Political Radar


June 18th, 2013

David Chang, the chairman of the state GOP, said Tuesday that Republicans prefer open primaries.

In response to a lawsuit filed Monday in federal court by the Democratic Party of Hawaii challenging the state's open primary system as an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment right to free association, Chang said in a statement that the minority party invites all voters to participate in GOP primaries.

We invite the participation of Republicans, Independents, and dissatisfied Democrats in the Hawaii Republican Party's open primaries to provide voters in every district with a community-focused General Election alternative that reflects the values of the majority of Hawaii's voters.

In contrast, the Democrats seek to limit who may participate in selection of their candidates to protect the interests of their party bosses, machine politics, and their far left base.

6 Responses to “Invitation”

  1. Eric Ryan:

    This is some kind of joke, right? Just a few months ago, the Hawaii Republican Party patted itself on the back for organizing a Republicans-only presidential primary which went out of its way to exclude Democrats and Independents from participating. By being 'contrarian', is the party trying to help itself to free publicity which flies in the face of its own exclusionary voting arrangement across the state just months ago during the 2012 primaries?? All that's needed for such a publicity stunt to work is for journalists to fall asleep on the job and assist the public in forgetting about the events which make such a 'principled stand' totally hypocritical. While Hawaii Democrats are using the courts to change future primary elections, Hawaii's Republican Party (led by its de facto chairman Andrew Walden of the Grassroot Institute) has already sought "to limit who may participate in selection of their candidates to protect the interests of their party bosses." Of course, the Hawaii GOP is run by folks with 'principles' that conveniently change from day to day, based on needs such as desperation for free publicity. While Republicans may indeed "prefer open primaries", party leaders only came to this conclusion after they saw an opportunity to change course and ger their names in the newspaper.

  2. Bart Dame:

    The Republican Party MAY be able to benefit as a result of this lawsuit. But they are caught on the horns of a dilemma. David Chang may try to spin this as evidence of the party's "far left base," but the Hawaii GOP has a more serious problem with its own, highly ideological base, the Fox News, Tea Party, movement activists. Chang himself represents a conscious attempt to balance the demands of GOP rightwingers and the more pragmatic, "Lingle" Republicans.

    Should the Dems prevail with their lawsuit, it is not clear what remedy the legislature will devise to accommodate the court order. There is a range of possibilities. Perhaps--and this is not clear--the GOP will be allowed to keep their primary open as the Dems close theirs. If so, a resulting influx of more centrist voters may very well choose more moderate GOP candidates, to the sorry of the "far right base" of the party. A few years ago, the Hawaii County Republicans, dominated by conservative activists, voted to support closed primaries as a means of increasing their influence. They got pushback from Lingle's people and their effort was defeated.

    Some of the critics of the Democrat's lawsuit are taking cheap shots. There are too many Democrats in the legislature. There SHOULD be more Republicans to offer competition of ideas. A consequence of this lawsuit may be the election of more, and more moderate, Republicans. This Democrat thinks that would be a desirable outcome, e kala mai.

    In David Chang's complete statement, he starts by recognizing the constitutional right of Democrats to choose to close their primary. Am I the only one who sees that as a significant point which deserves more coverage?

  3. Auto de Fe:

    The Republicans can maintain their open primary while Democrats close theirs. Just as it is a violation of the Dems freedom of association for the State to force them to have an open primary in contravention of Dem Party rules, it would be just as much a violation of the GOP's freedom of association to force them to have a closed primary when GOP rules mandate an open primary. The issue is the Parties' freedom of choice.

  4. Goober:

    Why should a Democrat tax payer pay the wages of a Republican
    and Why should a Republican tax payer pay the wages of a Democrat?

    Regardless of what party is in office, MY TAX DOLLAR is being wasted
    by someone. Seems that conservatives and liberals don't know that
    they contradict themselves.

    Define a 1% conservative or liberal.
    Define a 99% liberal or conservative.

  5. ohiaforest3400:

    Of course the local GOP welcomes all comers to its primary. It's numbers are so dismally low that they would probably take the institutionalized and criminally insane as well.

  6. Goober:

    There is no GOP but
    a new Tea Party.
    Seems those in the conservative party
    are afraid of immigrants taking over
    that are not off the Mayflower.

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