Doomed to Repeat It, part 1

Aloha Friends. Welcome back.  Part one, of two.

There are many strong and energy-filled conservatives and Republicans in Hawaii. Thank you. The Hawaii Republican Party can be better. Read on.

2015 legislative session wrapping. Saiki’s only policy email to membership is to chastise Schatz for not meeting with Netanyahu, and she sent RNC members her hit piece ‘Who is Willes Lee?’   No press conference, no legislative agenda or opposition. No statement about HB459, or tax increases, or rail over-run, or… anything. No voter registration drive. No membership effort. Nothing to justify her many fundraising letters or robocalls.

Convention AGENDA for this open press event is …. Confidential. No kidding. Saturday, paid staffer Parsons refused to provide an agenda citing confidentiality. (Emailed late Wednesday)

Writing to conservatives & Republicans, mostly in Hawaii, I email rather than blog because this is a (quasi-)private discussion. Reports chronicle HRP’s story with enormous amounts data and solutions. My perspective is that of conservative, Republican, former State Party Chairman & RNC member now working with local and national conservative organizations. These reports augment what you should hear from HRP, what is not on your radar, or what you need to research. Ask your 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.

Meetings + Rules – HRP finances – Convention – By The Numbers

-May 3-7 National Bible Reading Marathon

-June 18-20 – Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference, DC

-June 20-21 HRA Shooting Sports Fair, Kokohead Range

-June 26-28 Western Conservative Summit, Denver WesternConservativeSummit

-July 9-11 National Right to Life Convention New Orleans

-August 28-30 NFRA Presidential Endorsing Convention, Nashville

NRA of America Annual Meeting, Nashville. 80,000 2d Amendment supporters. “9 acres of Guns & Gear,” 550+ exhibitors in Music City Center, breakout seminars, shooting galleries, guns for prizes, large NRA store, book signings, bands on stage inside and out. President Jim Porter who headlined HIRA’s Veteran’s Day event passes the baton to Allan Kors for the next two years. 35,000 on Broadway for a concert, sold out Bridgestone Arena for Alan Jackson & Jeff Foxworthy. Foundation banquet for 4000, many other dinner and lunch events. Women’s luncheon raised $2M+. USA Today wrap of ILA Leadership Forum with virtually all the Presidential candidates on stage, then walking the exhibit hall floor. CNN’s Report. for all the Forum Candidate Speeches. TWT overview of Saturday’s Membership Meeting with incredible energy from LaPierre, Cox. Anti-gun protest drew 150, lost in the sea of 2d Amendment supporters. Prayer breakfast with Jonathan Falwell. NRA BoD meets before and after the weekend, though my Urban Affairs Cmte didn’t meet this week. Then, there’s Nashville … fun city, great job hosting.

HD18 do-over. Rohlfing, Saiki, Hellreich, paid staff Parsons are ousting conservatives. HQs invents reason for a do-over, The Empire Strikes Back, though, per district rep, “we had a vote and it was administered by County vice chair Monahan.“   No one trusts HRP to properly administer or honestly report. Using your contributions to rent another facility and have volunteers do what they’ve already done instead of perhaps making calls to oppose bad legislation. Hochberg was on vacation & knew nothing of Rohlfing’s shenanigans, so he wouldn’t run again. That caused Rohlfing to delay a month to find another opponent. Rohlfing forgot to announce the postponement, leaving people who showed at the venue at a loss. Challenger wins (or HQ would have another election). Saturday meetings no more. Another month of Rohlfing wasting time and money fighting Rs instead of Ds.

