Tuesday, May 29, 2007

District 21 (Waikiki-Kapahulu) Newsletter: Convention Wrap-Up

Bob Kessler follows with a good summary of the state Republican convention on Maui; I did not attend, nor did we have a representation from District 21.

For the last 3-4 years, I've been the major presence of the Waikiki-Kapahulu area for the Republican Party although people contact me now and then saying they would be interested in an involvement that never seems to fit in conveniently with their schedule -- which I would recommend become their priority over most other things they could be doing, because as I've learned over these past years, political activism, is the ultimate freedom of expression and speech.

I think anyone inclined to do so should fulfill the experience of running for public office -- in their lifetime, as an invaluable learning experience, as well as a benchmark in their life. I used it to launch me to a higher level of exposure, for which a more involved and intimate experience with politics, the process and of course, the personalities, gives a greater meaning to civic involvement -- no matter what the outcome of the elections.

While it is nice to win -- it is just as important to be involved in the process. In fact, I think the whole notion that one must always win, introduces the corruptive element -- that people will do anything to win -- when as in everything else one does, how one plays the game, defines their life. If one wins, but has to lie, cheat, steal, manipulate and deceive to do so -- one learns to think that is the only way they can win -- and a person who thinks that, is lost in whatever they do.

As Republicans, I think we can be especially proud that we do things the right way, and that is the most important thing in life. People get lost in all the rhetoric -- and when people all around are losing their heads, those who can maintain their own clarity, are society's leaders -- and not simply those who hold positions and titles while fearing to think for themselves, and do what is right.

I think one of the most important measures of the recently concluded legislative session was the failure to see tax fairness for the poorest in our society as an important issue that would have provided a rational base from which to consider all the other issues; that was the critical issue they could not see -- while being easily distracted by all the other diversions and posturings they came to think was what there were there for -- to serve their own interests and ambitions. My observation of the difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is that the former want more government to serve themselves, while Republicans want more government to serve everybody else.

And that is why people are turned off by the political scene in Hawaii -- and those who have been active, need the relief of others to step up with their reserves of renewed energy and fresh perspective. That's how politics and government should work -- that we share this responsibility and involvement, so that others too can move on with their own lives.

At the conclusion of last year's elections, I became more visible on the political scene because I shifted my attention to commenting on the blogs the Honolulu Advertiser activated before the elections -- to be a representative voice of the Republican (alternative) perspective. I realized there was a whole niche there as a knowledgeable citizen voice -- who was capable and willing to rise to the challenge of stepping in if the elected officials failed to do the job. One can still represent their perspective -- as any citizen is entitled to speak for themselves, as their own truth. That may be even more powerful and effective than one "claiming" to speak for everyone else -- but really not.

My personal feeling is that traditional government is hopelessly broken -- and what has to evolve is a better form of government, not because the defenders of the status quo want to change, but because progress overtakes them and makes the status quo irrelevant. While it was pointed out that because of their low representation, the Republicans were irrelevant, the Democrats also managed to cancel themselves with their own power struggles.

The glaring difference between Governor Lingle and her immediate predecessor is that she is not an authoritarian and autocratic personality -- demanding that everyone believe what she tells them to. And if she does nothing else but that, it has been to restore that trust and integrity as a new beginning for government -- that has already changed the course of history. We just couldn't go on denying that everything that observers knew to be true, was a lie because they didn't want it to be true.

Unfortunately, that still seems to be the way government is conducted at City Hall -- with critics subject to personal attacks and abuse -- by the Mayor or his henchmen. But at least the governor no longer does it -- and that is a huge step in leadership. Once there is that trust and integrity, everything else is possible. Much of the legislature hasn't reached that point yet -- and that is the work still to be done. Of course they like to blind us with the smokescreens and all the irrelevant issues.

Those they have been most successful at fooling/manipulating, have been the media that should be reporting
all these things to us faithfully -- but they are also an institution protecting their own status quo in a time and sea of change. Most mainstream media have lately abandoned that claim of objectivity as the basis for their credibility -- and realize now that even they have to work hard at understanding and overcoming their own biases and prejudices -- like everybody else.

