Game On, Part II

Aloha friends and readers,

I apologize …. for this being so long. Really, I do. A time management failure and I don’t have time to split it up. Actually, it takes a long time to read, only if you read it. Wish my excuse were work, but the magnificent performances by our Olympic athletes and the Primary election took a lot of my attention. Consequently, this report is also somewhat fragmented.

Part I, was politics and policy. This is part two of two – Money! I didn’t get this out before the Primary and I will make a few comments about the election.

Money isn’t everything, if you have it.

Raising funds is always challenging and time-consuming. Been there, done that, do that. It is, for good or bad, a necessity of our political process. Go to to see where local candidates get their $ and where it goes. You can tell who works at their campaign. It is past time enough to walk an entire district and candidates need funds to get their message to the voters. Please call your favorite candidate and contribute. With the HRP carrying a large debt, candidates will have to do their own Voter Registration, Absentee Ballot (AB) and General Election GOTV efforts. Kudo’s to the candidates and committees who worked hard to be able to get out their message.

Top Republican fund raisers for the cycle (August report): Maui Arakawa $385k, H31 Johanson 42k, HNL C1 Pine 55k (includes a 20k loan), S25 Hemmings and H17 Ward 27k, Maui Council Couch 22k, H18 Low (w/ loan) and H11 Fontaine 21k, H50 Thielen (the R) and H47 Fale 14k (including St Louis School Executive VP Viv Aiona’s donation), H45 Cheape 12k and H36 Fukumoto (w/ help from hubby Chang) 11k. No one else raised over $10k. Cash on Hand (COH): Arakawa 284k, Johanson at 41k, H3 Hapai and Fale and Low at 17k, S9 Slom has 15k and Hemmings with 11k. No one else has more than 10k COH. 35 have < $1k. Five still have not reported, at all.

Other incumbents: HNL C1 Berg essentially self-funds, H27 Ching raised 3k with 9k COH.

Without opponents, H17 Ward has 42k COH and H50 Thielen (the R) has 32k and, no longer in the hunt, Riviere with 14k.

Some new candidates: H26 Au has 7k COH. H5 Bateman raised 7k and spent it. H45 Cheape has 4k COH. H18 Wingard raised 3k. Kauai county chair/S8 Georgi raised $100. S12 Larson pulled in 8.5k (1k self-loan) with 3.8k COH. H19 Young raised $500 and spent it. H13 Simon raised 3.6k, including $400 to repay himself, and has $100 COH. Big Island County chair/S2 Smith raised 4.2k. H6 Ebert raised 3.5k.

Experienced candidates S10 Marshall raised $300. H33 Kong raised 6.6k. Fukumoto has 4k COH and 1.4k in unpaid bills. H24 Sabey raised 2k. H28 Kaapu raised 2.8k. H40 McDermott raised 500 and loaned himself 2k.

With the change in the Primary date, candidates have more time before the General. This favors challengers. Take advantage.

Candidate recruitment: On the July CSC reports, only four Republicans (including incumbents) had raised more than $10k. 48 candidates raised (or loaned themselves) less than $5000 and, of those, 25 raised less than $1000. Eighteen of our candidates raised $100 or less, mostly 0. Seven of our candidates didn’t bother to submit a report.

With HRP in debt and unable to help candidates AB effort and GOTV = Please support your favorite candidate. A note for candidates: Maui County gave two candidates – Fontaine and Simon – $500 each. Chang made it clear that there are no HRP $ for candidates. Ask your county for assistance, or any other PAC.

Many of our biggest spenders use Nonaka’s services and energy. With a reputation for excessive spending, Nonaka has several clients, prompting other candidates to stay away because “he is too busy.” Another is disappointed that campaign materials showed NO quality control. One candidate used 50% of his gross revenue and another used 500% of what she raised to pay Nonaka. Between convention floor sessions and extracurricular activities in Tampa, expect him to stay in touch with clients campaigning in their districts, time-zones considered.

As for Dems, just from the July reports, we’ll note raisers over $40k or this really gets out of hand: Anderson 78k, Baker 40k, Dela Cruz 52k, Fukunaga 69k, Giugni 46k, Green 65k, Hee 44k, Kahele 58k, Kidani 59k, Kim 46k, Kouchi 49k, Manahan 106k, Oshiro 42k, Say 133k. Someone said Hee now (August) has $500,000? Nah, he has raised $510k. He has ONLY $404,000 COH.

