Backward (and Forward)

Aloha Friends, welcome back. There is much to report, much had to be left on the cutting room floor. Two parts this week; Backward and Forward.

Thank you each for the work and funds you contributed to elect conservatives and Republicans. Thank you to candidates who stepped forward and to their supporters. Congratulations to the winners and their teams.

Republicans for Life (R4L) December 11. Missed the last at a NRA President event. With a month to the ’13 legislative session, this is an important meeting.

Smart Business Hawaii. December only, 50% off membership Show whether you walk or just talk about supporting business – January 9 SBH Annual Business Conference

East Oahu Monthly meeting 8:30 AM Saturday January 5.

Hawaii Legislature opens January 16. Hold on to your wallets and morals.

2012 done, not finished.

This was a great election cycle for campaigners. Another “most important” in our lifetime.

We got our butts kicked. Not tactful, but we need to own up to it. We lost the Presidential race, the US Senate majority, several US House seats and the big ticket (and most small) Hawaii races. Zierack at GRIH: “…Hawaii remains a one-party state as the moribund Republican Party only managed to hold its one Senate seat and actually lost one of its eight seats in the House.”

Credit where due. Obama for America had a good message, ground game and GOTV effort. HI Dems again (as in ’08), failed to take advantage of Obama on the ticket.

Is all lost? 2010 was a good cycle for us. ’12, not so much. More elections next year and after.

In the next four years it is projected that two or three SCOTUS appointments will be made. That hurts.

There is never one reason, or even only a dozen reasons for a loss (or a win). Here’s one: During the national convention, I wrote that if Romney lost, we could look at states with Ron Paul supporters, conservatives, or TEA party members who were marginalized and dismissed by ‘the establishment.’ NV, CO, VA. The Romney team pushed through RNC rules changes, anticipating that Romney would be the incumbent nominee in ’16. Our own Hellriech, Chang, Liu and the Romney Hawaii team supported Romney’s power grab. Romney and the RNC shouldn’t have assumed any votes. (Lingle found the same.)

Wrong, not as wrong as our ‘experts.’ It is hard to knock off even a terrible incumbent. I predicted a ‘very close blowout,’ that Romney would barely win bground states but, in winning most of them, he would rack up a huge electoral count. I had the wrong candidate. It wasn’t close. Allen, Berg, Rehberg, Akin, Mandel, Mourdock, West all go down. Ugh. Lingle’s loss was not a surprise but the margin and watching CNN call the race at 6:07p made a statement. Romney ended with a 42.4 point loss. With the polling and “intimate knowledge” of each campaign, Chang and Ward were off by six(!) from the 13 they promised for the House and Chang missed by two the senate seats he predicted would win. I winged it and was off by one in the House (actually, one under because Cheape pulled it out) and right on for the senate.

Voters. Obama won the popular vote as several million LESS turned out in ’12 even though several million MORE were registered than in ’08. Romney ’12 barely beat McCain ’08. Romney-Hawaii and Chang/Blom GOTV resulted in the nation’s highest losing margin and lowest turnout rate. With 14,000 more registered, Romney Hawaii beat McCain ’08 by 500 votes.

Narwhal wins, Orca loses. Obama’s database and GOTV worked but he turned out less than ’08. There is increasing controversy that consultants took Romney (your) money and didn’t provide a workable Orca product. For HRP, Chang and Pechaur says GOPDC doesn’t work (Peschaur thinks we’re still using Voter Vault) which explains why there was never training. User, not HI “.. the RNC delivered GOP Data Center. It worked. I used it.”

SANTA CLAUS finished fifth [of 35 vote-getters] in MD.

If there were a national status quo with the White House and Congress, there was NOT a backlash against conservatives with wins by Heller and Flake, Slom, Pence, King and others.

Fool me once, shame on you. Aiona said he was tied the last week in ’10 and lost by 17. Lingle said she was tied the week prior, and statistically tied the week of the election. She lost by 25. Djou said he was ahead the final week and lost by 9. Nonaka told candidates they were winning; Meyer beating Hee, Aiona ahead of Fukunaga were just two of the candidates who got fed poor polling.

