Andria Tupola's Failed GOP Leadership is Disappointing and Embarrassing

Aloha, Republicans:

You don't need to look any further than self-dealing RINO politician Andria Tupola to understand the failure of the Hawaii GOP.  What a horribly disappointing and embarrassing six months it's been with Tupola as top Republican.  A complete disaster.

Six months ago today, music teacher turned politician Andria Tupola replaced Beth Fukumoto as the minority leader of all of Hawaii's elected Republicans in the State House of Representatives.  After six terrible months on the job as the highest ranking Republican official in the entire state, Tupola has done such a horrible job (less than even Beth Fukumoto) that she makes people long for the return of Beth Fukumoto.

Tupola had been trying to get that top GOP job for years.  In fact, she had it in the bag a few years ago until her former caucus colleague, North Shore RINO and one-term house member Feki Pouha, switched his allegiance at the last minute from Tupola to Fukumoto.  But now, after Tupola has had years to imagine herself leading the Republican crusade, Tupola has proven to be a massive disappointment and embarrassment to GOP members from Hilo to Hanalei.
In her  statement to the media back on February 1st the same day she ousted Fukumoto and grabbed the limelight for herself, Tupola said in a bold, expectation-increasing statement that "it is time for the minority to take a  new direction.  This decision today,
we talked about it after the election, we talked about it for the past two years. And we really are looking for a positive direction for our caucus and for the Republican Party," she said.  Tupola told Hawaii News Now that replacing Fukumoto had been under discussion for at least two years.

FAILURE TO MOBILIZE :   So, what happened?  Where's the 'direction'?!?  Those two wasted years of planning by Tupola to become top Republican are nowhere in evidence.  Where is that "positive direction for our caucus and for the Republican Party"???  HIRA is sorry to report that Tupola has KILLED the caucus and helped to KILL the Hawaii GOP.  [Not surprising since Tupola led her colleagues to vote unanimously to make left-wing Beth Fukumoto the top GOP leader only days earlier. ]

With six months on the job (plus years of planning and training for that job), Tupola has been Republican leader for an entire regular session of the legislature, plus the special session which finishes today.  What a complete disaster!!  Remember how, in just a single election back in 1994, Newt Gingrich led the "Contract with America" political revolution from the back bench of the U.S. House to become House Speaker of a house of congress which became majority Republican.  In 1954, in just one election, Hawaii Democrats moved from minority party to majority party and never looked back after 63 years.  In 2017, Andria Tupola just sat there on the bench and did absolutely nothing.  And now she wants to bail out completely**.  (**more on this below)

HOW BAD IS HER LEADERSHIP ??? :   Tupola's tenure has been so bad that Kelii Akina, head of the Grassroot Institute, wasted no time lamenting Tupola's caucus leadership for "the lack of dissent that allows tax-and-spend policies to move smoothly through the Hawaii Legislature."   Exactly, Mr. Akina.  As we know from watching former senate minority leader Sam Slom's example as the one-man GOP caucus (he is really missed), that 'dissent' is supposed to come from each chamber's "minority leader" providing 'leadership' to bring together Republicans statewide to fight the failed Democrat policies and promote the GOP agenda.  We all know how, as senate minority leader, Slom actually spoke out against failed Democrat policies and bad Democrat legislation.  As house minority leader, Tupola has done jack squat.  Instead, she continued spending her time with litter cleanups and using state employees to make self-promotion videos about self-esteem while Republicans statewide wondered if she would ever step up as promised to deliver "a positive direction for our caucus and for the Republican Party."  Well, Tupola failed.

VOTES LIKE A DEMOCRAT:  Plus, Tupola was on the wrong side of so many issues that Democrats had to be proud of her.  Folks still wonder, for example, how she could possibly support driver's licences for Hawaii's 40,000 illegal aliens which drives down wages and takes jobs away from legal local residents, like her own constituents in West Oahu.  The American Conservative Union rates liberal Tupola with a stunning 39% voting record (a great score if she was a Democrat, but 100% would be conservative) based on her 45% score in 2015 and then an even lower 33% in 2016 .  Her 2017 rating is certain to be abysmal too, in light of her shocking votes this year supporting a variety of liberal Democrat policies; from the bloated state budget, to a vote making government employee unions even more powerful in Hawaii (a bill so bad that even Ige listened to HIRA and vetoed it), to the global warming bill which GOP state chair Ostrov warned "would subject the state of Hawaii to the SAME JOB-KILLING REGULATIONS found in the Paris Accord."  It was downright embarrassing to see Minority Leader Andria Tupola embracing Al Gore's agenda .  Ostrov was right to slam those who voted for this legislation.
But Ostrov really should have slammed union 'brownnosers' like Tupola (a term used by Star-Advertiser columnist David Shapiro to describe supporters of this public worker empowerment bill) for pushing the Democrat agenda by voting to deliberately make our state government even more expensive and more dysfunctional .
A MOST UN-SPECIAL SESSION :   With massive, multi-billion dollar tax hikes for rail construction being pushed by Democrats for the past few months (culminating in this week's special session), did Tupola lift a finger to organize Republicans statewide to fight this bad deal?  Nope, not a finger.  Tupola just wanted to 'get it all over with'; reacting to the Democrat tax increase by urging Democrats to just 'make a decision' already .  TUPOLA:  "When the actual decision came out at the end of session and it was just radically different than what they had proposed in the beginning, a lot of people were like 'Where are we going?' I really feel like there's a lot of different things on the table," Tupola said. "Weigh 'em out, figure out which ones are going to work, which ones don't, bring in the stakeholders, make a decision."  Non-existent opposition.  Non-existent mobilization.  She was too busy making self-promotion videos.

