The Week That Was

These last few days have proved to be some of the more interesting in Virginia, both politically and otherwise.  Of course, this thought may lead you to ask why I haven’t written about it before Friday.  Well, when you are working a bunch of ten-hour days straight, I find you have time for little more than sleeping and eating.  But enough about myself; let’s dive in.

I suppose the most talked about news has to be the Virginia earthquake.  Based right outside the town of Mineral, VA, at 1:51 PM on Tuesday, a 5.8 magnitude quake shook the eastern U.S.  At the time, I was about sixty miles away, across the Blue Ridge Mountains in Weyers Cave, VA.  Although I certainly felt the tremor, I didn’t know it what it was at the time.  Fortunately, the damage was limited and there have been no reports of any fatalities.  However, any time there is an earthquake near a nuclear power plant, I suppose there should be cause for concern.

Moving on to political matters…also on Tuesday, there were a number of primaries across the Commonwealth.  Republican and Democratic hopefuls squared off against each other to secure their party nominations.  Although there weren’t really any great surprises, there were a few disappointments.  Running through the most interesting contests for Senate, we find Senator Norment easily fended off a challenger, former Del. Dick Black making a successful return to state politics, former Delegate and former RPV Chairman Jeff Frederick wiping the floor with Tito Munoz, Jason Flanary denying Steve Hunt another chance to reclaim the seat formerly held by Ken Cuccinelli, and Tom Garrett edging out a win in a five-way contest in the 22nd.

Switching to statewide issues, a recent rift has developed between Senate candidate and former Tea Party leader Jamie Radtke and RedState editor Erick Erickson.  If you may recall, Erickson was early supporter of Radtke’s, promoting her over the “establishment retread” of former Governor and former Senator George Allen.  Although many of the details are still being sorted out, Erickson recently published negative comments about Radtke after her recent speech at a convention sponsored by RedState in Florida.  With allegations flying that her discourse was extremely lackluster and that Allen supporters fund RedState, it is proving difficult to sort out the facts from the conjecture.  Although it is certainly true that I respect both Radtke and RedState, I recommend letting the dust settle before delving into wild speculation.

Moving to local issues, a new candidate has entered the race for Sheriff of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.  His name is Kevin Shifflett and he is from Harrisonburg.  Although details are limited, he is currently a captain in the Army National Guard.  Running as a second independent candidate, it should be interesting to see how his candidacy affects the field of Hutcheson & Hess.  Is he a strong contender?  I suppose we will discover the answer to this question very soon.

Lastly, I wanted to touch on last night’s Tea Party meeting.  As a result of featuring Delegates Tony Wilt, Steve Landes, and Rob Bell, the gathering was extremely well attended.  Just as impressive, the media covered the event for the first time.  Both WHSV (the local T.V. news) and the Daily News Record were present.  Although tea parties are waning in certain parts of the state and country, does this event herald an era of new success for our local tea party?  I certainly hope so.  I wish that I had brought my camera to capture it all.

Although there are other topics to consider, I believe that the ones listed above are far and away the most important in Shenandoah Valley politics these last several days.

Earthquakes, primaries, and political intrigue…wow!  What a week!

A Little Bird Told Me

Tweet! Tweet! That’s the sound of twittering, or so they tell me. Personally, I still don’t understand the value of this service. Most updates I read don’t seem to have any real value. Do you honestly want to read every detail of a person’s life? 8:30 Got up this morning. 8:40 Shaved + took a shower. 8:50 Brkfst. Exciting stuff huh? Heck, I don’t need complete sentences, or even properly spelled words.

So, who really cares and why should I write about this subject? Well, if you will recall, earlier this year a number of Republicans were upset at Jeff Frederick when he tweeted about a potential shift in power in the Virginia Senate. The deal didn’t come to pass and therefore some people blamed Frederick for leaking the deal too early and to the wrong people. It provided additional ammo in the battle to unseat Jeff Frederick’s RPV chairmanship. For some unexplainable reason, the other day I decided to check out Delegate Frederick’s twitter page once more. What I found was surprising. He wrote, “I’d never want to be in the trenches w/ Bill Howell. He’ll cut and run as soon as the first bullet is fired.” 7:00 AM Aug 28th. Now why would Delegate Frederick write such a comment about Speaker Howell? Did they have some sort of recent disagreement over a bill in the General Assembly? Does this conflict extend from Frederick’s removal as chairman? Or is it just sour grapes? Without any additional details, it’s impossible to tell his motives.