20k-40k: Ahu-Isa, Cachola, Choy, Chun-Oakland, English, Garcia, Halperin, Herkes, Ichiyama, Ikeda, Inouye, Kawakami, Nishihara, Ryan, Shimaburkuro, Solomon, Sonson, Takai, Takayama, Taniguchi, Thielen (the D), Velasco, Yamane (the younger).

10k-20k: Bradshaw, Chong, Espero, Hanlon, Har, Ige, Ito, Kobayashi, M Lee, Nakashima, Ohno, Rhodes, Souki, Takumi, Tokioka, Tokuda, Yamshita.

If your opponent is not listed, that is a good thing when they raised less than 10k…. that was as of last month

Nine Dems in the House are already elected: Tsuji, Evans, Souki, Kawakami, Tokioka, Luke, Takumi, Aquino, Ito. And five in the Senate: Tsutsui, Chun-Oakland, Kim, Wakai, Tokuda. More, now, who don’t have a General race.

Others we watch: Helm (Maui-indy) raised 9k, Kobayashi (HNL Council) has 71k COH, Menor is back and raised 16k. There is also, on the D side, a lot of PAC money out there.

There are more D and R’s reporting Anonymous donors. CSC should send out a reminder about that. You should look where candidates send their money – who’s fundraisers they support, charities, political committees. You want to know what a candidate does with your money before you give more.

2014 Gov: Abercrombie raised 1.47M this year with 1.3M COH. Aiona, campaigning even after his 17 point loss, raised 0 with 26k COH. Other names we’ve heard, Ward and Fontaine as above. LG: Schatz raised another 337k. Finnegan raised 0 with 9k COH, Pine as above.

The HRP needs funds, badly, and the controversial HRP “membership” mail appeal should help them. Several people called HQ or emailed because they thought Chang’s mail appeal was a scam or were concerned that many of the new ‘10,000 members’ would be duped. The letter did not mention (Rules Section 106) that the State Committee MAY establish membership fees (we never have) but prohibits the amount from exceeding $10/year or that the cmte had NOT imposed the dues of $1000, $500 or $250. Compounding the concern were Party leaders and staff (again) berating people who raised the issue. HRP had a similar issue with a national committee. Twice in the past decade our members received a mailer that appeared to be an HRP request but the funds were going to a different committee. That committee promised each time to ‘never do again’ and it has been some four or five years since the last. For a way to fund candidate election see

HRP has two types of accounts. State and Federal, not descriptive of what they are or how they are used. In general, “Federal money” is ‘hard,’ up to $10k per year from individuals, and can be used for most anything. “State money” has hard and soft (corporate and PAC), up to $25k per cycle, which can be used for state and local political activities without federal race implications… in general.

HRP State account reports through the Campaign Spending Commission (CSC) less frequently and as of June had $44k COH. Revenue mostly from Lincoln Dinner corporate/PAC tables. A concern should be that in months without an activity (LD or convention), for example January, February and June, the HRP averages <$700/month into this account. Word is that Thomason (he) made a move to take the money raised by the counties to pay state party expenses but a Maui county board member stopped his grab. Interestingly, as in ‘hmmm,’ her name popped up on a state commission report – as a commissioner – so they probably removed her from the Maui board. She seems very competent so this move is probably better for the Party.

EOM May HRP Federal account ( showed $90k COH and $76,855 debt. In June, HRP disbursed twice what they raised, 22k versus 10k. H46 chair Ready tried and failed to keep leaders in the Sustaining Member donor program. There are 4/51 district chairs contributing (three after this week). There are a few Exec Cmte members contributing though not the chair or any vice-chair. End of June COH dropped to 77k with debt dropping only 2k to $74,809. HRP cash includes $15k-20k of ‘fenced’ Capital Campaign (CC) for HQ mortgage. HRP also has about 5k raised by and for the counties. HRP is subsiding off the NRSC $28,500 transfer for Lingle support and the RNC 20k ‘earmarked’ for Blom salary. Good – Chang made payments on old debt to Edwards Enterprise, Show and Tell and others. HRP finally paid off the credit card – including the 2010 charge for 12k to KoOlina for Nonaka’s Paradise Park event that never happened. Needing a fundraising plan (and some commitment), as identified in the “Strategic Planning” session, Chang plans to ask the RNC, NRSC and RNCC for help.

