HIRA's Official
for State GOP Chair Candidates 
(19 Questions) 

Aloha Republicans:
As you probably know, there are currently three announced and/or presumptive candidates for state chair of the Hawaii Republican Party (HRP):  Fritz Rohlfing, Shirlene Ostrov and Andria Tupola.
Their candidacies for state chair come at a time when there is so much at stake for the Hawaii GOP.  Our preferred opposition party to the long-ruling Democrats has been declining steadily in the islands for two decades.  Obviously, just like you, the officers and members of the Hawaii Republican Assembly (HIRA) appreciate the significance of the ongoing 2017 leadership contest in which these three individuals are central figures.
The delivery of extremely disappointing results by past party leaders are a clear sign that we need to change how we select party officers.
Far too often, the campaigns for party officer posts are completely removed and unrelated to the actual issues which vex our long-suffering party.
For this reason, the key questions about a variety of pertinent issues concerning the future of our party are left unanswered because candidates and their supporters are merely playing a numbers game; running single-issue campaigns which hope to collect enough delegates from their peer groups rather than transparently presenting a comprehensive vision for the Hawaii GOP . . . a vision for which they can be held accountable throughout and at the completion of their 2-year term in office.

Winning candidates for State Chair have not necessarily delivered winning results for our troubled party.
HIRA believes that you deserve to know all the answers to the most basic and pressing questions about how each of these candidates would approach the job of state chair, what kinds of policies they would pursue, and what kind of people they would surround themselves with.
That's why, after reviewing a slew of reader mail from across the state, HIRA has developed a 19-question survey.  Our questionnaire ( below) asks all of the most compelling questions for which anybody who wants to lead the Hawaii GOP should already have clear answers.
Earlier today, HIRA sent this very questionnaire to Mr. Rohlfing, Ms. Ostrov and Ms. Tupola requesting their responses by 5pm, this Friday, April 7th.
It is HIRA's intent to help all Republicans in Hawaii by making the views of these three candidates known on a variety of important topics of great interest of card-carrying Republicans statewide.
The responses received from these candidates will then be published by HIRA's digital media team so that island Republicans from Hilo to Hanalei can make informed decisions.
Moreover, based on these results ( plus extensive research conducted by HIRA), you can expect preliminary recommendations for consideration by all Republicans in deciding which candidate should lead our party between May 2017 and May 2019.
Thanks in advance to all three candidates for participating in HIRA's survey of candidates for state chair of the Hawaii Republican Party.  And thank you to HIRA members and readers across the state for your kokua in developing this questionnaire.

Finally, due to the importance of this party election, HIRA is seriously contemplating a second survey which focuses on specific public policy issues.  Until then, we look forward to reviewing their thoughtful responses to this first survey.

President, Hawaii Republican Assembly (HIRA)
Chairman, HIRA Action SuperPAC 

  1. Presently, HRP does not engage in issues advocacy either at the county, state or federal level.  If elected state chair, will you continue refraining from allowing the party and its membership to pursue GOP advocacy, or will you unleash the potential of tens of thousands of members to affect change in Hawaii?
  2. Presently, HRP has a platform (LLIFE) which is officially neutral on the many specific issues affecting the residents and taxpayers of Hawaii.  If elected state chair, will you use your influence to retain the neutral platform?  If so, why?  If not, what changes will you seek?  Will you allow duly elected grassroots members of the platform committee to create a platform without undue influence by party leaders?
  3. Presently, HRP dedicates no time, money or effort to educating and persuading the public in order to make it easier for GOP candidates to win their races,  Will you continue this policy and, if so, why?  If you plan to change this policy, what specific differences will the public notice and will there be a dedicated budget?
  4. Presently, party officers from top to bottom have extremely low expectations of performance and rarely, if ever, have to provide regular reports of their progress (or lack thereof).  Will you continue this policy and, if so, why?  If not, what specific changes can party members expect?
  5. Whom do you plan to help get elected to work alongside you on the executive committee of the state party?  (i.e. Who else is on your slate?)
  6. Do you plan to retain or sell HRP's costly Kapiolani headquarters and why?
  7. Presently, HRP headquarters is extremely underutilized and ill-equipped for political campaigning.  What plans do you have for maximizing HRP's effectiveness between now and November 2018?
  8. Presently, HRP's standing committees (platform, rules, finance) are virtually nonexistent, unproductive and are not meeting year-round like standing committees would.  Do you plan to let these committees remain stagnant or will you put these committees to work year-round?
  9. Who do you plan to appoint to head each of the standing committees (platform, rules, finance) and why?
  10. The platform and rules committees have been perennially manipulated by party bosses to ensure certain outcomes.  Do you agree that such manipulation has been the case in recent years?  Will you continue allowing this manipulation or will the grassroots members of the party be allowed to exert their influence on these committees?
  11. Breaking party rules has been all too common in recent years in order to accommodate the interests of certain elements within our state party.  Do you agree that such rulebreaking has been taking place?  What plans do you have to address and prevent such rulebreaking if you are elected?
  12. In the past, the precinct, district and county committees have not been provided with any real tools with which to perform their jobs.  What concrete plans and specific tools do you plan to provide precincts, districts and counties?
  13. For years, the state committees and the county committees have been emasculated by the state executive committee and, often, the state chair himself or herself.  Do you agree or disagree with this assessment and why?  How committed are you to pushing decisionmaking throughout the year back to the state committee and the counties?
  14. The Hawaii Republican Party is at an all-time low.  Now that the Hawaii GOP is in an even more distant second place to the Democrats, should party leaders (the state committee and county committee) be meeting more frequently than just quarterly for a couple of hours in between general elections?  What are your plans for a schedule of meetings to ensure that planning, coordinating and work is getting done?
  15. Do you believe that the election process for party leadership in 2017, from the scheduling and holding of precinct caucuses, the scheduling and holding of district elections, the scheduling and holding of county conventions, and the scheduling, holding and locating of the state convention has been carried out in accordance with party rules?  If not, have any violations of rules taken place?  Has existing party leadership ensured a fair, impartial, and evenhanded process in 2017?
  16. Do you hold any positions outside the party which could conflict with representing Republicans across the state as party chair?
  17. Presently, HRP does not communicate with its members very much.  What specific plans do you have to keep party members better and more regularly informed of party news and progress being made throughout the year?
  18. What concerns do you have, if any, with the financial management of the state party and/or the transparency of the executive committee with the state committee members?
  19. What are the main reasons why the Hawaii Republican Party has been in decline for the past two decades?  What specific plans do you have to maximize the potential for Republican candidates to get elected in 2018?

***** End of Questionnaire - Please reply by Friday @ 5pm *****

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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. 
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Hawaii Republican Assembly  | P.O. Box 2567 | Ewa Beach, HI 96706