I used liberal Silver at NYT 538blog for analysis. Sabato did well. Rasmussen and Gallup (and Lingle & Djou’s internals) were off.

Winners with your campaign contributions = media, consultants and paid campaign staff. “I just can’t believe I actually donated money to the Romney campaign. It was a scam. If I ever ran into one of these “consultants” I think I’d probably kick him in the jimmies” at “I think Romney was fleeced by his team,” Iowa strategist. Same in Hawaii. Ad money flowed to TV/print/on-line outlets, consultants ripped off candidates (do you know a consultant?), and campaign staffers like Hellriech made $65,000/year plus expenses and benefits (

Erickson “You got played.” When consultants told donors that they were not making money they were not being honest. Limbaugh (about real consultants) “All these consultants, do you realize they get rich no matter who wins or loses?”

Needs money. Consultant Nonaka relied on the AA Serenity Prayer in his email to explain why he took money. He took credit, for campaigns he barely touched, before the candidates sent out their Mahalo email. Only one sentence mentions the incumbent and should-have-won candidates he helped to lose. Not mentioned is that Chang relied on Nonaka (and Walden’s) ‘expertise’ to lose the top of the ticket, both congressional races, and some 85% of their state races. One candidate told me he “fired Nonaka and his fundraisers” before they did harm. After taking HRP from fiscal security to ‘in debt’ in less than an election cycle (’10), many candidates knew better than to use Nonaka. One experienced candidate used him and she lost a winnable race. Even winning candidates are critical. Wasting the ’12 cycle while digging HRP out from Nonaka’s ’10 “out-of-control” spending (Thomason, she), Chang/Blom still allowed Nonaka to use your contributions for his consulting work.

Who ran? Chang’s congratulatory email left off at least one Republican winner. Chang wrote to candidates “Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.” Perhaps try some leadership, following the party rules, raising funds for HRP and candidates, standing for something, being conservative, doing something for HRP rather than yourself …you get the idea.

At district meeting, Ward answered his own rhetorical question “Is Pine a Republican? I don’t know but she never told me she wasn’t.”

HI wrap up

Analyze Ward (Candidate Recruitment vice chair) and Chang’s effort: HRP had a name on the ballot in only 15/25 state senate races. Of 15 races, we won one and one lost by 6.6 points. In 13 races, the average margin of defeat was more than 44 points! HRP did not compete in 19/51 House races. Of 32, we won five races and lost two incumbents. The average margin in 25 losing races is 40 points! Twelve races were lost by more than 50 points (4 senate, 8 house). All the work you did for HRP, all the money you contributed; what did HRP ‘leadership’ do for you?

Focusing limited resources? Ward had already lost the retiring Marumoto, integrity-challenged Pine and Riviere. On November 6, we watched two MORE incumbents go down. After another two years of Lingle’s bi-partisan team running the party, Chang/Hellriech/Liu lost more House incumbents than won.

HRP assigned house districts to Victory Centers for GOTV programs. No mention of senate races. Coordinated campaign (the whole both of them) Ready/Blom was as ineffective as Fukumoto(wah)/Blom.

They endorsed candidates who are not conservative. Their goal was to support ten pro-life House candidates. They could raise funds for only one. This family values PAC used only negative hit pieces. Family Advocates claims credit for Fukumoto’s (sobbing in joy) win even though opponent Lee (1) barely won in ’10 (16 votes) and got hammered in reapportionment and (2) Fukumoto (still crying) is married to party chair, Mr Fukumoto. Good for Family Advocates if their candidate is conservative.

Democrat or Republican?” Lingle was crushed when only 37% of voters gave her a ‘like’ compared to Hirono’s 62%. Conklin tells why this is good for conservatives Fichtman in CB adds “The only ace card she held for any Republican was her expansive and rich donors list. Those candidates who seeked [sic] the list found themselves having to sign onto Linda’s philosophy.” Maui News “Lingle lost all of Maui’s 35 precincts, …county voters apparently have soured on Lingle” and she got only 31%.