How we got here, the short version. Members warned the former chair and Finnegan in the summer of 2009 that their unrealistic budget would produce a debt. For 18 months, that chair and Executive Director Nonaka held no State Cmte meetings. There was no oversight. The Exec Cmte meetings did not meet quorum, they knew and collectively turned a blind eye. By the fall of 2010, even the huge influx of national money for the elections couldn’t balance Nonaka’s “out-of-control” (she Thomason) and questionable (we have the records) spending. Ryan (longtime critic of bad GOP policy) in November 2010 emailed about the coming debt. He was rebuked, in a public email from Klompus and the party chair, as a liar. Ryan wasn’t the one lying, the debt began showing on the books by December. The ‘leadership’ got called to task by Smith (fmr Senate candidate and then H26 chair) and pressured into a State Cmte meeting to review finances and demand a Rules-required audit. By the time we met in Jan 2011, HRP was 20k in debt. Hellreich, Morioka, Klompus and Collucio led the support of the chair and Nonaka, and they passed a faux-budget. A ‘review’ (auditors’ words) was conducted instead of the required audit. Nonaka kept spending and the chair couldn’t raise money (because Lingle, the chair said, told supporters to NOT contribute). Their ‘solution’ to spending more than they raised was to throw me off the Exec Cmte for raising the issue. The Capital Campaign (CC) cmte to pay off the HQ mortgage was formed that summer (with Nonaka leading the opposition) when it appeared the HRP Kapiolani Blvd HQ may be foreclosed.

As debt hit 40k, the chair and Nonaka began jettisoning staff – Communications Director was gone, Systems Manager in April, Finance Director in May (who landed well with Lingle) and thankfully Nonaka in June. We raised some 93k on a Lee Greenwood event and the CC cmte paid down some mortgage and then fenced two years worth of payments. The current mortgage is near 150k. By March, Lingle was running for Senate and the same Lingle people who supported the chair in January – Hellreich, Klompus, Morioka, Dorn, Chang, Fukumoto, Collucio – led the charge to remove and replace him with Chang in November 2011 with $80k of debt. Under Chang, the debt reached $110k and bounced around 100k until May 2012 because of a screw up with the Lincoln Day Dinner venue. Lincoln Dinner was supposed to erase the debt and begin the process of raising the hundred’s of thousands needed for the 2012 campaign. While HRP announced that LD grossed $170k, including the ‘comped’ tickets, Chang/Liu haven’t announced the net proceeds but we have an idea by the current debt. $50k from national committees helped HRP to hit a new debt low of 77k in May, and for June down to $75k, showing a positive trend. Debt includes Albano (for 2010), Show and Tell a/v, Edwards Enterprise printing, Newt Gingrich for LDD ’10, Arena Coms, Meridian Consulting, IMS accounting, Unisource mail, copier rental and HawaiianTel. for details. GOOD – appears HRP caught up on Complete Campaigns dbase and paid off the credit card additional $2700 in interest and fees.

By not erasing the debt, it remains difficult for Chang and our candidates to demand Fiscal Responsibility of the dems. When HRP continues to spend more than raised, we continue the cycle of debt begun under Nonaka. HRP can hope for more outside funds, though we really hope the national committees focus on the Presidential race. We’re looking forward with confidence to next week’s July FEC report to see debt reduced and more COH available for the General.

One responsibility of HRP is to help everyone vote early. HRP sends out Absentee Ballot requests to Republicans before an election. Then, HRP makes ‘chase calls.’ Being in debt prevented HRP from mailing for the Primary. However, the Lingle campaign did AB requests for their hoped-for voters. The HRP rolls probably allowed her to also send to HRP members and the new ‘10,000.’

If you have information on the Hellriech-Klompus announced Capitol Campaign White Elephant fundraiser or the Liu announced HRP Day at the Zoo major fundraiser, please spread the word. HRP needs help.

