active volcano of terrible publicity
for Republicans combined with Team Hellreich's very belated and awkward damage control makes it clear that
Hawaii's 2016 GOP candidates have been set up like bowling pins by inept Republican Party leaders
intentionally failed to nip this shambolic problem in the bud (evidence below)
. . .
a massive PR problem which is being skillfully and opportunistically exploited by Democrats and their ideological buddies in the local news media to make Republicans even more unelectable than usual in 2016.
Since HIRA broke the story of
and its #1 minion
ignoring months and months of horrible public statements by Aulani Kaaihue,
Republican candidate for the 2nd congressional district
, much has transpired . . .
none of which is good
. While HIRA has exclusively reported the internal communications showing that Rohlfing ignored recommendations to terminate Kaaihue's membership in the Hawaii GOP, the story is still untold that party leaders could have easily taken decisive action
before the state's deadline
for our party to contest Kaaihue's "R" candidacy on the Primary Election ballot.
In other words:
MONTHS OF TERRIBLE PUBLICITY FOR HAWAII REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES AND THEIR PARTY COULD HAVE BEEN TOTALLY PREVENTED.
According to the State Office of Elections
, this e-mail below from James (also Jaci Agustin's campaign manager) which
recommended and requested action on the proposed termination of Kaaihue's GOP membership
IN ADVANCE OF
June 14th @ 4:30pm
for the Hawaii GOP to object to Kaaihue's candidacy filing. Right then and there, the party had
an open-and-shut case against Kaaihue
(encouraging people to vote for Ewa state house Democrat Matt LoPresti over Republican challenger Bryan Jeremiah) . . .
if only these party leaders had pulled their heads out of the sand (or wherever) and utilized the political experience and acumen they promised they possessed when they ran for party office.
"Speedy action" was requested of state chair Rohlfing. "Speedy action" was DENIED.
Look closely at the names of the people
who could have insisted that the party prevent this entire fiasco yet did
jack squat to protect the party's brand and the viability of its 2016 candidates. [
This would be like finding a smoking gun e-mail from Ambassador Chris Stevens to Secretary of State Clinton urgently asking for better embassy security.] Look closely:
There are some 'heavy-hitters' on the recipient list:
REMEMBER THESE NAMES: Nearly every name on this distribution list (except a handful) constitute
the unconditional supporters of de facto party honcho and RINO Miriam Hellreich who has ruled over the Hawaii GOP for decades. [It's necessary to acknowledge this undisputed and obvious reality of Hellreich's domination through dozens of sychophants in order to understand
any story involving the Hawaii Republican Party.]
RECIPIENTS OF MEMO: National committeewoman
Miriam Hellreich, rules committee chair
Andrew Walden, platform committee chair
Mark Moses, coordinated campaigns chair
Bob Hickling, candidate recruiter
Barbara Marumoto, communications chair
Andy Mukk, treasurer
Mary Smart, coalitions chair
Karen Jensen, past chair
Pat Saiki, county chairs from each island, elected Republicans in the State House and State Senate, highly paid executive director
Marcia Tagavilla, Trump campaign chairman
Nathan "The Prophet" Paikai, and an assortment of sycophantic Hellreich-supporting district chairs (and some non-supporting) from across the state (
who would have overwhelmingly voted for Kaaihue's expulsion with the slightest signal from Empress Hellreich).
: These are all people who are charged with protecting and advancing the party brand, our candidates, and our reputation -- yet put their loyalty to Miriam Hellreich above actually doing their jobs. After 16 years under Team Hellreich, the results below speak for themselves. (
bad news: stay tuned for the updated 2016 graphic on November 9th.)
Keep in mind
how long ago this recommendation to terminate Kaaihue's membership (
thus her Republican candidacy for congress) was made.
It was so long ago that Donald Trump hadn't even become our party's official nominee in Cleveland yet. At this point in mid-June,
there had only been ONE negative media story about Hawaii's racist, nutjob Republican congressional candidate yet. But the very people in whom Republicans TRUST to run our Hawaii GOP organization poured gasoline on this fire instead of using the water available to them.
BAD JUDGMENT: The smoking gun is there for all to see. Hellreich, Rohlfing, Saiki, Marumoto and the rest KNEW they had a problem, KNEW they had a solution, but let the fire get out of control; refusing to stop Kaaihue's disastrous Republican candidacy when it could still be stopped. They ignored the call to terminate her membership following months of outrageous, offensive statements, after months of support for Democrats, and after being handed the solution by Rohlfing's own corruption defender Jack James. Team Hellreich's 'party leadership team' showed laziness, cowardice, and ineptitude when they needed to step up and head off this disaster.