A VERY BAD SIGN FOR TAXPAYERS :   Hmm, coming from the HIGHEST RANKING elected Republican in the entire state of Hawaii, that does NOT sound like "raise taxes again over my dead body". It sounds more like "wake me when you're ready to pass the bill." Auwe!!  When the top Republican leader in the State House decides NOT to lead a fight against increasing taxes for the Mufi Train -- instead urging Democrats to make a decision about which taxes to increase to give Kirk Caldwell, Kym Pine, HART and the Rail Cartel the billions in additional funding they want from taxpayers at a special session of the legislature this summer -- then taxpayers and Republicans are in huge trouble.  It speaks volumes that Tupola joined with longtime state GOP leaders Pat Saiki and Miriam Hellreich in deciding to keep the Republican Party on the sidelines rather than fight this massive tax hike. It's a real shame!  No fighting.  Just roll over and play dead.

CALL THE MISSING PERSONS BUREAU :   Where has Tupola been?  Instead of drawing a line in the sand, she hasn't done jack squat for six months.  The entire Democrat agenda went unchallenged.  Tupola didn't even use her seat on the Hawaii GOP's governing 'State Committee' to coordinate ANY kind of Republican assault on failed Democrat policies (or bad legislation), let alone work collaboratively with party leaders to push GOP reforms and solutions.  She was a total no-show at meetings or even between meetings.  Instead of working the past 3 months with state chair Rohlfing and then the past 3 months with state chair Ostrov to create a partnership that advances the GOP agenda, Tupola was a total disappointment and a NO-SHOW to the meetings of the GOP State Committee.  With no planning, no coordination, and not even showing up, shameless self-promoter Tupola proves time and again that she doesn't care about living up to the responsibility of being a GOP leader.  She's in it for herself and herself alone.  All words.  No action.
And now shameless self-promoter Andria Tupola's real motivations have become clear:  It's all about her.

NAKED AMBITION :   We now know that she's planning to weaken the GOP further by abandoning her state house seat and bailing on her tiny, poorly led caucus to make a name for herself running for governor in 2018 .  She's gotta be kidding!!!  What a total Beth "look at me" Fukumoto move!

DAMAGED GOODS :   Tupola is damaged goods whose Republican colleagues, Democrat colleagues and the news media alike no longer see Tupola as 'up and coming' but rather weak and politically injured.  Put aside for a moment that Tupola got completely slaughtered during her campaign a few months ago to run for state party chair; unable to muster a few hundred votes on Kauai.  Even though she was better known than the winner and fellow RINO, Shirlene Ostrov, Tupola lost badly by a 2-to-1 margin in a stunning defeat to a complete nobody who only came into the GOP political scene a few months ago, despite extensive cheating by Tupola's team led by Jack James .  If somewhat well-known Tupola can't beat Miriam Hellreich's ground game, it's time for the the music teacher turned politician to head back home for more litter cleanups and self-esteem videos.  You'd think Tupola would have thrown herself 110% into being a great minority leader.  No luck.  We hurtled toward the special session just like we did through the regular session -- with zero leadership from Tupola and keeping Republicans on the sidelines.  Auwe!
This has got to be a joke.  Like
recent gubernatorial dropout , the accurately self-described "RINO Bob" McDermott, Tupola might simply be pretending to run for governor, raise some money, and then drop out.  But like her predecessors Beth Fukumoto and Aaron "Ling" Johanson, Tupola has shown a willingness to pull the rug out from underneath fellow Republicans in the quest for self-promotion, self-advancement and an increasingly weakened Hawaii GOP.
Maybe Tupola hasn't been willing to fight Democrats because she is looking for the path of least resistance for her personal ambitions to be realized.  But, seriously, how is the person who lost 2 to 1 for party chair three months ago and who hasn't led a single fight as minority leader for the past six months suddenly qualified to be the GOP nominee for governor???  She's not.  Tupola should just stay in Nanakuli and organize litter pickups and collecting donated prom dresses while she reflects on how she squandered the past six months by failing to make a case for Republican solutions and reforms.  In all honesty, Hawaii has HUGE problems which Tupola can't even pretend to care enough about to lead a sustained fight.