Given twitter’s limited nature, I don’t think it a useful tool to express political statements. It creates too much speculation and given that anyone can read it, it can often end up in the wrong hands. It certainly shouldn’t be used for private communication. Then again, should Delegate Frederick or any other public official feel it necessary to air public comments in some form other than a press release, I would suggest a blog. Personally, I’d be happy to offer this blog as a forum and I’m guessing many of my fellow bloggers would feel likewise.

An Update In The RPV Chairman Struggle

I’d bet good money that you’ve heard the results of the RPV Chairman struggle.  If not, on Saturday the State Central Committee voted to remove Jeff Frederick as Chairman.  It was a close vote (well close in the fact that they voted 57-18, precisely the 3/4th vote that they needed).

Rather than dwell on the particulars of that event, (by the way, Deo Vindice has an interesting write-up of the event) I want to focus on the future.  As I stated earlier, I am deeply concerned that this chairman fight will rage on as many Frederick supporters think he was railroaded out of power.  Although I was concerned about the outcome, the potential fracture in party and conservative unity was a far more important issue.  Well, it looks as if my fears may indeed come to pass.  About fifteen minutes ago, I received an email from the former chairman recounting the recent events.  Here is the email in full:

Dear Fellow Virginia Republican:

As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, fifty-seven members of the State Central Committee voted on Saturday to remove me as Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. Their decision effectively overturned the result of the thousands of Republican grassroots activists and volunteers who elected me at the 2008 Virginia Republican Convention.

The difference in the outcome hinged on a favorable proxy vote for me, who was disqualified by the Committee. Had this gentleman – an active Republican who drove all the way from Bath County to attend this meeting – been allowed to cast his vote, I would be Chairman today.

As I told the press corps after the vote, I’m certainly disappointed, yet I remain optimistic.

I ran for Chairman with the hope of changing our Party so we could once again be the majority party in Virginia, achieving real progress for our Commonwealth and our families while remaining true to our principles and values.

Unfortunately, the headwinds against changing course were just too great. Too many are still invested in doing things the old way, giving direction from the top-down instead of building and growing from the bottom-up. When I sought the chairmanship, I promised to put our Party firmly back in your hands – the grassroots of our Party. Of course, that didn’t sit well with long-time Party insiders. Instead of concerning themselves with electing Republicans, they – from the moment my victory was declared last May – focused their efforts on replacing me with someone who would “play ball” with them.

I am disappointed for our Party and our grassroots, since the very same people who have presided over our Party’s decline in Virginia are now back in charge.

Yet, I will not be deterred. I have always said that I am not in this business for me. Philosophically, I fight these fights to further the principles you and I share. Practically, I engage to do all I can to ensure that my daughters have a chance to grow up in the wonderful Virginia in which I had the privilege of growing up.

Amy and I have some decisions to make. Over the next several days, we will be talking amongst ourselves and with close friends, and praying about our next steps. We will fill you in as soon as we make those decisions.

Until then, I want to give my most sincere and heartfelt thanks to those of you who stood by me through these challenging and trying times. It is times like these when you truly learn who your friends are, and I’m humbled by the outpouring of support we have received from every corner of Virginia. You are true friends, and I will never forget all that you sacrificed on behalf of our Party and our principles.

Notwithstanding whatever course we take from here, know that our friendships will endure, and please don’t ever hesitate to let me know how I can repay even just a small measure of the abundant support you all have shown Amy and me.

Our movement to revitalize Republican conservatism in Virginia is far from over. We will be in touch soon.

God Bless,

Jeff Frederick

What I gather from this email is that we haven’t seen the last of Jeff Frederick.  Now I don’t have a problem with this fact as if I were Frederick, I would look to repair my good name too, plus we need more conservative voices out there.  What does concern me, however, is the particular manner in which he chooses to proceed.  As you will note in his email, he mentions that he would still be Chairman assuming a Republican from Bath County was not disqualified from voting.  Will he run for Chairman again?  And will this fight spill over into the May RPV Convention?  According to a recent article in the Washington Post, the answer is yes.

