Desperation.   As local Republicans, it's understandable that we can become so desperate for GOPers to get elected in the islands . . . so desperate that a few of us actually fall for the hype of RINO's who barely share our beliefs.  Some get behind RINO Beth Fukumoto because they're so desperate for GOP victory that they ignore her liberal beliefs and Democrat voting record.  Likewise, RINO Charles Djou -- creator of the HART bureaucracy, open-borders fanatic, and socially 'progressive' on virtually everything -- receives votes of desperation from Republicans because RINO party leaders tell us we should 'vote Djou' so regardless of his record and beliefs.
For the same reasons, the establishment gets behind James "Duke" Aiona because: (1) RINO party leaders vouch for him as a Republican, and (2) because "there's no one else".
In answer to #2 above, the reason there's "no one else" is because our party dumps all its financial and volunteer resources into the same handful of democrat-lite candidates year after year, decade after decade.  WHY would any serious contender who actually shares conservative Republican values bother to run on the GOP ticket in Hawaii when our local party's standards have sunk so low?  Any reasonable potential candidate can easily deduce that the RINO party operatives have our local party's resources locked up behind the usual mini-parade of losing perennial RINO candidates.
When prominent Republican candidates such as James "Duke" Aiona, RINO Lingle's lieutenant governor, and Charles Djou downplay their Republican affiliations, more genuine Republicans like Sam Slom say.  " You don't see a Republican label next to their name, and in fact they don't campaign as Republicans . "If you've got the party leaders who are running away from the brand, and you don't have very strong statements or positions, why would you want to be a Republican in Hawaii?"
As for party leaders vouching for Duke Aiona and his paper-thin claims to be a Republican, let's look at his record and dispense with this myth once and for all.
  • SHIPPING MONOPOLY - Aiona stays silent and inactive on the cause of repealing the price-inflating Jones Act shipping monopoly while island residents get ripped off every single day with every single purchase they make.  Big reforms require big fights.  The Jones Act is another fight that Aiona simply sits out;
  • AMNESTY - Aiona stood silently on the sidelines while Hawaii GOP legislators joined with legislative Democrats and David Ige in supporting driver's licenses for illegal aliens which tens of thousands of illegals are using right now to steal jobs from lawful Hawaii residents.  Making Hawaii a sanctuary state wasn't enough to lift Aiona out of his chair to help lead the fight.  Not surprisingly, Aiona supported Marco "Gang of Eight Amnesty" Rubio for president in 2016, which speaks volumes;
  • GOP PLATFORM - Since 2010, Aiona's RINO surrogates have led the fight to keep the Hawaii GOP neutral and silent on issues for six long years now.  Aiona's minions led by platform committee chair Mark Moses boasted to the Honolulu Advertiser in 2010 when the neutral, Aiona-approved platform was first adopted in 2010:  "a traditional issues-based platform is often not read or followed by Republican candidates and can provide fodder for Democratic attacks."  Gee, with even fewer Republicans in office than in 2010, just how well or poorly is that strategy working out for our state party and its candidates?  Just the way Aiona wanted, apparently, since Moses once again successfully pushed for the adoption of the Aiona-approved neutral platform at our party's state convention just a few weeks ago;
  • the list goes on and on . . .

Let's be honest, Aiona is an election year signwaver.  He doesn't lead the fights which Republicans need to fight in Hawaii.  On the issues, it turns out that Aiona is about as conservative as Beth Fukumoto.

And now, after two years of silence since losing the last two elections, Duke Aiona has told the world that he is considering running for three different offices in 2016Congress -or- Mayor -or- State Senate.

Either he can't make a decision, not a good thing for a public official, or he is equally committed to being the absolutely right person for three distinct constituencies.  Or, his ego is so large that he thinks he should do all three.   Effectively discouraging any other Republican from running for any of those seats, as he did with his long delayed announcement to run and lose for Governor last time, we're thinking Aiona's ego is once again making the decision for him.

With next Tuesday's deadline to file paperwork to appear on the 2016 ballot almost here, KITV is running a poll asking us what Aiona should run for.  Here are the latest results which show an overwhelming number telling Aiona to stay home and watch the election on TV . . .

Okay, after much consideration, here's how HIRA might vote . . .

MAYOR - NO:  Aiona blew his chance to be a serious anti-rail, anti-tax contender years ago while he sat quietly and did nothing.  So nobody in 2016 believes that Aiona would be any different from Caldwell, even if Aiona and our party tried to spend million$ convincing voters that Aiona was the best thing since sliced bread.

CONGRESS - NO:  Aiona, like Djou, has no business being in Congress except as a Democrat.  We already have four big government Democrats representing Hawaii in Washington, D.C.  To spend millions of dollars trying to put Aiona in Congress would be fiscally reckless with limited party resources.

STATE SENATE - WHATEVER:   As for running to unseat Mike Gabbard in the state senate, that might be a good fit for Aiona.  Both Gabbard and Aiona have pretended for years and years to be social conservatives without really doing anything to help social conservatives organize to beat back progressive legislation.  Let's be honest, Sam Slom needs company in the State Senate.  Aiona is no Sam Slom.  But we can't get rid of our desperation problem overnight.  So how much damage could Aiona do in the State Senate?  Probably not much.  But don't underestimate the Cult of Gabbard.  That rather unusual family can bring out a lot of dedicated supporters.  They take winning much more seriously than anyone at the Hawaii GOP.  At least Aiona would be able to mobilize support from outside the district to compete.  It would be an interesting battle.

Ultimately, our party has really big problems which eclipse the political ambitions of Aiona and other perennial RINO candidates and small-time political celebrities who put an "R" after their names.

Desperation is all we seem to know as Republicans in Hawaii .  But that desperation can be changed to hopeful optimism with major changes in leadership and approach.  It's overtime to raise our standards and demand real Republican leaders (candidates and party officers alike) who champion our values.

Let the rebuilding of our party get started today.  Out with the RINO's who refuse to promote our beliefs.  And in with the real Republicans who know that our party has been silent, disorganized, and sitting in a roadside ditch for too long.

We need to transform our party and stock it with real Republicans who actually oppose the liberal Democrat agenda 24/7/365, not opportunistic RINO's only looking out for themselves.

Join the Hawaii Republican Assembly (HIRA) today.  It's the official home for Hawaii's conservatives.  Check us out on Facebook.  And help support our advertising campaigns from HIRA Action.  You can help change Hawaii for the better starting today.


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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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