THE ELECTION IS OVER:
So, Let's Crunch Some #'s
Whew, it's been one week since that rollercoaster ride of Election 2016 came to an end. It was a very happy ending for Republicans nationally, with control of the White House, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. Fantastic!!
, unfortunately, that's where the good news ends. Hawaii's election results were a complete, unmitigated, self-inflicted DISASTER.
The very, very happy chairman of Hawaii's Democratic Party, Tim Vandeveer proclaimed that Hawaii's Republican Party is toast. When asked on Hawaii News Now how far the Hawaii GOP has to go before being rejuvenated, his answer provides both a reality check and a simple roadmap for island Republicans: "Based on last night's results, pretty far away? Voters overwhelmingly voted for Democrats, a reflection of long-held values by the residents of our state."
: The GOP in Hawaii is worse off today because of the total unwillingness of our party leaders to make any effort to change local public perception about Republicans (or even educate the public about the failed record of Democrats). For the past two years, like the two years before that, the failure to make our party's case has kept the voting public firmly in the Democrat column. Meanwhile, Hawaii Democrats aggressively make their case for the full two years between elections while the GOP gets weaker.
And these numbers from 2016 prove this out. You shouldn't expect Fritz Rohlfing or anyone else from the RINO party leaders at Team Hellreich to provide you with this very unflattering statistical information, since the facts don't lie. As you can see, after two long years during which our party should have been using (but refused to use) its statewide party organization and hundreds of thousands of donor dollars to educate and persuade and mobilize voters, we saw ZERO improvement over the 2014 election. In fact, our position is worse. The average percentage of votes received by our challenger candidates DECLINED in 2016.
Not only do voters find the Hawaii GOP unappealing, but so do our candidates. Fewer and fewer step forward to run each year. 2016 saw another massive decline in the number of people willing to be Republican candidates. Can you really blame them?
While Democrats take care of their candidates after recruiting them -- by making the case for Democrat policies and governance, helping to find volunteers, helping to find campaign leaders, helping to canvass neighborhoods, providing them with tools and direction, identifying voters, and then getting out the vote -- our party's leaders just throw our candidates to the wolves, toss them under the bus, and then blame them for losing.
Most who have run as Republicans before never run again because of the bad taste left in their mouths after being abandoned by the Hawaii GOP. The disgraceful mismanagement of the Hawaii GOP has turned off potential candidates and returning candidates alike. Who would want to be a Republican candidate in 2018 or beyond with Team Hellreich in charge? The recruitment trend is a downward one, just like the embarrassing win/loss record for Team Hellreich. Don't think for a moment that potential candidates aren't aware of the following trend at the hands of current party leaders. They know. And they don't want to be set up to fail.
You already know that we've dropped from 8 elected Republicans to just 6 after last Tuesday. You already know that the only candidate our party tried to assist was the left-leaning founder of HART Charles Djou, who has now lost four major election campaigns in a row. And you already know that not a single Republican challenger beat a Democrat incumbent or even won an open seat with no incumbent.
It's that last statistic which matters most. Since our party occupied a very distant second place and since Democrats occupy most elective offices in Hawaii, GOP challengers need to win races in order to change the balance of power in our favor. We won't repeal or reform a single failed policy of the Democrats until and unless we comprise the majority in the state legislature or a county council. Losing again and again because we fail to even try to make our case to voters is political suicide. In an upcoming newsletter, HIRA will show you that Team Hellreich had our party organization in a standdown mode which rivaled the infamous Clinton-Obama non-response to Benghazi.
So, ultimately, there's just one question to answer when rendering judgement about how well or how poorly any political party performed over a two-year period. The question is this:
Did the party actually improve the prospects of its candidates winning on Election Day?
No. The numbers instead prove that our party leaders have made it harder for Republicans to win in Hawaii.
Yes, harder. Despite all the statistics which are on our side (e.g. 50% of Hawaii residents living paycheck to paycheck, exploding cost of living, massive tax hikes, corrupt politicians, worst state to make a living, worsening crime, etc.), our party leaders REFUSED to use the past two years to influence Hawaii's political environment one iota to make it easier and more likely that our candidates would beat Democrats in 2016. Meanwhile, local Democrats never let up in their ambition-fueled strategy and execution, not once.
You see it in the state races, the local races AND in the national vote totals. The Trump-Pence ticket did as badly in Hawaii as the average local GOP candidate for state house or state senate.
Donald Trump won merely 30.1% of the vote in Hawaii while Crooked Hillary won 62.3% of the vote. Despite all of the negatives about Clinton (which the Hawaii GOP refused to amplify), local voters only heard from the Hawaii Democrat Party locally and voted accordingly.
