Monday, October 29, 2007


Monday's Senate vote on Superferry

by Larry Geller

Today's vote is recorded here. The Advertiser is emulating the blogs by posting votes on-line here.

A lot was said during floor testimony. Sen. Sam Slom, in addition to repeating mantras such as the Superferry will be good for farmers (while farmers have testified it's too expensive to use), dropped this line with respect to ferry protestors:

These people look like they're just off the boat themselves.

I was so taken with his bigotry that it took me a couple of seconds to get the pen and paper out of my pocket to write it down, but I think I have it almost right. Olelo cameras should have captured his exact words.

Slom is ever the showman and exhibited two piles of paper. The smaller was, he explained, the email he had received opposing the Superferry bill, and the very much larger pile was from supporters. Gee, I should have sent him my email in opposition. I didn't, and I imagine others didn't either, because fat chance he would vote no. Why waste a perfectly good email. He didn't indicate how many emails came from Superferry employees, far more inclined to send Mr. Small Business their email than others.

The piles of email and testimony that have appeared during this special session probably account for a couple of trees at least. Can't these folks learn to use a computer? Think of all the space in the landfill that testimony will take when the special session is over. Of course, given the short time, it's unlikely that they've even read it. Slom's exhibit implies that he might at least "weigh" the testimony, but even if it were the other way  around, I doubt he'd change his vote. [aside: you'd think he would have some sympathy for endangered species. Republicans are now down to four out of 25 in the Senate.]

Sen. Trimble gave some figures showing that the "super" ferry isn't very large. This supported later testimony that the bill, while written to exempt a single corporation, implements a farce by claiming to be generally applicable to "a large capacity ferry vessel company" instead of just this one. Interesting if the Superferry wouldn't be covered by this bill because it doesn't measure up. Wouldn't that be a hoot.

[I find Sen. Trimble to be an incisive and critical thinker and often agree with his positions (on other matters, not this one). He would make an excellent Democrat in my view. Maybe Sen. Gabbard could let him know how much better it is on the Dem side and encourage him to make a similar move.]

The tally

In a previous post I mentioned receiving emails pointing out that it's necessary to vote WR ("with reservations") in order to be appointed to a conference committee. This is true, but there is no rule. I subsequently learned that it's rare, but someone can be appointed to a conference committee even if they vote no.  

I'll continue to note WR but those who vote Yes with or without reservations clearly want to see this bill advance, and so they earn the Dead Whale award for harpooning the court's decision, and those who voted "no" earn the Happy Whale Award.

In this round of voting, Sen. Roz Baker moves into the light for having voted No this morning. She gets a Happy Whale.

Sen. William Espero keeps his extra Harpooned Whale for having appeared on the Advertiser's list of those who accepted campaign contributions related to the Superferry and now voting for the bill.

Sen. Shan Tsutsui earned his extra Happy Whale for having appeared on the Advertiser's list and yet he voted against the bill.

I decided to give Sen. English and Sen. Hooser their extra Happy Whale for their forceful floor speeches, and of course for understanding and supporting their constituents views. They deserve plenty more than just the one extra. And yeah, why not give Sen. Slom an extra Dead Whale. If one is really killed I hope it can be delivered to him at his Hawaii Kai home in person.

Yes: Bunda WRdeadwhalesmall   No: Baker happywhalesmall
  Chun Oakland deadwhalesmall     English happywhalesmallhappywhalesmall


deadwhalesmalldeadwhalesmall     Hooser happywhalesmall happywhalesmall
  Fukunaga WRdeadwhalesmall     Kokubun happywhalesmall


WRdeadwhalesmall     Tsutsui happywhalesmall happywhalesmall
  Hanabusa WRdeadwhalesmall        
  Hemmings deadwhalesmall        


  Ige WRdeadwhalesmall        




  Kim WRdeadwhalesmall        




  Sakamoto WRdeadwhalesmall        




  Tokuda WRdeadwhalesmall        


  Whalen deadwhalesmall        



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