There are many strong and energy-filled conservatives and Republicans in Hawaii. Thank you. The Hawaii Republican Party can be better.
Writing to conservatives & Republicans, mostly in Hawaii, I email rather than blog because this is a (quasi) private discussion. These reports chronicle HRP’s story with enormous amounts data and solutions. My perspective is that of conservative, Republican, former State Party Chairman & RNC member. I am not here writing for any of my current conservative organizations, nationally or in Hawaii. These reports augment what you should hear from HRP, or what you need to research. Ask party leaders to act, or continue to lose. We won’t always agree but we should be informed. Hawaii conservatives should know they are not alone. Please forward this to conservatives or ask to be removed.
To know where you’re going, you have to know where you’ve been. We’ve provided reports at least monthly for six years. Not my site, but my reports www.willeslee.hawaiideservesbetter.com. Read HRP’s ups and downs to understand how we got to this lowest point in modern times.
HISTORIC HAWAII. HRP adds to history as the only state, and first in a generation, with NO opposition voice in a legislative body following Slom’s defeat. Hawaii made history a few years ago when sitting party leader Johanson switched to Democrat.
– January 5-7 NRA BoD, N VA.
– January 20 President Trump sworn in, Wash DC
– January 23 NRA ballots mailed
Meetings – Finances – By the Numbers – Elections
–Election. We have the White House, Senate, House, majority of state houses, majority of state legislatures. Our message to President-elect Trump “Drain the Swamp, Republicans and Democrats”. Our message to the Trump-McConnell-Ryan team “Keep Your Promises”. Yes, we’ll be pissed with both for the next four years, but it is better than the alternative. The economy, jobs, foreign policy, terrorism is why people voted, SCOTUS is what the election was all about: let’s do it right (no pun). Election day is filled with good news of Republicans winning everywhere, and election night in Hawaii sucks.
–Election, Hawaii. Thank you: candidates, volunteers, donors. HIRA also thanks you even if HQ does not HIRA: Thank you, candidates. You didn’t fail, HRP did. By 10 PM the damage was obvious and HIRA called for the resignation of the HQ’s incompetents: “While every single GOP challenger went down in flames tonight, we also lost two Republican incumbents – State Senator Sam Slom (SD9) and State Representative Feki Pouha (HD47).“ HRP changes must be made to attempt to restore confidence. SA saw the same incompetent HQ which gave no support, yet wondered why they lost every challenge AND Slom SA: Hawaii GOP Shrivel Effect “Hawaii Republicans this week continued their slide into near-oblivion on the state political scene.“ Can’t win until the disease is removed HIRA speaks to the election results. 1.4M residents, 750k registered. 58.3 voter turnout, is lower than Hawaii’s record-setting nation’s lowest 2012 61.9%. This follows a record low 38% in the primary. Those 44.5k “new” registered voters yielded only 400 more votes. Absentee votes (AB and early) continues to rise and exceeded 50%. Don’t blame voters. Blame it on the lack of candidates, qualified and not, by your local GOP.
-NRA President visit, Waikiki. I hosted NRA President Cors and wife for the weekend. He follows David Keene and Jim Porter, making three sitting NRA Presidents in a row to foster a supportive relationship between the NRA and our local organizations – Harvey Gerwig and the Hawaii Rifle Association and Dawn Horn with Friends of the NRA. Our meeting with HRA leaders preceded a dinner with the island’s 2A leaders – including HIRA President Eric Ryan and former longtime FNRA Pres Audy Kimura. Several legislators were included, Slom and Ito (Har in Japan, missed the dinner). No HRP ‘leader’ or R House member invited to this group of 2A leaders. We hope they step up this next year to warrant inclusion.
–Friends banquet, K-Bay. Dawn Horn again produced an outstanding NRA event in a new K-Bay venue to accommodate the increase to a sold out 350. NRA President Cors spoke. This is a Foundation event to support shooting sports, gun safety and education. Hawaii is the only Friends dinner organized and run by the student-athletes (our HS competitive shooters). You get an idea of which legislators truly support the Second Amendment: Slom, Ito, Cullen, Aquino. Not one of the R house legislators who SAY they support the 2A attended, or even inquired.
