Aloha Friends, welcome back. Monday’s report was a look back.
Look toward 2014 and 2016.
-Had the pleasure of spending time with NRA President Keene and his wife. Known them for several years and am awed at their sustained commitment to the conservative cause. When I asked, I didn’t think they’d actually come, on one month’s notice. The FNRA banquet could only fit 280 people of their 350 requests. The Hilo Conservative Forum had more than 200 attend a discussion of the 2d Amendment and conservative issues (Keene was ACU President for 25 years). Another panel event in Honolulu needed more chairs. Keene’s wife “An unbelievable amount of effort went into utilizing our time and we are very grateful to all the many people who coordinated and worked together for the common cause. So glad you considered this and had the connections to work it.” Hope they are back to open a new Big Island range. Slom was the only party officer or elected Republican to attend any of the five events.
-Fight. Nationally, Republicans are engaged in a fight to determine if the Republican party becomes conservative or becomes democrat-lite. First, we need a leader. You know where I stand. Locally, HRP needs a message, at this point any message, and needs to figure out how to pay the bills. First, we need a leader. You know where I stand.
-US Senate killed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which does nothing to help persons with disabilities but would give the UN unprecedented authority over American businesses. Republicans voting with dems: Lugar IN (lost Primary), Snowe ME (retiring. Lingle was to ideologically replace her), Collins ME (meet her when she was here for Lingle?), Brown MA (lost Primary), Barrasso MT, Ayotte NH, McCain AZ, Murkowski AK.
-Then or now? When candidates and campaigners who supported the establishment Liu/Hellriech/Chang/Lingle/Nonaka/Walden gang, i.e. our friends who brought us the 2012 results, now contact me for advice and fundraising because they received neither from that gang, then I question their judgment.
-Stick around. From earlier reports, you know that many long-time campaigners are gone, disgusted with HRP, Lingle, Hellriech. Another http://www.hawaiireporter.com/split-with-hawaii-gop/123. I earlier told (fmr HRP Secretary) Makanani who showed up with Kaauwai in the ’10 cycle that if he were still participating in five years, he’d be an anomaly (where’d he go?). Many first-timers come for a cycle, to the party or with a new candidate, demanding to change the party and campaigning and then…. they’re gone. We appreciate their short-term assistance. Many competent folks are letting me know that they had enough of HRP. Please thank the good ones who came (mostly) altruistically to help, who worked hard, who learned something about campaigning. I hope we give a reason to come back.
-Mixed metaphor. After the Primary, Borreca said it was time for HRP ‘life support.’ After the General, he said time to ‘Turn off the lights’… perhaps a reference to Chang’s inability to raise funds for staff or HQ payments.
-Lingle done? Her best results came in H47 (the district she won), S23 and CD1, also HNL Council 4 is up in ’14. I don’t see a Republican who can stop her if she wants to be a candidate for Gov or LG. Some say the Hawaii Republican Party (HRP) has been known as the Hawaii (Executive) Lingle Party (HELP) and it is anticipated she’ll again take advantage before a ’16 run for Inouye’s seat. She needs distance from her record as Governor though there will be a visual reminder (train tracks) of her early rail support. Party insiders expect Lingle’s ‘people’ to again fade away but fear the prospect of fundraising without the Lingle name. Shirley “the GOP ought not to be afraid to stand for something and admonish Republicans who do not.”
-A hoax? Representing the party of fiscal accountability, Lingle writes that she is in debt following her $5.5M+ campaign. “Will you help my campaign retire our outstanding debt by chipping in $10, $25, or more?” When you clear her debt, she says will do “bi-partisan solutions” for you, perhaps misreading her 25 point bi-partisan loss.
-Lingle wants more money. Her October www.FEC.gov report shows how she spent YOUR contributions. Hellriech $5434/month, Lee (not me) $4306/month (July report), Heck $4282, Klompus (he) 4198 and the other Klompus (she) another 4198, Sakamoto 3982, Aveiro 3576, I am just scratching the surface here, Hofer 3480, Lagareta (he) 3632, Rowley 3258, Smith on the Big Island 3228, Dodson 2880, Yonenaka 2966, Caires 2600, Parsons 2362, Pendelton 1830 and many more. This is in addition to benefits and expenses paid by the campaign. Most staff contributed little, if at all, to her campaign. Lodging at the San Francisco Westin St Francis, Las Vegas Venetian, Marquis NYC, San Diego Hilton, and Washington Hilton in DC. And, there was that 24-hour cable TV station thing.
