Are Hawaii House Dissidents Getting Dissed?

Chad Blair/Civil Beat

UPDATED 3/18/2011 2:45 p.m.

When Calvin Say was re-elected Hawaii House speaker Jan. 19 on a unanimous voice vote, ending a two-month standoff, many of the 17 who had sought new leadership still felt they had accomplished something.

Although not all the dissidents were pleased with the new power-sharing agreement — some were downright disgusted at how things turned out — most entered the new session with a sense of optimism about having greater influence and collaboration.

Now, as lawmakers are a week into the second half of the 2011 Legislature, a Civil Beat investigation has found that dissidents have had much less success in passing legislation than their counterparts who supported the speaker all along.

And the lawmaker who spearheaded the revolt, Rep. Sylvia Luke, fared the worst of all dissidents. She was at the bottom of the heap, tied with a freshman Democrat and six Republicans, with no bills making it through the House.

Luke, a former vice speaker, did not return phone calls.

Say told Civil Beat there was no punishment of House dissidents and that there were no lingering bad feelings from the struggle over leadership.

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