Finance Reports Reveal Shirlene Ostrov Off to a VERY Rocky Start
EXAMINING THE MONTHLY FINANCE REPORT filed by the Hawaii Republican Party (HRP) with the Federal Election Commission (FEC):
IN THE RED: HRP FEC www.fec.gov HRP end of May is RED, BIG RED. Receipts are just $5,266 + $0 RNC bailout + $0 state CSC transfer. HRP's 'Sustaining Donors': $0 Exec Cmte (no Ostrov, Saiki, Shin, Blackman, Hellreich, Ward, Ready, Rohlfing, Tupola, nor any), 0 district chairs, and only ONE party member! When leaders don't buy in, don't expect others to do so.Disbursements$11,536 is ALL admin overhead with $0 for elections and $0 for lobbying and $0 for messaging. CoH (cash on hand) down from $51.5k to $45.2k means that CoH for operations = $12k actual operating funds with $33.2k in the building account.
Pay outs= $3,010 for Jack Jamessalary + $1,298 in payroll taxes, $1,476 for the mortgage + $760 for new HQ light bulbs, $326 for the underutilized phone, $150 for MailChimp email service, and a whopping double hit of $3,005 on the ridiculous 'compliance' consulting (paying nonvolunteers to do the work of volunteers). For whatever reason, the $2,591 to pay the staggeringly high monthly building maintenance fee went unpaid in May -- though it will still need to be paid. Money out is more than two times money in.
It took more than a month for HRP HQ to change the FEC papers to reflect the change in Treasurer from Mary Smart to Gwen Honjo. A month to submit a routine, administrative form is an indicator of unpreparedness and inefficiency and confirms the reported disarray.
New state chair Shirlene Ostrov's May 2017 mere 15-page FEC report is tied for second shortest in HRP history. That's because there's simply no money coming into party coffers except for a lifeline thrown by Charles Djou's $2,500 'charitable' contribution to keep HRP's lights on.
To get elected, Ostrov and her finance chair in waiting Mark Blackburn promised they had thousands in contributions lined up to end the HRP financial crisis (the crisis being that they are broke). With her administration's election May 13, until May 31, Ostrov, Hellreich and Blackburn brought in a whopping $295 to the FEC account (and, $250 of that was actually from Rohlfing's team). So, a whopping 45 dollars.
When embarrassed past-Treasurer Smart announced at the State Convention on Kauai that HRP was in trouble, having even less operating funds makes that hole deeper.
Severance Pay: Rohlfing's terminated executive director Jack "Music Man" James was paid through the end of May though he was, thankfully, gone by the third week of May. His now shredded contract required him to raise $15,000 per month. He didn't.
Screw you (no pun) on the way out. The immediate past state chair Fritz Rohlfing left his successor Ostrov with a $760 bill to change all the lightbulbsin HQ. (instead of $760 on, say, winning elections).
The party's next report to the State Campaign Spending Commission (CSC) is due in a month. HQ says CSC has $13k of firewalled funds belonging to the five county GOP organizations mixed in with the total of nearly $30k in the party's 'soft money' state account (which begs question of why none was transferred to the party's far more flexible 'hard money' Fed account). The not-very-steep learning curve seems insurmountable to the new party leaders.
National Committeeman (NCM) Gene Ward sent another worthless (mostly open source White House talking points) NCM update with his assessment. When asked if he has raised funds for HRP per his very definitive Committeeman campaign promises, he responds 'Well, not really funds. I meant not, actual, money. I talk to people. See, we get advice from RNC and others, for free. Really, I mean, I didn't mean I would bring actual funds to HRP.' The problem, Gene, is that your promises were made on camera.
June 2017 is scary: HQ deferred the monthly $2500 building maintenance bill + ~$200 utilities, deferred $750 copier rental and $152 cable, and again bought no office supplies (makes you wonder why Music Man bought so much and what he did with it). No Director's Insurance payment for liability coverage (though that may be an annual or semi-annual payment). Had they paid bills on time, their debt this month would be astronomical. They already weren't paying for health insurance.
Ostrov promised to follow her own rules, then embarrassingly breaks them her first month. She still has not presented a budget to the State Committee, more than three weeks past deadline. Yes, this is the budget which delegates should have asked to see, at least in draft, before they threw away their vote to an unprepared State chair (to be fair, rival Andria Tupola also did NOT have a budget prepared).
Rumor is that the botched February Lincoln Day Dinner (LDD), which became March, then July, will be in October, just before HQ is forced to let state Democrats (the folks who run the Hawaii convention center) gobble up HRP's huge security deposit. Rumor only i.e. it may not happen even then.
The private entity Oahu League of Republican Women has stepped in to fill the void of no official state party fundraiser this year. OLRW is using Sam Slom as headliner to raise funds (they say) for 2018 elections, though OLRW's focus has always been on the mortgage. In the past, the majority of their funds went to liberal incumbents and a few selected liberal challengers.
Mortgage account evaporating. In addition to $1,476 mortgage/month, HQ now pays monthly building maintenance fee andutilities from the "mortgage only" account. Mortgage due is reduced by only $1k to $65.5k, which becomes $100k+ as HQ uses the building fund for other expenses, plus any maintenance which may rise. All these funds get wasted before any candidate or campaign is supported. [Note: The $65k due may be "HQ fake news" because of a blurt by Smart at Convention that the mortgage is actually several tens of thousands more.]
Assisted suicide, HRP-style. For 2017 Rohlfing, Hellreich, and Ward (R/H/W) and now Ostrov and Blackman FEC report shows $45.3k in receipts with $75.3k in disbursements -- i.e. $30k in the RED even with their big January 2017 event, LDD pre-sales (without actually providing an event), and all those pledges promised by Ostrov and Blackburn.
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