–CNP, N Virginia. Good time with great people. I am a CNP member, can’t divulge others. The dinner speakers were Mark Levin, and a Tony Perkins moderated panel of Bill Walton, Ken Blackwell, Ed Meese, Becky Norton Dunlop (all on the Trump transition Exec Council) stood in for a late-canceling Jeff Sessions (named AG-designate only hours prior).
-Nation’s Gun Show, Chantilly VA. Thanked the many folks who signed my petition to run for NRA BoD. Before the election, there was tension; now relief.
Revelations of HQ money hanky-panky coincide with Rohlfing/Hellreich/Liu (R/H/L) hiring a lawyer to silence HIRA. Had HIRA succumbed, we’d never know of HRP HQ corruption. HIRA still waiting for our impotent HQ to initiate their lawsuit. HQ is feckless, as always.
-HRP FEC www.fec.gov Pre-General for October 1-October 19 BIG RED, AGAIN. No evidence of Hellreich or Ward fundraising, Rohlfing made no phone appeals. Receipts $2,575 = 2,575 contributions + 0 RNC bailout + 0 from an empty state account. FEC Sustaining Donors: 5/14 Exec Cmte (no Ward, no Rohlfing, only 1/4 county chair), 1/51 District chairs, 0 party member for less than $500 total. When leaders don’t buy in, don’t expect others to do so. Disbursements $13,631 = $3345 Tagavilla salary+433 payroll tax, 722 taxes, 1476 mortgage (they call it ‘rent’ this month), 2514 building maintenance, 239 in-kind maintenance charge, 1513 compliance consulting and another 1506 compliance consulting (for last month), 253 phone, 152 cable, 734 copier, 150 MailChimp, 50 postage, and 60 in-kind for office supplies. Again, zero electioneering, staff hires, candidate support, communications. CoH drops from 35k to 24k. CoH for operations is minus 4k + 2k CSC + 5k counties. 28k mortgage account for 94k remaining mortgage. Most damning video ever, Treasurer Smart “Do NOT donate to HRP”,and party chairman does not disagree.
No funds used for 2016 campaigns & elections. HRP red 30/46 past reports. This cycle 17/24 months in the RED. Since January 1, 2015 HRP is RED 49k i.e. living off the RNC funds Saiki did NOT use to elect 2014 Rs. 16 Rohlfing months, even with $30k from Presidential campaigns, CC event, LDD and National Convention, has Rohlfing/Hellreich/Ward (R/H/W) shortfall of 59.5k. Last 8 months, receipts 82k, disbursements 134k for a net loss of 52k. HRP is RED 10 of past 12 months. Five months in a row underwater, red 4/4 under R/H/W since Ward replaced an equally ineffective Liu.
-In the weeks leading to the election, HQ was forced to cut a/c and Internet. Reader “HQ is down with no A/c or wifi but people can use cell phones there“. Cable TV has been gone for a year.
-Less than $1000 per CSC. Reader “Courtesy of the last night’s (October 31) CSC reporting deadline (revealing the paltry donations below), we know that HRP raised just $970 in the past month directly to the party’s state account“. Still clueless, HQ put this hard money in the soft money account.
–McDermott, apparently thinking with that Porno Choices body part he exposed on the news, didn’t help when he announced HIRA: McDermott “Party Has Zero Funds”.
–CONFIRMED: ROHLFING/HELLREICH/WARD USED MONEY THEY PROMSED (EARMARKED) FOR MORTGAGE TO PAY MONTHLY BILLS. HQ CoH (24k) drops below the amount (28k) which should be in the mortgage savings account. No evidence that R/H/W are raising funds. HRP is the only organization where Exec Cmte members are not obligated and do NOT help with their own funds or by raising funds. Most Exec Cmte members have contributed ZERO this election cycle.
