September 26th, 2011

Jonah Kaauwai, the embattled chairman of the Hawaii Republican Party, formally resigned from the post this morning.

The Hawaii Republican Party announced his resignation in messages posted on the organization’s Facebook page and Twitter account.

Further details were not immediately available.

Word surfaced last week that several members of the party’s executive committee wanted to remove Kaauwai as chairman.

In a confidential Sept. 18 email to the GOP’s state committee, members of the committee said former Gov. Linda Lingle and other top Republicans have lost confidence in Kaauwai’s leadership.

The email cited a party debt of nearly $100,000 and questioned Kaauwai’s ability to build a grass-roots organization and recruit candidates so the party can be competitive in the 2012 elections.

Last week, Kaauwai said he had been in discussions with party leaders on how best to proceed.

In an email to party members this morning, Kaauwai said he made the decision to resign “with a heart full of mixed emotions.”

Although many of you have encouraged me to fight on and remain as chair, my decision to resign provides a solution to the current stalemate and division within the party.

In Abraham Lincoln’s 1858 address to the Illinois Republican convention, he stated that: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” As the leader of our party, the overall unity and the inclusion of all principled groups within the party has been my objective. It was never my intent to divide members, only to identify and include new ones.

The overall health of the party is more important than any one person, issue, or candidate.

Beth Fukumoto, the party’s first vice chair, is the interim state chairwoman. Fukumoto works in the state House Minority Research office and handles the GOP’s coordinated campaign.

7 Responses to “Resignation”

  1. Andy Parx:

    I guess God made the final decision

  2. ohiaforest3400:

    Good luck to Beth! I believe she had been Rep. Gene Ward’s office manager but, when Boyd Akase, the former leader of the House Minority Research office, left (or was pushed out) earlier this year, she took over. Now, she’s taking over the party itself, at least on an interim basis. Wow, I hope she can navigate thru that minefield and come out with her limbs intact. In any event, BIG improvement over her predecessor.

  3. Goober:

    All CEOs or leader who cannot do their job should resign and save face. If their company is not making money, they the highest paid employee (CEO) should resign to keep those who work for less in jobs.
    This comment includes union leaders as well.

  4. Manoa_Fisherman:

    Wow, watching the Hawaii GOP is like watching the Animal Planet. This is just like watching a wolf chewing off his leg to get out of a snare.

    If this keeps up, the GOP will run out of limbs, soon.

  5. Kolea:

    The “skinhead twins” are now gone, so what next for the local GOP? According to Jonah, Lingle supporters had been holding back on contributions in order to starve him into submission. I expect new money will start flowing back into party coffers to re-invigorate the organization as they prepare for the Lingle and Djou campaigns.

    Afraid of angering the Tea Party and religious zealots who had supported Nonaka and Kaauwai, the Lingle loyalists are saying this was “not about ideology, but about competence.” Not sure if that is more diplomatic. But isn’t there an inverse correlation between “ideology” and “competence”? When they say “ideology,” don’t they mean ideas which do not serve the “pragmatic” agenda of the economic elite?

    Lingle was NEVER successful at drawing energy into the the broader Republican Party and the down-ticket campaigns. But she WAS very good at getting wealthy and upper-middle class folks to open their check books to finance her ambitions. Her people will “manage” the more raucus GOP conservative base, while trying not to alienate them. They want their votes, but not their ideas.

    The Tea Party and Christian Right sometimes forget they are a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Republican Party.

    Let’s watch….

  6. Goober:

    lingle was not even born or raised in Hawaii. she did nothing but comment. she being a journalist major did not make her capable of running a State but she did correct others on grammar.

  7. runpaul:

    the republican and democrat party politicians are hypocrites.they will impose their voting constituents and donors’ concept of morality(virtue) on their neighbors and the rest of the citizens through government(coercion).in the meantimethese politicians will enrich themselves and their family and friends.

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