Yes, THAT Paris Agreement. The one which President Trump just withdrew the United States from because it was a very, very bad deal struck in 2015 during the Obama years; based on Al Gore's discredited belief that the polar bears would be gone by now along with the polar icecaps and probably half of humanity. Thanks to this really bad Obama/Paris climate 'deal', U.S. taxpayers have already handed over $1 billion to the "Green Climate Fund" as the first chunk of a $3 billion commitment made at the Paris climate talks. No more, thanks to President Trump.
But back here in Hawaii, in a desperate cry for attention, Hawaii Democrats introduced their "Paris Agreement" legislation mandating alignment of Hawaii's official state goals with the bogus Paris climate accord. Former Republicans turned Democrats Willie Espero, Mike Gabbard, and Gil Riviere along with progressive Slom-slayer Stanley Chang plus a host of liberal Democrat state senators introduced their nutty bill on January 20th, the very firstday of the 2017 session of the state legislature.
In the midst of the months-long RINO civil war for control of our Hawaii GOP between Team Hellreich's candidate Shirlene Ostrov and Team Rohlfing's candidate Andria Tupola, the Hawaii Republican Party's leadership and the House GOP minority caucus (home to the only remaining 5 elected Republicans in Hawaii) were totally silent and disengaged. Nothing was said or done by Republican leaders to stop or fight or even expose this global warming bill or any other bad legislation. Zero mobilization of our 30,000+ members. Zero anything.
Fritz Rohlfing's Hawaii GOP didn't say a peep. Short-lived Minority Leader Beth Fukumoto didn't say a peep. Her replacement since February 1st Andria Tupola didn't say a peep. Acting Oahu GOP county chair Boyd Ready didn't say a peep. GOP Vice Chair for Communications Andy Mukk didn't say a peep. Just like every previous year, Hawaii voters and taxpayers were given no reasons to believe that any bad legislation was sailing through the State Capitol in 2017.
While RINO's battled for the keys to the GOP headquarters, days, weeks and months dragged by with the party opting to cave and surrender to Democrats on bill after bill. No organized opposition was undertaken. No letter writing, no commercials, no testifying, no signwaving, no nothing at all.
All that mattered over the past six months was recruiting and flying willing delegates to Kauai for a go-through-the-motions state convention while Democrats and progressives laughed at our increasing irrelevance.
Then on May 2nd, just six weeks ago, the Democrats' global warming bill wasoverwhelmingly adopted by the State House by a vote of 49 to 1 and the State Senate by a vote of 25 to 0.
Still, Minority Leader Tupola and party chair Rohlfing continued to remain silent right through the May 13th Kauai state convention. Likewise, Miriam Hellreich and Pat Saiki and Shirlene Ostrov stayed focused on the only thing that mattered to them: control of the state GOP.
Since Kauai, the newly-installed Hellreich/Saiki leadership of the Hawaii GOP (fronted by Ostrov) has made zero attempt to educate and persuade the public at large -- let alone Republicans -- to get engaged and help urge Ige to veto this bill . . . or any other bad bill (and there were plenty of them).
Then, ah yes, then what happened? Well, as they say toward the end of most Hawaiian songs: "Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka'puana" or "Here's the rest of the story" . . .
After five months of GOP silence during the legislative session, following one month of GOP silence between the end of that session until the deadline for Governor Ige to sign or veto bills, Governor David Ige signed Senate Bill 559 into law on June 6th with great fanfare and no voices of opposition at all in ANY news story.
Also, at that precise moment on June 6th (one week ago), SB559 became like all the other bad bills adopted in 2017: Nearly impossible to campaign against due to months of GOP silence when speaking out contemporaneously could have mattered and accumulated in the public's memory.
Now, don't get the wrong idea. The Tupola vs. Ostrov campaign is not the reason our party leaders were 'too busy' to fight with Democrats. Let's face it, the Hawaii GOP never fights with Democrats. But that long intra-party struggle for empty supremacy happened to coincide perfectly with the 2017 legislative session when our GOP was deader than dead. As Star-Advertiser David Shapirocandidly pointed out yesterday in his story about former Republican Kym Pine-Ryglowski and closet Democrat Bob McDermott, it's impossible to ignore "the irrelevance of the Hawaii GOP as an opposition party."
COMPLETELY DISCONNECTED: HIRA hasn't even shared the absolute WORST part of this story, which involves the total disconnect between how rank and file Republicans feel about big government 'feel good' legislation (like the Democrat hijacking of the Paris Accord) and how our elected Republicans actually perform on our behalf.
Let's rewind a bit and digest the bad news. On May 2nd, Senate Bill 559 was supported by 4 out of 5 members of the GOP House Minority Caucus.Let that sink in for a moment. Our new minority leader Tupola voted yes before hopping on that plane to Kauai. Along with Tupola's 'yes' vote were the 'yes' votes ofGene Ward, Lauren Cheape, and Cynthia Thielen. Auwe!!!