Conklin: “Chang said Crowley’s platform is in line with party values. … but Chang is lying.”

Neighbor island. Fontaine may still expect to be HI Governor after losing by 25.8 points to 23 year-old Ing but Maui News said Fontaine “hasn’t decided if this election will end his political career.” Maui county and HRP should add training in class and decorum – except Fontaine, none of the Republican candidates would speak to the media following their loss. Then, there is the ‘leadership.’ Please remind people who say stupid things that the rest of us have another election in two years. “It’s a Democratic state” said Clark, the Maui County Republican Party chairwoman. “I don’t think people use their brains when they vote,” she said. “They vote because it’s a religion like thing.” Clark should spend more time turning out voters than speaking of things beyond her comprehension. ‘Maui County reported the lowest voter turnout in the state at 56.8 percent…’

It is the candidate, stupid. Not the platform. Centrist Djou kept his conservative fiscal stance (‘cept Akaka Bill) to go with liberal social positions. Lingle went all in liberal and democrat. You can make statistics say anything … and here’s something they say: Using percentage of votes, Lingle v Hirono and Djou v Hanabusa, Djou beat Lingle in all 29 CD1 districts. The smallest difference was 3 points. The largest is a whopping 16 points in two districts and 12 points in two others. Lingle loses by 25 and Djou loses by nine. Of course, there are other factors; neither side trusts Lingle, furlough Friday’s, PAC money etc. For a credible Republican candidate (recall that Ward doesn’t know if Pine is a Republican) the more conservative, the better he/she did. Conservatism is not dead, wishy-washy is dead. Bi-partisan Lingle won 1/51 districts. Crossover Cayetano 11/35. Centrist Djou 6/29. Where a local conservative won, the conservative beat both Lingle and Djou. Where Djou didn’t run in a district with a conservative, McDermott rec’d 48.8% where bi-partisan Lingle rec’d 45.4. Quasi-conservative Fontaine pulled 35.1 to Lingle’s bi-partisan 32.8. This doesn’t mean that if you are a conservative Republican you’ll win but it does mean that if you are a stand-for-nothing candidate, you probably won’t.

Two state-wide races, ’12 federal and ’10 state, Lingle’s 25 point loss following Aiona’s 17 point loss. HRP and their candidates should try to stand for something. Voters don’t like political parties which don’t stand for anything. We lost caucus members Ching, Pine, Marumoto, Riviere who were more liberal, or ‘moderate.’ Fontaine claimed to be conservative. The in-coming caucus is more conservative, maybe. Our non-platform five-word document doesn’t say anything. People don’t vote for nothing.

Chang and HRP marginalized Crowley even after Crowley knocked off DiGeronimo (where did he go?) in the Primary. Lack of HRP effort on the neighbor islands was obvious and helped drag down all candidates. Granted, HRP has no resources or savvy. The Counties didn’t help. Two county chairs were running their own losing senate races (50 and 49.7 point losses) and the third oversaw the lowest county turnout in the state with the lowest national turn out.

In a separate release, Chang endorsed Akina for OHA. I voted for Akina. I question, however, why HRP never strongly endorsed Johanson, Slom, Ching or Fontaine?

Hellriech, Chang, Liu, Clark, Georgi went with liberal Lingle. They took with them the HRP Executive Cmte and virtually all the State Cmte. Now they must convince conservatives (or anyone else) that there is a reason to participate in or contribute to HRP.

Reader: It is disgusting to see Republican candidates gag at the thought of saying they are Republican on the campaign trail or even on their bumper stickers. I want a Republican to vote for. I don’t contribute to the Bipartisan Party and don’t vote for Bipartisan candidates. The HRP cannot even hold an honest internal election for the National Committeeman and … Lingle and Djou got their asses kicked because they couldn’t get enough votes, not because their opponents got more votes.

Candidate: The candidates the HI Republican Party did fundraising for through their site won. Fujimoto [sic] (referencing the crying one), Cheape. They do not take care of their candidates.

