SIX Highlights from Today's BIG, BIG Meeting at Hawaii GOP Headquarters
QUESTION from HIRA Newsletter Reader:
"Hey, I didn't get to attend the big meeting today at Hawaii GOP headquarters. Nor did i get to listen in via the conference call you told me about. What's the 411? Can you give me some highlights, please? Thanks,
Sonny from Kapolei
ANSWER from HIRA President Eric Ryan:
Great question, Sonny from Kapolei. We've got six highlights for your weekend reading pleasure.
First, I gotta tell you that i
f the Hawaii GOP has supposedly gotten itself some 'new' leaders, you wouldn't know it from today's truly abysmal and over-hyped leadership meeting. Barely half of the 76 members of the State Committee bothered to attend to make quorum. Despite promises of 'transparency' and a 'fresh start',
the dog and pony show went downhill pretty fast
with a complete BLACKOUT on $$ figures ("we don't know, we just don't know") after a three week long audit of the party's finances AND a rollout of many of the same names and faces who have dragged the party down for years or longer.
Anyway, here you go . . .
: ZERO NEW MONEY HAS BEEN RAISED ALL THIS TIME. Yes, they are way past being 'broke' and it's even worse than HIRA previously revealed. The promised money machine of new state chair Shirlene Ostrov and new finance chair Mark Blackburn has gotten nowhere. Ostrov, Blackburn, Miriam Hellreich and Pat Saiki assured convention delegates during the months-long campaign that a ton of money was waiting in the wings. NEW STORY: Um, party leaders now say that nobody will give a dime to the Hawaii GOP until the shady finances and massive deficit are under control. And, until there's a solid plan, these long promised donors aren't going to write checks to the party, large or small. Can you say "empty, broken promises" by party leaders? Somehow, apparently, the idea of blowing 100% of donor funds on administrative overhead for a broken-down, irrelevant organization which deliberately avoids confronting Democrats with GOP policy solutions isn't an attractive investment to the folks who write the checks.
: THE RECORDKEEPING IS AS BAD AS THE FUNDRAISING. Hellreich's party is a disaster with the worst imaginable recordkeeping. Hellreich, Saiki and Ostrov have absolutely no idea about party finances. The only thing worse than knowing the Party of Hellreich is running a massive deficit of tens of thousands of dollars is NOT KNOWING how many more tens of thousands of dollars of unpaid bills are still unaccounted for. In a seemingly rehearsed moment designed to distract State Committee members with short memories by using the blame game, Hellreich and Ostrov dumped all over Ostrov's predecessors for the big mess they left. Not mentioned that Hellreich has been running the Hawaii GOP for nearly two decades of decline and Pat Saiki has been around, on and off, for even longer. Puppet state chairs come and go. But Hellreich and Saiki have been the constants through the years. In 2019, they'll be blaming Ostrov as they trot out their next puppet.
: MASSIVE FRAUD ALERT -- With zero influx of money to the state party and the major cancellation of the party's annual Lincoln Dinner event at the Hawaii Convention Center (remember the Congressman Chaffetz fundraiser which was supposed to earn hundreds of thousands of dollars for the party), Hellreich's new puppet party chair Ostrov admitted that Hellreich's party has been improperly using ticket sales proceeds from the cancelled event (i.e. proceeds needing to be refunded) and possibly its controversial firewalled mortgage account to pay for its massive administrative overhead (including its overpriced/underutilized luxury headquarters). Jeez, if Democrats did that, they'd be in jail. FRAUD ALERT, indeed. Paging Doug Chin and Jeff Sessions.
: THE RNC IS NOT COMING TO THE RESCUE. Despite explicit promises from top party officers of bringing home boatloads of money from the Republican National Committee, Ostrov's visits to the RNC and the White House were a total bust. They weren't buying what she was selling: "Hawaii will be the next big political surprise story," Ostrov boasted. Nope. The bottom line, the RNC give the broke-ass Hawaii GOP zero financial support, only "advice". Ouch!! How could they not have impressed with Hellreich's liberalism, silence, neutrality, dysfunction, legal problems and bankruptcy? How indeed. LESSON: Get rid of Hellreich and Saiki and the monies will flow.