-Rohlfing sent several emails to party members saying “We have more (email) to send but we don’t have the funds.” Reader, to HQ “This is really disgusting, you have more to share but don’t have the funds. When I talk to those running they have received no support from HRP. You never meet any of your goals for recruitment, finding new members/voters, donors, etc. I have given up on the HRP, it needs new blood.“ Definition of being broke = Not enough funds to send a ‘free’ email.
-Or, maybe this is the definition of being broke. Sorenson’s $239 in-kind for ‘maintenance’ is probably to fix the a/c. HQ can’t afford the repair, and volunteers couldn’t stand the stale heat. Then, HQ couldn’t get their monthly ‘office supplies’ and Treasurer Smart with $60 stepped up with an in-kind.
-The watchdog, by definition the Treasurer (Smart), should alert us to these dire financial straits. HIRA: Smart is part of over-spending, under-raising conspiracy to end GOP. HIRA: Treasurer’s Secret Report
-Rohlfing email said the party has done great, is doing great and will be great on election day. Rohlfing asked for 100 donors to give $1000 each in the weeks before election. We’ll let you know how he did.
-Rohlfing said he’d raise $50k the final three months, but in 2 ½ months he raised $17.6k which makes raising $33k in two weeks unlikely for a guy who won’t pick up the phone. Hellreich nor Ward are helping. $17k in 2 ½ months makes laughable their raising $100k in three weeks.
By the numbers
5. HRP lacks integrity to address Rs – Thielen (ACU 24), Carroll, McDermott (ACU 57), Pine, Fenton – who endorsed 2012 Ds against Rs. Add, 2014 Cheape (15), Fukumoto (43), Egge, and Hannemann’s ‘Rohlfing Rs.’ 2016 Kaaihue, Pine, Combs, Djou.
6:38. PM Half hour AFTER polls closed party members received a party GOTV robocall …. from Nevada.
29. out of 100. House R ACU 2016 average, down from a 2015 terrible 34. Slom is highest at 63. McDermott and Tupola barely score in mid-30s, Ward is lowest at 27.
44. Months since Hellreich wrote “use massive voter registration drives to Increase our chances of winning.” 20 since she said “We need voter registration drives.” No HRP voter reg drive in five+ years.
47. Hawaii at 47/50 is result of irrelevant HRP. Wallethub: Most/least politically engaged states.
48. Months since the ’12 required HRP financial audit was to be conducted. 36 since the ’13 audit was due. 25 since HRP chair promised. Donors don’t give when finances are in question.
50. McDermott‘s ACU 50 lifetime rating = liberal Republican, or what some call ‘moderate’.
705. Days (as of December 1) to the General election.
-We called the Trump-Pence win two months prior (but, admit to wavering two weeks prior). Ds are shocked, still. Burr & Johnson in the Senate ensured the R majority. Ayotte lost a statewide (about 1.5M votes) race for the US Senate by 700, reminding why every vote counts and Duckworth replaces a liberal Kirk. Campaign junkies head to LA for the Senate runoff. Pelosi took 7 House seats (less than 12-17 expected). Some credit goes to President-elect Trump’s coattails and RNC GOTV for unexpected wins. Get ready for MANY Special Elections after Cabinet picks. 2018 looks good for more R Senate gains.
Separate, but pertinent. Waiting for more “Drain the Swamp” from Rs. Ds lost and they are purging. Rs win and much of establishment is back at work. Hoping for better in the future.
–The election. HIRA number crunching is dismal for HRP ‘leaders’. They failed, they failed you, they failed Hawaii. HIRA: Let-s-Crunch-Some-Numbers. “Hawaii’s election results were a complete, unmitigated self-inflicted disaster.” We have for 10-15 years been confident that an R would receive 33-35% of the vote simply by having an R next to their name. President-elect Trump lost by 31.6 points, receiving 29% of the vote. Carroll lost by 49 points, received 21% of the vote. Ostrov lost by 47, got 21%. Kaaihue by 59, 18%. Hawaii R federal candidates lost by an average of 47 points. That’s not what they received, that’s the loss margin! They got 22% of the vote, not 33. Trump did best, indicating that had he not been on the ballot, Carroll, Ostrov and Kaaihue would have gotten less.
