We Have a Month – A

Aloha Friends, welcome back. There is always a lot to report. Everything moves quickly this time of the cycle.  Today is an important recap of several HRP meetings, word may not have reached you.  Monday is about campaigns and there have been some HUGE changes in races and numbers and outlook.

Friday is 32 days until the General Election. Four weeks.  A lot to do.  Thirty-seven states have begun voting.  Hawaii absentee ballots go out in a week.  We have some local candidates working hard in their races.

Since returning from Tampa, I’ve spent time with several GREAT candidates and campaigns.  You are missing out if you don’t join these committed campaigners.  Please commit a day a week (there’s only four) or even two hours a day.  More is better, they can use the help.  I’ll bet, yes bet, that if all of you assist a campaign, more than 98% of you will be glad you did so.  There is something for everyone, regardless of talent, capabilities, age, sex, or any other excuse one may have.  There is more excitement and satisfaction in state house, council or state senate races.  Larger campaigns – HRP, US Senate – can also be fun.  Not all campaigns are going to win, not all should.  However, each working campaign is fun and the working candidates and their teams are great to be around. Have some fun.  Go campaign.

I messed up my travel schedule and was not at yesterday’s Denver CPAC. If anyone went, please let me know.  Even better, let us know by reporting on the conference.

MoH ceremony at Punchbowl. I like being around military guys. I went to honor a bunch of guys considered heroes by everyone but themselves. Akaka, Hanabusa, Schatz, Carlisle and other incumbents and candidates were present.  Castagnetti announced Lingle but apparently she wasn’t present.

I hope you are walking with a candidate tomorrow morning but, if not, drop by the East Oahu district(s) meeting at Kuapa Isle.  Best (one of the only) district meeting in the state.  8:30 AM start time.  East Oahu Vice Chair/H18 Chair Marian243@hawaiiantel.net.

Republicans for Life meeting was packed. Hawaii Republican Assembly (HiRA) used the (conservative) occasion to distribute direct-to-candidate funds. According to Skaf, R4L donated 3k directly to pro-life candidates (that would be 3k more than HRP provided to candidates) and individual attendees donated (of which we know) more than 4k to candidates. Next = October 16. jacquelyn.skaf@gmail.com

Slom sunset event you don’t want to miss.  October 20. Roy’s, Hawaii Kai. $125 a ticket, more is better.  With more households in his new district and signs/banners going ‘missing,’ there are still expenses for this cycle. Marian243@hawaiiantel.net.

November 11 is the Friends of the NRA (FNRA) annual banquet.  Last year, Ito (the D) and I were the only politically affiliated people to attend the dinner.  You folks who say you are, can still be pro-shooting safety and education.  Dawnhorn@hawaii.rr.com.

HRP FEC Filing.  I didn’t ‘get’ it.  Chang mumbled his announcement of a jump in revenue.  It was good news.  He said we have 158k COH, 60k debt and a 156k mortgage.  Good, I thought, for Chang.  Then, I read the FEC report and ‘got’ it.  NRSC had some PACs send a total of 64k to HRP for the Lingle Target State Victory Fund i.e. not for us.  COH at the end of August was 131k (not 158k), with revenues of 10k (only $5k in contributions + 5k from a PAC) and a 6k transfer from the HRP state account.  HRP again spent more than raised. Expenditures were 20k.  HRP debt remains around 64k.  Chang proudly announced 56k YTD from the mail program (meaningless without a net amount).  Of the COH for operations, almost all is ‘fenced’ – for the mortgage payments, Blom’s salary and Lingle’s campaign.  Good news is a report that state convention broke even at 47k, but without documentation for the State Cmte to confirm.  HRP made minimal debt payments to four vendors but incurred two new debts.  Thank you if contributed to the HRP (www.gophawaii.com) and RNC (www.gop.com).

These $ amounts were announced at the State Cmte meeting, the first such meeting since April.  It is said that a campaign week is like a month. This means no meeting of the State Cmte in 20 campaign months (about 12 dog years).  Good news – announced that the RNC is sending five operatives and 20 VOIP phones under the auspices of getting out Romney votes. They are due sometime, may be hitting the ground now.  No additional monies from the RNC, as were the reason Hellriech/Chang/Liu gave for their time away from campaigning to be in Tampa.  Nor additional monies from the NRSC (Targeted Victory $ came before convention) and according to Hellriech no one bothered to ask the NRCC.

