By Derrick DePledge
The Hawaii Republican Party is in a constant struggle for political relevance in a state dominated by Democrats. But an internal divide is now testing the loyalties of the GOP's limited pool of local donors.
The Hawaii Republican Assembly, which represents the conservative wing of the party, is not only challenging the GOP over ideological direction, but also financial support.
In a coup, HIRA has secured as keynote speaker Al Cardenas, the chairman of the American Conservative Union, which hosts the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, the top draw for national conservatives.
The state GOP, meanwhile, has Martha McSally -- the first female fighter pilot in combat, who is running for Congress in Arizona -- as the keynote speaker for Lincoln Day on Feb. 20 at the Koolau Ballrooms and Conference Center.
David Chang, the state GOP chairman, does not think the competition with HIRA has damaged the party's fundraising ability.
"So far, we haven't seen it hurt us that much," he said.