One of the major ones in Hawaii has been that against "Republicans" and anybody else representing an alternative viewpoint than the one the majority demands everyone conform to -- unquestioningly. We learn that in the public schools as the way life is -- and how we too, must conform, as the Golden Rule, along with the unquestioned commandment that, "Teachers deserve more pay, and their authority must never be challenged." The way things are, are sacred, and must be preserved at any cost, and the legislature will assure, at all costs.

So with the blogs, the control of information and opinion that used to be total(itarian), now allows the possibility for the alternatives to get a fuller and fairer exposure than it was suppressed, edited and distorted for much of the golden age of mass media. That's why I feel that I (Republicans) need to define themselves rather than continue letting the Democrats and the media do that for them -- as my own greatest contribution and challenge in Hawaii at this time -- while hoping there is somebody else in our district who is more up to the organizational challenges of just getting people together and in touch with one another better.

When campaigning, I learned that most people are not Democrats or Republicans -- but are independents -- when not indifferent. Most of my political life has not been spent as a Republican but as an independent -- and that is the voice most important to articulate in Hawaii, even more than partisanship, which is the source of our problems. That was my original impression when I returned to Hawaii in 1998 after 30 years on the Mainland -- the hopeless partisanship that can never solve anything.

What is needed is a return to the big picture -- rather than increasing fragmentation that loses the whole. And that is what good government must be -- the dedication to serving the whole, and not just the innumerable partisan special interests. I know all this talk seems a little alien from what we are used to seeing and hearing -- as the political scene, but I feel quite comfortable speaking for myself doing, as my unique calling at this time. Nothing else makes more sense to me -- than just "making sense" so that others know what it is when they see it. Otherwise, they've never seen it and don't know what it is -- as much as we implore them.

Mike Hu
3123 Esther Street
Honolulu, HI 96815

-----Original Message-----
From: Bob Kessler <kessler.hawaii@hawaiiantel.net>
To: Undisclosed-Recipient:;
Sent: Mon, 28 May 2007 1:07 pm
Subject: Convention Wrap-Up

Aloha all - For those who missed our monthly meeting, this is a brief wrap-up on the recent Hawaii Republican Party convention.

First, our Maui hosts and our Headquarters staff did a fantastic job. Everything was well planned and went very smoothly. Mahalo to all of those folks for their hard work.

Attendance was a little low, which is normal for neighbor island conventions. Approximately 180 delegates attended. The smaller turnout meant gatherings were more intimate, with lots of opportunities for photos and chatting with our elected officials and fellow Republicans. Elected officials attending included Senator Sam Slom, and Reps Lynn Finnegan, Corinne Ching, Kim Pyne, and Gend Ward. Honolulu Councilman Charles Djou also attended, and Honolulu Prosecutor Peter Carlisle acted as Convention Chair.

Press coverage was almost non-existent. Malia Zimmerman of Hawaii Reporter attended and wrote a good comprehensive summary. It's posted on her web site, HAWAIIREPORTER.COM. Please read Malia's article to get the real flavor of the convention. The two Honolulu dailies devoted a combined total of about 4 inches of space, buried somewhere after the used car section.

The theme of the convention was "Republicans Do Make A Difference" carrying the message that life in Hawaii is better under Republican leadership. Of course, the underlying theme was the recent Legislative session in which the Dems killed many Republican initiatives, and literally shredded the Governor's nominees during the inquisition that Dems called confirmation. And it ain't over. There's a strong likelihood of a special session being called to override the Governor's vetos. The good news is that our side stopped some very bad Dem legislation. And we're energized to send more Republicans to the Legislature to help the Governor and press the Republican agenda. The Governor indicated she plans to be involved in the next election cycle.

The convention agenda included some changes to Party Rules, and election of new Hawaii Republican Party officers. The list of new officers is at the end of this message. Congratulations to all of them. I believe our new team gives us an excellent shot at picking up seats in both Houses next year.