Please get involved. From someone who often visits HQ “We hardly see [Chang]. He’s so busy.” You should see him at the HQ meeting tomorrow evening, unless you are walking your district.

State convention is promised to cost delegates less next year than the $140 this year. Maui County (Uh oh) accepted (so far) responsibility for hosting 2013. If no candidate again demands a high-end, expensive venue, we’ll count on Maui to select a reasonable venue and the Party chair to this time secure adequate sponsorship to allow members to attend at an affordable cost. Considering the Maui board in-fighting over their county convention, the state may step in before we go through their scheduled-canceled-again scheduled fiasco. The 2012 convention at HHV cost 42k just to the hotel. Add in a/v and ‘stuff’ and hope that HRP wasn’t in the red.

The canceled/postponed required Quarterly State Committee still not re-scheduled.

One example candidates will use to argue that their inability to raise funds doesn’t matter (they claim ‘stealth’ campaigns or grassroots efforts) is the CD2 Gabbard win over Hannemann, who raised more. When you add in the outside money, Gabbard actually outspent the other guy almost 2-1. (I know… Gabbard also ran a better campaign.) With HRP in debt, our local candidates need to take heed. Say’s PAC is well-funded and he is going to dump a lot of money into races to keep from losing more of his leadership votes. Ward doesn’t have a PAC. Other Republican supporting PACs have less than 10% what Dem PACs can invest.

HRP didn’t send thank you letters to some donors after LD. Candidates, please don’t make that mistake.

The Hawaii Democrat Party fundraising model is traditionally different than the HRP. They raise less and spend less than HRP, choosing to have funds go to candidates. The last several reports have the Dems outpacing HRP, 2-1, while carrying minimal debt. That is something to watch.

I’ll pitch it again. When you hear of the NRSC helping US Senate candidates (28.5k to HRP for Lingle so far this cycle and millions across the nation) and the NRCC helping congressional candidates (Djou at stage one of the Young Guns program), I continue to advocate for local House and Senate PACs ...what we used to do before the ’06 CSC changes. It just takes leadership. Ward says he has a responsibility to defend his caucus (defending FORMER member Pine’s ambitious move to become a pro-rail Council member) but did little to help Riviere, losing a third member – 37% so far – of his caucus. With a PAC or personal support, he could make a difference.

Another Rules ‘situation’ which we’ll watch. While Thielen (the R) campaigned for daughter Thielen (the D) in the Primary, to do so in the General pits her (the R) against Hemmings, running again for S25. Rs who campaign for Ds against Rs may be thrown out of the Party, according to our rules. Who knows how Thomason and Chang will make up new rules? If I were Hemmings, I’d be ticked at Thielen and Ward and Chang.

Right-leaning Hawaii Super PACs. Smith/Arakawa MAD PAC to support fiscally conservative candidates raised $775 and has $309 COH. Aiona/Nonaka Hawaii Solutions raised 15k with 5.9k COH and multiple payments to Nonaka. PAC COH: OLRW at 9k, Kauai Women with 1.7k and HiRA at 1k. R4L with 1.5k, having already given 2.7k to candidates.

You will be surprised at the info on Hawaii candidates and PACs (including HRP) at Interestingly, a couple candidates never bothered to open accounts.

Lingle has raised $4.4 Million and she won’t make her goal of 10M but should surpass 8M. $8M is a lot of make-over money. She currently has 2M bi-partisan COH. Lingle also received $625,000 US Chamber of Commerce support in ads so far. Hirono lagged behind but has 1.6M COH. To see why Lingle’s $8M gives her credibility

Liberal Hanabusa has raised 2 1/2 times as much as centrist Djou but her burn rate is staggering as she pays herself back previous loans. She also fulfilled her commitment to the DCCC of $10,000. Consequently, Djou is holding his own, without professional staff or a campaign HQ. They go into the last 80 days with Djou ahead in COH! For those who were hesitant to contribute, Nonaka is no longer on the Djou campaign according to FEC records. Djou would appreciate your check sooner rather than later. I think Djou was discussing votes when Borreca August 12 wrote “There will be spillover from the Senate race. Lingle is a stronger candidate than Duke,” Djou said, indicating that [Aiona], who ran unsuccessfully for governor two years ago, was not a help to the overall GOP ticket. I like CD2 Crowley, Gabbard is on a roll.

