Aloha Friends, welcome back.
Writing periodically to Republicans and conservatives, mostly in Hawaii, I email rather than blog because this is a (quasi-) private discussion. These reports augment what you should hear from the Republican Party. My perspective is that of conservative Republican, former State Party Chairman and Vice Chairman and member of the RNC, who campaigns here and on the mainland. Mostly ‘stuff’ you don’t have on your radar or information you should look up, my comments are not personal – perceived favorable or unfavorable. Our readership is growing so there will sometimes be a review to explain how we got where we are. The past five reports are listed at the bottom. Following our three reports from the RNC Winter meeting, we’re returning to our ‘usual’ format. We won’t always agree but we should be informed. Let me know if you want to be removed from the list. Similarly, please feel free to forward this report to other conservatives and they can write to get on the list. Conservatives need to know that they are not alone in Hawaii.
We’re going to bracket the weekend with the other half of this report coming Monday. Today is mostly the caucus meetings and our legislators.
-District/Precinct Caucus meetings. Three-fourths way through. HRP took responsibility for the meetings and we’re seeing less attendance, about 1.5-2 members/precinct, than our last off-year caucus meetings. When local grassroots leaders organize and run the meetings, they’re better run and attended. We have some new members. Several good district chairs were elected. Delegates are being signed up in absentia and some delegates will be appointed after-the-fact. Some members were notified via postcards (that’s good) though members report that their postcard info is incorrect (that’s bad). Try www.gophawaii.com but the calendar is a nightmare so click the drop down on the home page. Districts that wanted to notify members were given a pre-reapportionment, two-year old member list plus a list of Pres caucus participants neither with email addresses. Several districts had zero members show up. A handful of precincts were able to organize (three members required). Several had members helpfully attend but without interest in leadership positions for this state team. East Oahu pulled in only 29… between the two districts! Djou took the time to stop in. Neither Liu nor Lingle showed up.
–Call HQ to confirm. Districts complained that HRP changed or incorrectly posted their caucus meeting times/place/date, making notification of members difficult, at best. HQ incompetence or “There are purposeful misleading times by the party” by the more liberal leaders? “I also received a postcard from the democrats.”.
-We want to hear from you! How was your caucus experience? Did you go? How was turn out? Was the meeting well-conducted? Did you ask to be appointed as a delegate after-the-fact?
–Hawaii Reporter (1) celebrates its 11th Anniversary this month. It is the only place you’ll hear the conservative/libertarian side of the story as they report and investigate. Until we identify conservative candidates, I’m asking that you contribute $111.11 (or $11.11) to acknowledge appreciation for 11 years of investigative reporting. Or, do a monthly $25 or $50. With HR, you get something in return. http://www.hawaiireporter.com/donate.
-March 2 East Oahu meeting. 8:30 AM Don’t miss it. Marian243@hawaiiantel.net. Third of the way through the legislative session – more democrat/liberal Republican damage to come.
–CPAC, March 14-16, National Harbor, MD. http://conservative.org/cpac2013/ Confirmed Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio. Now add Ron Paul, Mike Lee, Rick Santorm, Pat Toomey, Allan West, Artur Davis, Luis Fortuno.
-Honolulu Gun Show, March 16-17. www.hawaiihistoricarms.com.
-We have many strong and energy-filled conservatives and Republicans in Hawaii. Thank you. The Hawaii Republican Party can be better. Let’s get started.
–Congratulations to our three House Republican Committee Vice chairs. Never had that before Johanson took over. Three newbys are Whips – the whips get the caucus members on board, figuratively whipping them, for floor votes and issues. Doesn’t appear quite ‘Republican’ when everyone gets something (a position) ‘just cuz.’ Perhaps to show disrespect, or maybe just plain not organized, new ones Fukumoto (crying about this), Fale and McDermott were late to Johanson’s first caucus meeting.
-I wrote to the adverse impact of our House caucus organizing with Souki to gain some perceived power instead of going with the (slightly) more ideologically aligned Oshiro/Say faction. SA January 16 “Dissidents complained that the more conservative Say did not involve enough lawmakers in public policy decisions….Saiki [Souki team] said Republicans have newer, younger members and “…that there’s common ground between the Democrats and Republicans on some issues…”
–We’re watching the bills and how ‘our’ legislators vote. They get many opportunities to support conservative principles with issues such as (gun)rights, marriage, taxes and fees, assisted suicide, forced contraceptives, gambling, religious freedom and more. Then there’s this from SA “House Minority Whip Lauren Cheape (R, Mililani-Schofield-Kunia) is one of the lawmakers hoping to ban disposable bags.” What’s with Republicans and bans?