We lost Slom’s seat, and the other (only) four Senate challengers received an average of 26% of the vote, not 33%. HRP didn’t even challenge the other 8 Senate seats.
House incumbents lost Pouha (ACU 25). Challengers scored 30% on the backs of Jeremiah & Agustin.
HIRA reported Maui Council Couch switched party. HIRA: HRP Hides Another Defection. Couch was defeated in the General Election, by an actual D.
Djou lost again but by only 4 indicating he had a strong election day.
Following the historic Johanson change (first ever sitting party leader to switch party), Slom’s loss makes Hawaii the only of 98 legislative bodies to have NO opposition voice since 1980 (one of only three times).
It is past time to Drain This Swamp.
-HQ disgusts us. HNL County chair Manutai email asked for election day phone bankers “This includes poll watching and phone banking efforts in targeted districts on the island of Oahu“. When a district chair asked “Which are your targeted districts?“, he received no reply. What came next was another Manutai request, without any mention of targeted districts, “Join us at the headquarters and help us phone bank and get out the vote“. To which a Slom supporter asked if and when HQ would support their Rohlfing-announced target Slom, “I hope a substantial share of those efforts go into phone banking for Senator Sam Slom .. Many people are puzzled and appalled by the lack of support he’s gotten so far from HRP“. That got a reply from the Slom campaign “They told us no no hell no what part of no don’t you understand — about having ANY phone banking at party HQ for Sam since they’re all tied up with Trump.“ More interesting because HQ told Trump to go elsewhere.
-Another cycle and, again, we have more Hawaii former R legislators in office than there are Rs in office.
-Several media outlets promoted the D lie that there is no voter fraud. The only Republican organization in the nation to agree with Dems. HRP ‘leaders’ bought in. Rohlfing and then Manutai “voter fraud does not exist.” In the same HNN story, the D chair knows not to lie, acknowledging there is voter fraud “It’s just not something that happens on anything close to a wide scale.” Heritage keeps a running list of all the convicted voter fraud cases. HRP voter fraud delusion shows again why these political ‘leaders’ don’t get it. This is one reason Rs fight so hard for voter ID at the polls, because there IS voter fraud.
–Rohlfing lies, his county chair says so. West Hawaii Today quotes Rohlfing “The Hawaii Republican Party organized and executed a statewide get-out-the vote campaign to identify new voters and encourage our members to support our Republican as well as nonpartisan candidates we endorsed. We will continue to identify and register new Republican voters across Hawaii County and statewide.” Same article, “David Ross, West Hawaii county chairman for the state Republican Party, said there wasn’t an organized get-out-the-vote effort, although individuals and groups engaged in sign-waving to support Trump. “It was ad hoc,” he said. “It wasn’t a highly organized thing.” HIRA: LYIN’ FRITZ ROHLFING. HQ needs to get their talking points coordinated, or better, actually do the work.
-No challenge. Milner wasn’t going on a limb when he wrote the week BEFORE the election Milner: Hawaii’s GOP Pronounced Dead. November 8 proved him right.
HRP is unable to challenge Democrats until we solve our internal administrative and ideological issues. Republicans must first fix their house. We need a conservative, competent, organized, manned, and funded HRP with committed leaders. Shapiro SA “The GOP brand is shot in Hawaii, and the party won’t recover as a relevant political force anytime soon.”
