It's all over for Charles Djou
and HIRA knows why . . .

Aloha, Republican:

It's all over for Charles Djou.   The new Civil Beat pre-election poll was released this morning and it shows RINO Charles Djou losing soundly to Democrat Kirk Caldwell in the race for Honolulu mayor.  Mail-in voting starts today.  Walk-in voting starts next Tuesday.  And the election is in less than 3 weeksIt's over.

HIRA can tell you exactly why Djou's candidacy is toast.  Short answer:  Djou became a carbon copy of CaldwellBoth are pro-rail, pro-taxes, pro-HART and pro-"let's build rail all the way to Waikiki and UH Manoa" -- with OUR MONEY.  Plus, most voters know that Djou was the founder of HART (when he was on the City Council) to take charge of managing the entire rail project.  Djou's signature legislative achievement gave the Rail Cartel everything it wanted at the expense of taxpayers (while emasculating the mayor and city council's ability to manage the rail project or be held accountable for messing up).
HIRA has documented on video the precise excuse that all Oahu Democrats give to deflect blame for the rail boondoggle onto the faceless bureaucrats at HART.  Yes, Djou's 2010 legislative success in "depoliticizing rail" by creating the semi-autonomous City agency known as HART meant that his attacks on Caldwell for mismanaging rail were just empty rhetoric from a desperate RINO who knows he blew it . . . but refuses to admit it.
Indeed, what kind of Republican goes out of his way to create an unaccountable, brand new government bureaucracy which has tripled the cost of the rail project in just eight short years?  A phony Republican named Djou, that's for sure.  Not someone that Hawaii Republicans can afford to have representing us on TV, in office, or anywhere else if we want to convince voters that the GOP has the answers!!
Taxpayers and voters know a con game when they see one .  And Djou chose to cozy up to his Rail Cartel masters rather than fighting for the typical overtaxed Honolulu resident.
How cozy?  This cozy.

Only days after the card-carrying Hawaii Republican expressed his support for heavy rail and his 'openness' to substantially higher taxes, Djou was the 'belle of the ball' at the " Hawaii Labor Unity Picnic " . . . plus Djou got a free totebag and free popcorn from his new masters at the pro-rail unions -- one of which is run by HART's own vice chairman, Damien Kim -- just for supporting the $11 billion rail project.

With pro-rail, pro-taxes city council chairman Ernie Martin and
tax-n-spend Democrat councilman Trevor Ozawa leading the charge for Charles "Heavy Rail" Djou, it's more than a bit bizarre that Hawaii's Republican Party leaders like Hellreich and Rohlfing and Marumoto and Saiki fell all over themselves and dropped everything to endorse the pro-rail, pro-taxes, pro-HART platform of Djou's mayoral campaign.
State GOP chairman Fritz Rohlfing's lieutenant Larie Manutai, chairwoman of the Honolulu County Republican Party, actively helped to punk unsuspecting Republicans when she spoke loudly about the party's embrace of big rail and big taxes:  "It is now our duty as Honolulu County Republicans to turn out every Republican on Oahu to vote for Charles."  In fact, just about everyone at the Hawaii Labor Unity Picnic was excited to realize the success Democrats have enjoyed in infiltrating the Hawaii GOP and converting unsuspecting island Republicans to their cause.  With the help of Rohlfing's other lieutenant, blogger and state rules committee chair Andrew Walden , the votes of newly-appointed and easily-duped party officers across Oahu were lined up in support of Djou's plan for big rail and big tax increases for the Djou-founded HART agency.
GOP honcho Rohlfing clearly indicated to KITV's Denby Fawcett in a
recent Civil Beat article that Republicans need to be even more like Democrats in order to win elections.  Indeed, Rohlfing lashed out at HIRA for being " unreasonably doctrinaire " by expecting Republicans to oppose wasteful spending and high taxes.  Unfortunately, Rohlfing did not bother to explain how life will change for the better in Hawaii through electing liberal GOP candidates who support the identical policies as Democrats (i.e. exactly how wasteful spending and tax increases HURT LESS when embraced by Republicans rather than just Democrats??).  However, Rohlfing did say how excited he was to have corrupt Democrat Rod Tam running as a Republican state senator who aspires to serve alongside Sam Slom so they can cancel out each other's votes.
Clearly, by pursuing validation from Democrats and completely redefining what it means to be a Republican, Djou and Republican Party leaders have essentially taken the Democrat platform down to the nearest
Kinko's Copy Center , replaced the donkey on the cover with an elephant, and made copies of the new, more liberal GOP platform for everybody wanting a free Djou t-shirt or bumpersticker .  They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  Thanks to the new Civil Beat poll, we don't have to wait until Election Day in just three weeks to see how voters will respond to the new pro-rail, pro-taxes Hawaii GOP and the new pro-rail, pro-taxes Charles DjouFour-time loser Djou has been soundly REJECTED.  Other "me-too" RINO's on the ballot are expected to go down in flames as well.
LITTLE KNOWN SECRET :  At small, private gatherings with Republicans, Djou gets to pretend that he isn't selling out to the Rail Cartel and other big government special interests.  His carefully selected buzzwords lull them into a hypnotic state in which Djou supporters actually believe they are listening to a fiscal conservative talk rather than the big spending founder of HART who is even more committed to blowing billions on building heavy rail than Kirk Caldwell.

