Mid-year Report

This is a mid-year update and there is a lot of good news.  Reporting since before the 2010 primary elections, I stay with this format, not a for-public blog, aimed at Republicans and conservatives.  I encourage others to write, discuss and debate issues, policy and candidates.  Be involved, get involved.  Our Tea Party blogs are the most active and informative.  We don’t have to agree with each other but we should be as informed as possible to decide for ourselves.  Feel free to forward this email, discussion is good.  We need the most informed coalition that we can build before the 2012 elections.  Previous reports are listed at the bottom.

I hope that you had a safe and family-filled Independence Day weekend.

Finishing with convention.  Several members mentioned not seeing a statement or press release, as is the norm, about our state convention.  Depledge did as thorough a job as he had column space and Civil Beat had coverage.  With only 180 members attending (not bad for recent conventions) not many members knew of the event.

The kudo’s on expenses still hold.  We did not end up netting, as promised, a $10,000 windfall from sponsors, though we came close to breaking even after staff hotel, airfare and expenses were considered.  Breaking even is good.  While in the black in ’08 and ’09, in ’07 we were $30k in the red!

Of all the convention issues – HRP $70k+ in debt, anemic fund raising, a HQ-saving Capital Campaign, Abercrombie’s terrible policies, controversial and not-so-controversial resolutions, controversial rules changes – the question about a 16-year-old delegate was the issue that leadership had Fale (don’t think he wrote the email, not his style, but he sent it) ask me.  They apparently agree with the remainder of my convention report.  That email is at the bottom of the page.

Budget talk, the beginning (again).  These are the numbers for which you have been waiting:

FEC numbers are posted……………

Apr 30                        May 31                         Jun 15 (from the state cmte mtg)

COH    35k (inc county)         19(inc county)             7k

AP       64k                             72k                             70k

Debt remains high, cash on hand (COH) dropped to zero on June 30 (next FEC report July 20).  Kaauwai presented his proposed budget to the June 18 State Cmte at the end of the mind-numbing five-hour Saturday meeting.  While Exec Cmte members asked him to reexamine ‘optimistic’ fund raising projections, I questioned the numbers presented.  In my email to cmte members, I included:


In a message dated 6/15/2011 9:37:01 A.M., WillesLee@aol.com writes:

First, thank you for the documents in advance of the meeting and advance notice of the meeting.  We’re not used to that.  Secondly, thanks to the cmte for wading into this important task.  I don’t care if you approve the budget however, you are asked to put your name with your vote signifying that you understand and agree with it.  Please, at a minimum, address these issues below.

–We knew about this meeting two years ago when the rules required the chair to present in his first month.  We knew last year when we scheduled the state convention that the meeting would be this week.  Why is there less than 24 hours notice of the briefing?

–Where are the $70,000 in Accounts Payable noted?  You continue showing 24k carried from 2010 to 2011 without also showing the AP carried from 2010 to 2011.  If you incur no more AP in 2011 and these numbers are accurate, then HRP begins the 2012 election year 35k in the red.

–What is “July event” and does it have a more meaningful title and purpose in the HRP Finance Plan?

–Is it acceptable as a political organization to raise funds yet commit virtually no monetary assets to Political ($2900) or Communications ($0)?

–What is the separate line item for Capital Campaign with a $1822 monthly mortgage payment?  The Capital Campaign is designed to pay off the mortgage not pay recurring monthly expenses.

–With no funds allocated for RNC travel, is NCW Hellreich our only representation at the RNC Summer meeting (same as the May meeting)?

–Explain how Direct Mail Prospecting has and will cost nothing ($0) and has raised $11k and will raise another $29k.

–What is the current COH and AP and how does that compare to this document?

Thanks for your diligence.  Good luck.    Aloha, Willes


“That’s how I see it” was Kaauwai’s response as he blew off questions about the budget.  No input, no changes and no acceptance that he isn’t very good at budgets.  The budget was approved.  If your district chair voted ‘yea’ on the budget then you too should question his/her budget-vetting qualifications as Kaauwai’s budget didn’t hold up for even one month.   February’s Lincoln Day Dinner netted only $37k.  Two other events are to net less than $15k each (Kaauwai’s team has shown they will gross less and spend more than they predict) and can’t be considered ‘major’ in any sense.  A third event proposes to net $6400.  Even with these lowered expectations, Dorn (Comm Vice chair) voiced that, with LDD as an outlier, HRP averaged $22k/month in gross revenues.  Expecting to now gross $31k/month for the next six months is her definition of “overly optimistic.”  Taking us back to the January and April whining that went something like “How could Jonah have known that donors would not contribute, how could he know that he had to cut expenses?” – There is no way those whiners can explain this budget’s dramatic lowering of revenue expectations and attempts at cost cutting.  After two years of propping up Kaauwai, now by necessity Hellreich/Klompus/Thomason/Morioka are opposite Kaauwai/Nonaka/Finnegan on revenue and expense issues.  Hearing my warnings for the past two years about Kaauwai/Nonaka’s problems, it should not have taken so long.  There is good news.  HRP debt did not increase between the beginning and middle of June.