Rules Cmte. Only 14/51 districts represented. Members pledge to a gag order which prohibits discussing the meeting with district members. Saiki “Rules are just guidelines,” sounds of Obama with the Constitution, and criminals with the law. Only Saiki-proposed changes move forward: 1. Treasurer Klompus wants the mortgage-dedicated Capital Campaign funds for MUCH more than mortgage (adds building maintenance & improvement, property tax … and other expenses as the State Committee may determine). 2. Klompus wants audit requirement to be “Three people picked by party chair to ‘review’ party finances” instead of an independent audit to confirm that ‘leaders’ spend funds as authorized by the State Cmte. Dumped are Kulbis proposals 1. Written reports for State meetings, Saiki “requiring leaders to submit written reports in advance of a meeting is onerous.” 2. Require agenda in advance, Moses “We can’t expect [HQ] to know an agenda a week before a meeting.”

Members “I was appointed but have had no information regarding meetings.“ “They are attempting to amend the Rules to fit Saiki’s management.“ “It is an open meeting. I can sit through the debate, but you can’t the next day come to a district meeting and tell me the same discussion I heard in the meeting? C’mon. The committee actually put up with that shit?“ “I have not heard anything about the Rules Committee meeting and don’t know what time it is this Saturday.“

2d Meeting: Several stalwarts give up and skip, even cmte chair Thomason. 9/35 Oahu districts represented, two Maui, Kauai (for now, he’s moving), no new reps for 39 districts NOT represented. Faux chair Ready wastes ¾ of meeting (his stalling loudly noted by several members). 1. Last month we wrote that other states prohibit conflicts of interest when party leaders commit to, endorse or go on payroll of candidate campaigns. HQ responds with ‘the Hellreich Rule’ to specifically allow party officials to endorse or join candidate campaigns… as if, for example, there is a way to separate Rohlfing’s personal endorsement (Romnay, Hannemann) from his role as party chair distributing assets – funds, volunteers, messaging. Or, of Hellreich’s conflict of interest being paid a half-million of your donations as Lingle ($80k/year), Aiona ($70k/year), and Lingle again Finance Director while supposedly raising HRP funds. 2. HQs is removing the Federation of Republican Women as an Auxiliary. Instead of building support, HRP fuels the D’s ‘War on Women’ mantra as Oahu League eliminates their competition. 3. Kulbis proposal to enforce district/precinct control of their respective caucus elections was dumped as HQ wants centralized control to hold all meetings at the same time state-wide…. the opposite of the long-time R fight for a decentralized school board.

Last meeting. Only 13 (3/16 NI) district reps. 1. Rohlfing wants bi-annual state conventions because he can’t energize Rs for annual conventions. Means that HRP changes officers six months BEFORE each election. (Dumped) 2. Twenty years ago HRP changed from senate district organizations to house so leaders/organizations are closer to the voters. Rohlfing can’t recruit enough house district leaders so he rationalizes he’ll find half as many to do double the territory, constituents, and workload. Mensch, BI. Talk about huge geographic Districts on the Big Island. Why the call for fewer representative entities? Hickling, Kauai “We had 3 District Chairs. 1 quit, 1 was promoted to County Chair. It doesn’t do any good to recruit a warm body, they quickly go catatonic. (With SDs) Kauai becomes 1 County, 1 District, 16 Precinct chairs.” (Dropped) 3. Cavasso again proposes MORE bureaucracy with an Executive Vice Chair (suggesting Cavasso should get the title with no responsibility) who serves only in the chair’s absence. Apparently, HQ can find folks to be a do-nothing state leader. This makes a state chair + six vice chairs to supervise four county chairs + 9-12 vice chairs …. and HQ can’t fill district or precinct chair positions. (Disapproved). Suffering several set-backs, this is when Saiki storms out of the meeting. 4. Kulbis proposal requires draft minutes of Exec and State Cmte meetings distributed NLT 30 days after meeting.

Finally – Saiki, cmte chair Thomason, faux vice chair Ready, Hellriech, Liu, paid staff Parson haven’t told you any of this. You can read it here … because HQ won’t tell you.

