the leadership of liberal Democrats, we have had to fight one battle after the next, it has been relentless. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just close the gates so that instead of fighting the battles, those battles would never take place to begin with. [6]

Will your elected official make the same mistake by installing the same liberal Democratic leadership? More importantly, will you make the mistake of voting for a representative who cannot tell the difference?


[1] This was accomplished by the amazing lack of transparency both during the regular and special sessions of the Legislature in the past two years. Public testimony has been ignored, publicly ridiculed and even cut. When the public is cut out government policy-making, it ceases to be a democracy and becomes a dictatorship.

[2] The House and the Senate have attempted to legalize marijuana through several different vehicles despite public testimony in opposition. Because legalization could not be achieved, other measures are being used to normalize marijuana use including medical marijuana, marijuana dispensaries and a medical marijuana task force. The goal is to convince the public that marijuana “is not so bad” so that it will be easier to legalize marijuana in the future. The same technique was used as reciprocal beneficiaries evolved into civil unions which became same-sex marriage.

[3] Every year, House Speaker Joe Souki has introduced legislation in one form or another to bring gambling to Hawaii. Souki is a close ally with many local hotel operators (Outrigger, etc.) that would welcome the revenue boost that gambling would bring via tourism while neglecting the sinister social effects that accompany it.

[4] This includes most notably Romy Cachola who has been slapped with massive fines for the misuse of both public and campaign funds. Karen Awana has also repeatedly misused her campaign funds for personal purposes. Sylvia Luke has used her position as Finance Chair to perpetuate business for her ambulance-chasing law firm. These antics make the wildly unpopular Rida Cabanilla look like a Girl Scout by comparison.

[5] Karl Rhoads has introduced and passed many measures that criminalize homelessness similar to measures already passed by the city (sit-lie ban, public defecation and urination). Tom Brower has sledge-hammered shopping carts in Waikiki to intimidate homeless individuals. While the side effects of homelessness are unfortunate, these are people who have fallen on difficult times. Some of these legislators seem to have forgotten (or never known) what it is like to be just one or two paychecks away from being homeless. They lack empathy. They lack compassion.

[6] Many candidates claim that there is no difference between conservative and liberal Democrats. They claim that “same-sex marriage would have passed under Speaker Say”. This is extremely unlikely. While Speaker Say supported SB1, all of Say’s lieutenants (Har, Oshiro, Tokioka etc.) voted against same-sex marriage. With opposition like that, SB1 and the Special Session would not have taken place under more conservative leadership.