Biggest takeaway.  Twice, Chang stated that the state Executive Cmte will run the district and precinct caucus meetings next year.  Last report, I wrote that we should expect this same sort of power grab by HRP that we saw when the rules were changed at the national convention.  Instead of building grassroots, Chang directed that the STATE party will run the elections of individual precincts and districts.  We used to invite neighbors to the local precinct caucus meeting.  HRP used to send out postcard reminders to Republicans.  We used to have volunteer phone banks to remind folks to attend their caucus meeting.  Next year, the STATE will instead elect your officers alleviating the need for grassroots leaders to do…. grassroots work.  Realistically, the HQ staff hasn’t for three years bothered to send a rep to most meetings so it is hard to imagine them running each one.  But, that’s what he said, twice.  I do not know if this is an effort to oust Ron Paul and TEA supporters but why announce it now, before the election?  Similar to the changed national party rules, local conservatives and Ron Paul and TEA and smaller government supporters should think of the implications.  I have not figured out what they want to do with the party but the concept of party building just went out the window.  What is worse? – Chang announcing a top-down takeover of the party or that not one district or county chair objected.

Irony – This party power grab coincides with a Lingle campaign ‘situation.’  After more than a decade of dictating who would be Republican Party officers, of picking winners and losers in Primaries, of ‘deciding’ leaders of the legislative minority caucus, of setting the table for her own LG pick, Lingle’s latest ad criticizes Inouye for believing “he should be the one to determine who should step down and who should step up in Hawaii politics.”

The State Cmte took a vote and Ready, unopposed, is the new Coordinated Campaign vice chair. Ready detailed how Fukumoto (no tears, please) had done nothing for the past 21 months so he is now fighting a losing battle – turns out there are only 47 district chairs (not 51 as HRP thought) and only three bothered to respond when Ready sent an email asking them to step up or resign (one of four county chairs responded).  He was speaking to barely (and arguably) a quorum including less than 15 district chairs.  None of the other vice chairs – Coluccio, Ward, Chow, Dorn – had done anything to report though Dorn’s name was mentioned not as Comm vice but as the organizer for May’s (yes, 2013) state convention.  Ward showed up at adjournment.  Treasurer Klompus (she) was specifically announced in advance and was on the agenda to give details of party finances but she missed the meeting. Secretary Schadel, instead of the Deputy Treasurer, read a finance ‘report’ (more like a 20,000 foot overview) and left Chang to answer questions off the top of his head (‘What was the net for the LD event?’ ‘Uh, don’t remember but, uh, like 100k. That was given out last meeting.’  My note – It wasn’t given out and still hasn’t been given.  At least Ready is trying to do something but his lack of experience at this level is apparent.

Blom, the party EMPLOYEE, again got heated at district chairs. They asked for info about the Presidential caucus list (seven months and still not organized by district) and GOPDC (the new – eventually – GOP data base of voters).  She again reminded the audience that she doesn’t have any staff help and that we used to have volunteers (no one commented on the contradiction with Chang and Liu touting our many volunteers) and she is so overloaded with so much to do.  I waited for anyone to ask why she or Chang thought that she could afford a week listening to speeches in Tampa.  Chang again reminded us that he is busy busy with his ‘real’ life but didn’t explain why he then took two weeks in Tampa.  Bracketing Blom’s angry retort were two appeals for State Cmte members to participate in the Sustaining Donor Program so that Blom could stay employed past November when the RNC money runs out.  Chang referred to ‘us’ when mentioning the Sustaining program, last month he finally signed up. Ready says HRP has gone from three participating district chairs in August to seven is September!  New members get a t-shirt and book, I don’t know if that offer is grand-fathered.

Chang tells people that he will someday be a US Senator. Good for him. While that is presumptuous, it would be endearing to Republicans if he would do something for HRP, today.

Liu and Hellriech spoke way too many minutes about the national convention (On everyone’s mind:  Hey, HRP is broke, we get no support, we should be out walking door to door and THIS is how you use our time?).  Liu spoke more than Chang, more than Hellriech.  There was an emphasis on how unified the party is following the convention.  Maine was Liu’s example of ‘coming together.’  “Everyone agreed and we moved forward.”  Which convention did you attend?  For Hellriech and Liu to whitewash the contests and to disregard what actually occurred (especially as he skipped half the Contest session) denigrates Republicans who worked hard for delegate positions.  I attended all the Maine RNC testimony from before the convention cmte arrived in Tampa.  I sat in the Contest cmte. It was that important.  There was a decision, still not universally accepted.  Anyone who watched the convention saw the objections on the floor, 10% of the delegates walk out and 160 delegates hold a press conference to announce the TEA/conservative/Ron Paul displeasure.  No need to spin.  Romney is the only hope to oust Obama.  They get that.  No need to make up stuff.