Candidate: We have a serious problem in the party here and until we get real leadership, we will continue to be spanked every election.

Lingle fan: My question is: where were the HRP & the KTP this year? And where was the coordinated support of the local HRP? Any sign of an HRP West Hawaii chair person? I truly feel it is a lost cause, here in Hawaii.

Reader: After such a huge debacle in 2012, how can party insiders continue to succeed in defending inexcusable state/county dysfunction, inaction, nonfeasance since 2011? Seriously, is the only expectation of executive officers their votes at exec cmte meetings in favor of whatever money transfers from the mainland that Miriam Hellreich needs for her clients (as well as keeping the party silent on issue after issue)?

Reader: “I was helping my local district candidate and when he asked the District Chair (who now lives in a different district) to identify the Precinct Chairs — no names or contact info was accessible to him.” Months since reapportionment, HRP failed to reorganize, failed to provide member or voter lists by district/precinct, and ignored the lack of a coordinated campaign when districts and counties had no one on the ground.

District member to Ward: “Why haven’t you as a party vice chair or as caucus leader done anything about Thielen [R] campaigning against a Republican [Hemmings]?”

Enthusiasm. Lee (Senate UT) supported Romney-Hawaii. The Aloha Tower rally drew 25 people including other speakers (Ward, Slom), candidates (Vincent, Au, Amsterdam, Meyer), media, and Lee’s family. Told that the evening Lingle rally drew 500 but the photos look like less than 200. ROI?

Liberal advice, sometimes funny. SA Borreca “The state’s Republican Party stands for not being the Democratic Party; it might as well be “None of the Above,” instead of a viable political force.” Shapiro “A passer-by found a half-dozen crying puppies abandoned in a Dumpster at Campbell Industrial Park. Aw, that wasn’t a nice way to treat Republican legislative candidates.”

We’re owed at least a little analysis by HRP ‘leadership.’ They use you and then… they don’t do anything. All your hours, all your money, their plan and their organization. Ask them why they think we again got squashed, why their candidates didn’t raise funds or mount a campaign, or why HRP choose to not take a stand on any ballot initiative. HRP never explains why. Then, they ask for money.

Oahu League call to action

With the election marred by polling locations running out of ballots, Hellriech is in a tizzy. After three years of getting her way with the HRP novices by breaking the Party rules to her advantage, NOW, she wants others (the Elections Commission) to follow the rules. Not enough, however, to testify. Slom to state Elections Commission (about the Office of Elections) “You have one task, and that is to operate a smooth, error free election every two years. I would urge you today to take strong, decisive action, expediting your internal review of this year’s election, adopting a specific, fail-safe future action plan, and replacement of current leadership.” No HRP ‘leader’ or House caucus member testified or even attended.

All that money. With Hellriech, Lingle raised 5.5M+, another 1.2M from Chamber of Commerce, 175k from NRSC and RNC can be added to the 3M+ from the ’10 Aiona loss makes $10M+ for two huge losses. Family Advocates thinks their only $8k made a difference. Imagine the local races we would have won if Hellriech and Liu had performed even a little of their elected HRP duties. Chang’s focus on Lingle and misuse of resources leaves HRP without a message or funds.

Hellriech and Liu raised for Lingle, and HRP was unable to support local races. Chang/Hellriech/Liu bragged that they got the NRSC and RNC to spend in HI at the expense of perhaps winning the US Senate or a swing state. The NRCC also sent money. I wrote at the time that I appreciated the charity but prayed it wouldn’t hurt races with a chance of winning. You contributed time and money. Not one local candidate received money or mail support from HRP. Hemmings or Meyer? Fontaine or Ching?

ARE YOU SATISFIED? HRP needs leadership focused on HRP.

My prayers are with Representative Marumoto and her family. Please give her your support.

Today was a look backward. Wednesday is looking forward, and more optimistic.




Last five: Most Important Election/ Feel It?/We Have a Month x2/ It Is Political(2 sections)/ Tampa 2012(4 reports)