We’re not seeing RNC or right-leaning Super PAC ad money here like on the mainland. We’re not (yet?) close to what anyone would consider a swing state. If the races get close, you can expect to see more national polling and money coming in.

Bi-partisanship. Gutteling wrote here and from the S-A, a Carlin quote “Bi-partisan usually means that a larger than usual deception is about to be carried out.” Bi-partisan or centrist: the federal candidates on both sides claim to be one, no one believes the other is one, neither side likes them for being one and independents can’t trust either one. Try instead to stand for something. I see candidates saying anything to get elected. I don’t like that. On the other hand, if they mean what they say, I can’t vote for that.

Romney (with the RNC and Victory) raised $100 MILLION in June. That was a record month for any Republican Presidential candidate, ever. This came after ‘we’ outraised Obama’s team by $18M in May. May was the first month Obama had a negative burn rate – he spent $15M more than he brought in – and he had a negative burn rate in June. Obama spent 12M more than he raised and still outspent Romney 70M to 50M. In July, Romney raised 101M versus Obama’s 75M. This is turning into real money. Obama is paying 778 campaign staffers, Romney 272. Watch for: Goode in Virginia may determine the Presidential race, not just for Virginia.

The RNC raised a May record and June record. Having overcome the huge debt left by previous Hellriech-, Morioka- and Lingle-supported chair Steele, Priebus fully funded the RNC Presidential Victory fund ($20M) has the RNC making its first ad buys (last week $5.1M). I do like this guy Priebus. The NRCC has 41M COH compared to the DCCC 33M. DSCC has 41M to the NRSC 24M.

In one week last month Team Romney doubled the bground media spending of Team Obama. Dems should be pleased that Millions are being ‘redistributed,’ in this case $16M vs $8M. The top media markets this week: Iowa and Virginia and it was $25M Romney to 11M Obama. To get a flavor, in August alone over $50M per week in ads will be spend in eight swing states… by the Presidential campaign alone.

Gingrich ($7M) and Santorum (1.9M) campaigns are still in debt. Gingrich is on the RNCC trail with Joint fundraisers.

In May, American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS reported to have passed the $100M raised mark, then set a monthly record raising 5.7M in June.

Public labor unions spend four times as much on politics than thought. $1.1 Billion (’05-’11) reported to the FEC is dwarfed by the 3.3B in political activity that gets reported to the Labor Dept. WSJ reports that unions used the equivalent of 3,242 full-time political operatives in ’10.

“No one” likes negative ads but they work. Perhaps Cayetano had no chance to hit 50%+1 but does anyone think the $1M+ dropped on him by PRP didn’t influence some voters?

At the end of July, the RNC joined with state parties for a second national ‘Super Saturday.’ Considerable voter contact conducted by phone and in person. This is not $ intensive, just volunteers. HRP Coordinated Campaign vice Fukumoto (yes, for crying out loud, the one running for office) should coordinate this for HRP.

National Convention. They depart beginning this week. Still not announced but posted very quietly, at the start of August on the HRP website, is a list of our delegates to the national convention. It doesn’t include the guests, clerks and staff. The delegation is about 60 strong including two local candidates (for some reason), the HQ staff and some involved donors and volunteers. In addition to events mentioned in last week’s Part I, our aides/manager should by now have completed the coordination with other states’ events. For a basic overview of the convention and our delegation see GOOD – General Counsel for National Right to Life is the co-chair of what is essentially the social values plank of the national platform.

It was good news for conservatives when Romney put Ryan on the ticket. The RNC and many state parties made sure to inform their membership and counter the expected liberal spin. With Hawaii bi-partisans and centrists, Romney’s pick wasn’t mentioned here.

Sep 18 R4L lunch speaker is (our only) Senator Slom. This is the “first anniversary” meeting. You don’t want to miss it. Yesterday was a fun meeting. Contact Regardless, to contribute to support pro-life candidates and issues

Last week, Kansas replaced eight (yes, 8) so-called “moderate” Republican state senators with conservatives.

