Team Hellreich Dumps Fritz Rohlfing after $100,000 Goes Missing or "Depleted"
Kaboom!! If longtime GOP empress and RINO national committeewoman Miriam Hellreich has her way at the state convention in May, Fritz Rohlfing and his recently hired henchman Jack James might soon be looking for new jobs. That's because Hellreich's organization and her official mouthpiece, the Oahu League of RINO Women (OLRW), have publicly called on Rohlfing and his "high priced" staffer James to be tossed out in favor of an easily-controlled political neophyte with no experience in getting others elected or in battling Democrats over state and local issues -- the Oahu League's own recently installed vice president, Shirlene Ostrov. [More about Hellreich's associate Ostrov and the Hawaii GOP leadership race in our next issue.]
Yep, Team Hellreich is dumping Fritz Rohlfing out with yesterday's trash. This major plot twist adds to the already sizable intrigue of 2017; a year when party leadership elections and convention planning have already seen widespread cheating, manipulation, and irregularities galore at the hands of Rohlfing and Hellreich and their lackeys on the state party's executive committee.
So why changes horses now? The short answer is that control freak Hellreich wants a more willing puppet since Rohlfing wasn't quite fuzzy or pliable enough for her needs. The longer answer has to do with Hellreich's determination to ensure the 'legacy' of the Oahu League's myopic vision of a very costly, poorly-located and extremely underutilized luxury headquarters for themselves --- co-owned on paper with the Hawaii GOP yet funded 100% by the GOP's donors.
HIRA has long called for the selling of this financial albatross for which the maintenance fee alone is $3,000 per month because, after all the headquarters expenses have been covered each month, not a penny of the party's budget is left over -- resulting in ZERO investment in messaging, campaigning, lobbying or anything else which realizes the entire point of being a political party.
WAR OF THE RINOS: Recently, current chair Rohlfing and current co-executive director James have reportedly arrived at their own belated agreement with HIRA's longstanding position; going so far as meeting with realtors to explore selling. There's the rub. It's not an exaggeration to describe any consideration of selling the 'bottomless pit' headquarters as a declaration of all-out war against the Oahu League of RINO Women. Read the new issue of the OLRW's newsletter and see the vitriol and contempt for yourself. The OLRW believes that Republicans in Hawaii owe the Oahu League a permanent office space, all expenses paid, near downtown Honolulu, forever. And any threat to that arrangement is tantamount to picking a street fight.
Sure, there's been lots of bad blood between Hellreich and Rohlfing before. You probably remember how Oahu League members Hellreich, Pat Saiki and Barbara Marumoto (who dominate the ruling executive committee of the Hawaii GOP) ripped Fritz Rohlfing a new one after it was exposed by HIRA that Rohlfing had secretly withdrawn thousands of dollars without authority from the Hawaii GOP's bank account to hire a Democrat union lawyer in order to threaten HIRA with a lawsuit unless conservative HIRA went out of business so that HIRA would not be able to broadcast TV and radio commercials -- powerful ads which attacked the failed Democrat Machine's record in Hawaii while promoting Republican policies and encouraging voting for Republicans in Hawaii. Well, those thousands of dollars stolen from the party's coffers by Rohlfing were supposed to be used to make two mortgage payments on the headquarters. That was some pretty upsetting news for OLRW.
Then, things got really bad last May when Rohlfing and his appointed rules committee chairman (RINO blogger Andrew Walden) attempted to change party rules so that Rohlfing could extend his term in office from 2 to 3 years without new elections. If adopted, Rohlfing would have remained state chair through the 2018 election season. Hellreich grudgingly sided with HIRA to fight this abysmal, self-dealing proposed rule change. Ultimately, delegates at the May 2016 state convention in Waipahu overwhelmingly rejected extending Rohlfing's term by a whopping 4-to-1 vote which left Rohlfing and Walden onstage looking stunned and bewildered.
