Political Radar

Reagan v. Lincoln

January 29th, 2014

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.

HIRA has scheduled an inaugural Ronald Reagan Liberty and Freedom Dinner on Feb. 6 at the Pearl Country Club, the same month as the GOP's annual Lincoln Day dinner, the party's fundraising staple.

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.

12 Responses to “Reagan v. Lincoln”

  1. ohiaforest3400:

    Half of zero is till zero.

  2. Garrett Takahashi:

    Kind of surprising that Mr. Depledge chose this minor story rather than the missing $20,000 from party coffers. Remember how local Republican Party chairman David Chang boasted repeatedly all last year that he had 'eliminated the debt' -- the $100K in debt incurred under the previous leadership of Jonah Kaauwai, David Chang, and Beth Fukumoto? Well, at last weekend's meeting of the party's state committee, Chang singlehandedly led the debate against conducting a required annual audit of party funds after it was revealed that $20,000 has gone missing and that the party is $20,000 in debt again. This seems like a more interesting story than competing dinners.

  3. Especially Incognito:

    Profound genious.....

  4. WestSideTory:

    The last two years HRP was so disorganized they didn't have their LDD until 16 April in 2013 and 20 April in 2012. I'm sure HIRA expected the same disfunction this year.

    Its more crazy that HRP is doing their Capital Campaign event tonight and just a few weeks later the LDD pandering to the same attendees and sponsors. They could have just asked them to give $600 ($150 per ticket per event) and skipped the events....lol!!

  5. Hawaii fan:

    It is time that all parts of the Republican party become active. HIRA members must be registered Republican before they can join and therefore SHOULD be considered a coalition partner with the HRP. They are united against the power grab of the dictatorial Democratic Party that ignores the voice of the people. The special session awakened the public. Events are being held in different areas of the island at different cost levels. More events allow more participation. People are seeing what happens to cities with dominant Democratic rule. Detroit and Chicago are examples of how fifty years of Democratic leadership can destroy a city. Let's not let it happen in Honolulu or anywhere in the State. Change is good especially when you return freedom and self-government to the people.

  6. Kolea:

    I was wondering how long it would be before Republicans would drop Lincoln as a symbol. On the mainland, the center of GOP strength is the Old Confederacy, and the remnants of the Klan and the White Citizens Council, repackaged as the Conservative Citizens Council, blend with the Militia and Tea Party zealots at the rightwing of the party.

    Now the rightwing of the local party, has deliberately posed a choice to members: Lincoln or Reagan? Pick one.

    Teddy Roosevelt is probably next to be jettisoned, given his strong advocacy of conservation and his use of government power to break up monopolies. Or perhaps they still like his swagger, his unashamed imperialism, to completely let go?

    For that matter, few observers seem to notice how in discussing economics, they appear to have abandoned Adam Smith in favor of the Austrians, Von Mises and Von Hayek. As the national Republican Party continues its rightward march into madness, it is only natural those elements of the local party least connected to Hawaii's culture and values, would follow the fad.

  7. Especially Incognito:

    Civil War has never ended.


  8. Hawaii fan:

    Both Lincoln and Reagan were born in Illinois. That is the North the last time I checked. The Republican Party classifies themselves as the "Big Tent" party. It shouldn't surprise anyone that there are people in the party who have different perspectives and are willing (and able) to express those values openly. Republicans still recognize the Constitution and especially first amendment rights that protect free speech. When Democrats find someone expressing their individual beliefs/thoughts they reprimand them (Mike Gabbard) or kick them out of the party (Gary Okino). Which party is really "liberal" about issues and which is dictatorial?

  9. Especially Incognito:

    Both were shot and one killed.

  10. Kolea:

    Big tent? Pup tent, more like it. And the Republican Ideological Republican Assembly (HIRA) wants it to be a a much narrower tent. Let's not pretend. It is the moderate Republicans who want to broaden the base of the party, not the conservatives.

    If they were more accepting of diversity, they would not have posed such a stark choice: EITHER Reagan or Lincoln, but not both. There are 364 other nights they could have scheduled their dinner, but they chose to force Republicans to chose, one or the other. Reagan or Lincoln.

    If they wanted coexistence, and if they respected Lincoln as a symbol of the party, they would not have forced the choice. Not "big tent." Unless if it is a Revival tent.

  11. Kolea:

    Oops. HIRA stands for "Hawaii Ideological Republican Assembly." I mis-typed in my comment above.

  12. Especially Incognito:

    One talks of a circus. The clown in the center ring.

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