THEN THERE'S THE STENCH OF CORRUPTION :   Tupola is already facing a reported state ethics commission investigation for knowingly using state employees on state time with state resources to pursue her political ambitions.  On top of that, Tupola played a leading role in March of this year covering up the swamp of financial improprieties at the Hawaii GOP . . . .
MASSIVE FINANCIAL COVERUP :   In one of the most shameless and shameful votes Tupola has ever taken, she used her power the one time she showed up for a State Committee meeting in March 2017 to vote in favor of an orchestrated cover up of former state chair (and Tupola ally) Fritz Rohlfing's financial corruption and mismanagement at the Hawaii GOP which was exposed belatedly by former treasurer Mary Smart and is now the subject of an independent forensic party financial audit.

In apparent exchange for support from Rohlfing and his stooge Jack James (who spent his paid workdays at party headquarters gathering delegates for Tupola instead of raising funds for the beleaguered state party and instead of selling tickets to the cancelled party fundraiser), Tupola joined with Rohlfing suckups like Steve Yoder on Kauai and Greg Lussier on Maui to delay any treasurer's report which Rohlfing knew would spill the beans on his corrupt two-year reign at the mismanaged state party.  With Tupola's active help, the concerted effort was made in March 2017 to prevent party treasurer Mary Smart from revealing the sickening fiscal shenanigans, looting, unauthorized spending, missing funds, etc. pulled by Tupola's close ally and fellow church members Rohlfing and James during their tenure . . . and during the lead up to the May 2017 state convention on Kauai where Tupola hoped to fulfill her ambition of running for governor of Hawaii as the sitting chairman of the Hawaii GOP.  [How very Linda "RINO" Lingle of her!]
Well, the sordid truth came out anyway, despite Tupola's conspiring with Rohlfing and James to keep a lid on the very extensive corruption.  Then, Tupola's gang failed to install her on Kauai, so she was in no position to continue the failed Fritz Rohlfing / Jack James era of looting the party.
But the corruption didn't end on Kauai.  Since that convention, Tupola's running mate, Fern Mossman (failed 2017 state party secretary candidate) and her husband Paul Mossman (failed 2017 county party chairman candidate) are fraudulently operating and raising money using a fake GOP entity called the "
Republican Party of Honolulu County Central Committee " which is deliberately designed to dupe Republican donors into believing they are donating to the actual county party.  In fact, Tupola's associates, the Mossman's, have recently formed a PAC at the State Campaign Spending Commission (CSC) using a name deliberately designed to fool people into writing checks to what they believe is the REAL Republican Party.  The elaborate and deceptive identity theft involved here includes a fake party website , a fake Facebook page, fake e-mails, a fake DONATION PAGE , and they've already collected donations which are on file with the State CSC.

This might even be a phishing scam since the fake organization's signup page immediately asks visitors for a donation.  Both of Tupola's associates were unsuccessful in their bids to help Tupola take over the party, which might have something to do with the Mossman's new scam formed just days after the Kauai convention to possibly raise money for Andria Tupola's campaign.  Tupola's associates and their scam clearly need to be investigated as does any Tupola involvement, since this is the clearly kind of corruption which Tupola has embraced as recently as March 2017.  

SLEEPING INSTEAD OF FIGHTING :    Finally, the people of Hawaii are suffering under Democrats.  The cost of living and housing are skyrocketing.  Taxes are going through the roof.  Poverty and homelessness are growing faster than statistics can keep up.  Democrats are squeezing the middle class and working class out of Hawaii.  And corruption is rampant.  But Tupola is content to let the ruling party escape responsibility and consequences.  Unlike what you'd expect in Hawaii or on the mainland from a minority leader, Tupola has done nothing to make voters question why they vote for Democrats and NOTHING at all to help voters see Democrats, individually or collectively, for the failures, crooks, and harmful liberals that they are.

There's no question that Hawaii Democrats count on the silence and inaction of Andria Tupola to make it as easy as possible to stay in power and pursue their harmful, greedy progressive agenda.  And today marks six long months of Tupola's do-nothingness.  Republicans were promised serious leadership, but we're not getting even a whimper of leadership.  What's worse is that the Tupola-led minority caucus hasn't been seen or heard from.  Instead of fighting higher taxes, fighting wasteful spending, and fighting social and family experimentation, Tupola's gang has joined in the Democrat lust for power and bigger government.
As Edmund Burke warned us many years ago, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."  And they don't even count as 'good men' when they do nothing at all, like sitting silently as Tupola has proven again and again.
On her six-month-a-versary, Tupola has wasted a half a year now doing nothing but breaking promises.  Tupola's terrible leadership makes people long for Beth Fukumoto.  And the GOP caucus is even more down and out than ever.  So if Andria Tupola is 'the future' of the Republican Party in Hawaii, then the GOP has zero future in Hawaii.  The GOP needs to find a real candidate for governor . . . and soon.

If Tupola actually gets into the race for governor, then we might as well just keep cutting people out of this current photo of the GOP state house caucus -- the only elected Republicans in the entire state.  If she wants to offer four years as governor which are anything like her last six months as minority leader, our state will be in even worse shape than it is under Democrat David Ige.  Auwe!


Member, Hawaii Republican Party (HRP)
President, Hawaii Republican Assembly (HIRA)
Chairman, HIRA Action SuperPAC

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