Well, those dark episodes in Hellreich-Rohlfing history are nothing compared to how inconsolably outraged Hellreich and her Oahu League of RINO Women have grown about Rohlfing's unwillingness (or inability) to raise substantial money as state chair to pay for the party's luxury headquarters -- not to mention the shocking new position adopted by Rohlfing and James to unload this financially burdensome 2,000 square foot retail space in the 27-year-old Imperial Plaza building. Such a move would screw the Oahu League out of having its own permanent OLRW headquarters for life paid for by unwitting and bamboozled Republicans across the state who thought their donations were actually paying for advertising and organizing to fight Democrats and get Republicans elected.
Well, the bad blood between Hellreich and Rohlfing gets even worse with the shocking revelation of $100,000 gone missing or 'depleted' from the GOP's "building fund". And Hellreich is exploiting this revelation to upset her fellow Oahu League members in hopes they will become delegates to the state convention where they can dump Rohlfing and replace him with the Oahu League's own vice president.
SHADY FINANCES: For years, HIRA has repeatedly called for an audit of our party's extremely sketchy finances. Adding fuel to the fire for a close examination of the party's books was the stunningly bad decision by the party's RINO treasurer and Hellreich protégé Mary Smart when she flatly refused to provide a financial report or answer any questions about money at the most recent meeting of the party's state committee in December. [It will be interesting to learn if RINO treasurer Smart once again avoids giving her financial report at the upcoming state committee meeting on March 18th.] HIRA had previously presented evidence that Rohlfing and Hellreich were blowing through monies
specifically raised to pay for the jointly owned Oahu League / Hawaii GOP headquarters and using that money to pay for just about everything else
FROM THIS MONTH'S ISSUE OF THE OLRW NEWSLETTER
Then suddenly, like a bolt from the blue, comes the new issue of the Oahu League's angry newsletter (above) which reveals that the $100,000 bank account which once contained all the funds for paying off the mortgage for the party's pricey headquarters has been 'depleted' by Rohlfing. Gosh, it's no wonder Fritz Rohlfing's RINO treasurer Mary Smartabandoned her fiduciary duty to keep the state committee informed of the scandalous financial situation. HIRA's controversial and inflammatory yet 100% accurate working theory that this fund has been repeatedly raided by Rohlfing and party officers (while Hellreich actively looked on) to hire his incompetent friends to work at headquarters and pay a multitude of bills OTHER than the mortgage has proven to be 100% correct. [Mahalo for the public validation of HIRA's theory, Oahu League of RINO Women.]
But, let's be honest. With Hellreich being the true eternal puppetmaster at the Hawaii GOP, none of this came as a surprise to her. In fact, Hellreich helped change the party's rules to allow mortgage funds to be raided on a daily basis by Rohlfing and his predecessors for payment of just about any cost you can imagine. So this is really on Miriam. If she wanted the proceeds from those fancy fundraisers to remain dedicated to the headquarters mortgage only, then Miriam should have opposed the very rule change which she instead championed. Now, with $100,000 gone missing, control freak Hellreich brought all these problems on herself and the entire Republican Party of Hawaii and the Oahu League of RINO Women. Indeed, watching Hellreich dump blame on fellow RINO Rohlfing is like listening to Hillary Clinton blame everyone else for Benghazi.
Hellreich and the Oahu League have controlled the Hawaii GOP for decades. Not only do they decide through their activist membership who to install as puppet party officers, they also have engineered the premature ouster of the last few party state chairs, including Jonah Kaauwai (whom they replaced with Beth Fukumoto) and David Chang (whom they replaced with Pat Saiki). Now Fritz Rohlfing is on their naughty list and they want him gone so the OLRW can keep doing what they always do: Diverting all party income to the monthly overhead for the jointly-owned headquarters while actively keeping the Hawaii GOP from ever becoming a threat to Democrats.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST GALORE: Hellreich and the Oahu League haven't minded that the shrinking number of elected Republicans keeps plummeting with each election. Their goal is to use the Hawaii GOP to obtain funds from unsuspecting donors across the state to pay for the mortgage and other operating expenses of their very own office suite. In case you didn't know, the HQ was originally purchased decades ago with a large down payment from the estate of a late member of the OLRW. But the Hawaii GOP and its donor base was forced to be liable for all costs related to the headquarters forever and ever -- ALL COSTS. Even the City & County of Honolulu regards the Oahu League of Republican Women as the co-owner of the office suite at 725 Kapiolani Blvd.
