Aloha friends and readers,
This is the second part of this week’s email about Hawaii politics and policy.
Hot Primary races. H9 Keith-Agaran-Ponanilla on Maui, S11 Taniguichi-Fukunaga and S25 Ryan-Thielen on Oahu, and Kenoi-Kim (mayor) along with several Senate races on the Big Island. HNL Council – Berg is an eccentric conservative Republican, Pine is an untrustworthy liberal Republican. H47 Riviere-Fale Republican Primary on Oahu should determine the General election winner.
S-A Endorsements, sort of. Endorsement by the liberal S-A isn’t what it used to be when people read newspapers but this year the board appears confused between telling who they endorse versus who they think will win.
Please commit to the Party, or move aside. Two HRP county chairs (Kauai-Georgi, Hawaii-Smith) are running for office and their district chairs are asking for someone to take charge of the county effort. Campaigning for office and mobilizing a county each SHOULD warrant complete attention. There is a lot more at stake than just “I, I and I.” Coordinated Campaign vice chair Fukumoto, for “crying” out loud, is running for office. The state chair is mostly on personal time. County chairs haven’t been seen or heard. We should have more than fluff communications, we have a volunteer communications vice chair and a volunteer communications director. One district chair is running for state senate. We’re not seeing anything from the coalitions vice chair. We don’t see meeting minutes from the Secretary or receive meeting (or non-meeting) info. The quarterly State Cmte meeting was canceled (or postponed, the email said both), one reason being “there are a number [of candidates] that serve on the committee.” Party leaders need to step up.
State Committee meeting was scheduled for July 14. It wasn’t confirmed, it wasn’t canceled. It just never happened, wedding planning took precedence. Blom emails that a July 28 meeting is canceled, or postponed (there is a difference). Calling off a Saturday meeting (though never scheduled to begin with) on Wednesday screws up campaign schedules. Not rescheduling the meeting is dangerous. Canceling meetings is how the previous chair and Nonaka avoided oversight for 3/4 of their term, enabling HRP’s insurmountable (so far) debt.
On June 30, Rules chair Thomason convened the HRP Rules Committee using his new interpretation of quorum. The purpose was to adjudicate two appeals from the January State Cmte vote to fill the current term for National Committeeman. An immediate motion by Hellriech (he, not she) to defer all actions was seconded by Walden. Many on the cmte knew that Thomason/Chang had improperly interpreted the rules by allowing one district chair to vote for another cross-town district chair. Wickenden, Moses, Smart and Grey had the strongest opinions. Heated discussion proceeded the vote to defer until 2013. They never made it to the second appeal.
Had they voted on the appeals, Thomason/Chang risked being overturned. That would negate the January Committeeman election (1) causing a new election or (2) leaving the position vacant as Hellriech (she) made Chang do in December. The review of the appeals will take place months after the current term is complete and Chang allows this episode to hang over the HRP until next year.
They should follow their own rules. Walden says he moved to H24 and he took a state delegate position from H24 members. Now, Blom says that it was her mistake that Walden was listed as the H24 rules rep because he was elected in and represents H1. However, HRP Rules Section 312 says you’re ineligible to represent a geographical area (a district) if you’ve moved from that geographical area. Without Walden, quorum was not met and the motion to defer did not receive a second.
This behavior destroys enthusiasm. Indicators are found in the HRP revenues, the number of active district/county chairs and the late notice of everything from the Kailua Parade to poll workers and watchers to an after-the-fact State Committee meeting cancellation. Fortunately, no one challenged the State Convention. One district (H40 Moses) elected their delegates without the required seven days notice. More than 50% of the districts failed to submit a delegate list in the time allowed by rules, more than 10% of districts failed to submit any delegate list. Past the delegate deadline, more than 40 people ‘appeared’ on the list of delegates, many ‘leaders’ feigning that they did not know that they had to be elected as a delegate.
Carroll is slowly getting his message to conservatives but the Primary is here. Pundits say Lingle will win the Republican Primary. Running as a B, bi-partisan, and avoiding debates on conservative issues in order to gain liberal and independent voters, Lingle had $500,000 of US Chamber of Commerce (CoC) support in ads plus a current $125k ad buy. Her General Election strategy is working with Republicans as still few say they’ll vote for Hirono but more say they will blank vote. Case appears to have closed on Hirono in the polls and is the Republican choice if a Dem is to win this race. Hirono’s endorsement by a Republican (Young, AK-at large) may backfire. Most pollsters have this lean Dem, one has it toss up. Dems do not underestimate Lingle’s money. www.Intrade.com, though we’re not betting, has this at 80% that one of the Dems will win. Hirono’s June poll has Hirono up by 11 over Lingle. A more recent poll has Lingle up by six over Hirono but the poll was done by the CoC who have so far spent $625k on Lingle. The SA (39-58) and DSCC (33-52) polls out last week both have Lingle down 19 to Hirono.