So, in other words, most elected Republicans in HawaiiFAVOR what Ostrov belatedly decried as "job-killing regulations",including Beth Fukumoto's replacement as minority leader Andria Tupola. Somewhere, Beth Fukumoto is laughing at the party of Miriam Hellreich and Pat Saiki, who have typically refused to even allow or encourage the Hawai'i GOP to wage a public campaign against any Democrat policies. Why? Because issues don't matter, they say.
To be really clear, these RINO's don't just drop the ball during their biennial power grab inside the local GOP. They've practically made sitting on the sidelines an artform. They are the same liberals whoconsistently refuse to pressure local elected Republicans from voting for the Obamacare exchange, higher taxes for rail, bloated annual state budgets, driver's licenses for illegal aliens and much, much more. Never mind that the stated mission of the Hawaii GOP is to promote our common goals and beliefsas Republicans.
It's decision time, folks. Our party's soul-searching can either come todaywhile we still have FIVE Republicans left in office. Or we can wait until we'redown to ZERO.
But unless things change soon, our party will continuesitting on the sidelines until it's too late to do anything about anything. Hellreich and Saiki and their rotating cast of puppet party officers will continue making sure of that. And, tragically (though obviously), voters will continue discounting Republicans in Hawaii as weak photocopies of Democrats.
Now, if you still don't think that our party leadership has been infected and infested by Democrats and liberals, then just ask yourself these two questions:
1.Q: Who do Hawaii Democrats turn to for help in passing their liberal bills and giving them cover? A: Republican legislators.
2.Q: Which party refuses to fight the Democrat agenda and gives cover to Republican legislators who vote for that Democrat agenda? A: The Hawaii GOP.
Fellow Republicans, we have a lot of work to do. Our party is still being held hostage. The Kauai State Convention last month didn't change a thing. In fact, Shirlene Ostrov sent a powerful and unmistakable message to Democrats and Republicans alikewhen she made Pat "Abortion Barbie" Saiki her running mate and when she made RINO Miriam Hellreich her campaign's chief evangelist. Meanwhile, Andria Tupola sent Democrats and Republicans a crystal clear message by being even more silentthan Beth Fukumoto while she and her caucus continue to vote for loads of liberal legislation.
Even if you were one of those who placed hope in Shirlene Ostrov, you gotta be honest with yourself. She is under a LOT of pressure from liberals Hellreich and Saiki to ignore issues and just wait on the sidelines until it's time to hand out Charles Djou bumperstickers or signwave for Duke Aiona or await the return of Linda Lingle from the political desert. But WE are the residents of Hawaii who have to endurethese horrible, failed Democrat policies. So we must make sure that leaders of our party know we're onto the game they're playing.
It's unacceptable that Ostrov merely preaches to the choir withsome AFTER-THE-FACT email to a few thousand party membersabout Ige signing a bad bill rather than having tried to do something about stopping that bill from becoming law, or taking action on any of the other horrible bills Ige still might sign. While it's remotelypossible that neophyte Ostrov has no idea the gulf is so widebetween real Republican party members and the voting records of the liberal professional politicians who call themselves Republicans, it's extremely clear from Ostrov's inner circle of liberals whom she has decided to align with and that she'll run the Hawaii GOP accordingly.
Everybody knows that Ostrov's liberal pals Hellreich and Saiki are asdetermined as ever tokeep the Hawaii GOP worthless and weak and on the sidelines. [Though they do want our money so they can finish buying a fancy suite of offices for theprivately-run Oahu League of RINO Women (OLRW), whose executive officers are nearly identical to the current Hawaii GOP executive officers.] With Ostrov transparently manipulating Republicans with a belated critique of the Democrats' global warming bill that it's now too late to do anything about, this cynical maneuver only serves to wake up Republicans statewide that our party is as committed as ever to electing RINO's to office who will vote for such crappy bills; many of which HIRA has publicly criticized in 2017.
BOTTOM LINE: The Kauai state convention didn't matter. Kauaididn't change a thing. We need to take our party back from the RINO's and closet Democrats. More than ever, they are holding our party hostage, with Democrats and their self-dealing allies being the direct beneficiaries.
Join HIRA today. Let's fix our party and fix the damage Democrats (and RINO's) have done to Hawaii!
Member, Hawaii Republican Party (HRP)
President, Hawaii Republican Assembly (HIRA)
Chairman, HIRA Action SuperPAC
Please donate to HIRA Action, the official SuperPAC for the Hawaii Republican Assembly, to support HIRA's work to educate voters about failed Democrat policies and about conservative Republican solutions for Hawaii.