GOPDC – Having FINALLY received a user ID and password, we couldn’t get in the other night. Blom says as soon as the majority of district chairs (what about candidates?) sign up, she’ll initiate some training.  When anyone on the neighbor islands gets trained, please let me know. We got in last week only to find no email addresses which we use to announce our district meeting and candidate campaign events.  Blom told us to ourselves go to the RNC for answers. The RNC responded that there generally won’t be email addresses in GOPDC.

Moving forward, Chang says his emphasis is to secure money for Lingle.  For the umteenth time, there are no funds for local races.  There was no mention of Liu’s Zoo major fundraiser or Hellriech’s capital campaign raiser for the mortgage, or any HRP fundraiser at all.  Chang hired three mainland professional fundraisers to find four companies to give 25k each to HRP.  I hope they are successful.  Chang is “building infrastructure for a better future.”  Come back next time is a weak message for volunteers doing six hours of door-to-door sandwiched between four hours of sign waving.  We’re building for next go around.  This goes along with the announced preparation for Lincoln (Day) Dinner 2013.  FYI – there is an election in 30 days, this year.

I won’t report local candidate fundraising numbers again before the election. The next candidate reports are due October 29 and that is too exciting a time to be researching their reports (I will but I won’t take time to write about it). Here is the message – not one of our candidates has what he or she wants going into this last month. Please research who you think is most likely to be competitive and send a check. Focus your effort. Bottom line, you don’t want to be thinking on November 7 that the final $25 or 50 you were too busy to mail cost a house or senate seat.

In Ready’s first coordinated campaign conference call only ten candidates were present or represented. Out of what, 55?  No mention of the number of district chairs but I’ll venture four (of 47 on paper, out of 51 actual districts) and let someone update that number. Either the meeting is screwed up and campaigns/districts blew it off or the campaigns/districts are screwed up to miss such an important meeting. According to the minutes it was all one-way, the wrong way. The campaigns didn’t give their status, apparently metrics are not being used this cycle, nor was data provided to assist the campaigns. A candidate should never waste time to meet in this format. Chang noted, in case you still haven’t gotten the memo, “the Party is trying to raise money but none so far for candidates.” Another note “There will be poll watcher training,” 40 days from election and not yet scheduled. ‘Senior Fair’ – Don’t encourage candidates to attend a fair filled with an overwhelming majority of people not from their district and little means to tell who is, unless absolutely everything in their district is complete.  One candidate wasted an entire day.  Senior Fair hours were the same hours/days Ready says “are PRIME TIME for door to door.” (his caps). Something good from this: in the past three years, this is the first time any party official sent out anything about anything in a timely manner. No matter that the meeting needs improvement or that the minutes didn’t say anything (because the meeting needs to be improved). The point is that not one state or exec meeting, not one coordinated campaign (wah wah Fukumoto)/communications (Dorn)/community service (Coluccio)/coalitions (Chang then Chow) meeting memo has circulated (mostly because there has been no activity)…. until now. If one instance can be a trend, then this is a good trend. If recipients begin forwarding the information to membership, my reports could be much shorter.

Notice that Pine was the only one who didn’t sign Ward’s minority caucus ‘no taxes’ release (in response to the Tax Commission study)? Riviere and Marumoto signed.

Dave Reardon, SA, on the Senate Cmte investigating the UH ‘Wonder’ screw up “I did learn this: I want Slammin’ Sammy Slom in my lineup. He called out Dobelle, Frazier and McMackin like Bluto did the Omegas in “Animal House.” Slom said UH specializes in paying big buyouts. Greenwood would join that list of no-show check-cashers if UH were to let her go without finding cause.”

Last weekend, some Oahu Dems failed to censure S22 Dela Cruz for supporting the gov’t fast track development bill. I believe this put the dems back in the lead – the HRP has tried to attack two dems (Ing, Manabat) and the dems have attacked three of their own (Manabat, Thielen the D, and Dela Cruz). The dems are doing better than Republicans even in their in-fighting but we’re trying to tie with an attack on the Mizuno couple (someone has to explain why we’re wasting time with either he or she Mizuno).

Personal note, made political. I went for a physical exam and find that a referred doctor for a portion of the physical can’t schedule me until January. I am told by the referring office that the lack of doctors is “because malpractice is so high.” I am certain there is a medical term for that, such as ‘we need tort reform.’

Monday’s report is about our campaigns.  Many candidates are holding rallies, signwaving and fundraisers this weekend. Please go and help.

Choose a race and please get involved.




Last five: It Is Political (2 sections)/Tampa 2012 (4 reports)/ Game On, I a&b and II/ May Special Report/ Hawaii Republicans in the Spring 1,2,3