-Received this alert: “We’re facing another threat of really unreasonable laws from our state legislature. Some republicans are joining the “progressive democrats” in supporting more stringent firearms legislation in Hawaii.” If the proposed anti-gun bills helped solve the problem rather than simply furthering the liberal anti-gun agenda, you’d see more public acceptance. Progressives, led by Souki and Saiki with the help of Republicans, introduced more than a handful of anti-rights bills. Say introduced a pro-rights (pro-gun) bill in the House. Ito and Har, Say’s team, helped kill the first anti-rights (anti-gun) bill in the House Judiciary cmte with the help of McDermott and Thielen. Slom introduced pro-rights (pro-gun) bills in the Senate. HRA ratings are here http://www.hawaiirifleassociation.org/ scroll to page 5 at the bottom of the page you’ll be surprised at the ratings and the Republicans who refused to respond.
-Perhaps HRP changed position on the rights of the 2nd Amendment. Not only did HRP NOT help to announce (or post info) the 2d Amendment rally at the Capitol (HRP won’t announce pro-life events and meetings and now won’t announce pro-2nd Amendment events such as this rally or the NRA President’s visit), not one member of leadership or even one of the 14 Executive Cmte members attended the rally. The HRP missed an opportunity when not even one member attended to recruit for party membership or to REGISTER VOTERS.
-Speaking of Party positions. We’ve heard nothing from HRP. Not about Abercrombie’s budget, not about the liberal’s attack on marriage and life, not about taxes and fees, not about development, not about UH, not about gambling, not about the Jones Act, not about raising taxes for teacher salaries or pre-pre-pre school education, not on marijuana, not about the anti-gun bills or in support of the pro-rights bills, not about same-day voter registration. Nada. Nothing. Not even a reiteration of their failed LLIFE list, which they are finding doesn’t say anything and can’t be applied to our legislators or proposed democrat actions.
-Heard from your legislators? Have you received alerts? Requests to testify or submit testimony? A schedule of hearings or meetings? Smart, a leader in the Santorum Hawaii campaign and now leading the conservative Patriot Voices Hawaii, has consistently emailed alerts, hearing times, and even suggestions for testimony. HRA and NRA have alerted members and asked for support. A Kona TEA leader provided suggestions and current lists of legislator contact info. If you are getting anything from HRP or your legislator (remember these guys represent ALL Republicans), please let us know.
-You decide if you want to volunteer for HRP or a candidate or donate to HRP or a candidate. Watch what HRP says…AND what isn’t said. We’ve already discussed the lack of any messaging. Likewise, legislators are voting on bills, that’s their voice. Keep watch.
-As we conduct district caucus meetings, please let me know if you have a butt-kicking (that means a good one) district chair or precinct chair. Let’s let people know who should be emulated.
-Hellriech response to a district chair, with some introspection …. “Too many times, people retain the title but do not do the work that is required…”
-Another four (at least) district chairs resigned. There may be more who haven’t responded to tell whether they resigned. Two more Oahu county vice chairs resigned.
-Phoenix trouble rising from the ashes. The January 5 meeting turned out to be a volunteer-finding meeting which then scheduled an actual Phoenix cmte meeting for the following Friday, only a week before caucus meetings were to begin. About 20 participated in some form (some in name only) though HRP announced 30. At the Friday meeting, as many were ‘absent’ as attended. Reader “Phoenix ‘Ashes and embers.’ The entire thing is depressing.”
– An item from the January 5 volunteer meeting was that a lot of volunteers are needed. In a shotgun effort, categories a-q of hoped-for helpers are requested. A-Q? Reader “Sounds like they need a party.” This is what they are looking to find: a) County officers, b) District Chairs, c) Precinct Chairs, d) data entry/office help @ HQ, e) event & fundraising organizers, f) prep for Convention, g) training packets for new officers, h) trainer for new officers, i) HQ ‘Complete Campaigns’ software trainees/operators, j) monthly contributor campaigners, k) volunteer coordinator & assistant, l) phone bankers for caucus and convention turnout, m) caucus conveners, n) caucus attendee recruiting, o) delegate packets prep, p) district chair ‘tool kit’ notebooks prep. Call HQ if you want to assist.
-So, then. Phoenix meets for two hours – they organize the cmte and talk about what they are going to do and then schedule a meeting to begin the actual Phoenix work. This time, more were absent than attended (and that has continued to be the case). HRP SAYS they mailed to 24,000 and can get only seven, 7, to do phone banking for the caucus meetings. Lists are still bad: Ready “it was noted that the list provided from GOP Data center may not be as accurate as previously thought.” The cmte hopes the districts will solicit and spend calabash funds which sounds like begging CSC to audit the chairs/volunteers who collect any funds and the check signers for facility rental. We’ll see how accountant Thomason (she) complies with state and federal finance law as one or two members, not necessarily designated by anyone, in each district across the state collects money and spends money on behalf of the party. Only two or three of cmte members are new to our organization and not of the ‘youth’ movement (no age insult meant), and one already stopped attending. Now, down to only four regular attendees, each of the four are committed and hard-working. Liu promised to assist and hasn’t attended, ever. Ready pleads with Exec cmte members to assist and almost NONE even respond. The Exec cmte isn’t doing the job for which they were elected, he figures they could help with his. Before we win elections with a winning message, we need to have a functioning organization.
