Civil Beat Topics

Calvin Say

Rep. Calvin Say is speaker emeritus of the Hawaii House of Representatives. He served as speaker from 1999 until January 2013, the longest tenure for a House Speaker in state history. Say was also the first Chinese American to serve in the position.

He was re-elected to his seat in the 2012 general election after receiving 55 percent of the vote against Keiko Bonk and Julia Allen.

Shortly before the Legislature convened in January 2013, Maui Rep. Joe Souki gathered enough votes to replace Say as House speaker.

Say had narrowly held on to the speakership in the years prior as well. For example, when the Legislature convened in January 2011, it was uncertain that Say would continue as speaker. He was short of the votes necessary to ensure another two-year term, because some Democrats desired fresh leadership.

But on the day the Legislature opened, he was re-elected by all 50 of his colleagues, including eight Republicans, to the position.
His tenure has not been without controversy, however.

During the 2010 legislative session, Say drew heat from supporters of House Bill 444, the Hawaii civil unions bill, and public worker unions. He failed to call the House for a special session to potentially override the ruling of HB 444 and did not support tax increases to increase the wages and benefit of the unions.

Say has also faced allegations that he does not live in the district he represents. He has generally prevailed in court cases challenging his residency, with the judge ruling that it is up to House leaders to deal with the matter. In 2015, House leadership rejected the allegations that he did not live in his district for purposes of representing the area.

Say represents the 20th House district, which includes St. Louis Heights, Palolo Valley, Maunalani Heights, Wilhemina Rise and Kaimuki.

He graduated from Saint Louis School and earned a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

How Hawaii Lawmakers Spend Up to $13,000 a Year — Each Cory Lum/Civil Beat

How Hawaii Lawmakers Spend Up to $13,000 a Year — Each

UPDATED State ethics director Les Kondo may be under fire, but he seems to have gotten their attention. A review of this year’s spending shows legislators are much less inclined to spend public money on questionable expenses.

Seven Reps Break From Session’s Final Days to Raise Some Cash flickr:AMagill

Seven Reps Break From Session’s Final Days to Raise Some Cash

The members of the Hawaii House of Representatives teamed up for an event at a Honolulu restaurant.

Hawaii Senate Panel to Review Galuteria’s Qualifications Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hawaii Senate Panel to Review Galuteria’s Qualifications

Once again, a state lawmaker is being questioned about whether he really lives in the district he represents.

Hawaii House Is A-OK With Calvin Say Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hawaii House Is A-OK With Calvin Say

Representatives voted unanimously to adopt a report saying the speaker emeritus meets residency requirements.

Special Committee Finds Rep. Say Qualified to Continue Serving

Special Committee Finds Rep. Say Qualified to Continue Serving

The challenge over his residency wrapped up in a five-minute hearing Friday.

House Lawmakers to Make Recommendation Friday on Rep’s Residency Cory Lum/Civil Beat

House Lawmakers to Make Recommendation Friday on Rep’s Residency

A group of voters has questioned whether Speaker emeritus Calvin Say lives in the district he represents.

Challenge Over Rep. Say’s Residency Forces House to Make ‘Judgment Call’ Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Challenge Over Rep. Say’s Residency Forces House to Make ‘Judgment Call’

The speaker emeritus faced his colleagues in a quasi-judicial hearing, the first of its kind in Hawaii.

Hearing on Hawaii Rep. Calvin Say’s Residency Set for Friday Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hearing on Hawaii Rep. Calvin Say’s Residency Set for Friday

House lawmakers are planning to consider a petition challenging the longtime lawmaker’s right to represent District 20.

Where Does Hawaii State Rep. Calvin Say Really Live? PF Bentley/Civil Beat

Where Does Hawaii State Rep. Calvin Say Really Live?

A group of six House lawmakers are going to look into residency questions concerning the speaker emeritus.

Calvin Say Challengers Ask Souki for Action PF Bentley/Civil Beat

Calvin Say Challengers Ask Souki for Action

The Hawaii House speaker is urged again to review the former speaker’s residency qualifications.

Campaign Spending Commission Rejects Calvin Say Challenge Hawaii House of Representatives

Campaign Spending Commission Rejects Calvin Say Challenge

A review finds that it’s legal for the former Hawaii House speaker to use campaign funds to pay for his legal fees.

House Speaker Unveils Leadership Positions, Committee Chairs Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

House Speaker Unveils Leadership Positions, Committee Chairs

Luke retains control of Finance; Rhoads keeps Judiciary; Tsuji takes control of Agriculture.

Yet Another Challenge to Calvin Say PF Bentley/Civil Beat

Yet Another Challenge to Calvin Say

This one concerns his use of campaign funds for attorney fees, which a constituent alleges is illegal.

