Welcome back. I took a break from writing reports so that I could focus on the NCM election. That didn’t turn out so well. In my next report, I’ll return to my format with more snippets of Republican politics and I give a preview at the end of this report. It is mostly good news, some not so good. It is an exciting year. For new readers, I write periodically to Republicans and conservatives to initiate discussion and fill a void in the Republican discussion in Hawaii. I use email rather than a public blog. The reports are usually long; there is something for everyone. I encourage others to write and debate the issues, candidates and policies. We don’t have to agree but we should be informed. Feel free to forward my reports to inform friends or to raise opponent’s blood pressure. Let friends know that there other conservatives and Republicans in Hawaii. My previous five reports are listed at the bottom.
Last week I attended a DC meeting at the Americans for Tax Reform HQ. I had reported to you on this weekly meeting when I attended last fall. A few others from Hawaii have attended this meeting but I report because you should know that there are hundreds of conservative organizations working to elect Republicans. To keep you informed, I also reported daily “The Buzz” from the New Orleans RNC Winter Meeting and the excitement of the Las Vegas Western Region Leadership conference and presidential debate. My report from the Tampa RNC 2011 Summer meeting was more ‘official’ when I attended with the previous National Committeeman’s proxy.
Traveling through Washington DC, I attended the meeting hosted by Grover Norquist. Norquist is the founder and President of Americans for Tax Reform (google it if you are not familiar) – sponsor of the Taxpayer’s Protection Pledge. He holds a weekly, invitation-only meeting for conservative activists, organizations, candidates, office holders and PACs. Comments are ‘off-the-record’ except for what is not – campaign announcements, fundraisers, issue alerts and the like. So, I don’t often attribute specific comments to speakers.
About 180 conservatives filled the room designed for about 100, standing room only. It was a smaller group compared to other times I have attended. Before the meeting, I spoke to Norquist and gave regards from his good friend, Sam Slom. In the past, I met up with Andy Blom (American Perspectives and father of HRP ED Blom) and this week I ran into Ralph Winnie (Kailua and Romney National Alternate Delegate).
Presenters are selected in advance and get two minutes to speak, unless cut short by Norquist. Candidates, usually local to the DC-MD-VA area or the east coast (this week included Tarkanian (NV, Senate), and the Republican replacement for Snowe in Maine) cut to the chase – Norquist asks “Guns, babies, taxes,” where do you stand?” The “B” (bi-partisan) word doesn’t come up in this forum and no one mentioned reaching across any aisle. The Bay Buchanan presented for the Romney campaign and VA Delegate (their state House) Comstock spoke about the Northern Virginia Romney campaign. One sign of the party coalescing was the introduction of the former Santorum national campaign manager who is now the Romney national director of coalitions. Later, a staffer from KY Senator Rand Paul’s office presented. One of Djou’s Law School classmates asked me to give his regards to Charles.
I was asked to present a Hawaii update (for the first time seated at the conference table). I spoke about the national Republican Super PAC in Hawaii (Norquist’s request) and to our Republican contribution to the races for US Senate and Congress and to the tax implications of the Oahu rail. Norquist interrupted to sarcastically thank other states for the federal money that would go to Hawaii for the rail.
Information flows quickly with presenters trying to give five minutes of update in their allotted two-minutes. Presenters included Capital Research Center, Will Estrada talking Parental Rights Amendment, American Legislative Exchange Council, Eagle Forum Executive Director Colleen Holmes, Elizabeth Dail Pinkerton from ShePAC, and Josh Winthrow from Freedom Works. The Home Flight Project with video received an ovation – a non-profit which sponsors and pays for WWII veterans to travel to DC to see the WWII memorial. Norquist continued with the CATO Institute, Leadership Institute (some of you receive their training in Hawaii), American Crossroads (another $10M media buy in 10 states, not Hawaii), Independent Women’s Forum, Breitbart and the Susan B. Anthony list was represented by Laura Schaefer. It was more rushed for Let Freedom Ring, National Taxpayers Union Foundation, Center for Individual Freedom, The Roth Group, American Journalism Center, The 60 Plus Organization, Accuracy in Media, Goldwater Institute and the Franklin Center. We ended with Republican House staffers, Senate Republican Conference, and former Governor and RNC Chairman Jim Gilmore briefly mentioning Free Congress. Many more in the room did not present. Side meetings continue long after the meeting adjourns promptly at 11:30. Neatest take-away: the Heritage Foundation’s Federal Budget in Pictures at www.heritage.org/federalbudget. We were told that you can cut and use individual charts but I am having difficulty doing so.
