There was never any doubt ferry would go
In the movie "Pretty Woman," Julia Roberts plays the hooker with a heart of gold paired up with corporate raider Richard Gere, who in one scene brings her flowers.
"I appreciate this whole seduction thing you've got going on here, but let me give you a tip: I'm a sure thing," Roberts tells Gere.
The just-ended special session was another sure thing, but the Legislature just couldn't believe it.
The only thing in jeopardy was the credibility of the Democrats running the House and Senate. No one would believe it if somehow House and Senate leaders managed to herd everyone into the same building and then failed to get the bill passed. The law sailed through and the ship is expected to do the same by mid-November.
The five-day legislative session was the perfect reaction to the public's cry that "there ought to be a law."
The Legislature responded, saying: "There ought to be a law that lets the Hawaii Superferry run between Oahu and the neighbor islands." So they met, the law was passed and now Gov. Linda Lingle is going about implementing the bill.
The session, however, showed a few fault lines in the Democrats' front.
First, Rep. Marcus Oshiro, finance committee chairman, son of former local Democratic king-maker Bob Oshiro, broke ranks with leadership and voted against the compromise Superferry bill.
House Speaker Calvin Say said not to read too much into the split, saying he talked to Oshiro for more than a hour about his concerns with the bill.
Say and Oshiro reportedly are not at odds, but when the finance chairman doesn't vote with the majority, it calls all of leadership into question.
The Senate side, always an alliance of Democrats flying in loose formation, showed that it could stay together, but only if Senate President Colleen Hanabusa heeded the calls to expand the bill.
The Senate went to Kauai and Maui to show the flag for the Maui and Kauai contingent of Hanabusa's faction. She expanded the environmental controls to sell the bill to doubters and in the end got 20 "Yes" votes.
The changes and controls now have to be implemented by Lingle and that will be more difficult, but for the Legislature, the Superferry was always a sure thing.