-Reorganization. Ward ‘Steps down?’ More like ousted. Beginning the year with eight House members, Ward lost five…in one year! That defines a HRP and House Caucus failed incumbent protection program (our Senate one worked). Fukumoto (for crying out loud) tried to gather votes against concerns that she can’t keep her composure. Fale couldn’t coerce the votes. Johanson is elected House minority leader. Johanson is the smartest of the caucus (no, not “like the tallest building in Wichita”), with an outstanding (young) resume and has a term under his belt. A poll going around asks when Fukumoto (with tears) will first cry at the microphone (1) before session begins, (2) her first floor speech, (3) first week or (4) first month. Borreca questions of the number of House Republicans “Thielen, for instance, is a fighting liberal when it comes to the environment. She is also progressive on social issues.”
–Degrees of separation. Dems may solve their House problems without Republicans. For now, good for Johanson if he gets several committee assignments by siding with the Dem progressive liberal wing instead of the plain ‘ole liberal wing. Progressives will control the committees so the bills will be more liberal. Dame, a dem party watcher “It is disappointing to watch avid Democrats being “played” so obviously by the more conservative faction [Say] of the House, when the preponderance of pro-environment, pro-GLBT, pro-choice and pro-labor representatives, are aligned behind Souki…More who voted for Civil Unions now support Souki.” Does Thielen (R) still vote in the Republican caucus? Referred to as Benedict Arnold (an insult … to Arnold), the caucus should take action.
-In the Senate (yes, HRP ‘leaders,’ there is a Senate) Tsutsui asked Slom to serve as vice chair (first time in 20 years) of the Senate Economic Development and Housing Committee. SA says Slom wins enough respect to be given committee vice-chairman without giving up principle.
-Lack of leadership. HRP better do something about Republicans endorsing democrats or it’ll get worse. Carroll (R) endorses Hirono (D) against Lingle (B), Thielen (R) goes DtD for Thielen (D) against Hemmings (R), Fenton (R) endorses Fukunaga (D) against Aiona (R). Ward (then caucus leader) said that Thielen (R) told him she never campaigned for Thielen (D). In a letter from a longtime Republican to Chang “Cynthia Thielen actively campaigned for her Democrat daughter, Laura, by going door-to-door and putting up yard signs.”
-Less dem complaining about Citizens United since the Progressives, dems and good old boys backed PRP’s hits on Cayetano. I support money in politics, as long it is transparent, because (1) the Freedom of Speech thing and (2) it is going to be there, one way or another. Aiona should not whine about PRP hits in his Council race; he never spoke against HRP or Nonaka doing hits (before Nonaka worked at HRP, HRP had funds to do so). Family Advocates provided the same hit service to Fukumoto (not crying about that). Cayetano, Lee, Aiona, Berg …. expect more, not less, PRP-/Nonaka-/Family Advocate-type campaigning. Or, change sides like Pine and avoid the hits.
-Will Hee bail? Reapportionment made it difficult, and no one likes him anyway. While Republicans are glad that Obama is not again on the ticket, candidates who relied on Mormon turnout in Hee’s district – Fale, Meyer, Lingle – note that Romney isn’t on the ballot, either. A Mormon voting for a Mormon just because they are Mormon – Romney, Fale – takes away the argument that voters shouldn’t vote for Obama just because he is ‘from’ HI or any other (uninformed) reason.
–Jones Act matters. “Matson Inc. figuratively fired a shot across the collective bow of consumers in Hawaii and Guam warning of increased future ocean freight rates that will result in higher cost of living in the islands.” Carroll has again filed suit, for us. An expert at email@example.com.
-You worked hard this election cycle. Did you receive any election analysis from HRP? Were you even aware that there would be a wrap up and analysis? Did you see the results of the “HRP wrap up?” Well, you won’t here, either, but you will read what occurred at the meeting.
-Post-election conference call. Chang should take a lesson. Chang opens with “things didn’t go as well as we’d have liked. Duh. Barbour (fmr MS gov, RNC chairman) said “the party’s tone-deaf candidates and misguided strategists should submit to a searching, even painful, self-examination. The GOP needs a “brutally honest assessment of everything we did.” The Exec Cmte appeared for the first time since months before the elections but not many others – several candidates, few district chairs. Chang announced ‘we’ knew why we lost and then he rattled RNC talking point statistics which told only what happened. Johanson was asked to analyze local races and mostly gave 15 minutes of candidate training (to the few losing candidates on the call). He offered that voters have to like and know you, perhaps unintentionally implying that voters didn’t know or like Fontaine, Ching, Hemmings, Meyer and others. Chang interrupted Johanson (this would be the guy who lost his one attempt at public office, has never run a campaign and lost everything this year correcting the guy who has won twice, is (probably the youngest ever) house minority leader, was party political director for a cycle and worked in the White House) and started again rattling statistics. Chang announced “Hawaii is looking good with seven members in the house.”