Watch how this plays out. Young’s (AK) endorsement of Hirono for the Primary was considered by Lingle to be a threat for the General. Young didn’t attack Lingle. Regardless, Lingle attacked Young, a Republican (manager Lee’s press release). Our Rules say you can’t attack a Republican in a race against another Party – but Young is still in his Primary.
Hanabusa’s campaign – if you don’t do anything, here or in Washington, you can’t be criticized for doing it, or get credit. Consequently, Djou is holding his own without professional staff or a campaign HQ. Gabbard and Hannemann are getting the headlines in CD2 though I’ve seen Crowley at conservative events and started to hear DiGeronimo’s name.
None of our ‘leaders’ attended the RNC’s May Chairman’s meeting. In a Presidential election year, we hope they soon give us some feedback about the meeting.
Our delegation to the National Convention should be announced – now, less than three weeks to the pre-convention committees. Sanity prevailed to make Romney-Hawaii chairman Rolhfing the delegation chairman instead of Chang. The guest list may be interesting as few were notified of the opportunity. Lingle isn’t going, not from this blue state. No serious local candidate would go on a boondoggle (You need to be in your district) to hang out with people who can’t vote and then come back and ask us to support them. ALL the ‘leadership’ is leaving the state, we can expect the Executive Director to be here to run the HRP campaign. The draft agenda has been out for more than a month but not given to delegates. The delegation manager or aide should announce the HRP-coordinated events, having coordinated with venues and other state delegations. In the past, our local media provided decent coverage with familiar reporters on location.
FiveThirtyEight has Obama a 35 point favorite in Hawaii. That’s better than the 72-27 ’08 margin. The Romney-Hawaii Team has plans to narrow that margin. Obama voters are disappointed that their native son broke many of his promises. Lingle’s liberal voters may help the Republican ticket. If the Honolulu mayor’s race goes to November that could help Republican GOTV. The best way to counter the Dems is to get out and vote.
No need to watch the two point national lead which Romney and Obama trade each day. This is not a national race. This is a race for about eight states. Counters have different estimates but the road to 270 electoral votes is about 247 Obama versus 206 Romney. Ohio (Obama), Virginia (toss up), Florida (toss up), Iowa (Obama), Colorado (Obama). That’s where this election is won or lost. Other states mentioned include North Carolina (Romney), Wisconsin (Obama), New Hampshire (Obama), Indiana (Romney), Pennsylvania (Obama) and New Mexico (Obama). Obama spent three weeks and a lot of money pummeling Romney on Bain and tax returns and the polling numbers didn’t appreciably change. July 29 marked 100 days to the election, absentee voting sooner. We have work to do. The race may not be as close as the pundits and media tell. If the election were today, we’d lose. NYT 538 blog (2010 most accurate) has Obama with a 67% chance to win. Help Romney win in those battleground states. Please donate to Romney or sign up with a bground state party or the RNC to make phone calls into the swing state. Sabato says VP is Pawlenty, Portman and Rubio or Jindal, though McDonnell’s name is popping up.
Still predicting that Virginia is ground zero and that Senate race, Allen-Kaine, will determine the Presidency. Recently, Ohio has come back to the top with Virginia as the state most likely to decide the election.
The Presidency isn’t about (only) the Presidency or ObamaCare (nor is the Senate). This is about the Supreme Court, it always is.
Sheltered in paradise. Commercials in battleground states are constant, continual, political messages. For and against, hit, fluff, hit and hit. Candidate and PAC. President, Senate, House, local. If you are in Virginia, Ohio, Florida, Colorado or New Hampshire, it is everywhere, all the time. In Hawaii you may notice the ads. In a bground state, EVERYONE can’t help but notice. Three of the top ten markets for media spending were in CO, two each in FL, VA, OH. Airtime is being bought by the tens of millions of dollars for now and for later. To keep up with Obama and Priorities USA and liberal unions and PACs, Romney and the RNC need your support and donations. If not for conservative and Republican supporting PACs, we would be overwhelmed. American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, Restore our Future, NRA, Club for Growth are all pitching in because they know the importance of this election.
