Monday, April 12, 2010


When a legislator’s vote has a different meaning than just “yes” or “no”

by Larry Geller

Yesterday I wrote:

garyhooser [tweet]

To be clear: I will vote NO on State budget final reading, unless sufficient funding is included to eliminate Furlough Fridays in schools

Hooser is the first that I am aware of to tweet his commitment to support children and parents with a “no” vote on the State budget. If others agree, tweeting with the hashtag #sos808 or to @sos808 will make the commitment visible to hundreds of followers.

Sure, Gary Hooser is running for Lt. Governor, but opposing Furlough Fridays is a bandwagon every legislator could be on. Hint: “yes with reservations” counts as a “yes,” not as opposition to Furlough Fridays.

If only life were as simple as a “yes” or “no” vote in Hawaii’s legislature. I had forgotten, but was helpfully reminded, that

You can’t be on conference committee and move no on HB2200, SD1.

That’s why Gary Hooser stated it the way he did.  He had to preserve his right to be part of the budget conference.

So my “litmus test” was overly simplistic. A legislator may have other reasons for a vote that are not obvious just looking at the record of the vote. This very much complicates evaluating a legislator’s voting record or a legislator’s position on an issue.




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