The Oahu League sees itself as co-owner of the headquarters and it wants to see the mortgage paid off and the pricey overhead paid for each month forever no matter what. Hellreich even helped secure changes to the state party's own rules which commit the state party to be a permanent debtor to the Oahu League of RINO Women, which (as part of the original deal) forces the Hawaii GOP to permanently provide free office space inside of GOP headquarters to the OLRW. Party rule 417(c) explicitly commits the party to fulfill all "legal obligations owed to the Oahu League of Republican Women ("OLRW") as Headquarters Building co-owner and tenant in common." So the obligation or debtor status never ends. As tenants of the space, the RINO ladies of OLRW expect a permanent office space to be provided in perpetuity to them by the Hawaii GOP forever and ever, in addition to the status of being the co-owners of the building and beneficiaries of "the investment".
WHAT ARE THE TRUE COSTS OF BEING IN DEBT TO OAHU LEAGUE FOREVER??: OLRW has the built-in motivation to permanently control the Hawaii GOP in order to ensure it can collect its infinite debt. And that debt is an permanent one. This debt will never end -- even if and when the mortgage gets paid off. That's because the $1,500 mortgage is the least of the costs associated with keeping up an office space in perpetuity for the RINO ladies. The permanent costs include $3,000 per month maintenance fee (an amount which gets higher and higher over time), $3,000 per month executive director, $2,000 per month payroll taxes, $350 per month for health insurance, $800 per month in utilities, $1,750 per month in bookkeeping consulting fees for compliance reporting, $8,000 per year (and always rising) property taxes, et cetera. The Hawaii GOP pays more for overhead expenses related to our headquarters than Hawaii's Democratic Party. Yet Democrats hold 114 elected offices in Hawaii to our mere 6.
Is it any wonder that the Oahu League wants its own newly-elected vice president to become the new chair of the Hawaii Republican Party in 2017? It would be like having some company like a print shop or direct mail company or consulting agency to which the party owed lots of money installing its own top corporate officer as the party's new chairman. It's the ultimate conflict of interest. As we've seen in the past few years, all monies would forever be wasted on the Oahu League's building overhead and never spent on messaging, campaigning, lobbying or winning. That's why Hellreich and the Oahu League are seeking to increase their control of the Hawaii GOP; with a new cast of characters serving in 2017 as faces of this control. You can bet that with the revolving door of 'party leaders' who come and go, we'll see new faces again in 2019 and 2021 and so on.
In HIRA's next newsletter, you'll learn all about the candidate whom Hellreich is has chosen to replace Fritz Rohlfing this time around. In the meantime, as desperate as people might be for a new face of the troubled Hawaii GOP, just know that nothing has changed. The race for party chairman is officially a one-issue race which is 100% about continuing the diversion of GOP party funds away from campaigning and messaging and lobbying to the permanent financing of Oahu League's luxury real estate investment for years and years and decades and decades to come. That is the one and only priority being pursued, even if lip service gets paid to other matters you'd expect a political party to actually care about.
CASE IN POINT: Hellreich's mouthpiece and acting president of the OLRW, Carol Thomas, is adamant about picking the next leader of the Hawaii GOP and why: "This office is no sacred cow; OLRW owns 50% of this office and we are not willing to sell . . . The Oahu League of Republican Women has worked hard to raise money to help pay the HRP's mortgage to protect our investment in the building while the chair is trying to sell the building so he won't have to do his job. We need to get involved in the process of electing a new chair at the state convention in Kauai." In other words, the candidate endorsed for GOP chair in 2017, Shirlene Ostrov, would NOT have been endorsed unless she committed to Hellreich and OLRW that the overpriced headquarters would continue to remain in the GOP's budget forever. [If you know Hellreich and the Oahu League, this is probably not the only commitment extracted from Ostrov.]