Club for Growth released their rankings of freshman legislators. Three have perfect scores (including a favorite, Idaho’s Labrador). Many TEA- elected members did poorly, raising the question of TEA support this cycle. http://www.clubforgrowth.org/freshmanvotestudy/?&state=&sort=score
I am a founding member of the Republican National Conservative Caucus. Founded in late-2008 by 20 of the most conservative members, we’ve helped to drive RNC policy for the past three years. Founders include the attorney for National Right to Life (who also got Citizens United through the Supreme Court) and a former NRA President. We brokered the 2010 cooperation between the TEA parties, represented by FreedomWorks, and the RNC (that summit occurred at the Honolulu RNC Winter meeting). Some of our resolutions include: Opposition to Bailouts, Democrats March to Socialism (we were the first to openly tie the ‘S’ word to Obama), The Life Issue – a Fundamental Foundation, Resolution on Cap and Trade, Reso Opposing the National Popular Vote, Reso Opposing the UN Agenda 21, Reso in Support of Arizona, Reso to Abandon Earmarks, Reso in Support of Good Governance, Reso to Reform the Obama Policy on Appointing Czars, Reso to Repeal Obamacare, Reso to Support Israel, Reso to Keep US Missile Technology from China, and Reso Urging Protection of Second Amendment Rights. The Convention Platform Committee has these resolutions for the 2012 platform. If you want to provide input to our Platform go to http://www.gopplatform2012.com. I was honored to help make the ’08 Platform the most conservative party platform in a quarter century (http://gop.com/2008Platform).
UN power Grab. Last week, the UN Arms Trade Treaty conference broke down and will not report a draft treaty to member nations. Dems sought to use this treaty to take away our 2d Amendment rights.
Your House is fine. Dems need 25 seats from us to take control. As always, the disclaimer is that anything can happen before November, but 25 net seats isn’t going to happen. Pollsters say it could go from a net of +10 to -3 for the Dems, and most (including me) think Dems will net gain about 6. That’s how it looks TODAY. NRCC has $8M more COH than the DCCC.
The Senate is tighter. Eight tossup races make control of the Senate unpredictable. We’re projected to net gain between two to four. We need four to take outright control, three with the Vice-President would also give us control. Last week, changes in NV and FL move the needle towards Republican control. Our likely win in NE will offset the likely loss in ME. “Tied” races to watch: FL (Nelson – D), MA (Brown – R), MO (McCaskill -D), MT (Tester – D), NV (Heller – R) and open seats in ND, VA, WI. All the more reason to win the Presidency (actually, the Vice-Presidency). DSCC has $7M COH more than NRSC.
We currently have 29 Governor seats and we will pick up NC, maybe another.
Roberts made a mistake. He made a week of it with AZ Immigration and Obamacare. I hope he doesn’t continue to make mistakes. I expect a Supreme Court justice to take the law being challenged and compare it to the Constitution and determine if the law is constitutional. I don’t expect them to guess what law-writers meant to write. The law was written based on the Commerce Clause and found to be unconstitutional based on the Commerce Clause. That should have been “end of story.” Anyone (including Roberts) who thinks there wouldn’t still be a fight about healthcare maybe forgot that the Dems have been at this for half a century. Yes, we have to go and win elections ….. but we have to do so even if Roberts ruled properly.
RedState Gathering this week. Check www.RedState.com for updates.
Convention news. Our national convention committee (not without challenges) is succeeding, the dems are falling apart. Dems already cut their convention from four to three days. Romney and the RNC are selecting convention speakers. PaulFest is back, expecting 20,000 people, along with a Paul event on August 26. The TEA party is planning a 10,000 person rally. Conservatives will enjoy: FreedomWorks in partnership with the Washington Times will have a daily 5:00 PM EST live-streaming webcast from Tampa for the four days of committee work and the four days of convention. More details, with the link, to come. Activities begin with the Platform Committee orientation on August 19. The Platform Cmte is chaired by VA Gov McDonnell – the RNC deployed me to VA to work his ’09 election. The Rules Cmte is chaired by fmr NH Gov Sununu. The Convention begins August 27. For Convention news www.gopconvention202.com. Nice – this year the Convention and Olympics do not overlap.
If you are going to CPAC Denver, please let me know. CPAC Chicago was a success and Colorado is a critical state this year.
Way to go Boy Scouts of America.
Party communications need to support our local campaigns. The big campaigns can take care of themselves. Perhaps, point out policy issues or candidate strengths or opponent weaknesses for local races.
I write to inform and also to encourage. I encourage you to write and tell who you support. I am focused on Senator Sam Slom and conservative issues. I don’t take races for granted. I certainly don’t take for granted having one Senator of 25. http://samslom.com
Next week, we’ll report what we find in campaign finance reports – who has money, how they use it. National, state, local. Candidates and committees.
You know those movies when the character knows something bad is about to happen but everyone else goes on with their lives, oblivious to the coming disaster? We are that character. We know that economic (and cultural) disaster is coming with Obama. We have to get out the vote, we have to be involved.
May Special Report
Hawaii Republican in the Spring 1,2,3
State of the Party
Buzz – RNC Winter Meeting 1,2,3
12 Months To Go, Seems Like Tomorrow