Hawaii Republicans in the Spring, Part 1
With lots of (good) news, I am returning to my ‘normal’ report format. We have several new readers. Laudatory, concerned and hopeful, I write periodically to Republicans and conservatives to initiate discussion and fill a void in the Republican discussion. I also reported “The Buzz” daily from the New Orleans RNC Winter Meeting and the excitement of the Las Vegas Western Region Leadership conference and presidential debate. I reported on the Tampa RNC Summer meeting. I email rather than blog in public. The reports are 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 three reports are listed at the bottom.
Game Day. Four campaigns, 41 polling locations, 10,000+ voters. Presidential caucus results at http://www.gophawaii.com, Romney won 45%. Reports from the majority of polling locations were “great” with only a few reporting “what a mess.” The overall voter experience is probably better than expected. 10,000 voters is within the norm for generally low national turnout this year but, arguably, comparable to the 38,000 the Dems had for their contested ‘08 caucus. Most consider 10,000 to be a boost for Republicans in this Obama state. Chang described the evening and the turnout as a “game changer.” Not to be outdone a week later, Puerto Rico turned out 110,000 with 80% going for Romney. I am proud of the four campaigns which worked hard to ID their voters with three candidates winning national delegates. Chang should have let all the campaigns have the same lists to identify supporters and voters. Borreca wrote before with his concerns http://www.staradvertiser.com/editorialspremium/onpoliticspremium/20120228_National_GOP_race_sparks_interest_in_Hawaii_caucus.html?id=140665393 and Boylan gave positive post-spin http://www.midweek.com/hawaii-elephants-trumpet-time/.
Those pesky challenges to the National Committeeman election won’t go away. I didn’t submit a challenge, though my opponent did. It took 5½ weeks for Chang/Thomason to respond. Responses had lots of he said-she said, non-existent research and weak excuses for taking five + weeks to respond. Chang says they blew the call which would have decided the election differently and fairly. At least one improper vote was cast and counted but instead of voiding the election, Chang will allow the State Committee to validate an invalid election. http://konateaparty.wordpress.com/2012/03/11/the-national-committeeman-election-saga-continues/. Concerned about party integrity, several appeals are headed for the Rules committee. Some leaders are ‘removing’ district chairs from their positions to influence that April 7 vote. A detailed synopsis is attached.
Not rhetorical. Who benefits from these “interesting” rules interpretations? Do we keep voting until they get the outcome they are told to get? Do members and donors accept this type of leadership? How can members and the public be confident in our elections, our message (when we have a message) or our motives?
There were other challenges and, according to rules, you should have been informed about one which concerned terms of office for party officers. Also, Liu submitted an election challenge though prohibited by rules from doing so. There was an election challenge by the college rep. There was even a challenge of the challengers – consultant Nonaka submitted a challenge to challenge a challenge. It was dismissed as frivolous.
Members know that something isn’t right. As long as there is doubt and mistrust, the support of the HRP and our candidates will stay lukewarm, at best.
Director. Announcing in January that the RNC gave funds for an Executive Director, last week Chang signed Nacia Blom. She is smart, honest and fair. A great addition.
Time flies. Seven weeks ago, I asked Chang for nomination papers for my national committeeman candidacy. He said he didn’t know there were such papers but he would check with consultant Nonaka. Five weeks ago he said that the candidates for office would receive the delegate list. Last week I asked again. He didn’t respond.
Does experience matter? Chang announced that Lincoln Day Dinner was going to be at the Hale Koa. Liu sent NCM campaign email to our legislators’ government email accounts. Maui chair Clark improperly removed a district chair. Liu submitted a challenge to the NCM election. The state chair distributed, statewide, the wrong forms for district delegate allotments. The State Cmte kept trying to change party rules at the January meeting. We need someone with knowledge and experience in there to help.
Great news for debt watchers. Lincoln Dinner is promised to be successful. Planned for the Hale Koa, the event was postponed (hence, no DAY in Lincoln Dinner). It was brought to their attention that fundraising on federal property is illegal. Chang says that table sales are successful. He expects to easily meet his goal of $150,000 (net or gross?) and erase the party debt. There are “more tables [sold] than people. Hopefully, we can just invite people to show up” for free, to fill seats at sponsor tables. “Big names are hard to get from the mainland” so our own Saiki will give the keynote. Maui County, writes Chang, committed to 15 tables. As State Chairman, while Julie was Finance Chairman, we bought a table so current party officers will probably also do so. Compliance: If you purchase a table, you can collect checks to the HRP but don’t resell those seats – donors cannot launder their contributions.
On his own initiative, H46 chair Ready is soliciting State Cmte members to participate in the Sustaining donor program. Thank you! He’ll probably start with the Exec Cmte.
Maui County convention was at the beginning of March. It was a huge success and set the tone for inclusiveness. TEA party outnumbered county party and Maui TEA president Doyle stole the show. Several members were blamed for pointing out that county rules dictate an annual convention. Those members should share ‘blame’ for the successful event. Instead, they are being kicked out for “forcing the county” to obey the rules. Voting was marred by at least one improperly credentialed person. Maui leadership, egged on by the Maui Lingle team (I watched), passed a reso to become more exclusive by kicking the past chair off their county board. The Pres campaigns gave good presentations and had energy and lots of collateral.
How they roll. It started with Kaauwai throwing Ryan off the ’10 Platform cmte. Last year, they used a reso to remove me from the Exec Cmte. Ignoring my call for Kaauwai to simply fix things, this state Exec Cmte with our House caucus and Lingle, then got rid of Kaauwai – as if they didn’t share fault for the $100,000 party debt. On March 3, Maui threw Ghean off their board. Last week, Maui threw out HD8 chair Gapero. Hypocrisy and arrogance – reasons cited were to “get exclusive people out” and to “get rid of troublemakers.” (Maui messed up the process so this week they are throwing Gapero out, again.) Up to now, our leaders were content to force people to leave the party in disgust. Probably just coincidence that Ghean and Gapero support my campaign.
We need to be inclusive. That’s a reason I am running for national committeeman. And, to bring back party integrity. I support debate and open discussion.
Of another Maui note. We have a friend on Maui, who recently brought a lot of energy to the county organization. Please keep Marshall in your prayers for a speedy recovery.
Republicans for Life meet next at D & B on April 18. The March 20 meeting with 45 members and candidates maintained their reputation for the fastest growing meeting in the party. Details at Jacquelyn.firstname.lastname@example.org. These meeting are (1) informative, (2) always conclude with a call to action and (3) no pro-life candidate for state public office has left without a donation to his/her campaign. Save the April 18 date.
Numbers. Based on the December CSC and January FEC reports, the HRP has $28k COH in the state account and $37k in federal. About 34k of that is in the mortgage account, about 5k belongs to the counties and another 5k is for the Pres caucus, leaving about 20k for operations. HRP has $104,865 of debt (less than the month prior) which includes: Unisource Printing $18,998, Arena Communications 23,089 and credit card 18,915. You will be fascinated at www.fec.gov. When the costs of Pres caucus facilities/travel/training appear on the FEC report, we’ll break it down. Please contribute to our candidates and PACs to help with campaigns as you help to erase the HRP debt.
Read quickly, or delete, because Part 2 is on the way.
Last three reports:
State of the Party
Buzz – RNC Winter Meeting, Days 1, 2, 3
The Holiday’s Caucuses and Candidates
Attached: National Committeeman Election Synopsis – Election Overview, report