Right wing ruckus

HIRA leadership lashes out at state GOP chair (again) for failing to increase the number of elected Republicans in Hawaii.

Hawaii Independent Staff

The Hawaii Republican Assembly (HIRA), far right faction of the state’s GOP (the self-declared “Republican wing of the Republican party”) has sent out an open letter written by its outspoken president, Tito Montes, in which he accuses Fritz Rohlfing JR., current state chair of the Hawaii Republican Party, of “unethical and potentially illegal activities and repeated malfeasance…” The letter comes after Rohlfing called a special meeting of the party’s executive committee for tomorrow night at Republican Party headquarters inside the Imperial Plaza building at 725 Kapiolani Blvd. to “supposedly deliberate” on Montes’ future as a district chairman and member of the state committee.

“Sadly, Mr. Chairman, you and the other top officers of the party ARE the very reason Republicans continue to keep losing and why Democrat politicians and Democrat policies continue to govern Hawaii without serious challenge,” Montes writes. Montes has long criticized GOP leaders for not taking a strong enough stance on traditionally Republican ideals. The full letter is quoted below:

Dear Mr. Chairman,

Last week, I received an email, not even a certified official letter signed by you, from the party secretary Mr. Boyd Ready.

In this email, sent expressly on your behalf, you call into question my loyalty and refer to potential party officer removal.  However, the party rule referenced (Section 312) refers to ‘residency’.  You even called a special meeting of the party’s executive committee tomorrow night at Republican Party headquarters at 725 Kapiolani Blvd. to supposedly deliberate on my future as a district chairman and member of the state committee.

Clearly, you’re challenging the Hawaii Republican Assembly’s (HIRA) public exposure of your unethical and potentially illegal activities and repeated malfeasance during your two year tenure as chairman of the Honolulu County Republican Party and your current tenure as chairman of the state party.

Removing me as District Chair, in the hopes of silencing HIRA as whistleblowers, is a useless response to my written warnings that you are wasting dedicated party member financial contributions and their time with each passing day.  HIRA cannot allow good Republicans to continue to waste their money.  It is an outright sham to ask people for money, under the guise of “doing great things” and winning elections, then use it to pay for expensive office spaces and salaries that contribute nothing to that end. Additionally, it is troubling that you would rather waste time and effort removing 1 of 29 filled District Chair positions, instead of focusing on filling the 22 vacant positions in an effort to build our party in preparation for 2016. 

Sadly, Mr. Chairman, you and the other top officers of the party ARE the very reason Republicans continue to keep losing and why Democrat politicians and Democrat policies continue to govern Hawaii without serious challenge.  Your record of abject failure to card-carrying Republicans as the top officer in both the county and state party organizations is evident in your failures to change our course, to make our case for change and to provide clear differentiation between us and the Democrat party.  All of this keeps the Hawaii GOP the weakest political party in the entire country.

Let’s look at the facts:
- The state party has officially adopted a neutral position on each and every political, economic, and social issue facing the people of Hawaii, so that voters have no reason to believe Republicans would be different than Democrats;
- The state party leadership is hypnotized over the false notion that you have to be ‘everything to everybody’, there by allowing you to stand for nothing;
- The party leadership is completely neutered by the poison of political correctness; paralyzing everyone with fear that if we fight and take a stand . . . “oh no, they won’t like us”;
- The party is not being honest and forthright as to why they continue down the same path thinking something different will happen. Is it deliberate with a hidden agenda or is it incompetence? . . . you decide, then tell us;
- 93% of delegates and alternates boycotted the most recent state convention just three short months ago as a show of zero faith in your leadership, with only 150 out of an eligible 2,000 attending;
- 70% of the state party’s officers (i.e. District Chairs) are disillusioned and have stopped attending party meetings;
- You have diverted $120,000 over two years in precious party funds away from advertising, canvassing, etc. (leaving zero for campaigning or voter registration or get-out-the-vote efforts for 2016) in order to install your inexperienced ‘friend’ on the HRP payroll from now through the next election;
- You led the effort to change Party rules engineered to raid funds specifically raised for paying off the party’s mortgage to use as a slush fund for wasteful purposes which were NOT approved in any official budget by the party’s state committee;
- HRP has been running in the red ever since you became state chair, on the heels of running in the red during most of the two years you served as Honolulu’s county chair;
- Party leaders like you are actively blocking an audit of questionable party finances and have even taken steps to prevent an audit from being performed;
- There is NO activity being undertaken by the party since the last election and there’s no political activity planned between now and the 2016 election which would educate and persuade the public to vote Republican, leaving the party dead in the water;
- No effort is being made to win over voters while precincts and districts statewide remain idle, since you have officially postponed even working on any GOP strategy for Hawaii until just a few months before the next election;
- The public is not being engaged by HRP to look at our solutions, our candidates, or to even take a critical look at the record of ruling Democrats because you appear determined to keep HRP weak, silent and ineffective. 

This track record is indefensible. If you disagree with this assessment, please state why. We would gladly entertain any apologist for you or the current HRP organization.

You and your predecessors, over the last 10 years, have alienated, disregarded, neglected, and manipulated an untold number of good solid Republicans, what difference does one more conservative Republican make?

Here’s the bottom line: I believe, as do many others, that Republicans can be the majority party in Hawaii. I also believe that the key to winning a political majority in Hawaii is that party officers at HRP actually need to do their jobs rather than simply circling the wagons to defend against completely legitimate criticism of your perennial inaction and poor decision making.


Hawaii Republican Assembly