–Walden had a ‘hissy’ fit (their words) and walked out. If true, his departure is a boon for volunteers and allows Chang/Thomason to not be intimidated. On the other hand, he knows more about HRP than Chang. Walden’s the one who scheduled the Manoa caucus (without local leader input) on Punahou Carnival Friday night when the traffic is the absolute worse and parking even in deep Manoa difficult.
-Still not following the rules. Ready “technically, brand new members can’t vote @ caucus.” There is no ‘technically’ about it. Party rules do not allow for anyone not on the rolls ten days prior to vote. When called out on this, HRP changed their instructions.
-A lot is written about the people who put themselves out there. However, a reader suggests that if the people who volunteered to do the jobs that they were elected to do actually did their job, we’d be on the road to solutions. Add that if the state cmte held these people accountable, we’d be more effective. These questions are rhetorical, of course: Why are the County chairs not fixing their county lists or communicating with their counties? Where is Communications Vice Dorn and Director Berhall? Chow can’t do coalitions? Why has Collucio still not initiated a community service project in the past three years? C/L/H have not raised $, where is the finance director and finance cmte?
-Saying you are doing it versus doing it. HRP touts a youth movement and college movement. Young Americans for Liberty already has a core of 50 at UH Manoa and they are sending leadership to the National YAL convention and CPAC.
-Scary trend. Exec Cmte is getting paranoid and closing ranks such as when Kaauwai and Nonaka were running the organization. They’re worried that info is getting out to the membership. This is dangerous when ‘leaders’ hide info from our party members and supporters.
-Poll closed (and the crying). A poll circulated whether Fukumoto would again publicly succumb to pressure and cry (1) before the legislative opening, (2) her first floor speech, (3) the first week of session or (4) the first month. Would whomever conducted this poll send me the results? With the end of the poll, we’ll end our reminders of her meltdown until she does it again. After she fell apart at the state convention, we’ll watch to see how she does against (or with) the democrats.
–Another indicator. About 1.3M state residents. 700k registered to vote. Maybe, generously, 400k will vote in a big election. HRP mailed caucus cards to 24,000 (they say) are on their rolls. Reader last month “currently the HRP has 2,582 “likes” on Facebook and 1,318 “followers” on Twitter. Of course, you can’t expect these numbers to go up if Chang et al have nothing exciting to say.” This month, Twitter followers dropped four and FB increased by 12.
-Nothing from HRP on the fratricide issue – Rs endorsing and campaigning for Ds against Rs.
-Chang brought in a (really) new guy as he pushed out the rules-challenged Thomason (he) as Rule cmte chair. The new guy joined the party during the President caucus less than a year ago and will chair one of the two HRP standing cmtes, having never served on the cmte or even attended a meeting or, probably, knew there was such a cmte. Yet, we appreciate his serving the party. Last year, Thomason and Chang said they were confused by the party rules. However, what is most mentioned by members is rather that HQ should just follow the rules. HRP announced that the first rules meeting would be the hour before the Oahu County convention. When asked the plan to conference call in the neighbor island reps, the chair response “Uh, oh, we didn’t think of that.”
-Not the act, but the lying. The integrity-challenged Pine. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ip48tM9wYOc. Reader about Pine’s lawyer, “He’s quite costly, and usually hired by guilty people who have found that he is able to get them off the hook!”
–HRP never got past the draft stage of a strategic plan (for last year), has yet to produce a budget or draft budget, finance plan (promised in December), conduct last year’s financial audit (required in December), present a draft communications plan (promised in December), hold a fundraiser (April 2012), produce a message for THIS year’s legislative session. The State Cmte meeting has been moved up from it’s customary March date into February, perhaps and hopefully, to address some of these items and the fratricide situation.
-Shackelford, Liberty Institute, gives practical reasons to allow a private organization, the Boy Scouts, to have their own rules and principles. http://blog.libertyinstitute.org/2013/02/the-boy-scout-decisiona-threat-to.html Shackelford and I first met on the ’04 National Platform Cmte and worked together on the Social Issues plank of the ’08 National Platform. Meanwhile, WaPo February 7 quote which applies also so much to our party “In the long run, no one will want to invest in or be part of a values-based organization that won’t take a stand on values.”
-If you didn’t get our Winter meeting Buzz reports, a TWT synopsis http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jan/25/priebus-overwhelmingly-wins-second-term-rnc/
-January 7 Palcic received his liver. Prayers are with his recovery (great, so far) and speedy return to our warmer climate. You should help: Slater’s thoughtful post http://www.hawaiireporter.com/honolulu-businessman-who-helped-many-charities-needs-support-after-liver-transplant/123
The second part of your weekend update comes Monday with the always interesting finances, national news and the popular readers comments.
ARE YOU SATISFIED? HRP needs leadership focused on HRP.
Last five: Buzz – RNC Winter Meeting/ New Year and new Cycle/ Money, Who Had It/ Backward and Forward/ Most Important Election/ Feel It?