-HQ won’t tell you, so HIRA does HIRA: Rohlfing/Hellreich/Ward Trade Down. Party Executive Director Tagavilla was separated from her over-paid position, makes sense following the November 8 results. Conducting no search, “Music Man” James was hired (per James’ FB). HRP went from an inexperienced, unqualified, untried young activist, to an apparently less qualified (according to his pay cut), ‘older’ wannabee activist. Having stepped back from Agustin’s (x 2) losing House campaign to deal with personal financial issues, the Music Man is thrown a bone by the Exec Cmte. James’ FB says “Rohlfing with concurrence of the State Executive Committee, extended to me yesterday an offer to become the Executive Director of the State Party. I have accepted the offer and began in that role this morning. As you know I am a candidate centric person and will work to build a strong slate of candidates for the Party for the 2018 election cycle.“ Huh? We assume no one yet told him that priority one is to build (you can’t rebuild that which hasn’t been built) a viable party organization with a message.
–Hellreich’s no-news post-election newsletter received this member response “After the shellacking in last week’s general election how can you possibly send out this GOP drivel? I think I know how: You’re only focused on and take your cue from Washington DC, all but ignoring Hawaii. “
–Djou leaves Republican party. Djou tells Hamada that he voted for Johnson for President. HRP rules, says when a R supports a candidate of a different party in a race against a R, they are to be removed from HRP. HQ can show integrity of the rules, or show again they are worthless. Reader “Charles also showed, internally, he may not actually oppose ideals Hillary espouses.“
-HQ STILL has not denounced Pine. Remember Kaaihue only ‘says’ things. Pine took the contributions from Rs, and encouragement from HQ, and funneled that money to Ds. She gave about $10,000 to Ds.
-HD 45 update. Rohlfing wanted to change the conservative district chair, and SAID he recruited a candidate but Kekuna wrote to clarify “I was NEVER the District Chair……Chair for 45 is a man named Stephen Hinton….. Fritz would never appoint me to anything after I told him he should resign.“
-Attend your district organizing meeting. Details at www.hawaiirepublicanassembly.com.
–ACU 2016 legislative ratings. www.conservative.org. 0/76 Hawaii legislators receive an award i.e. not a one scored 80% or above. Out of 100 points, R highest Slom 63, lowest Ward 27. Highest D DeCoite 36. R House average 29, only three points above D’s 26. R 2016/lifetime: Slom 63/84, McDermott 35/50, Tupola 33/39, Thielen 29/25, Pouha 29/25, Fukumoto 26/37, Cheape 26/18, Ward 24/33.
Notes: Most rating organizations consider 80 the cutoff, anything less is not conservative. ACU is considered a more generous score than Heritage Action or Conservative Review. As you make a decision on whether to volunteer for or to contribute to a candidate, consider that every Hawaii R failed in 2016. For lifetime scores, only Slom has a conservative rating. For 2016, three R house members scored the same as the D average. Dem DeCoite (ACU 36) voted more conservatively than any R house member. Dems DeCoite 36, Har 33, Kong 33, Yamine 33, Aquino 32, Choy 32, Cullen 32, Jordan 32, McKelvey 32, Ohno 32, Tokioka 31, Say 30, Ito 29, and Oshiro 27 voted more conservatively than Fukumoto 26, Cheape 26, and Ward 24. 22 Ds are more conservative than your elected NCM Ward.
-Veterans’ Day marred. Kulbis to Rohlfing “How disgraceful that on a day meant to pay tribute to our Nation’s Veterans, you dishonor the moment by combining it with your pathetic election update. Couldn’t you at least show some respect to Veterans by sending out two separate emails?“
–Honored to be appointed to the National Rifle Association of America Military and Veterans Affairs Committee and the Outreach Committee for 2016-2017. NEW Freedom’s Safest Place ads featuring several NRA friends NRA: Freedom’s Safest Place Series. Running for NRA Board of Directors at www.willeslee.com and www.facebook/willes.lee.5.
-Join Hawaii Rifle Association to protect our gun (civil) rights.
ARE YOU SATISFIED? HRP needs leadership focused on HRP. Forward this – people need to know, you need to act. Part 2 coming.
Last five: Voting/ Again/ Trumpified/ “Thrilled”/ Embarrassing. www.hawaiideservesbetter.com