I’ve been reporting on the Presidential race in Virginia and the Allen-Caine Senate race in particular. Virginia is the Florida (or Ohio) of 2012. From national pundits to the campaigns to almost everyone in this weekly meeting predicts, as I did last fall, that Virginia is ground zero for the Presidential election and that the control of the US Senate will go the way of the Senate race. Both races are today within the margin of error.
Check for candidates who signed the Taxpayer’s Protection Pledge this year http://www.atr.org/taxpayer-protection-pledge. The Hawaii list doesn’t take long to review.
A few other quick bits on other politics. Remember, I try to bring you info that you won’t otherwise see or hear.
Murdock beating Lugar in Indiana is a big deal, especially following Snowe’s retirement in Maine. I had several friends in Indiana working that race (for Murdock).
The Texas Primary today (1) should take Romney over the magic 1144 delegate number and (2) may determine the Senate successor to Kay Bailey Hutchison. TEA-backed former State Solicitor General Cruz and several others hope to keep establishment Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst from a 50%+1 outright win. Romney and Paul supporters are ready for the Texas State Convention the first week of June.
Wisconsin Recall next week is looking good for Walker, and conservatives.
Left-leaning PPP Hirono-Lingle poll is http://dc808.blogs.civilbeat.com/post/23756349409/hirono-leads-lingle-50-41-in-new-poll. Surprised by the margin? Tell me what you think of the cross-tabs. Meanwhile, the US Chamber heard you and changed the message of their Lingle commercial in mid-buy.
A super Super PAC. American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS have easily surpassed $100 Million raised this cycle, so far.
Hawaii Reporter had a balanced synopsis of our State Convention here http://www.hawaiireporter.com/former-hawaii-governor-and-u-s-senate-candidate-linda-lingle-rallies-hawaiis-gop-at-convention/123. The shenanigans. I am glad we don’t have Party in-fighting like the Dems surrounding their convention.
Romney-Hawaii campaign chairman Fritz Rohlfing was unanimously elected (by the delegation) to chair our delegation to the August national convention.
According to the HRP monthly Federal Elections Commission (FEC) report, at the end of March HRP debt was down to $102,000. Augmented with RNC pay for our Executive Director, HRP reported that end of April debt bumped up to $105,000. However, with the help of $28,500 from the NRSC (National Republican Senatorial Committee), HRP debt is down to $90,000 at the end of May! No word yet on April 20 Lincoln Dinner net proceeds. Thank you letters may soon go to donors so they are encouraged to again contribute.
Go to http://hawaii.gov/elections/ to see who pulled, or filed, papers to run for office. There is a mad rush for fillers before the June 5 filing deadline. A summary of Republican candidates is at http://oahuleague.org/category/everything-political-willes-lee. Best news is that Slom again seeks re-election. The House starts at six with the retirement of Marumoto – we’ll miss her. We have several Republicans challenging Republicans this year.
Watch for (1) aftermath of the Dem State Convention and (2) all those Cayetano bumper stickers.
The next meeting of the R4L, Republicans for Life, is June 13. Contact email@example.com and attend. You do not want to miss Jerry Coffee as the speaker. Some convention goers were disappointed that life wasn’t added to the Party LLIFE values.
Carroll (US Senate) fundraiser is June 8 in Kailua, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. He wasn’t allowed to speak at convention. You’ll be pleased that your LLIFE values match his platform and the HRP “issues repository” could be written for him. Collins (Senate, Maine) came to Hawaii to raise funds for Lingle’s bi-partisan campaign and Cole (US Rep, OK) did several Lingle raisers supporting the Akaka Bill. Djou opened his campaign at The Japanese Cultural center with many familiar faces.
I’ll send a report soon in my usual format. There is a lot to report. Feel free to let others know they can write directly and I’ll add them to the list. I get the most favorable response with reports of the good news at the national level. If you don’t want this mail, let me know and I’ll get you off the list, it never takes more than twice. While some find the reports boring, others sometimes cry about the critical review of our local and national conservative and (or) Republican efforts. I understand, I guess.
Memorial Day was special. Veterans, families and loved ones all know it. Our thanks and prayers go to those who serve and served, and their loved ones.
Last Five Reports:
Hawaii Republicans in the Spring 1, 2, 3
State of the Party
Buzz – RNC Winter Meeting 1, 2, 3
12 Months to Go, Seems Like Tomorrow
The Holidays, Caucuses and Candidates