-Chang continued, not by giving his finance and communications plans per agenda but by announcing that he would give his plans at the state meeting. He announced that February Lincoln Day dinner had to again be postponed to March Lincoln Dinner. Chang says it costs him $20k/month to run the party (so much for cutting expenses. It cost me about $13k/month in ’07-09). And, if 800 HRP members contribute $20/month, he could pay the bills (currently, less than 20 members participate in the Sustaining member program). Chang and Liu tout their fundraising this past year which resulted in no local candidate receiving support. Where did YOUR contributions go?
-Chang plans to build the party from the bottom up – precincts and districts – by having HRP schedule district caucus elections because district chairs won’t do so. Chang said HRP will drive people to their meeting but aren’t able to tell members their precinct or district. Last state meeting, Chang “GOP Data Center is a better version of Voter Vault.” On this call: Chang and Pechaeur (she needs a friend because she ALWAYS needs to talk) said that GOPDC didn’t work, that candidates and districts should build their own lists. Blom tried damage control and said GOPDC works, and when someone learns how to use it, it will be effective. She told the listeners to send THEIR lists to the party. When Au asked if Lingle would share her ‘extensive’ list, Blom said no way, never happen. But, we want YOUR list. When Grey asked if the ‘Presidential caucus 10,000’ list from nine months ago would be (finally) organized by precinct and district so that district chairs could contact members for the meetings, Chang’s immediate response was ‘impossible.’ When Grey pressed, Walden took over and filibustered. No kidding, Walden gleefully jabbered more candidate training, kept interrupting Grey and cut off Chang (again reminding Chang who is really running the party) when he tried to answer Grey. Finally, Chang broke in and without taking a breath, announced the call is over and disconnected the line. No kidding.
-RNC presentation for ‘what’ happened on November 6. Chang gave no analysis of ‘why’ Romney, RNC, NRSC and HRP lost so badly, he just read the slides. http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/MSNBC/Sections/A_Politics/_Today_Stories_Teases/11142012ChairmansPPTforSenatePolicy.pdf
-Best quote. OK, my notes are a couple weeks old but Hellriech quotes Lingle as saying “You don’t have to compromise your values to be inclusive.” True but … Lingle nor Hellriech have standing after compromising any conservative values they may have claimed.
-A decade ago we were leaders in Special Olympics. In the summer of ’07, Exec Dir Talbot collected donations and built an entire playground for the Waianae homeless transition shelter. ’07-09, vice chair Ho (Bless him, I rode him hard and he produced) organized multiple events and food drives and beach clean-ups, continued the monthly meal at the Homeless transition shelter, and got HRP in several major parades. Chang’s plan is to win heart and minds by putting funds and time into community service events each month; he’ll ‘do service in every location across the state.’ So far, Chang, Blom and Coluccio, in 18 months as Community Service vice chair, have organized exactly zero service events or programs. HRP has been (nominally) in one parade and tried a tepid convention Food Drive. Chang announces his intent is not to do service for the people of Hawaii but because HRP “can’t attack democrats head on.” He just doesn’t get it. (reread the entry on ‘people saying stupid things’)
-Per rules, Maui agreed last spring to host the ’13 state convention and district chair Fagen been working hard since then. Anticipating difficulties getting reelected, last month Chang pulled the state convention back to Oahu. This highlights HRP Oahu-centric focus which follows the loss of all neighbor island legislative races.
-Chang “introduced” a Young GOP Organization as a HRP auxiliary though they’ve been ‘organized’ per Rules for several years (apparently ineffectively so). He says there are lots of young people who want to get involved…..a month AFTER the election.
-Most telling. Pechaeur, again tooting her horn, told story of past ethnic coalitions success and offered that HRP should “consider starting coalitions.” Insider evidence that Chang and his Coalitions vice chair replacement Chow did nothing.
-Ignorant or arrogant? Chang’s ‘establishment’ district/precinct power grab in the state cmte minutes “In 2013, the Party will run the elections” instead of district chairs. Another case of top-down, centralized control which actual Republicans oppose. Rules allow the Exec cmte to be involved with meetings following reapportionment so, power grab, Chang/Ready has the state Exec cmte coming to run your precinct (and district) meeting. They can’t provide lists for chairs to use but they can takeover your elections.
-chair. Chang had a year to bring the party out of debt he helped build and to support candidates, and he couldn’t do either. Presidential campaign went down by 42.5 points, he put all his effort behind Lingle’s -25, lost two congressional races by an average 35 points, didn’t produce on any state senate win, lost two more incumbent house members, couldn’t hold a major fundraiser until debt was over $110,000 (then put together -still – only one), couldn’t reorganize after reapportionment, couldn’t fill district chair positions or poll watcher positions, produced no budget or communications plan or Victory Plan, had no active county chairs and his vice chairs never produced a coalition or community event. He says he’ll be a US Senator, his is a tough beginning. He humbly asks for your vote.
-Reader feedback. “…time to start facing the truth about the Republicans- They’re getting too cozy with liberal ideas and values.”
