By Derrick DePledge
Hawaii Republicans have reaffirmed their L.L.I.F.E platform for another election cycle.
The platform, first adopted in 2010, is meant to be a concise statement of the party's values. L.L.I.F.E stands for liberty, limited government, individual responsibility, fiscal accountability and equality of opportunity.
Republicans adopted the platform at their state convention on Saturday at the Koolau Ballrooms and Conference Center in Kaneohe after only brief debate.
The Hawaii Republican Assembly, the party's conservative wing, issued a barbed statement afterward that claimed the party "tripled down on neutrality, silence and inaction for another two years by retaining an official party platform and political strategy which is destined to keep Hawaii's tiny minority party in the political wilderness of irrelevance through 2016."
Delegates to the state convention, however, did adopt several resolutions that speak to the GOP's stands on public policy.
Republicans supported a simplified tax code, including a flat tax and a reduction of the corporate tax rate.
The party called for an end to the Common Core curriculum, which many educators and parents have complained is a federal top-down approach to education, and for the state Department of Education to stop teaching Pono Choices, a sex education pilot program for middle-schoolers that many conservatives claim is medically inaccurate and too graphic.
Republicans reaffirmed their opposition to human trafficking.
The party supported a resolution that questioned global warming and supported nuclear power, the domestic coal and oil industries, fracking for natural gas, and the Keystone Pipeline project between Canada and the United States. The resolution opposed a carbon tax.
Republicans backed a resolution that objected to taxpayer funds for a state early childhood education program and a constitutional amendment that would allow public money to be spent on private preschool. The resolution cited the potential for the constitutional amendment to lead to government intervention into private school curricula.
The party advanced a resolution that called for greater protections for religious liberty, urged that no hate crime laws be passed by the Legislature, and recommended the end of taxpayer funding for National Public Radio, which Republicans contend is biased.
Republicans rejected a proposed amendment to the resolution by Fritz Rohlfing, the chairman of Honolulu Republicans, who worried that the provision on hate crimes would expose the party to unneeded criticism. But Margaret Scow of the Hawaii Christian Coalition said homosexual activists use allegations of hate crimes to promote the homosexual agenda.
The party passed a resolution that urged a Hawaii exemption to the Jones Act, the federal maritime law that protects the domestic shipping industry from foreign competition and, some argue, unfairly drives up consumer prices in the islands.
And the party adopted a resolution supporting the timely access to health care for military veterans, citing recent reports of improper care at veterans' hospitals on the mainland.