All is calm now…but isn’t that always the case before a tempest?

Update: I want to draw your attention to a post by a fomer Mercer student on the Frederick battle over at RedState.  It is a story I’ve heard before, but it does offer an alternative perspective.

The Battle Lines Expand

This morning I received another email concerning the situation with Chairman Frederick.  However, the link it provides does not seem to go to the right place (at least for me).  It is as follows:

This letter can be found at
<http://virginiapolitics.mytimesdispatch.com/index.php/member/31/> 

Also it should be noted that the signers below represent Unit
Committees which comprise 35% of the Delegates to the upcoming State
Convention.

Chairman Jeff Frederick
Republican Party of Virginia
901 East Cary Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

Dear Jeff:

As fellow conservative grassroots Republican leaders, we urge you to
resign as chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. After
reflecting on recent events, we have concluded that it is time for new
leadership of our Party so that we can unify, and win this November.

We have worked tirelessly over the years to build our party, advance
conservative ideas, and elect fellow Republicans to local and state
office. We have devoted our time, talents and undying commitment to
our shared cause. It is with this commitment to our party that we
agree with the other grassroots and elected leaders who support a
change in leadership. 

Sincerely, 

Kenny Golden Chairman, Virginia Beach City GOP
Donald Williams Chairman, Chesterfield County GOP
Angela Kelly-Wiecek Chairman, Hanover County GOP
Susan Stimpson Chairman, Stafford County GOP
Mike Meredith Chairman, Rockingham County GOP
Anthony Bedell Chairman, Fairfax County GOP
Pete Burkhimer Chairman, Chesapeake City GOP
Sheriff Mike Wade Chairman, Henrico County GOP
Pam Brown Chairman, Norfolk City GOP

If these leaders have joined the growing bandwagon of GOP leaders who want Frederick gone, it will be very difficult for the Chairman to stop this growing coalition.  Although I don’t know much about the rest, I have a good deal of respect for Chairman Meredith so his name, like Senator Obenshain’s before him, adds considerable credence to the effort.  I’ll post more news on the subject as it becomes available.

Update:  Some added allies for the Frederick side.  As found on spankthatdonkey.com, the conservative stronghold of Augusta County has recently passed a resolution in support of Chairman Frederick.  It reads:

RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF RPV CHAIRMAN JEFF FREDERICK


Whereas, the Augusta County Republican Committee believes that the strength of the Republican Party comes from the grassroots up, not the top down.

Whereas, in June 2008, the State Republican Convention elected Jeff Frederick as the State Chairman with an overwhelming vote ot the delegates.

Now, therefore, be resolved, that the Augusta County Republican Committee:


1] Fully endorses and supports the Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Jeff Frederick.


2] We call on Republicans across the Commonwealth to focus on the elections at hand. Chairman Frederick is doing the job he was elected to do, namely to make the state party the servant of the local unit and not its master.


3] We call on the State Central Committee and senatorial caucus to also fully endorse Chairman Jeff Frederick and assist him unconditionally to retake

the Commonwealth of Virginia for the Republican Party.

The Battle Over Chairman Frederick

Lately I’ve spoken with several people about the situation concerning the Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. As there are still a number of people out there who remain uniformed, let me bring you up to speed. There are a growing number of individuals who are looking to remove Chairman Jeff Frederick from his position. In order to better understand the situation, let’s flash back a year ago.  After the November elections of 2007, the Republican Party lost majority in the Virginia Senate, a position it enjoyed since 1997.  But why did the party lose?  Some argued it was as result of the actions or inactions of the Chairman, John Hager.  Drawing upon the discontent of many of the Republicans in the state, especially the conservatives, Jeff Frederick, Delegate from the fifty-second district, launched a campaign to win the chairmanship from Hager at the May 2008 convention.  Another complaint raised against Hager was the lack of fundraising under his watch.  The Frederick campaign worked diligently, especially here in Harrisonburg, to promote their cause.  By comparison, the Hager campaign was not so visible.  Right before the convention the mudslinging intensified including slanderous accusations. I n the end, however, Frederick easily defeated Hager.

