Breaking News: Joe Souki New House Speaker

Sources: Joe Souki New House Speaker
Civil Beat, Nov. 20, 2012

“Joe Souki, the Maui representative and emeritus speaker, will be the new speaker of the Hawaii House of Representatives.

That’s according to sources at the Capitol, who say Souki has garnered 28 votes, two more than necessary. His supporters are said to include Democrat dissidents as well as House Republicans.

There are 44 Democrats and seven Republicans in the 51-member body.

That means Calvin Say’s 13-year run as speaker — the longest since statehood — may have come to an end.

It’s a long ways until January when the new Legislature convenes and the House officially votes for a speaker. Who knows, maybe there will yet another twist.

But if true, the momentous change is certain to have an impact on legislation.”

Souki has enough votes to topple House Speaker, sources say
Star Advertiser, Derrick DePledge, Nov. 20, 2012

“State House Republicans have agreed to organize with Democrat Rep. Joseph Souki and a dissident faction, sources say, potentially giving Souki and the dissidents the majority necessary to topple House Speaker Calvin Say.

The seven Republicans would join with at least 21 Democrats to form a coalition of 28 — two more than the 26 needed to control the 51-member House. Say’s faction represents 22 Democrats. One newly elected Democrat remains undecided.

Souki, a former speaker, negotiated the deal with House Minority Leader Aaron Johanson, sources told the Star-Advertiser.

Sources say Republicans could receive the vice chairmanships of three committees — including the House Finance Committee, which could have a Republican and a Democratic vice chairman — under the agreement.

Two years ago, Republicans had sided with Say in a leadership battle with Democrats, giving the speaker the leverage to hold off a challenge.

Dante Carpenter, the chairman of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, had urged House Democrats in a letter last week not to organize with Republicans. He said the net result would create a “super-minority” among the seven Republicans while disenfranchising Democrats on the losing end.”

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