BY REP. MARCUS OSHIRO – Recent news reports on the Hawaii House leadership organization have indicated that I am thinking about leaving the House for a position at the City. This is not true.
I want to make it clear that while I fully support Mayor-Elect Kirk Caldwell, I won my own election as the State Representative for District 46 – Wahiawa, Whitmore Village, Launani Valley, and my intention at this time is to stay in the House.
It concerns me that Speaker Emeritus Souki has made an agreement with the Minority Leader to offer leadership positions to members of the Minority in exchange for votes to support his quest to be Speaker.
As a life-long Democrat, I am troubled that this was not discussed with the members of his own Majority Caucus, nor have the ramifications for this maneuver been fully vetted.
If this plan goes through, House Republicans will be able to run in the next election on the accomplishments of the Democrat Majority, and most important, the potential for gridlock at the committee level is heightened. This is not in the spirit of true bi-partisanship; rather, it is a desperate power grab to win the Speakership without consideration for the health and welfare of the body.
Finally, the public should realize that the House organization is not official until the 51 members vote on an organization resolution at the start of the legislative session. There is still time to consider who is best to lead the House, and I hope Majority and Minority members will think clearly on their options.