Waiting for:  Is the “July Event” a non-event?  No venue, no plan, no speaker, no marketing…yet.  Good news is that HRP still has the rest of the month to pull it off.  Reagan Event – how does Kaauwai handle it after telling a supporter that Reagan was too conservative and HRP is instead the party of Lingle and Aiona?   With no HRP staff, there may not be any events (more below).

If this doesn’t scare you…it should Klompus.  Reflected in his budget and comments, Kaauwai will cease HRP’s accounting and compliance partnership with IMS.  Accounting will be done ‘in-house.’  Kaauwai will take on the FEC and CSC compliance!

While Kaauwai is content to allow HQ foreclosure, even Walden thought Rodriguez’s motion (“Don’t pay the mortgage”) was dumb.

The good news is that these money problems finally have Kaauwai more on the phone (not the necessary 80%, not yet 20%, but better) working on sustaining the party.

Walden hopes for 200 voters/district turning out for the March Presidential caucus.  That’s already downplaying the 20-30,000 announced last month when Walden and Kaauwai advocated at the convention for the caucus.  Considering that anyone can show up and vote, the 200/district is not even half the 23,000 HRP says are on our party rolls.  None of the advocates, in the face of repeated requests, have presented any cost information or plans to pay for the caucus or man polling stations other than to tell the state convention that “we will find funds … and people …. and locations.”

Kaauwai stated that he is not a good raiser of funds.  Duh.  His excuse, in his words, “I didn’t bring millionaire friends like other chairs.” – me, Sam Aiona, Morioka, Kane?  Don’t I wish.  Don’t we all wish.  Suffice to say that I believe there are many, many, many other reasons he is not raising funds.

Getting better.  This past state cmte meeting was announced two weeks in advance and a reminder sent the week of the meeting.  That allowed 28 voting members to attend out of 75 (Yes, it was 76 until they removed me).  While not a solid representation of the party, it was enough for quorum.  As noted, the budget pre-meeting was announced with only 24 hours notice and, as planned by Kaauwai, drew less than a dozen people and most of them were Exec members who had not been privy to the proposal.

You decide if we are headed in the right direction.


Moving on.

Nonaka left HRP June 30 (without other fanfare, I understand all the paid staff is gone).  Best wishes in whatever are his future endeavors.  It would have been better had he left on his own.  Instead, this is an unfortunate consequence of wasteful spending and the lack of raising funds.  This did not have to occur.  The irony is that Kaauwai and Nonaka’s mismanagement caused Kaauwai to lose his “trusted counselor, friend and leader” Nonaka.  While working on HRP’s dime (a lot of dimes), Nonaka had time to organize, recruit and advertise for his new project.  Instead of staying to rebuild HRP, he’ll leave to try to make money as a consultant.  Kaauwai’s quote characterizing our partisan political party Executive Director as a public servant twists the definition of public service though serving our party is certainly admirable to Republicans.