-HRP FEC. End of March has HRP back in the RED, despite LDD sales. HRP continues 19k/month burn rate but raises only 8k. Receipts were $8,038 = $7,078 contributions + 959 state account transfer + ZERO (again) from RNC charity fund. FEC report Sustaining Donors: down to 3/14 Exec Cmte, down to 1/51 District chairs, down to 9 members for a way-below-budget $924/month. When leaders don’t buy in, don’t expect others to do so. Disbursements = $19,376, includes $1499 mortgage+2764 building maint, 1180 credit card bank services, 755 IMS accounting, Parsons’ salary 3750 +1907 payroll tax, more for logo buttons, 2275 telemarketing, 845 office supplies, 368 copier w 76 more of staples, Dbase triples to 1050, 754 new equipment, 1441 mail & graphics. CoH down to 58.5k (+26k mortgage, 4.5k counties’). 2 of 3 months this CY and 4/5 months this cycle in the RED. HRP election cycle in the RED 15k+ even with LDD revenue, living off 2014 funds not used to elect Republicans. HRP in the red 17 of past 27 reports, 7/12 since Hellreich crowned Saiki.

-Reader “Should I bother to go to convention?” Too irrelevant to matter. Too liberal to differentiate from Ds. Too expensive from a NI for a half-day of pre-determined voting. Too stodgy to have fun. Saiki offers special people to pay less than ‘regular’ registrants. Reader “Hamada asked Slom about the convention. Sam downplayed it citing earlier start, location in Kapolei, and a rift with conservatives “that they’re trying to get rid of“. He mentioned he would not be there.“

-HRP calls/email about registration deadline. There is no deadline. HRP numbers are embarrassingly low so they’re trying to scare folks to register. Delegates can show the day of, HRP should want that.

2000+ delegates and alternate delegates are allowed. This year, Saiki/Parsons could get less than 450 to become delegates, < 2/precinct, many districts have zero. (A quarter are on NI, not enough BI to even fill leadership positions.) < 40% are attending, 3.5/district. 20 NI, 1/district avg, attending. Saiki & Rohlfing can’t generate interest or motivation.

Lingle on Saiki “I think it’s time for others to step up and give it a try.” Saiki Should Move On. Uh oh. Saiki suddenly needs to find a party chair. As Rohlfing walks off the stage campaigning for county chair, he collects delegate signatures for his party chair nomination. Reader “they just went thru the motions of electing Rohfing to county, so they can appt to replace him.”

Convention Preview, per HIRA. Why Attend? We know who will be elected. There will be no discussion about platform. Hardly anyone is going. This convention will turn out like every other recent county and state convention. Nothing worthwhile will happen, whether you show up or not.

-A ‘Call to the Convention’ is required to alert members & public of the five-Ws and who is eligible to participate. Saki’s Call did neither. She copied HIRA’s attack on the Ds, then .. Lowering expectations: Saiki says HRP will lose again if they don’t develop leaders, recruit candidates, train volunteers, raise money, have a message, and work with HIRA i.e what she couldn’t do. District chair “They get your attention to look for details that are NOT there. . . then they segue into copying HIRA with an attack. . .“

Response: Dear Pat: Hawaii GOP suffers from having broken its social & political contract with members. Unless your current “party” acknowledges how it has abandoned both principle & philosophy as the reason to have a party at all, you will never heal the wounds of betrayal & corruption that have so decimated the Hawaii GOP. The reality is a bunch of RINOs are merely Dem-type crony wannabes, maybe more efficient and less ideological, lacking courage, vision, ethics and coherent principles philosophy. We won’t support a token and meaningless effort. Aloha Edward Gutteling. Shorter response Sounds like the same old BS she spewed on us last year.

Seven days out:

  1. only two – Kulbis, Swygard – of ten state candidates announced. Rohlfing directs district to appoint Romney campaign members as delegates, as he gathers nomination signatures. Rohlfing’s slate hiding in the shadows, unwilling to announce their candidacy. Embarrassing.
  2. No agenda, it is confidential. Embarrassing. (Now we know why, dumb agenda.)

