The local head of the Republican Party, Shirlene DelaCruz Ostrov, has resigned following unauthorized series of tweets on the party’s Twitter account that defended people supporting baseless QAnon conspiracy theories and that have been criticized as anti-Semitic.
On Jan. 23, Edwin Boyette, then Hawaii GOP communications vice chairman, posted a series of tweets defending those who subscribe to QAnon conspiracy theories, some of which fueled the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
“We should make it abundantly clear — the people who subscribed to the Q fiction, were largely motivated by a sincere and deep love for America. Patriotism and love of County (sic) should never be ridiculed,” said one of several tweets that Boyette posted Saturday.
Another deleted tweet on the GOP Hawaii account from the same day promoted the “analysis and commentary” of a mainland blogger and Holocaust denier as “generally high quality.”
The tweets have since been deleted from the party’s account, and Boyette resigned the next day.
On Jan. 25, Ostrov tweeted: “I accept full responsibility for the unauthorized tweets posted by our former Vice Chair of Communications. He has resigned effective January 24, and pending official party action.”
“To our friends in the Jewish community, we find the comments to be deeply disturbing and offensive and have no place in our party much less our country,” Ostrov wrote.
On Sunday, Ostrov submitted her own immediate resignation after four years as head of the Hawaii GOP.
In a statement, the party said: “Just last week, Ms. Ostrov chose to accept responsibility for several unauthorized tweets that garnered national and international criticism.”
First Vice Chairman Boyd Ready is now serving as acting chairman until the party elects a new chairperson and executive committee in May.
Boyette told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser today none of the tweets included anything about Jewish people or that could be interpreted as anti-Semitic. He said the tweets did not support QAnon theories, but only defended some of the online group’s local adherents.
State Sen. Kurt Fevella, (R, Ewa Beach-Iroquois Point), did not read the original tweets but condemned them.
“I’m not supporting none of that,” Fevella said.
Ostrov’s resignation shows that she accepted responsibility for someone else’s actions, Fevella said.
“For her to take responsibility, that’s leadership because it falls upon her watch,” Fevella said. “I don’t blame her. I don’t blame her.”
QAnon followers advocate a conspiracy theory rooted in the baseless belief that former President Donald Trump was fighting deep state enemies and a cabal of Satan-worshipping cannibals operating a child sex trafficking ring. Many QAnon believers were among the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.