The Hawaii House: Where Factions Determine Power And Influence

As published in Civil Beat on April 28, 2016:

"Loyalists, Dissidents, the Fab Four and the Three Amigos. 

These four factions, and others within the 51-member Hawaii House of Representatives, form alliances that determine leadership structures, influence what bills become law and affect who wins elections.

It’s about political power at the Capitol. But these allegiances also can have dramatic effects on constituents back home. The ruling faction’s leaders decide who serves as committee chairs — the gatekeepers of legislation — and what projects receive funding, whether that’s a new school, prison or hospital....

Some issues present internal struggles that make it hard to follow a particular faction.


Rep. Jarrett Keohokalole, courted by Luke and Saiki, is still considered a question mark when it comes to factional allegiance. He’s said to have struggled with the Maui water-rights bill.

Keohokalole, for instance, is said to be torn between following Souki’s lead or standing up for Native Hawaiians when it comes to the Maui water-rights issue. 

Alexander & Baldwin agreed to restore some streams for taro farms last week, and an agreement was reached days later between the House and Senate on a bill to let the company continue diverting water from East Maui to Central Maui. 

Keohokalole voted in favor of the bill, but with reservations."

Read more here.

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