BUT IT GETS WORSE
Making matters much worse is that
Fritz Rohlfing gave a
four days before James' e-mail and four days before the state's deadline
Hawaii News Now
about Kaaihue's offensive campaign banners which boasted that (unlike the dying Mark Takai) she was "
". With four days to go until the deadline to contest Kaaihue's candidacy, alleged attorney and party chair Rohlfing apparently dispensed with any pursuit of due diligence to solve this massive and growing PR problem.
ON A SILVER PLATTER: Let's cut to the chase --
Only the most sight-impaired party leaders could have missed Kaaihue's multiple posts promoting her boyfriend's Democratic candidacy for congress - CAUSE FOR IMMEDIATE TERMINATION. But clueless Rohlfing and the rest of the inept Team Hellreich either didn't bother do five minutes of web searching and/or (if they did) they didn't recognize that
they were handed the justification to terminate Kaaihue's GOP member on a silver platter from Kaaihue herself and thereby stop any more bad press. Just look at the dates on these posts below. Team Hellreich could have kicked Kaaihue out of the party and off the ballot on May 24th --
three full weeks before the first Hawaii News Now story which got this all started and
more than three months ago:
The solution was right there before Fritz Rohlfing's deer-in-the-headlights eyes. It's
bad enough that the ever-bumbling Team Hellreich failed to prevent the predictable tsunami of bad publicity for our party and for our GOP candidates. But
normally in politics, you see, one would worry about how a scandal like this might temporarily drown out a strong Republican campaign message of why voters should replace Democrats with our brave challengers. But since Team Hellreich has
totally failed to put forward any coherent message in 2016, this scandal is
all that the newsmedia (
and the voters) have to talk about on the subject of Republicans in Hawaii. Without party leaders having even tried to put Democrats on defense over their record in office through a coordinated campaign, powerful communications, coalition building, and organized voter contact across 246 precincts statewide, Aulani Kaaihue has instead
filled the void to become
the official theme of the 2016 elections.
PRETEND YOU ARE WALKING PAST TOTAL STRANGERS AT THE MALL
: At home and around the watercooler, regular folks have
to discuss (for example) how electing more Republicans to the legislature means we can repeal that tax hike or reform public education or fix the roads or protect our keiki. The Hawaii GOP is not transmitting or orchestrating even one of those messages in 2016. Instead, exploiting the silence coming from our party, local Democrats are already
raising money from donors
defending their seats
in office by insinuating that
Kaaihue is not alone among racist Republicans on the 2016 ballot
. And with party-switcher and corrupt City Hall veteran
Rod "Mexicans are wetbacks" Tam
enthusiastically embraced by Team Hellreich
as a featured GOP candidate this year, our own party leaders are essentially helping Democrats to prove their point that they should stay in power. Tragically, our brave GOP candidates statewide are being directly and indirectly impacted by the party's negligent embrace (and non-rejection) of Kaaihue's candidacy; and tarnished further with strategic Democrat accusations that "all Republicans are racist and intolerant".
: You know it's bad when GOP candidates like Sandra "Sandy" Combs --
Team Hellreich's very own challenger for state house in HD14 on Kauai
-- feels that she needs to
publicly endorse Democrat Tulasi "Tulsi" Gabbard for re-election
in order to distance her already flailing campaign from Kaaihue: "
I will vote for Tulsi Gabbard over her
," Republican Combs announced to the people of Kauai through the Garden Island newspaper and website . . .
even though Combs has now done exactly what Kaaihue herself did by openly and very publicly supporting a Democrat for office
. Heck, that's precisely what Kaaihue was cited for in
Rohlfing's incredulous announcement yesterday
which caused her to be banished from the Hawaii GOP's membership roll. A
clear-cut state party rule
(Section 107 - Termination) without any exceptions for political expedience:
"...actively campaigns for any candidate running for election in opposition to any nominee of the Party."
*** And you know that Combs is
not alone among local Republicans
in apologetically making declarations like this to curry favor with voters and the media while the pressure of this story puts GOP candidates on the defensive.