Yes, we are very happy and feel very fortunate that Clinton lost nationally. But Team Hellreich didn't do a lick of work in Hawaii to help improve Trump's chance of winning Hawaii's 4 electoral votes. Not a thing. In fact, Team Hellreich opposed Trump during the primary and were extremely unhelpful during the general. That's a fact. Check with Trump Hawaii's own leadership team and they will tell you horror stories from 2016 which rival those of the total lack of party support received by Sam Slom's campaign team.
Yes, there's a big price to be paid by card-carrying Republicans, our candidates, and our voters for having party leaders which don't even try to beat Democrats. Do you know what that price is?
HERE IS THE PRICE OF NOT EVEN TRYING . . .
Hawaii's GOP stands virtually alone in failing as miserably as it does. Hawaii is one of only five states with a Democrat governor and a Democrat state legislature. The rest of the states are either solidly Republican (25) or are split between the parties. You might have thought that lots of other states are in the same boat as Hawaii. But no, no, no, we are in this very lonely boat because we suffer at the hands of a poorly-run Republican Party which seems determined to lose by deliberately playing as poorly as the game could be played. Most other state and county GOP organizations in most other states have their act together.
HERE'S A MINI-REPORT CARD
*** "F" grades all around ***
The years 2014, 2015 and 2016 were a total waste of time, money and effort. Clearly party chair Fritz Rohlfing never had any intention of leading our party to victory. Not only do the results speak volumes about the disastrous results, but no previous party chair has done less to ensure that the two years between the 2014 election and last Tuesday's blowout were used productively.
National Committeeman Gene Ward promised in his speech and on television to bring back money from the mainland for the 2016 election. Not a penny. Clearly he spent more time defending his long-held state house seat in East Honolulu against a token candidate (while Senator Sam Slom fell to the Democrats in Ward's house district) than he ever did helping fund the Republican effort. As Miriam Hellreich's latest puppet, Ward only ran for the NCM position in order to keep a non-puppet conservative from serving on the party's executive committee.
Vice Chair Bob Hickling was in charge of our "coordinated campaign". What coordinated campaign? Voters had no idea why Republicans were even on the ballot. Unbelievably, Hickling did an even worse job than his immediate predecessor Boyd Ready, who was demoted to party secretary two years ago (yet can't seem to do the simplest job of putting agenda and minutes for quarterly meetings in the hands of state committee members in a timely manner). Voter registration was nonexistent, as was voter identification, coordination between the various Republican campaigns and the Party to maximize effectiveness of campaign and Party resources, and just about everything else the party needs to do to win. Disgraceful.
Vice Chair Andy Mukk was in charge of "communications". What communications? On a radio show recently, I offered $1,000 cash to the first caller who saw a TV commercial from the Hawaii GOP. Needless to say, I didn't have to pay out that cash award. There were no communications. It wasn't for lack of examples of communications by other state parties and the RNC. Spending just 15 minutes on YouTube could have given Andy Mukk an education on how his do-nothingness with party communications was unacceptable. Clearly, this guy (who is in his second 2-year term of office as the Communications Czar for the Hawaii GOP) really likes losing.
Vice Chair Barbara Marumoto was in charge of "candidate recruitment". Look at the numbers above. Then look at those numbers again. We're at rock bottom. Fewer people than ever want to put their name on the ballot with our party. Yet Marumoto is perfectly happy with how our party is run by herself, Miriam Hellreich, and Pat Saiki. After the 2016 disaster, there's now an even longer list of people who will say "no" when Marumoto calls them about running for office as a Republican in 2018.
Vice Chair Karen Jensen, one of the few conservatives in the entire party leadership, was belatedly put in charge of "building coalitions" for the Hawaii GOP. Rohlfing and Hellreich set her up to fail after her predecessor did absolutely nothing. None of the party's natural allies (pro-life, pro-2nd Amendment, tax fighters, government privatizers, tea partiers, policy reformers, family values advocates, etc.) have a 'seat at the table' in our party's headquarters. Nor have any new allies been cultivated. The entire strategy was to add new addresses to the party's e-mail list after the March presidential caucuses and then send lots of e-mail messages to these same people over and over in hopes that a mere 25,000 people statewide would change the outcome of an election in which 438,000 voted.
Vice Chair Nancy "Fancy Nancy" Monahan was in charge of community service events for the party. What events? All she did was serve as a willing puppet for Hellreich -- using her vote on the party's powerful executive committee in support of failed spending and failed strategies which have now killed off the Hawaii GOP.