“The history of our party’s never-ending onslaught of nonfeasance (e.g. officers and committees doing nothing), misfeasance (e.g. screwed up databases), and malfeasance (e.g. cheating at meetings, conventions, etc.) displays an excess of subterfuge, incompetence, and laziness.”
“Our insiders suck and we need new blood, new money, a new platform.”
“…Fukumoto is a mini-Romney with no commitment to conservative principles.”
“[County chair Smith] did provide candidates on the Big Island with classes and support.” (I like Smith but this is to my point: that effort may have contributed to his 50 point Senate loss, or his Senate race effort contributed to losing every other county race. Same for Georgi on Kauai).
“… standing for nothing goes over well with nobody.”
“what’s going happen now? Maybe dissolve the HRP and help push a Unicameral non-partisan Hawaii state government?”
-You fail, you leave. Politico: CA Chairman Del Beccaro won’t run again. “Under his watch, registration numbers have continued trending downward and the party has faced financial woes.” With turnout less than ’08, fundraising at record lows, and he loses more than 50% of the caucus, it does take chutzpah for Hellriech to again run Chang for chair. And, it takes an indifferent, uninformed membership.
-Not just HI. MA: “trying to out-Democrat the Democrats is no way to define and strengthen Massachusetts Republicanism. These warnings fell on deaf ears as Party executives and liberal infiltrators on the State Committee repeatedly scuttled attempts to align with the National Platform, conduct fair elections, welcome new energy. So MassGOP insiders threw their base under the bus in pursuit of the perfect utopian blend of electable liberalism. Establishment Republicans worked diligently to exclude anything conservative from their public message.” They got their butts kicked, also.
-Candidate and Party finance status in the next report.
-’13: Going with VA Cuccinelli.
-’14: HI Republican Governor-talk: Aiona, Finnegan, Fontaine, Pine, Ward. Really? meh. Though Finnegan-Pine continuing their rivalry with PRP/Family Advocates-style ads would be interesting. Some are already organizing, recruiting, and gauging ‘excitement’ for their candidacy. Hearing better options?
-’16: At least 15 name Republicans are working on 2016 campaigns for the presidency.
-Stand for something. The next guy http://blip.tv/davidhorowitztv/bill-whittle-6444929
-RNC January elections. Priebus to announce and he’ll win. I’ve told you, he is one helluva political party leader and team builder. He resurrected the RNC from the financial disasters under previous chair Steele. Detractors say that he lost big races, the ground game was ineffective and the GOP did not regain the technological edge. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/nov/29/gop-activists-target-priebus/. Hellriech and Lingle supported Steele the last two RNC elections, including Priebus’ ’11 win. Chang and Liu do what Hellriech tells them to do. Where does their support go (Steele ‘joked’ that he may again run)?
-Republican National Conservative Caucus. In ’08, when we saw liberal Steele might become RNC chair, I was asked to be a RNCC founder with 19 of the most conservative RNC members. We worked to keep Steele from being too destructive and we’ve driven RNC conservatism since (not all members of the conservative party are conservative). Next report: our recent conference call, plans and new leadership.
-Norquist simply maintains the Taxpayer Protection Pledge between an office holder and his/her constituents. Republicans vote to raise taxes at your own (Primary) peril. For criticizing dems, Borreca writes “when drafts of the [Tax Commission] report were first floated, a majority of Democrats in the state House responded with their own Grover Norquist moment by signing a pledge that the state would not raise the excise tax.”
-State Committee meeting is December 8. If attending, please let us know (ho hum) what occurs. Not on the agenda: Vice chair Ready promised that the state cmte would discuss the issue of Republicans (Thielen R) campaigning against Republicans (Hemmings), vice chair Ward turned and walked away. Not on the agenda, again: “Section 417. Financial Controls. Within a month of being elected and in the final month of each calendar year thereafter, the state chair will present a state party budget to the State Committee for approval.” That’s two budget’s Chang has NOT presented. A ‘businessman’ operating a small business (getting smaller) without a budget helps explain HRP’s financial disaster. That the ‘leadership’ has not produced a budget is mind-boggling, except, you know, it’s our executive and state cmte. Money was spent though “no financial commitment or expenditure may be made unless it is consistent with the Party’s budget.” No rules=no budget=no oversight=no caring. How do YOU convince people to invest in HRP?
-An entire report without mentioning Petraeus, or what’s her name, or our alma mater.
-RNC Winter meeting in Charlotte, January 23-26. Ask Hellriech, Liu or Chang if you want to attend.
-Only 335 days to the 2013 General. Merry Christmas and a Blessed beginning to 2013.
Catch your breath. Several campaigns are already organizing for the next election.
Last five: Most Important Election/ Feel It?/We Have a Month x2/ It Is Political(2 sections)/ Tampa 2012(4 reports)