Lieutenant Governor Aiona left a very strong impression that he is running for Governor in 2010. He gave a very forceful speech laying out his beliefs and plans. To me it sounded a lot like campaign speech numba one.

Off line there were some great seminars which provided some excellent tips and motivation for the next campaign.

Which brings me to our meeting last week. The next campaign is NOW! We have both a House race and a Senate race to win. We started mapping out our campaign strategy and started on near-term tasks which are the necessary groundwork for the next 18 months. At our next meeting I'll provide a draft strategic plan which will propose a road map to victory. It will be a draft, open to review and revision. Part of the homework we all can do now is to start collecting those recent press articles, columns and op-ed pieces attacking the Dems for their behavior during the recent session.

And we need to start looking for candidates. Here in House District 23 we have two potential candidates for the State house seat. And we may have a possible candidate for HD 21. Fortunately we have a strong incumbent in Senator Gordon Trimble, who is up for re-election. But the Party also needs credible challengers to both Abercrombie and Hirono. So please think about people who might be good candidates for those offices as well. Pass their names along to me or to Party HQ and we'll take it from there.

Administrative notes. Our monthly district meeting has been changed from 4th Wednesdays to 4th Thursdays to resolve a conflict with an ongoing HQ community event. Still at Party HQ, still at 6.

EXCEPT, the June meeting will be Thursday, June 21, at 6:30PM. This is a one-time deviation to accommodate my travel plans.

Significant Upcoming Events. Details at gophawaii.com
June 7 – Duke Aiona Birthday Bash - Hilton Haw'n Village. Call HQ 593-8180;
June 23 – Project Playground – Waianae Emergency Homeless Shelter
July 4 – Kailua Parade
July 13 – GOP Golf Tournament - Ewa Beach Golf Club
Oct 6 – Gov Lingles Ball
Chair Willes Lee
VC – Coordinated Campaign Marie Laderta
VC – Candidate Recruitment Gae Berquist-Trommald
VC – Communications Steve Bretschneider
VC – Community Service Barney Ho
VC – Coalitions Eric Barsatan
Treasurer Kathi Thomason
Secretary Sheila Leas
Still Da Boss Joanne Bretschneider

We have a busy 18 months ahead. I believe it will pay off.
Bob Kessler
District 23 Chair


At May 29, 2007 8:52 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

The most important thing a leader does is to create an atmosphere in which there is no fear, intimidation and arbitrariness -- and not by micromanaging everything, being The Boss, as the most primitive notion of leadership.

Being the leader is not about just destroying whomever one thinks wants their job or position. That's why there are places like Sudan and Iraq -- in which people think the only objective in life, is to wipe out the opposition -- and where they go from there, they think is not possible.

But governments and politics have to evolve like everything else, or they extinguish themselves -- if it weren't for the indoctrination of the present culture.

Although it seemed to be a small matter, the Lingle-Aiona Administration introduced the concept of change as a good thing -- in the Innovation Initiatives. The thing about ideas is that they don't have to be big at first -- because they grow.

The biggest difference, is always the difference between zero and one -- and not one and any other number. Zero times anything, is still zero. But one times anything, is the base of something.

A lot of people, when they talk about politics -- talk about nothing real, as though it is anything, rather than that the smallest step is the beginning of any accomplishment.

What popular culture does in sowing the seed of despair and futility, is blur the distinction between zero and one -- and then all manner of deceptions and manipulations are possible, because one cannot tell that basic difference.

They even push the ideology of "political correctness" -- that one should not be able to make such a discrimination, or any discrimination at all -- which is not to be able to think for oneself about anything, but simply to be told, what to think, what to chant, whom to hate -- as though they thought of it themselves, and are brilliant for doing so.

At June 04, 2007 1:29 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Putting the number of deaths in Iraq into perspective:

16,185 MURDERS; 92,837 RAPES A YEAR IN USA...



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