Souki Declines to Take Up Calvin Say Residency Issue Chad Blair/Civil Beat

Souki Declines to Take Up Calvin Say Residency Issue

The Hawaii House speaker says that, with two weeks before the election, the body can’t call itself into session.

Calvin Say Residency Challenge Not Over Yet Chad Blair/Civil Beat

Calvin Say Residency Challenge Not Over Yet

Six Palolo voters ask the Hawaii state House to investigate the representative’s qualifications and expel him for failing to live in his district.

July 2015

Wednesday, July 8

How Hawaii Lawmakers Spend Up to $13,000 a Year — Each

April 2015

Thursday, April 30

Seven Reps Break From Session’s Final Days to Raise Some Cash

Thursday, April 2

Hawaii Senate Panel to Review Galuteria’s Qualifications

March 2015

Friday, March 6

Hawaii House Is A-OK With Calvin Say

February 2015

Friday, February 27

Special Committee Finds Rep. Say Qualified to Continue Serving

Tuesday, February 24

House Lawmakers to Make Recommendation Friday on Rep’s Residency

Friday, February 13

Challenge Over Rep. Say’s Residency Forces House to Make ‘Judgment Call’

Monday, February 9

Hearing on Hawaii Rep. Calvin Say’s Residency Set for Friday

Wednesday, February 4

Where Does Hawaii State Rep. Calvin Say Really Live?

January 2015

Wednesday, January 21

Calvin Say Challengers Ask Souki for Action

November 2014

Thursday, November 13

Campaign Spending Commission Rejects Calvin Say Challenge

Wednesday, November 12

House Speaker Unveils Leadership Positions, Committee Chairs

October 2014

Tuesday, October 28

Yet Another Challenge to Calvin Say

Monday, October 20

Souki Declines to Take Up Calvin Say Residency Issue

Monday, October 6

Calvin Say Residency Challenge Not Over Yet

September 2014

Tuesday, September 30

Judge Tosses Calvin Say Lawsuit Questioning Residency

Thursday, September 18

Judge to Rule by Sept. 30 on Dismissal Motions in Calvin Say Residency Case

The Continuing Saga of Rep. Calvin Say’s Residency

August 2014

Friday, August 29

Judge: Hawaii House Can Intervene in Calvin Say Case

July 2014

Wednesday, July 23

Calvin Say Residency Trial Postponed to After Primaries

Friday, July 11

Calvin Say Ordered to Appear in Court to Prove Residency

April 2014

Thursday, April 24

Appeals Court: Calvin Say Must Prove He Lives in the District He Represents

May 2013

Thursday, May 2

Session Done, But Is Hawaii Speaker Consolidating Power?

January 2013

Tuesday, January 15

Lawsuit: Where Does Calvin Say Really Live?

December 2012

Friday, December 14

Say No More: Hawaii House Speaker Steps Down

November 2012

Wednesday, November 21

What Would the House of Souki Mean for Hawaii?

Wednesday, November 7

House Democrats May Dump Say For Souki

July 2012

Thursday, July 19

Calvin Say’s Hawaii House District 20 Survey

February 2012

Monday, February 20

Counties Want Break from Hawaii Sunshine Law

Saturday, February 11

The Speaker’s PAC

Wednesday, February 8

Leaders Split on Lawmaker Disclosure Deadline

Wednesday, February 1

Say, Tsutsui Pull in Mediocre Campaign Contributions

June 2011

Tuesday, June 7

Tsutsui Let Lawmaker Vote To Confirm His Own Son

No Conflict? I Own a Company That Brokers Health Insurance

No Conflict? I Have a Family Member at University of Hawaii

Monday, June 6

No Conflict? When Reasonable Minds Disagree

No Conflict? My Family’s in Mortgage Remodification With Our Lender

No Conflict? I Serve on the Board of Directors of Legal Aid

Sunday, June 5

No Conflict? My Law Partner Lobbies This Bill

Saturday, June 4

No Conflict? My Wife Is From Peru

No Conflict? I Live on Land Zoned Agricultural

Friday, June 3

No Conflict? At My Gas Station We Sell Petroleum Products

No Conflict? I Am an Importer of Liquor

No Conflict? My Grandson Is a Med School Student

No Conflict? Ground Rules in the Hawaii House

May 2011

Friday, May 27

No Conflict: Lawmaker by Day, Lobbyist by Night

Thursday, May 26

When Hawaii Reps Ask, Say Says ‘No Conflict’

Sunday, May 15

Speaker Say: Reflections on the Session

March 2011

Thursday, March 24

Bringing Home The Bacon — The Raw Numbers

Wednesday, March 23

Calvin Say Supporters Bring Home The Bacon

Friday, March 18

Hawaii House Dissidents Dissed — The Raw Numbers

Wednesday, March 16

Off the Beat: Say Wanted The Power — But Not the Responsibility

Are Hawaii House Dissidents Getting Dissed?

Calvin Say