The Thielen Affair: Debate Continues On Senate Floor

Hawaii State Senate

Just two days after speaking out on the floor of the Hawaii State Senate about Laura Thielen, Sens. Clayton Hee and Pohai Ryan — both Democrats — were at it again Wednesday.

The Democrats are abuzz over their party's rejection of Thielen, who once worked for Republican Gov. Linda Lingle, as a candidate in the Democratic primary. That happened Saturday at a party meeting and on Monday, Hee and Ryan who has the seat Thielen wants — tangled over the issue on the Senate floor.

It was more of the same Wednesday. Hee explained he was prompted to again address his colleagues after the Democratic Party warned him that his earlier remarks could be "potentially damaging."

Hee ignored the warning and stood by his main point: His party should not reject people who want to run for office.

"That's really what it's about," he said. "It's not about the individual in question, it's about that individual offering her name up as a choice."

For her part, Ryan pointed out that she had come under attack herself.

"Continued comment on this floor is creating a lot of misinformation out there because I am being accused of being in the middle of this when I stayed very far away from it," she said.

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