There you have it. Their #1 concern is controlling their building forever and keeping the Hawaii GOP remain in OLRW's debt forever.
LET'S REVIEW: Rohlfing made $100,000 disappear during his tenure. Hellreich and her buddies sat back for two years and watched it happen. Rohlfing's treasurer Mary Smarthelped cover up the scandal by refusing to give a treasurer's report to party leaders. Hellreich's other puppets on the executive committee (including Saiki and Marumoto) kept this situation all hush-hush until now; until they decided to blame Rohlfing and manipulate party elections to install the Oahu League's vice president as the new GOP chairman this May so they can "protect our investment" and fight the sale of the headquarters. And the beat goes on while another two years of precious political time and opportunities go down the tubes with party RINO's obsessing over debt collections for real estate investments rather than fighting Democrat policies and winning elections.
Meanwhile, real Republicans statewide are concerned that Hellreich and her gang are driving the party into oblivion and keeping the GOP quietly on the sidelines while Democrats (and RINO's) push through a liberal agenda at the state legislature and the county councils without a peep from the Hawaii GOP organization.
You simply CANNOT be a conservative if you want to keep our party in a permanent debtor status through endless debt in perpetuity to the liberal Oahu League of RINO Women. The Hawaii GOP's mission has already been severely compromised by liberals and closet Democrats. To further compromise our party's critical mission in Hawaii through continued indebtedness to some outside group's investment priorities is insane; particularly since the OLRW is well known for its liberal politics and deliberate weakening of our party. [MORE ON THAT IN OUR NEXT ISSUE.]
Once you get to know the agenda and political leanings of Miriam Hellreich and her base of RINO support at the Oahu League, you'll discover why they want a weak Republican Party in Hawaii. For the record, OLRW success in controlling the GOP is considered a strategic success by the unchallenged Democrat Party, election after election; with Hellreich's puppets always keeping the Hawaii GOP silent and neutral and dysfunctional.
***** THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO CONSIDER: If you're a student of history, you already know that Hellreich and OLRW never endorse actual conservatives for Hawaii GOP leadership posts nor do they ever support those who would ever use the chairmanship to push conservative solutions. And nobody from the Oahu League will ever advocate for letting the Hawaii GOP get out from under this permanent state of financial indebtedness to OLRW. These facts are simply not in dispute. And these facts will never change.
Please keep these points in mind if your phone rings and someone asks you to support the Oahu League's newest vice president to lead the Hawaii GOP. It's the very definition of insanity. And it's a massive conflict of interest. The only thing worse than having our party's priorities and agenda driven by big money donors like Stanford Carr is for our party to be completely under the thumb of those who believe the party owes them money. We need to drain the swamp at the Hawaii GOP or else Democrats in Hawaii will continue getting stronger.
Please spread the word to gullible Republicans and conservatives. They need to be warned. Hellreich has a new con game. The Oahu League is 100% onboard. And Team Hellreich is counting on desperate and easily-deceived party members to be 'easy pickings' as OLRW moves to install its new fresh-faced slate of totally inexperienced, do-nothing, fake conservative puppet party leaders who ultimately answer to Hellreich and won't lead a serious fight against Democrats. 2018 will be a lost cause just like 2016 with RINO's continuing to run the party for the benefit of RINO's and closet Democrats. You have been forewarned.
Stay tuned for HIRA's next newsletter for even more details.
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HAWAII REPUBLICAN ASSEMBLY (HIRA)
The Hawaii Republican Assembly (HIRA), an affiliated chapter of
the National Federation of Republican Assemblies
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.