Capital Campaign.  This project has been most enjoyable and has tangible results of paying off the mortgage.  So many members and friends of the party are prepared to donate to this worthy cause.  At the Oahu League lunch rollout, we received over $1300 with another $2500 in pledges.  Our first $1500 paid down principal at the beginning of June.  It is the first pay down since a donor three years ago worked with me and Thomason and contributed $10k against the principal and a couple contributed $1000 this past January.  CC raised or has pledges for more than $64,000 in the first month of operation.  Not including the state convention which was $25k in/out specifically for that event, CC equaled what HRP raised since Feb.  Kaauwai, Nonaka, Rodriguez, Finnegan and others should stop balking and be grateful and supportive.  With Kaauwai choosing to fund everything but the HQ, CC is ramping up.  CC steering committee – members from each island, an incumbent in Johanson and candidate/party vice chair Chang, experienced raisers and some new to the process, current and former party leaders, lawyers, compliance experts and accountants.  We understand that ‘burning the mortgage’ is good for the party, good for republicans and good for a two-party system.  It is a good team – but it is the outpouring of support from donors which is moving us along.  Grey’s was a successful raiser and a fun summer republican get-together.  Joining serious supporters were long-time leaders Slom and Marumoto and candidate Baron.  If you haven’t already received the invitation for the Lee Greenwood dinner and concert, you can write me.  Greenwood agreed to do this intimate concert at Koolau Ballroom on Aug 16 because he believes in our cause.  We are grateful.  On the down side, I am disappointed when a donor tells me he/she has been told by leadership to not contribute to CC (again this weekend, this time Rodriguez’s illogical anti-CC email).  That is exactly opposite of CC policy – we never ask a donor to not support HRP.  I am also surprised at incumbent ‘leaders’ and candidates who do not support CC.  Good news – Supporters want to help, they want to contribute, they trust that their funds are being applied to the mortgage.  More good news – each dollar raised is one less Kaauwai has to try to raise.  When the mortgage is gone, it’ll be seven years (remaining on the mortgage) of NOT paying $2k/month.

“You know, Jonah has it in for you.  He blames you for his problems.”  Huh?  This is a quote from a member I called about CC.  I left Kaauwai with $200,000+.  I didn’t call donors and tell them to not contribute to HRP.  I didn’t force him to wastefully spend.  I didn’t unplug his phone line to donors.  I didn’t lay off his staff.  I certainly didn’t spend all the national money which HRP received.  Yet, Kaauwai blames me for his inability to manage HRP finances.  He and his team have an absolute and unwavering aversion to accepting responsibility.  We can’t get to discussions of philosophy and elections, we are talking about simply running the party.  Kaauwai and Nonaka are similar to some young people with whom I used to work who thought that because they had checks (c’mon, some of you still use checks) they had money.  Kaauwai and Nonaka blame their difficulties on the economy, on the dems, on the media, on the candidates, on the district leaders and organizations, on unions, on teachers, on outside groups, on the machine and now…. on me.  Please don’t blame me for Kaauwai now turning off the HQ a/c and hot water and cutting the phone lines.  After two years, an election cycle, $1M+ revenues and his reelection, Kaauwai has to accept that this is his hole and he should stop digging.

At an event downtown, a Waikiki hotel rep asked if I knew HRP plans for next year’s state convention because we’re inside of a year and no one had made contact.  Oops.

Speaking of debt, from FEC report:  HRP list of debtors includes long-time Event producer Albano, trusted Edwards Enterprise printers and reliable Show and Tell media in the thousands but less than $10k each.  Mail houses Arena Communications and Unisourcedirect are both at over $20,000 owed!  And, HRP carries forward the credit card bill of almost $16,000.  With COH at zero, Kaauwai will have difficulty dealing with these debts and more (for example, HRP just rec’d another LDD bill that hasn’t yet been included in the AP – that will also further reduce the 37k LDD net).

Reapportionment.  HRP again is split and the debate is good.  I stayed out as Maui and Oahu’s Rodriguez trade vitriolic email.  Interesting to observe the island v island, military v non-military, military v military debate.  The legal issues, the emotional appeals the outright falsehoods.  Wow.  (NOTE:  the commission decided to count military).

Ryan surfaces.  First was in organizing and executing Berg’s successful Honolulu Rail town meeting.  Over 200 attended with Prevedouros simply giving facts – which very much conflict with rail supporters’ erroneous numbers.  Very balanced – they allowed both pro and con comments from the audience.  The second place he surfaced is in the dustup with Pine.  For simplicity, visualize the word ‘allegedly’ in front of all this banter.  Pine owes Ryan money for ’10 communications work.  Then, Pine sent an eblast to her supporters using Ryan’s server and linked to the website that he built.  When Pine transmitted, Ryan had the email banner changed to alert Pine supporters that Pine had not paid her bills.  Pine “contacted local officials and the FBI” and announced in the media she had been hacked.  I don’t know the legal definition of ‘hacked’ but I’m interested to see if it includes using Ryan’s server and website to transmit her email.  While it odd that Ryan hadn’t already pulled the plug on Pine’s account, it is also odd that Pine would still use Ryan’s servers and website. (Recall what Ryan said last December about HRP finances turned out to be true and it were Kaauwai and Nonaka doing the lying.)  Hope this turns out for the best.

