With the picture looking bleak on the super-majority side, one would hope that persecuted Christians could find a champion in the minority caucus of the House of Representatives. However, the return of Aaron Johanson as the leader of the minority caucus is uninspiring at best. While Christians were persecuted and vilified during the Special Session, Johanson preached ‘civility’.
Inside sources have indicated that Aaron secured the Minority Leader position after he was endorsed by freshman Laie Representative-elect Feki Pouha. With the additional support of Fukumoto-Chang, Matsumoto and Thielein, Johanson has locked up five of the possible eight votes to remain the caucus leader. Poha’s support for Johanson is a sour note to begin his tenure after his highly conservative constituency elected him to fight against the same lackluster leadership that he had endorsed.
Without key vice-chairmanships and assurances of CIP from the liberal Democrat super-majority, it is unclear how Johanson plans to provide for the eight-member caucus. However, there will be telling clues in the committee line-up to see if Johanson plans on ‘playing possum’ or meaning fully standing up for the Christian and conservative values that he traded for thirty gold pieces during the 2012 Legislature:
1) Will Cynthia Thielein retain her position on the House Judiciary Committee? Thielein’s has consistently voted with liberal Democrats on social issues. While the super-senior RINO claims she is representing her district, she represents her caucus poorly by bulldozing a path for every item on the liberal agenda – legalization of marijuana, same-sex marriage and various measures that further erode our religious liberties. If there is any question about Theilein’s loyalties – the Kailua representative went so far as to accuse pastors and church leaders of intimidation and called for a restraining order to prevent their presence at Capitol protests.
2) Will Bob McDermott be removed from the same committee? The Ewa representative has come to be one of the few remaining voices of reason who vet the issues appropriately before the Judiciary committee. His removal would be seen as one more way that Johanson is working against people of faith to please his Democratic overlords.
Many inside sources have expressed grave concern about Johanson’s relationship with House Democratic Leaders, which goes beyond professional and includes many social calls to late night soires. To be clear, this cannot be confirmed (as Johanson has taken great lengths to keep his ‘special’ relationship under wraps) and will surely be denied if confronted. While it is only hearsay at this point, this has been personally observed by several independent sources.
The proof is in the pudding whether Johanson will step to the plate for people of faith, or trade his values for another vodka-tonic and a seat at the weekly poker game. After all, it was the very same laissez-faire attitude that caused many Christians to leave the Republican tent and seek out the assistance of moderate and conservative Democrats.