The Republican victories across the country this past November 4th were a welcome relief! Here are some state-level highlights:
- 31 out of 50 states have Republican governors, including the blue states of Massachusetts, Illinois, and Maryland;
- Democrats lost super majorities in the California state senate, Maryland state senate, and the Vermont House;
- Republicans have complete control (both chambers and the governor’s office) in 23 states; Democrats have 6;
Then there is Hawaii.
While other state parties fielded “top-of-the-ticket” candidates with courage, conviction, and selfless passion . . . the Saiki/Hellreich team promised victories in 2014 when they put forward lukewarm “moderates” and reluctant partisans Aiona and Djou.
While other state parties were rallying their district/precinct chairs with strong principled platforms, funding them with resources, “beating the bushes” to identify voters, and hammering Democrats for their failed ideologies and policies, the Saiki/Hellreich team promised 11 new members in the state house, 2-3 new members in the state senate, 25,500 new voters, and a massive GOTV effort.
So, what did we get? The Saiki/Hellreich team putting all party efforts and resources to Aiona and Djou; both lost in an open seat election, despite having a name ID advantage over two relatively unknown Democrats. Then there are the severely neglected state house and senate seats losing 70-30 and 60-30 on average. In all honesty, Hawaii got another two completely wasted years from a Hawaii Republican Party that is rife with incompetence, inaction, self-dealing, financial irregularities, and continued liberal drift.
After waiting two weeks to see if they would do the right thing, the Hawaii Republican Assembly or HIRA, which represents the conservative base of Republicans in Hawaii, is calling for the immediate resignation of all executive officers of the state and county party committees, to include chairwoman Pat Saiki, longtime national committeewoman Miriam Hellreich, coordinated campaign head Boyd Ready, treasurer Marcia Klompus and Honolulu County chair Fritz Rohlfing.
When corporate leaders fail, they resign. When nonprofit leaders fail, they resign. When political party leaders fail, they too resign. Now it’s the turn of Pat Saiki and the rest to get out of the way.
It is obvious that HRP’s leaders flat-out refused to wisely utilize all 24 months between elections to educate and persuade and inspire voters, let alone diminish the devotion of so many to the ruling Democrats. This lack of action is either deliberate or a result of incompetence. The lowest voter turnout ever and the microscopic change in the number of registered voters is sufficient evidence that promises made by party leaders to engage in substantial voter drives in the past two years were merely rhetoric.
Even the party’s own executive director Blake Parsons publicly acknowledged the gross incompetence of Hellreich and Saiki in the Star-Advertiser immediately following the election when he admitted that the party should have focused on voter identification and its get-out-the-vote drive sooner. “There was a low turnout. I think there was a lot of apathy out there," Parsons said. "There's still people who don't feel like there is an opportunity, but that's where the Republicans have to do a better job of showcasing candidates.”
Saiki, Hellreich, Ready, Rohlfing and the rest have proven to be incapable of leading a political revolution or insurgency in the islands. They only care about amassing power for themselves and protecting their stranglehold on the Hawaii Republican Party while they eagerly hand victory to the Democrats every election year without fail. It’s no wonder that voters stayed home, especially those who might be inspired to vote for the kind of change our party could have offered.
Our message, our policies and our sacrificial lamb candidates were doomed to fail because party leaders were only pretending to care about running the party. But the Democrats didn’t sit idle and take the election for granted. They knew that all the issues were on our side and that the flurry of bad statistics about our economy, about the poor results of government, the corruption and mismanagement would play into GOP hands if we bothered to campaign for 24 months. But we didn't.
There are no more excuses. No more bogus calls for unity. No more "carrying the water" out of blind loyalty. It’s time for these people to resign and for high profile losing candidates to instruct their surrogates to vacate party positions so that the Hawaii GOP can start to develop as a statewide party and a movement rather than just a minor league t-shirt, balloon and bumper sticker distribution program for their self-serving campaign committees who work for the benefit of one or two losing candidates every two years. More to follow.
President - Hawaii Republican Assembly
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