Thursday, October 25, 2007


Where's Senate President Hanabusa?

by Larry Geller

Our state senate has replaced the governor as the "decider" on the Superferry. Yup, because they did the right thing and visited the Neighbor Islands to gather testimony from ordinary people affected by the ferry.

People are going to hold the Senate responsible if their testimony is ignored in whole or in part. If the ferry should be allowed to sail with or without conditions, people will be upset at the Senate. Because now, the Senate is the "decider."

The House appears to be a lost cause (hope I'm wrong...). They didn't hold hearings on the Neighbor Island. Speaker Calvin Say accepted campaign contributions from the ferry according to this Advertiser story--in fact, he received the most of anyone in the Legislature. His son works for the ferry. Next most was accepted by Rep. Joseph Souki, who is chairing the hearing today. So I think it's safe to say that the House is firmly in bed with the ferry.

And of course, the Governor has been pushing hard on behalf of the Superferry and has threatened protestors with fines, arrest, and loss their children to Chile Protective Services. She's a known quantity.

The Senate listened, they will vote, and their vote will determine the ferry's fate.

So I was looking forward to checking out Senate President Hanabusa's reactions to testimony at yesterday's Senate hearing. I was wondering where she was on this, and a long period of observation would have been a hint. You know, staring into her eyeballs on the TV screen (the TV camera gets closer than if one sits in the audience).

Well, I didn't see her on TV.

So I have to go by rumors and the hallway grapevine. Don't laugh, sometimes it works. Just put your ear to the railing and see what signals you can pick up. Or ask everyone, what do you hear about Hanabusa and the Superferry? Lots of folks will talk because they have a beef about this.

What have I heard? A possible sellout of the senators who visited the Neighbor Islands. Collaboration with the House to pass an exemption bill. No amendments. Stuff like that. Highly unreliable, but it all has a certain truthiness .

So let's test the grapevine. Stay tuned to your TV if you have time, or check out the blogs and papers.



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