Averill In At AFP-VA

Trixie Averill at a meeting of AFP in January 2011

In a bit of breaking news, I’ve just received word that long-time Virginia political activist and Sixth District Republican Chairwoman Trixie Averill has recently accepted the position of Virginia State Director for Americans for Prosperity.  As you may of heard, Ben Marchi, who has held the position for the last several years, will be leaving that post in a matter of days.  I knew that AFP had been sorting through candidates, but, until a few moments ago, had not realized that they had selected one.

This news is of particular interest to me for a number of reasons.  First among them, in an interesting twist of fate, I have had the opportunity to get to know and work with both Mrs. Averill and Mr. Marchi.  Then again, I suppose there aren’t but so many people who work in Virginia politics.  For the record, the Republican Party of Virginia employed all three of us during the 2006 election cycle.  In the early stages of the campaign, I worked with Ben Marchi in Virginia Beach.  In the later part, it was with Trixie Averill in the Valley.

With this news of AFP also comes word that Mrs. Averill will be resigning her post as Chairwoman for the Sixth District.  Who will take her place is still, as of yet, unknown.

I want to extend my congratulations to Trixie Averill as she begins her new position with Virginia’s Americans for Prosperity.  With our Delegates and Senators up for election this year and our Representatives, Senator, and President the next, it should certainly be a busy time.  I’m looking forward to seeing what she has in store.

Scenes from The Tea Party

I’m pleased to announce that the Tea Party gathering in downtown Harrisonburg on Tax Day went quite well.  Coming on the back of the recent JMU riot, I suppose some folks feared the worst from a political gathering like this one.  (If you missed hearing about the JMU fiasco, head on over to hburgnews for the story.)  Despite some liberals’ misgivings, the only message was principled politics, not personal hatred.  Unlike events elsewhere, there were no signs threatening violence and no signs calling for Obama’s head.  All they asked was for limited government and liberty.  Although sometimes people from other parts of the state and country malign citizens of the Shenandoah Valley as backwards and rednecks, I’m pleased to say that we have enough decency and common sense to act in a dignified manner.  (To return to that JMU matter, you should know that most of the people charged with felonies and misdemeanors were neither JMU students nor Valley residents.)

Along with the Shenandoah Valley Tea Party members, were former Senator George Allen, former RPV chairwoman Kate Obenshain, Americans for Prosperity’s Ben Marchi, and Senator Mark Obenshain.  They all gave impassioned speeches in favor of our shared principles.  I don’t know how many hundreds of people were gathered on the courthouse grounds yesterday, but you can use my pictures to get a rough estimation.  Fortunately, the day was blessed with perfect weather.

I cannot tell you how inspiring it is to see so many of my fellow citizens getting involved.  But, simply showing up for an event is the easy part.  We must stay active in politics and constantly promote our principles whether it is through the local tea party, the Republican committee, or some other means.  A word of warning, however, is that we cannot and must not be complacent, marginalized, co-opted, or taken for granted.  Then, and only then, can we create the real change we need in our city, our state, and in our country.

Thank you Shenandoah Valley Tea Party.  Y’all enjoy the photos!

Welcome to the Party

Good evening.

Thanks to all readers for bearing with me.

Recently some members of the local tea party have become involved with the local Republican Party. Personally, I welcome their involvement. So many of their ideals mirror my own and the stated goals of the Virginia Republican Party that their addition seems like a natural fit. As stated on the tea party website, they support: “fiscal responsibility, Constitutionally-limited government, and adherence to free-market principles”. Don’t they sound like my kind of people? With their help, I hope we will compel our representatives and leaders to faithfully uphold our supposedly shared principles.

Unfortunately, their arrival heralded a bit of mistrust and confusion. Rumor spread that tea party members sought to take over the Rockingham County Republican Party. I was baffled. I don’t understand how anyone could honestly accuse David Huffman and the Rockingham County GOP of not advocating constitutional conservatism. After all, I believe that the Shenandoah Valley represents the true heart and soul of conservatism in both the state and the nation. Thankfully, the potentially problematic crisis turned out to be only a misunderstanding and miscommunication and was therefore quickly defused. I hope that more tea partiers will follow the example of the handful of members who attended our First Friday. In addition, traditionally conservative Republicans should follow Scott Sayre’s example and welcome these new allies with open arms.

And so I offer a hardy welcome to the tea party members. I respect your principled stand. I hope that the GOP and the tea party movement can work hand in hand. Together we can and must reform local, state, and federal government before they continue to grow into a nanny state, an unconstitutional sprawling leviathan.

With that being said, I want to alert you that the Shenandoah Valley Tea Party is holding two similar events on April 15 from 5:30 to 7:30. One is at the Gypsy Hill Park in Staunton while the other is at Court Square in Harrisonburg. Both events feature former RPV Chairwoman Kate Obenshain, Americans for Prosperity Virginia chapter’s Ben Marchi, and former Governor and Senator George Allen. I strongly encourage you to attend. Assuming that I’m not working, you should find me downtown on Thursday evening.