October 31, 2001
Contact: Rep. Galen Fox
Tel.: 586-8520

The State House Republican Caucus released the following statement:


The dramatic amendment to the “King Ben” bill was a great comeback victory for the people of Hawaii. It also demonstrates the necessity – and potential benefits – of a healthy two-party system in Hawaii.

“The original bill typified the majority Democrats’ unbending instinct for the old-style, heavily centralized system of power,” said Rep. Mindy Jaffe (R- Kaimuki). “But that’s not what people want. People want assurance that their voice is heard – and listened to. They do not want their voice lost in some back-room deal struck behind closed doors. Clearly the Dems are out of touch.”

“Republicans are very pleased the public rallied quickly and loudly when the GOP sounded the alarm to strip the `King Ben’ bill of its objectionable – and unconstitutional – provisions,” explained Rep. Charles K. Djou (R-Kaneohe, Kahaluu). “The Legislature’s initial conduct on ‘King Ben’ proves that we need a more open government and that monolithic control of our government is bad for Hawaii,” concluded Djou.

“But now we must refocus our efforts on one of the key reasons we convened in the first place: to provide immediate relief for working families and small businesses,” urged Rep. Joe Gomes (R – Waimanalo, Keolu Hills, Lanikai). “Republicans introduced several creative measures to help these folks, including the suspension of the food tax; a retail tax holiday; and the reduction -- by half -- of the tax on fuel. But the Dems ice-boxed these measures. That’s “chicken,” not “bold,” and that’s not how to help those who need it the most. The Legislature’s work is not complete and it’s not time for a break. Republicans propose staying in session until the work is done,” concluded Gomes.

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