Six days out: Rohlfing’s slate begins announcing. Same faces, ensuring the same results. Several who have done nothing (Mukk, Ready) are back. Others (Marumoto, Kekuna) INCREASE the average age of the Exec Cmte, even without Saiki. After two failing cycles as Coordinated Campaign, Ready is demoted to Secretary. ‘Tutu’ Marumoto senior moment – 2008 wasn’t Philadelphia.

Five days out:

  1. Saiki says she quits because ‘I have fulfilled the commitment I made’ to remodel HQ and roll out a “fierce (her word, really) new logo”; left out the part of losing gov and all congressional races and not increasing house or senate seats, losing district/precinct chairs, and making US history with the first ever sitting party legislative leader to switch party.
  2. Mrs Saiki, honor-less. Saiki “outside my official capacity” endorses Rohlfing (for Hannemann, not Aiona), though he hasn’t announced he is running, and a slate which promises more of the same – no message, absolutely no communications effort, no platform or principles, weak candidate recruitment, anemic fundraising, zero funds for candidates, nonexistent districts/precincts, no coalitions. Hickling, with only eight Kauai delegates, to coordinate the state effort?

Members running for party office used to participate in party activities to gain experience and be prepared for the next level of politics. Folks were district chairs, county officers, state vice chair, maybe cmte chair, ran a campaign, were paid campaign staff, perhaps former ED, helped state-level fundraising and major fundraisers, run a statewide campaign, build national contacts. Recently, well-meaning, arrogant people who have no idea how a political party operates, how to make and maintain a political party budget, build coalitions, write political communications, recruit candidates, train activists, determine vote goals, produce a Leesburg grid, monitor federal and state finance accounts and compliance, or have contacts on each island and the mainland … simply jump in. And, it shows.

-Five vice chairs have done nothing.  No vice chair traveled to a NI during the 2014 cycle.  (Nor did Liu. Hellreich went to Kauai two years ago. Saiki once to Maui.) Asked of one state-level candidate: 1. How long have you resided in Hawaii? 2. Which Party or campaign position have you held?  Swygard says she been in Hawaii two whole years, has never held political party or campaign position, anywhere … and is your state vice chair.

-RNC bails out HRP, adds backbone. Saiki whine’s about Lee & HIRA, RNC sends cavalry. Reader “I didn’t even know there is an RNC co-chair. Who is she?“ Day’s been a friend since she joined RNC a decade ago. She fits with this cabal. Day takes her duties – speaking, training, teaching, raising funds – seriously, unlike Hellreich, Liu and Saiki.

By the numbers:

  1. HRP Leadership providing testimony at legislative session.
  2. Total raised by Djou, Lingle, Cavasso, Capelouto (2014 R Federal candidates), Defend Marriage Hawaii and Hawaii Right to Life, per FEC. Schatz raised 800k, Hirono 140k, Gabbard 146k, Takai 119k.
  3. Months this cycle and twenty-four after Hellreich wrote “the need to use massive voter registration drives to Increase our chances of winning.”
  4. Years without a HRP strategic plan, finance plan, campaign (Victory) plan.
  5. Billion. State Budget. When are we going to cry ‘uncle?’
  6. Months since the 2012 required HRP financial audit was to be conducted. 17 since the ’13 audit was due. Six months since Saiki last promised. Donors don’t give when finances are in question.

60%. Obama approval, per CB poll. Down from one-time 73, but up from recent 56.

  1. State legislators. Scorecard tells why you aren’t heard. Legislator Scores.
  2. Days (as of May 1) to the Presidential election.

591 million. Slom’s Alternative budget “cuts spending over fiscal years 2016 and 2017.“

Review the S/H/L crew Broken Promises Part 1 – State Officers, Part 2 – Vice Chairs, Part 3 – County with It’s Time To Go Petition. HIRA “Much went wrong and you deserve to know the truth.“

Send me your convention observations, or why you didn’t attend. I’m interested.

ARE YOU SATISFIED? HRP needs leadership focused on HRP.  Forward this – people need to know, you need to act. Part 2 coming.



Last five: Empire/ Stumbling/ Surrender/ Fail/ SPECIAL