Speaking of rail good news.  Berg/Ryan (in town meetings and Honolulu Hale) and Slom (with his/Slater/Cayatano lawsuit) are fighting the battle for us.  HRP passed a convention reso, which went unreported to the public, and then went dark on this and every other issue facing the people, city, state and nation.

Speaking of Slom.  Slom addressed the Kona Tea party last month and received tremendous reviews.  On his own dime, two hours without break, no notes, riveting.  He is the man.

More good news.  Anticipating Lingle’s August US Senate announcement and one from Djou immediately after.  There is another potential Senate candidate but he is not credible enough to mention.  I use two or more sources for information.  I have two on this one but if he surfaces again, I’ll let you know.  At least two conservatives have stated their intentions but until I hear from some of you (that they are team building and raising funds), I’ll wait until they tell me I can announce their intentions.  Hirono started raising in April and I received Case’s latest email appeal.

Even more good news.  CSC dismissed the dem complaint of Aiona campaign-RGA coordination by citing no evidence of direct coordination in the RGA $1M independent expenditure (IE) advertising campaign for Aiona.  Thomason was Aiona’s lead lawyer.

Paychecks Hawaii rates legislators (http://smartbusinesshawaii.com/index.php/news/article/2011-Legislative-Ratings/).  Each lawmaker is rated from “1“ most supportive and outspoken advocate for small business and an improved Hawaii business climate to ” 5“ least supportive or hostile to a better business climate.

Senate “1” – Slom        Senate “2” – Green, Solomon, Wakai        Senate “3,4” – all the rest       Senate “5” – none

House “1” – Johanson, Marumoto       House “2” – Belatti, Brower, Ching, Fontaine, Pine, Riviere, Thielen, Ward       House “3,4” – all the rest      House “5” – Oshiro (both of them), Takumi

All chairs operate without an Executive Director or Finance Director at some point.  For a long period, Morioka served as both chair and ED and I went five months without an ED and six without an FD (for reasons other than a lack of funds).  Kaauwai never knew how to manage or campaign.  The good news is because Kaauwai knew he had to release Nonaka, Kaauwai formed ‘interesting’ volunteer committees to help him run HRP.

Independence Day.  What a wonderful day of celebration and great fireworks.  Tea party freedom-lovers participated in four public Independence Day celebrations around the state.  HRP?  Not.  This is another unfortunate consequence of wasteful HRP spending.  Office Starbucks runs on the party credit card and many unnecessary off-island trips contributed to HRP not entering parades (or keeping staff or paying mortgage).  Next time you hear Kaauwai, Nonaka, Finnegan, Sarmento or Rodriguez whining that HRP must renege on our HQ payments so as to “take care of people” ….. ask them about those Starbucks.  Waiting to hear if county organizations participated in local parades.

What we expect:  From the RNC chairman elections when Texas NCM/RNC Counsel Crocker ranked the importance of the next chairman’s duties in order: make the organization work efficiently, raise money and control the message.  RNC got it all with Priebus.  Hawaii?  You decide.

While we are together, a little state and national news:

Weiner knocked everything off the front page – the economy, price of gasoline, the debt ceiling.  Then, Libya and troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.  Dems are managing to keep the economy, stupid, out of the headlines (though not off the Sunday shows).  Speaking of which:  Hump Day Report author Rethman, a week before everyone else was talking about it, told me “Keep an eye on Weinergate, it is going to be big.”

Some pollsters did better in 2010 than others and the polling firm American Research Group analyzed 11 prominent pollsters.  Listed from most accurate to least accurate: (1) YouGov/Polimetrix, (2) SurveyUSA, (3) RealClearPolitics, (4) FiveThirtyEight, (5) Pollster.com, (6) Public Policy Polling, (7) Fox News, (8) Quinnipiac, (9) CNN/Time, (10) The Hill and (11) Rasmussen Reports.

Tea party took over the republican parties of Washington (state), Oregon, New Hampshire, Arizona and even dem DE elected to chair a former NRA president.  If not HRP or our incumbents, watch for contested primaries that are popping up all around the nation.  Islam Day, tax increases and other issues have angered Tea people.

Never will understand how Abercrombie and the dems believe that raising costs for business through increased taxes, eliminating tax exemptions or raising the minimum wage doesn’t hurt the consumer more than it hurts business.  Yes, it hurts business.  But, a business must close, drawdown or pass the increased costs on to consumers.

RNC Regional Political Directors For 2012 … working under the leadership of RNC Political Director Rick Wiley. Chris Carr will serve as the RPD for the Western region…Carr served as the Western Regional Political Director for the NRCC in 2010.