Treasurer Mary Smart was in charge of ensuring that monies were spent according to the party's budget and that donors were not lied to about how their money would be used. With all of the 'bait and switch' abuse of party funds, 'fiduciary responsibility' apparently has no meaning to party leaders who have spent every penny of donor money on administrative overhead and ZERO on spreading the party's message, organizing for victory, and winning elections.
The county chairs were a complete disaster. But then, they all work for National Committeewoman Miriam Hellreich (now starting her third decade running the Hawaii GOP, after being nominated this past May for another four years by rail tax increase supporter Bob McDermott) whose twisted priorities are 180 degrees different from that of card-carrying Republicans. We want to win elections and change government policies, while she (and her teammates and puppets) clearly don't.
HAWAII GOP PARTY LEADERS THREW THE 2016 ELECTION.
Again, we refused to make the case to the voters and failed to set the stage for our brave candidates. KHVH's Rick Hamada calls Team Hellreich's 'leadership' abysmal, while Sam Slom warns that Hawaii voters don't even bother to vote at all because of the lack of competition Democrats face at the hands of Hawaii's GOP organization.
We know the leaders above (and others not named here) wasted another two years since the 2014 election. NOW, here's how much money they BLEW over the past two years. Sit down for this . . .
According to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Team Hellreich (with Miriam Hellreich in charge and Fritz Rohlfing and Gene Ward among her puppet leaders) has blown through $472,011 since the 2014 election. And they've possibly blown $144,135 more, if you factor in the amount that Hellreich's party treasurer Mary Smart also reported to the State Campaign Spending Commission.
That's right, fellow Republicans, Team Hellreich has wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars of donor funds over the past two years. It might even be worse than that. By December 8th, we'll find out from the next round of state and federal campaign finance reports due to be filed by the Hawaii GOP just HOW MUCH WORSE this situation is. [Leaked information from HIRA's friends inside party headquarters indicate that MORE bad news about our party's finances will be reported by Hellreich's loyal treasurer Mary Smart on or before December 8th.]
Donors to the Hawaii GOP should take away one extremely valuable lesson from the 2016 elections: DO NOT waste any more of your money on the Hawaii GOP until the party is under 100% completely new management.
Speaking of "new management", Team Hellreich is already planning to retain complete control of our party from top to bottom over the years again in order to perpetuate the political disaster of 2016 again and again. They've created a rigged system at our party headquarters in which they have exclusive access to all records of party members; contact information which they will continue to shamelessly exploit to ensure their own re-election as party leaders, while blocking any leadership challenge. Keep in mind that these are the same party leaders who tried to cancel next year's state convention and EXTEND their own terms in party offices by an entire year -- putting these same failed leaders in charge of another poorly run (2018) campaign without any party members having a say in the matter.
But help is on the way.
Please stay tuned for an exciting announcement from HIRA (by the end of this week) which will be a real
. With Team Hellreich's horrible results year after year, with no hope of repealing and replacing failed Democrat policies here in the islands,
you deserve BETTER leadership
of the Hawaii Republican Party. And
you deserve a CHOICE of leadership
for our party. That's why, with your help, HIRA will pull out all the stops to rescue our party from the RINO's and closet Democrats who hijacked our party decades ago.
Never again will our party organization be allowed to stand down and watch Democrats win without challenge. In the meantime, if you want a stronger and more successful Hawaii Republican Party, please CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP TODAY and become part of the solution beginning in early 2017. Party leaders have already thrown away the past week (refusing to hold any meetings for months) as we get closer to the November 6, 2018 General Election. Join HIRA Action's Leadership Campaign today to fix our ailing party.
Keep in mind that, by every metric, Team Hellreich has destroyed the Republican Party in Hawaii. It's not a fair fight for our candidates when the Democrat Party has its act together but the Hawaii GOP does not. Just to review the highlights of Hellreich's total failure, with a trip down memory lane of our party during 2014-2016:
The bad news
: Our party is dead in the water at the hands of Team Hellreich. We're not losing because Hawaii is a blue state. Rather, Hawaii is a blue state because our own party leaders are causing us to lose.
President, Hawaii Republican Assembly
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HAWAII REPUBLICAN ASSEMBLY (HIRA)
The Hawaii Republican Assembly (HIRA), an affiliated chapter of
is the conservative standard-bearer of the Republican Party of Hawaii
and the leading advocate for conservative solutions in the islands.
We are not an official arm of the Republican Party of Hawaii (RPH).
We are the conservative base of the Republican Party.
Hawaii Republican Assembly
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