CARELESS: So, instead of protecting their 2016 candidates halfway into an election year, these incompetent GOP leaders basically locked our brave challengers in a room with no fire exits along with pyromaniac Kaaihue and enough of her flammable rhetoric to burn down every chance of winning which was already in shorter supply than than breathable air among the smoke and flames.
The repercussions, recriminations and fallout from this mess are still piling up like garbage during a strike. Tragically, this story will continue to stay in the news from now until November 8th (the crucial day that we are all supposed to be working toward since November 2014).
For starters, just this morning, Fritz Rohlfing attempted to
throw the party's candidate recruiter
under the bus
by 'outing' her role to Civil Beat just one day after Rohlfing
belatedly announced the termination of Kaaihue's party membership
. When asked if the Hawaii GOP actively recruits candidates, Rohlfing was quick to answer: "Yes, we do recruit," said Rohlfing.
"One of our five vice chairs has a specific responsibility for candidate recruitment, and that person is former state Rep. Barbara Marumoto."
Ouch, that hurts
Sanctimonious Fritz wants the world to forget that he tried very hard to get party leaders to talk Mufi Hannemann into being the Hawaii GOP's candidate for governor a couple of years ago (instead of Duke Aiona) at a secret meeting of Team Hellreich held in Rohlfing's house in Manoa. If you run into RINO's David Chang or Beth Fukumoto or members of Charles Djou's team, be sure to ask how much fun they had that day with Mufi at Fritz's house.
Mind you, Rohlfing's
membership termination maneuver yesterday
several months too late
to keep Kaaihue off the ballot for the Primary Election (which she won), or the ballot for the General Election (which happens automatically when one wins a primary), and way too late to prevent
the continuing deluge of dozens of related news stories bringing endless negative publicity for Republicans in Hawaii
. . .
all of which was preventable
In an ironic twist, as the Republican Party's nominee for the two-year term to occupy the open seat in Congress once occupied by the late Mark Takai,
Kaaihue will be simultaneously running as a Democrat in the special election to fill that same seat for the few remaining months of Takai's term in office
. Yes, voters throughout the 2nd congressional district (half of our state's voters) will get to see Kaaihue's name TWICE on their ballots: as a Republican and
as a Democrat
Starting several months ago, Democrats wasted no time jumping all over Republicans for the Kaaihue scandal once she began hanging anti-Takai banners boasting that she was "cancer-free". Then, this past Friday, Democrats wasted no time appearing organized and determined by going to court to keep Kaaihue off the special election ballot --
once word broke that Kaaihue was also going to run for congress as a Democrat
. You see, once they discovered that Kaaihue, a card-carrying member of the Democrat Party, had filed to run for congress as a Republican, they terminated her membership: "We already sent a letter to Ms. Kaaihue letting her know that, under our bylaws, her candidacy in the Republican Party was grounds for mandatory expulsion," Party Chair Tim Vandeveer said Friday. "She is not a member of the Democratic Party of Hawaii.
Hmmm, really great vetting by Team Hellreich whose 'leaders' didn't bother to ask Kaaihue if she was a Democrat when she pulled papers to run as a Republican.
: Just like HIRA, Civil Beat had
no problem uncovering the
and months of
of Aulani Kaaihue. But
nobody on Team Hellreich seems to be interested in vetting our candidates or developing opposition research on Democrats
. C'mon, any political party worth its salt does its homework as well as checking to make sure its own candidates file the proper paperwork and submit required campaign finance reports. At the very least, the goal is to avoid bad publicity.
Doesn't Team Hellreich see the value in performing vetting to avoid embarrassment to its brand, to the party and its other candidates??
[***By the way, NO such filings at the Federal Election Commission (FEC) exist for Ms. Kaaihue. She's spent a fortune on signs and banners, well above the threshold to necessitate registering with the FEC and filing regular finance reports. YET ANOTHER MISSED WARNING SIGN.]
In light of these additional facts,
it's time for all of them at Team Hellreich to resign. They are destroying the Hawaii GOP. Remember, it wasn't "too late" for Donald Trump to recently bring in new campaign management for the third time. So it's not too late for the Hawaii GOP to bring in replacements for the incompetent RINO's of Team Hellreich. Indeed, the call for resignations of the "Cult of Miriam" has grown louder. HIRA's mailbox is overflowing with vitriol for the bozos running our party. We have barely more than 2 months until Election Day. Decisive leadership will come too late at next year's state convention. WE NEED NEW HAWAII PARTY LEADERS NOW !!!!!!