December 28th, 2011

Two prominent Republicans are competing for Hawaii’s Republican National Committeeman slot after Brennon Morioka stepped down.

Ted Liu, a former director of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, is up against Willes Lee, a former state party chairman.

Liu has the backing of former Gov. Linda Lingle’s dominant faction within the party. Lee has been a voice for Republicans critical of the party’s leadership and financial management.

The GOP’s state committee is expected to vote in January.

Miriam Hellreich is the Republican National Committeewoman.

*Update: Liu won.

8 Responses to “RNCman”

  1. Innocent Observer:

    these two birds will be just as bad the the previous birds. the repubs are in a sorry shape, cannot get “good” people to lead the local party, similar to the national candidates for president – those guys are just as bad.

  2. Kolea:

    Clearly, I am not a Republican and not privy to (enough of) their internal debates. But it does not strike me that the Liu and Lee “factions” exhaust the possible factions within the Republican Party. The BIGH fight within the Party had been between the more rightwing, ideological forces and the moderates. And the ideologues were not monolithic, with some being primarily “religious” conservatives and others motivated more by “free market” ideas.

    It is unclear what the dynamics might be within the local GOP at the time of their caucuses, but a major reason for their move to a caucus system was to use the presidential campaigns to recruit more active party members. At present, almost all the GOP presidential candidates are running on the hard right edge of the party and if this momentum continues, a lot of the new recruits will be out of step with either the Ted Liu or Willes Lee-syle Republicans.

    In recent years, the Hawaii Republican Party has had difficulty resolving their tensions amicably. The last presidential campaign resulted in very heavy-handed tactics being employed by the Lingle group to shut down and shut out the “movement conservative” and Ron Paul networks at their state convention. Lingle is trying to “thread the needle” this year, trying to convince the general public that she is a “moderate Republican,” but needing to maintain peace with the local GOP by reconciling with the passionate conservative activists.

    I assume the RNC appointment is only until the GOP meets in state convention, at which time both the RNC National Committeeman and Committeewoman seats shall be voted upon by the delegates as a whole? If so, the more moderate party leaders may have difficulty controlling who gets elected.

    From reading the GOP-Hawaii Rules online, it is not clear to me when the term of office for the National Committee members expire. Is it upon the election of a new member at the State convention or upon the close of the GOP National convention?

  3. Marian Grey:

    Perhaps there is some sensitivity within the dominant faction of the party, because Lee was one of the first voices, over a year ago, that was critical of the HRP Chair at that time who was sadly lacking in fiscal responsibility. Dominant factor at that time was wearing blinders. . .

    I know both gentleman in this race, but I have seen what NO experience did in running the Chairman’s spot, and this time around am leaning towards the man that can do the job best! Already knows how it should be handled.

  4. Goober:

    Who’s pulling their strings?

  5. Guido Sarducci:

    Willes Lee doesn’t have a faction. After not fielding legislative candidates in 2008 and then spending 3 years undermining Kaauwai, he has very little support.

  6. Goober:

    I am none of the above. Not a democrat, republican, neocon, tea party member. I am independant and couldn’t careless about a party. I vote for who is the best candidate or none of the above.

  7. Conservative Republican:

    Hawaii barely has a Republican Party because we’re always advised to be closet Democrats if we want to be elected. I’ve lived here for 68+ years, was once a Democrat – till I got back from Nam – and have seen Hawaii descend to the socialist state we have become – and we’re running out of other people’s money. Where are those few good men to lead? Every time we hear a national figure like Donald Trump, Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Sara Palin, etc, speak like a real Republican, their poll numbers skyrocket. Why is that?
    I like Willes Lee and I will support Willes and I know other people who are looking for a few honorable men to lead, Willes being one of them. I am not involved in the inside politics of the Republican Party. Quite frankly, they are a timid bunch. Islam day? Really? Additionally, I do not believe those who are openly not Republican have any interest in helping Republicans in Hawaii. That’s like taking advice from the Fox on how to build a hen house.
    I’m sitting on the outside, looking for honorable men who will lead and I like Willes’s style, education, leadership and dedication to our cause. He can count on me.
    Conversely, I think RINO’s are a scourge on the Party.

  8. Old Eyes Malone:

    After organizing the broader conservative/independent/libertarian/tea party Hawaii Republicans to campaign to their state committee members, Willes Lee had the majority of votes on Saturday. But after Linda Lingle’s legal henchman (with a few of her minions in the counting room counting and observing) disqualified some of Lee’s proxy votes and qualified Ted Liu’s on an inequitable standard, Liu was announced the winner, 31-30. If the state committee is reflective of the greater Hawaii Republican Party, Lingle does not have her own party’s support, save her handful of devout hooligans who know how to fool a few others. Too bad freshman Party Chairman David Chang and new RN Committeeman Liu won’t demonstrate some integrity to what they know is the majority of their party. We already knew Lingle and Miriam Hellriech are integrity incapable. Incestuous commies. Principled Democrats and Independents, feel free to join the HRP to crush Lingle in her own party at this late February’s caucus and May state convention by supporting her broadly coalitioned opponents. It should be more entertaining than comparing the shine on Abercrombie and Say’s bald heads, and taking bets on whether Brickwood or Shan will start wearing sweater vests first.

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