Ward is the ALEC Legislator of the Year (he, not others, went to their mainland conference). While liberals have made vilifying ALEC into national news, the Thomas Jefferson award going to Ward should be appreciated.

Courage House Hawaii raiser is September 8 at the Sunset Ranch. If you have children, or ever were a child, go to to register or Jessica at for info. Tickets are limited so don’t hesitate and, if you cannot make it, you may still send a donation.

Return comments – I write what I observe and hear. When a reader caught a mistake, I made a correction in my next report. I appreciate all your feedback. Some people focus only on the problems and not the progress. What I sometimes get, and did so with Part I, are people commenting (loudly) that I shouldn’t write about problems (for instance, the HRP lack of fundraising and inability to follow their rules or Pine’s ethics or Ward’s candidate recruitment) as if writing is the problem. Fale received the most comments – one email politely justified his inability to control his temper, while the other phone calls and emails supported my observations. Please understand that I never have believed that writing about a problem is the problem … even when Ryan locally and Malkin nationally beat the heck out of me in ’08. I believe we should instead solve our problems. I do receive more comments about the progress being made.

Endorsements. NRA took down their Primary endorsements. HRA (Hawaii Rifle Association) gives Hawaii ratings here Really? Are their ratings off or did some of you shade the truth (a little?) in your response? Note the repubs who wouldn’t respond and dems who believe more strongly in the constitution than repubs. The liberal Sierra Club crosses over to Republican candidates and endorses Ward, Ching, Johanson, Cheape and Thielen (the R). Non-Partisan Hawaii Ohana 2012 organized to defend environmental laws endorses Fontaine, Low, Ching, Johanson, Wong, Capelouto (the house), Slom, Larson and Aki.

Most people complain about HOW Berg says something, people don’t listen to WHAT he says. As details unfold, and the media (and Pine) hates admitting he was correct, Berg unveiled the city rail scandal of the lowball land estimates and that’s what got him kicked off his committee. I know, not the same as Pine’s votes for Islam Day and tax increases but Berg does fight (maybe that’s a poor word to use)

Mayor’s race goes to the General election = support Cayetano and the Pro-Sanity (anti-this type of rail) movement.

The staff and ‘leadership’ are going to Tampa for a week + though HRP says they hope to soon be able to link candidates websites to the HRP site. 83 days until the General. HRP, again citing limited staff resources, is working on developing a dynamic candidate page which will include linking candidate sites to the Party site. They’re working on it.

42% turnout? 30% on Maui? Time for an HRP voter registration and GOTV effort? Two counties with > 50% for absentee voting (mail and walk-in). Overall AB, 47-48% for the state. You have to GOTV early AND on election day. At least one race unfortunately turned on the election day effort.

There were some exciting races, though mostly dem. Dissident Wooley with help from ‘friend’ Hee beat Say-guy Chong, Herkes going down, Solomon still hopefully going down, the unethical doing the name calling of the uncontrollable in that Honolulu Council I race, Low took out Wingard and Riviere lost to Fale. Overlooked was Ku losing to Butler. Cayetano, but only the 50% aspect. Fukumoto only 62% against Apana. Taniguchi over Fukunaga. The Dem headache Thielen (the D) supported by Thielen (the R) taking out the more conservative Ryan. Kobayashi in H19. Takai bests Giugni. And, Crowley over DiGeronimo.

I called most correctly but missed a big one. Darn. If anything, locals polls won’t help for the General. Civil Beat got the Gabbard race right but not Hirono-Case. SA was reversed. They were both close on Cayetano but the last minute “Cayetano over 50%” was way off. Kudo’s to CB for today directly addressing the issue.

If you are a challenger and got beat by Blank Votes, you need to walk more. If you’re an incumbent who had a lot of Blanks, people really don’t like you.

HRP Post-Primary Unity Brunch turned into lunch and not many folks showed. Here’s to hoping candidates were walking their district.

With last week’s Akin win, a Republican US Senate majority is looking brighter.

About the Primary. Some candidates and campaigners who are very good for the party and for Hawaii lost on Saturday. I appreciate and applaud the candidates/teams who stepped forward and encourage them to continue their political involvement.

Candidates – you should be walking, not reading. Go. Win.




Last five:

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