Jun 25 POLITICO set expectations for the field: “Romney advisers insist he’ll only raise $20 million. But some longtime Republicans expect him to bring in nearer to $40 million … Pawlenty will raise less than $10 million… A spokeswoman declined comment on Bachmann’s numbers but they are likely to be below $10 million.” (NOTE:  The quarter ended yesterday and pundits are predicting lackluster numbers for the field.)

POLITICO, July 1 Here’s what we know: Romney’s camp has said it brought in between $15 million and $20 million. Ron Paul is the strongest contender for second place. Tim Pawlenty will reportedly bring in below $5 million. Gingrich was seriously in debt just a few weeks ago. Huntsman’s camp claims a $4.1 million haul which includes a personal contribution up to $2 million and Huntsman won’t file a second quarter report. Bachmann’s camp has been shy about setting expectations, but she had $2.9 million in her House account at the end of March.

Watch for important resolutions passed at the August RNC Summer meeting.  For NRCC (National Republican Conservative Caucus) info http://www.repconcaucus.com.

Called “Karl Rove’s committee,” Crossroads GPS released $20M in ads against Obama in ten battleground states.  A dem SuperPAC is countering with an only $750,000 buy in five states (In those five states, GPS is dropping $5M).

Under Priebus’ leadership, RNC is working off the historic debt incurred by Steele.  As of the end of May, RNC has $6M COH and only $18M debt (down from nearly $25M).

The field:  Romney in the front in numbers and money, Bachmann freshest face, Gingrich trying for a McCain come from behind, Pawlenty being steady, and everyone waiting for Perry.

Halperin was right.  Obama was combative, defensive and aggressive in his news conference.  Yet, you ought not call the President….well, what Halperin called him with an open microphone.

“Isn’t it funny that wherever I go, crazy stuff happens?” – Breitbart (If you know who is Breitbart, it doesn’t mean you are a tea party member or conservative.  But, if you don’t know who he is, you are not a tea party member or conservative).

Dumbest of the month not involving HRP:  North Korea assumes Presidency of UN Arms Control Conference.

CSC reporting period just ended.  Reports must be posted by Aug 1.  With some 40+ candidates HRP says are running in 12, we should have some important revenues to review.

Finally, best news, this involving HRP.  The Capital Campaign to pay off the HQ mortgage will succeed.  Supporters and donors are uniting, members again feel a sense of camaraderie and purpose.  Not only in paying off the mortgage, the CC is the most positive Hawaii Republican effort this year.  You decide.


Thanks, Willes



State Convention +

Re: [LLIFE] Fwd: Did you get this?

Testing the Waters

’10 Learning

What Happened?

National Field Tilts

Let’s Elect Some Conservatives

Last minute (week) tidbits, for conservatives, part 2

Last minute (week) tidbits, for conservatives, part 1

Djou – Remember When?  Update

Races to Watch

Primary Election – Fun With Numbers


16 Year Old Delegate email excerpts:

In a message dated 5/27/2011 3:24:15 P.M., WillesLee@aol.com writes:

Hi Richard.

Couple things:  (1) your’s is not the HRP position (or was not their position when they deliberated after the situation were raised), (2) our website does ask if the applicant is at least 18, (3) the state allows for PRE-registration, with automatic registration at 18 – if a 16 year old were registered (versus PRE-registered) then he/she would not have to be “automatically registered” to vote at 18, he/she could simply vote and (4) a PRE-registered voter can not vote in a special or primary election if that election were held at some date prior to him/her becoming 18.

However, this is academic.  While I, and whomever raised this issue, distinguish between PRE-registered and registered, if Rules Man (Boyd) interprets our membership requisites to include PRE-registration then it would be party policy and could be announced as such.  However, considering that the questions were raised after the fact (not by me) and the website reads 18, I would venture that when certification of credentials took place, if it took place, Lanson’s age was not noted or considered.  Had it been so, the HRP opinion and the website would not be what it is.

My point for the upcoming Presidential year and the current crew, none of whom with experience with the process, is that all sides are going to be looking for any means to disqualify the other.  I hope that HQ is now more aware.  Thanks, Willes

In a message dated 5/26/2011 10:40:44 A.M. Hawaiian Standard Time, richard.fale@gmail.com writes:

FYI:  16 year olds can register to vote.  I registered my twin sisters when they were 16, though you CANNOT vote until you are 18, you can still register to vote when you are 16.  And as a registered voter they can be a legitimate party member, and as such a legitimate delegate.