: PAT SAIKI OPENLY AGREED WITH HIRA. This was a surreal and amusing moment. In taking over for the 2017 "Volunteer of the Year" Bob Hickling, the first thing his successor Pat Saiki did was throw him the under the bus. Just three short weeks ago, Hickling received the award from the Party of Hellreich for his efforts as Vice Chair of Coordinated Campaigns. Never mind how HIRA has pointed out repeatedly that, thanks to losses and defections and ousters, there are even fewer elected Republicans today than there were just last year while Bob Hickling was nearing the end of his 2-year term. Well, closet Democrat Pat "Abortion Barbie" Saiki told the State Committee today that none of her predecessors in Saiki's new position has ever done a good job. Ouch! That's even funnier because Ostrov running mate Saiki has been party chair several times before (including during the dismal 2014 election cycle) . . . and it was Saiki's job to supervise those party officers to make sure they did a good job. Being a big fish in a small pond and being Miriam Hellreich's buddy has its benefits: Nobody laughed out loud when the liberal, failed state chair blurted out the above statement followed by a whole series of nonsense. At least Slammin' Saiki finally agreed with HIRA that past party campaign leaders have done a poor job. Such a sad thing to agree upon.
: ONLY FAVORED "WINNABLE" CANDIDATES WILL GET PARTY SUPPORT. If you're thinking of running for office in 2018, Ostrov's running mate Pat Saiki announced today that she and her friends (she called them advisers) will decide who gets targeted to receive the party's support. HIRA isn't sure how that will sweeten the deal to attract brave men and women to run as Republicans. In fact, it seems it will have the opposite effect. But if you don't get in RINO Pat Saiki's good graces, then keep your day job unless you want to be a placeholder candidate who 'covers' a district so that the Democrat has some kind of opponent. On the other hand, if you're a liberal Republican, you stand a better chance with Pat than if a conservative. Pat made it clear today (like she always has) that the party should not focus on issues and simply focus on candidates. Just remember that Pat Saiki and her friends get to pick the winners.
Finally, in case you were wondering, there were no official meeting minutes to approve from the last State Committee session held in March 2017, because the outgoing state party's secretary (infamous RINO do-nothing Boyd Ready) refused to provide a draft of those minutes to the incoming secretary Jennifer somebody. Ostrov claims not to have attended that meeting in March, but she said today that she "heard rumors" about the two-hour knockdown, dragout fight. HIRA's forthcoming audio highlights of that meeting will quickly orient the newest party member about why the Hellreich-run GOP keeps losing. Incompetent Boyd is being considered for several party officer positions by Ostrov and her rules committee chairman Andrew Walden (the same guy who helped Ostrov's predecessor Fritz Rohlfing to stay in office one more year through 2018 by changing party rules). Yes, that Andrew Walden.
By the end of today's meeting, the old guard of the Hawaii GOP was calling for closed meetings by forcing all participants (at least those on Oahu) to attend in person or not at all. Why? To shut down the phone conference option to allow regular party members to listen in. So much for those who promised a 'new era' with 'transparency' and a 'fresh start'. Auwe!
Anyway, these are just the first six highlights. Thanks for your great and timely question about today's big, big meeting at Hawaii GOP headquarters. I promise that a more complete list of highlights from today's meeting (with plenty of fun and not-so-fun surprises) will be in an upcoming newsletter. Stay tuned and thanks for keeping up with party news in Hawaii. As a Republican, you deserve to know why we're not winning. And HIRA owes it to you to keep the pressure on the party to get its act together.
Member, Hawaii Republican Party (HRP)
President, Hawaii Republican Assembly (HIRA)
Chairman, HIRA Action SuperPAC
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