In a case of trickle-down excitement about Djou's conversion to tax-and-spend policies, State House candidate Jaci Agustin's campaign manager Jack James has been rounding up endorsements from other GOP officers for Djou's pro-rail, pro-taxes candidacy in his related capacity as vice chairman of the Honolulu GOP.  
With his commitment to higher taxes and bigger government, it makes perfect sense that Jack James has been appointed by Rohlfing as chairman of the party's February 2017 Lincoln Day Dinner fundraiser (which is held each year to pay the exorbitant costs of the state party's massive $15,000 per month administrative overhead in order to promote pro-tax, pro-rail, pro-HART candidates and policies).  Perhaps Mayor Djou can be the keynote speaker.  By then, Mayor Caldwell's financial 'recovery plan' for rail will have been reviewed by Obama's FTA and Hawaii's state legislature will be pushing through the next big, permanent increase in our taxes to fund HART's rail project.  It might be fun to hear from Djou how the Honolulu City Council already has more than enough votes to increase taxes over any veto that Djou pretended to threaten.
An political insider from the 2016 mayoral campaign revealed to HIRA:  "It's actually pretty easy to manipulate Republicans in Hawaii.  When They're so desperate.  You know, when Djou talks about rail and taxes and big city government, he just needs to throw in a few words like 'reluctant' and 'concerned' and 'responsible' and 'too expensive'.  Then trot out a few well known progressive Republican endorsers like Pat Saiki, Barb Marumoto, and HART's John Henry Felix.  In the end, you can get enough of these low-information Republicans to support Djou and -- if Djou got into office -- he'd still ultimately give the Rail Cartel what it wants; even if Charles needs to appear 'reluctant' and 'concerned'.  It's a long con, but it's worth it to the unions helping Djou if Caldwell comes up short."
THE BIG LESSON :  If Hawaii Republicans continue supporting the transformation of the state and county GOP organizations into tax-n-spend, fiscally liberal, socially liberal carbon copies of Hawaii Democrats, then the Hawaii GOP is deader than dead.  Win or lose in 2016, Djou and his pro-tax friends at the Donkey Party, the pro-rail unions, and the transit oriented development lobby will be able to celebrate the gutting of the last remnant of the Hawaii GOP.  Is it any wonder that de facto Hawaii GOP leader Miriam "The RINO Empress" Hellreich proudly announced at the most recent GOP State Committee meeting:  "I have been involved in assisting with fundraising for the Djou Mayoral Campaign.  All Republicans should be identifying Djou supporters and getting them in the database for absentee ballots and for the overall get out the vote.  Charles has a good chance of winning the Mayor's race in the Primary, if all of our Republicans and other like minded voters vote for him in the Primary."  Hellreich's previous self-dealing "assistance" to failed candidates Linda "let's increase the rail tax" Lingle and Duke "I remained silent while Lingle hiked taxes for rail" Aiona reportedly helped Miriam scoop up personal income in the neighborhood of $80K per year, based on 17% of the take.  You see, it doesn't matter to the Democrats backing Djou if our party ever elects real Republicans or change Hawaii for the better.  All that matters to these liberals is that they fool enough people to retain control of the Hawaii GOP.  That's what Democrats want.
Finally, today's same Civil Beat survey reveals that the issues of rail transit and trust in government dominate Oahu voter concerns in 2016.  It should long be remembered by Hawaii Republicans that by giving voters a FALSE CHOICE for Honolulu mayor in 2016 and by not offering voters what Republicans should (anti-tax, anti-waste, anti-HART, etc.), we blew the biggest chance to showcase to voters statewide that Republicans are serious about fixing government in Hawaii.

With Djou on his way to decisively losing to Caldwell, local GOP political resources should be immediately shifted to state legislative races, 1 or 2 city council races, and redirecting Hawaii volunteers to make phone calls to voters in key battleground states to help defeat Hillary.  Party leaders who insist on wasting limited GOP resources trying to push Djou's unpopular tax-n-spend heavy rail agenda will be doing lasting damage to the Republican brand.

Moreover, we would be VERY smart to remember what happens each time that Republicans in Hawaii go "all in" for a RINO who overreaches for a big political office.  Money, time and effort get squandered trying to push a progressive Republican across the finish line.  It doesn't work.  This election result below from just four years ago should serve as a reminder to us all.  

So in 2018, let's pledge to give voters a real choice, not an echo of what they've already been getting from Democrats for the past 62 years.  And let's start educating and persuading those voters today about the reforms that we Republicans have to offer them. Most people in Hawaii do NOT even vote.  We must give this sizable majority of island residents (as well as our small base of Republican and independent voters) solid reasons to put their faith in the Hawaii GOP and our conservative, reform-minded candidates.  So join HIRA today, and let's change Hawaii tomorrow.

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