By: Darren Pai
(KHNL) - Protocol directed Calvin Say to remain seated until he was confirmed as Speaker of the House. If some House members had their way, he would stay there.
"I have lost my faith and trust in the speaker nominee," said Rep. Sylvia Luke (D-Dowsett Highlands-Punchbowl.)
"The lack of vision, the lack of leadership and the need to hold on to power and the old ways of doing things have been more than disappointing, it simply breaks my heart," Luke said.
Three Democratic lawmakers spoke against Say. They said the Speaker lacks leadership and is more interested in holding on to his position than passing progressive legislation.
"There are problems Hawaii is facing that are bigger than us all and this is no time to sacrifice progress so a few can cling to power and maintain the status quo," said Rep. Della Au Belatti (D-Makiki-Tantalus.)
The Speaker's defenders said he's created opportunities for young leaders to contribute.
"This is not a top down, this is not old boy, this is not a shutting down discussion, this is opening the house to full discussion," said Rep. Kirk Caldwell, House majority leader.
In the end, Say was easily voted back in as House Speaker.