BY MICHELE VAN HESSEN – When the 26th Legislature convenes on January 19, 2011, the new Republican caucus will provide insightful knowledge and meaningful dialogue on the important issues facing the people of Hawai’i.
They “team of 8” have pledged to work every day to:
- Ensure residents taxes are not raised;
- Control government spending and maintain fiscal/budgetary constraint;
- Shrink government bureaucracy, while overseeing that services are delivered timely and efficiently;
- Create an environment to help local businesses thrive, and;
- Enhance international relations for investments.
Hawaii’s Republican Caucus is a very diverse group of leaders who represent approximately 200,000 citizens on O’ahu and Maui. They include three freshmen, Aaron Ling Johanson, George Fontaine and Gil Riviere, who join the veteran team of Minority Leader Gene Ward, Floor Leader Kymberly Marcos Pine, Cynthia Thielen, Corinne W.L. Ching and Barbara C. Marumoto.
Corinne W.L. Ching
Born and raised in Hawai’i, Representative Corinne W.L. Ching was a public school teacher prior to becoming a legislator in 2004. She is a 1980 graduate of Punahou School with a BA from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. She started the I Love Liliha festival and the Gingerbread Festival in her district establishing her community has a Hawai’i heritage site.
Newly elected, Representative George Fontaine is a retired Police Captain of 25 years with the Maui Police Department.
He is an Energy Consultant for HNU Energy in Maui; and has co-authored five books on computer technology. Also, he serves as Vice Chairperson, Maui County Civil Service Commission. He is a Board Member of Na Hale O Maui, Secretary to the Hawaii Catholic Community and for Rotary International he works on the Ethics Task Force.
Aaron Ling Johanson
Representative Aaron Ling Johanson was recently elected in the Pearl City district. He was raised in Moanalua Gardens and his family has resided there since 1959 when his grandparents moved into the area to be closer to Pearl Harbor, where Representative Johanson’s grandfather worked as a ship fitter for over thirty years.
After graduating as a Valedictorian from Moanalua High School, Representative Johanson went on to graduate cum laude with distinction from Yale University. He has also lived abroad; twice in Japan and once in China. He attended Shudo High School in Hiroshima, the Hokkaido International Foundation in Hakodate, and East China Normal University in Shanghai.
Barbara C. Marumoto
Representative Barbara C. Marumoto has represented the Kaimuki, Kahala, Waialae area in the Hawai’i House of Representatives since 1978. Before beginning her legislative service, she was elected to the 1978 Hawai’i Constitutional Convention.
Born in San Francisco, she was interned with her family during WWII. Representative Marumoto is the second longest serving legislator in the Hawaii House of Representatives.
Kymberly Marcos Pine
Representative Kymberly Marcos Pine was elected to the State House of Representatives in 2004. She represents District 43 which covers the areas of West Loch Fairways, West Loch Village, and Parts of Ewa by Gentry, Puuloa, Ocean Pointe, Ewa Beach and Iroquois Point.
She is the first Republican to be elected to this seat since statehood. Representative Pine is a trained journalist by background, graduating from University of California, Berkeley receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Rep. Pine serves her community on the U.S. Veterans Advisory Board.
Representative Gil Riviere joins the Republican caucus after being elected in last November. He is President of Keep the North Shore Country, and chaired the Traffic & Transportation Committee for the Waialua on the North Shore Neighborhood Board.
Representative Riviere also served on the North Shore Chamber of Commerce at O’ahu Metropolitan Planning Organization in Honolulu. He is President of the Waialua Little League. He also led Let’s Surf Coalition, which advocates for balanced public access to our beaches and surf spots.
Representative Cynthia Thielen attended Stanford University, Case Western Reserve University, and the University of Hawai’i, graduating with a degree in law. She is a founding member of the Law Review.
Representative Thielen has served as State Representative since 1990 and served as minority floor leader from 1992 to 1997. She has served as assistant minority floor leader since 1999 to the present.
Serving the Kaneohe bay and Kailua district, Rep. Thielen gets involved in her community by involving herself in the energy and environmental issues.
Minority Leader, Representative Gene Ward is a Vietnam Veteran where he served as a translator-Interpreter. He previously served four terms the House from 1990-1998 before returning in 2006. He has been a member of the USAID Office of Democracy and Governance where he promoted democracy throughout the world after writing text on the ills of campaign finance for developing countries.
He has written a number of articles about business and politics and recently authored a text on campaign finance and a commentary for Money in Politics: published by USAID in English & Spanish. View Article
During his time in the Peace Corps as a country director Rep. Ward supervised the humanitarian efforts of 46 Peace Corps volunteer, 18 staff and $1 million budget in East Timor.
The Republican caucus has a commitment to their constituents to speak out more, offer more and do more for all the people of Hawai`i this legislative session.
The complete, detailed, comprehensive Republican caucus legislative package will be announced prior to January 19, 2011, opening day of the legislature.