Ito ousted

HONOLULU — Rep. Ken Ito was removed as chair of a House committee on Wednesday and he says it was his signature on a petition supporting Rep. James Tokioka as Speaker of the House of Representatives that cost him the title.

“Today, I was approached by Speaker of the House of Representatives Scott Saiki, and was informed that I would be removed, effective immediately, from my post as Chair of the House Committee on Veterans, Military &International Affairs, &Culture &the Arts,” Ito said in a statement sent to TGI on Wednesday.

He continued: “I believe the reason for my removal from the VMI committee is purely political. I recently signed a petition supporting Rep. James Tokioka of Kauai as Speaker of the House of Representative, and that was the reason that prompted my removal as Chair of the VMI committee.”

Rep. Scott Saiki and staff members could not be reached for comment.

Tokioka said the goal of the resolution that was circulated that allegedly lost Ito the VMI Chair seat was to get 26 signatures supporting him for Speaker of the House.

“Because he signed that resolution, he was removed (from his position as Chair of VMI Committee),” Tokioka said.

In August, Tokioka was removed from the House Finance Committee after being critical of plans to fund the Honolulu rail project.

“I was going to vote against the rail,” Tokioka said.

Ito said regardless of a position within the VMI committee, he stands by the belief that “we need a change in our current leadership,” and that “Rep. Tokioka represents this important, necessary change for the House.”

“I was unwilling to compromise my loyalty and friendship with Rep. Tokioka, who is Vice-Chair of the VMI Committee,” Ito said. “We must move forward.”

The VMI committee was established in 2013, under the leadership of the late Congressman and former Rep. K. Mark Takai. Ito served as vice-chairman under Rep. Takai from 2013-2014. In 2016, he was made chairman of that committee.

“Veteran and military affairs has always been of great importance to me and my district. I am a veteran, and so are many of our residents,” Ito said. “Our men and women in the armed forces, as well as those who have retired from service should always be a priority, as they have worked to defend and uphold the freedom that we all enjoy.”

Tokioka said he thinks taking on the Speaker of the House position would be “pretty big” for Kauai.

“To have the Senate President and the Speaker of the House come from Kauai, that’s pretty big — the title, the responsibilities, all of that,” Tokioka said.

  1. Charlie Chimknee January 25, 2018 8:16 am Reply

    Aloha and “hats off” to Honolulu’s Rep Ito for supporting our Rep Tokioka

    Though may we humbly take issue with him speaking about our military “foreignly” defending our freedoms here at home.

    Over the last 7 decades since enormous and victorious WWII, our involvement in foreignly defending America in overseas countries requires some degree of Blind Faith.

    Communism still being the buzz word. And Russia still comes to mind along with her border nation China…so far from Washington D.C….and what are they plotting behind our backs. Impossible to tell the fake from the real news.

    Seems it started with the Korean Conflict, and Vietnam’s AMERICAN War. Our defending America from Communism just didn’t work out as planned and our illusion of invicibility of our military began or failing further won the day. At incredible loss of life and national treasure we came home with the tail between our legs. And that continues to today in the Middle East’s Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Kurdistan, Lebanon, Yemen, Palestine, etc. while we cannot knowledgeably speak to the Middle East, we can recall when “they” tried to educate and convince us , and still that lingers on with same, that Communism was and is akin to entities like Satanism, and Nazi-ism, and ISIS-ism.

    Yet today we are learning that Communism is really only 1 of the Economic Steps necessary in some parts of the world that allows nations to climb their way over time to Capitalism and onward to Democracy. Democracy ain’t Free, we have to pay taxes on it every day of our lives.

    World economies have economically gone from in the early days of civilization from small Migrating Bands/Families, to Hunters and Gatherers, to ocean and/or waterside and Waterfront villages, to larger habitation centers relying unfairly on feudalism with its Land Lords and Slaves, Dictators, King’s, Pharoahs, Religious Leaders, Republics and Democracies, and some have relied on one version of an economic step to advancement known as Communism, where all allegedly rise up economically equal (albeit there’s always a hierarchy in control) and all economic systems rely on those at the bottom of the economic barrel to hump the majority of the work along with the dirty work.

    As has been pointed out and revealed by media those at the top are not always so Sanctimonious, but are clearly Holier than Thou, and shouldn’t cast the first stone as media seems to reveal endlessly.

    And as things come full circle, with China creeping into the World’s No. 1 economic position; and Great Again America becoming more and more reliant on this Asian Sleeping Tiger, and America becoming more and more the “little brother” where former defense officials claim that 4 out of 5 US Air Force planes can’t get off the ground in disrepair, we are in reality becoming the Sister Kitten to the Sleeping Tiger.

    And our defending our freedoms by warring overseas is still not holding true with a mere post teenage dictator of starving people, we are told, holding us hostage over false and/or potentially true nuclear attack missiles, driven on by his notion for military video games created by our own Silicon Valley.

    More and more we are coming to the conclusion that America’s Freedoms need to be defended and protected from the excesses and depravity in Washington…the D.C.; those who take care of themselves first, ignoring the rest of us, cannot even rid our streets of drugs and crime and broken families and broken children and broken education, and broken roads, and unbroken chains of stalled traffic, even on remote semi-isolated islands thousands of miles from the core of the cesspool of drugs and scams and pollution and corruption and even the 5,000 “long” miles of the Long Wall of the Great Wall of China still did not stop Communism, (like illegal immigration) because Communism was and is an Idea Whose Time Had Come. Because there ain’t no stopping the inevitable. More than 1 out of 4 humans (not even including Russia) live in Communism and are being housed fed clothed and educated; and spoofing our own economy.

    To continue defending America maybe we need a new…? Concept…?



  2. Steve Martin January 25, 2018 8:37 am Reply

    This story shows just how corrupt our politicians can be. These are some of the reasons millions voted a business man to be president instead of another corrupt politician. I have 49 years of experience in “creative” problem solving which would have brought big change in how our council does it’s job and would have removed the cans that they kick year around. Our people deserve better than the crooked politicians who can only scratch each others backs while the citizens can do nothing but pay more taxes and receive less services.This is the reason I will not run for council unless I can find six other candidates who are willing to “create” dedicated change for our citizens. So if the shoe fits wear it. just keep voting the same corrupt politicians into office and just maybe someday you will finally wake up.

  3. Todd Pacheco-Oda January 25, 2018 9:10 am Reply

    Ousting Ito makes the speaker look vindictive. That’s not leadership. Having Jimmy as Speaker and Kouchi in Senate as Senate President is a win win for Kauai. I hope the other two Kauai reps are supporting Jimmy for all of Kauai!

  4. Charles Iona January 25, 2018 12:04 pm Reply

    Sometimes a change is needed. Living on Kaua’i I would love to see Rep. James Tokioka become the next Speaker of the House. He has been a champion for the disabled and he has tackled many harsh issues but he has stood his ground. I am wondering are Rep. Nadine Nakamura and Dee Morikawa supporting Rep. Tokioka as well? I hope so cause this would mean a lot whether we know it or not for Kaua’i. But the issue of removing Rep. Ito Chair of the Veterans Committee is absolutely wrong. He is a veteran himself. This removal is for no other purpose but as a retaliatory action because of ITO’s support for Rep. Tokioka and not for the current speaker of the house.

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