Since his election however, Chairman Frederick has come under heavy fire for three separate publicly stated accusations.  The first two mirror complaints leveled against John Hager; of low fundraising and the very poor results of the 2008 elections.  As faithful readers to this blog know, I held out little hope of Jim Gilmore’s chances of success against Mark Warner, but the fact that he won only 6 localities (Augusta County, Colonial Heights, Hanover County, Poqouson, Powhatan County, and Rockingham County) was a staggering loss.  Concurrently, John McCain lost the state by over two hundred thousand votes, thus being the first Republican candidate to lose the Old Dominion since Richard Nixon began the trend of winning in 1968.  Far more troubling, however, were the results of Virginia’s representation in the House of Representatives. Thelma Drake lost the usually conservative second district, and Keith Fimian was unable to retain Tom Davis’ seat in the eleventh.  But, the most heart breaking loss was Virgil Goode’s 727 vote loss in the fifth district.  I do wonder if the RPV could have done more to retain some of these seats.  After all, back in 2006, the RPV hired a number of activists, including myself, to bolster and augment the efforts of House and Senate campaign staffs.  Even though Senator Allen lost his reelection bid, I still maintain that the RPV put forth a good effort through their grassroots organization plan.   What I want to know is, where was this coordinated plan in 2008?  Why did the RPV not send out a similar cadre of staff?  In Harrisonburg I saw McCain and Goodlatte staff, but where was the RPV?   To my knowledge the closest RPV representative for this area was about a hundred miles away in Lynchburg (if anyone can validate or disprove this information, please let me know).  I’m guessing the issue revolved around money and fundraising.

The third concern revolves around Senator Northam, who was supposedly considering switching to the GOP.  As the Democrats held a 21-19 majority in the Virginia Senate, one switch like Senator Northam’s would tip the balance of power toward the Republican Party as Lt. Governor Bolling could cast votes to break the tie.  While  this plot unfolded Chairman Frederick sent out a twitter message stating, “Big news coming out of Senate: Apparently one dem is either switching or leaving the dem caucus. Negotiations for power sharing underway.”  After this message, the picture gets a little murky.  Some claim that Senator Northam never intended to leave the Democrats, but attempted to use this tactic to leverage his party.   Others state that Chairman Frederick’s early tweet tipped off the Democrats who were able to pressure successfully Sen. Northam to remain in their party.   Regardless of the actual reasoning, I believe that Chairman Frederick’s early posting was a poor decision as it gave many of us false hope, ultimately proved to be erroneous, and gave additional fodder to his enemies.

The plot doesn’t end here.   At the Advance last year a number of members of the RPV State Central Committee attempted to remove Chairman Frederick, but were unsuccessful.   Recently, the Committee served the Chairman a notice that they will vote on whether or not to retain him at a meeting on April 4.  In addition, both the leadership of the Republican Party in the Virginia Senate as well as all of the Republican members of the Virginia delegation in the House of Representatives have called on Chairman Frederick to resign.  I got the Senate letter in an email several days ago and it reads:

**VIRGINIA SENATE REPUBLICAN CAUCUS**

**March 6, 2009**

RPV State Central Committee

c/o The Honorable Michael E. Thomas

901 East Cary Street Richmond, VA 23219

Dear Mike:

We write on behalf of the Virginia Senate Republican Caucus to express our support for the recent actions taken by members of the State Central Committee in relation to Chairman Jeff Frederick. An overwhelming majority of our Caucus has expressed grave concern over the state of affairs at the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) in recent months and has lost confidence in Delegate Frederick’s leadership.

While we recognize the recently circulated petition is a State Central Committee matter, we stand in full support of your effort. Our Caucus has engaged in conversations with other elected Republican leaders in recent months as it became clear that Delegate Frederick’s lack of judgment was hurting our Party. Each time, we have decided that it is not our role as elected officials to pick the Chairman of RPV. We are gratified to see this movement initiating from the “grassroots.”

Our members recognize the importance of this year’s elections –both statewide and local. As a slim minority party in the Senate, it is critical to our Caucus that we retain the Lieutenant Governor’s office, retain control of the House of Delegates, and regain the Governor’s mansion. We are confident in the ability of our ticket this year to succeed, but their job would be made easier with a functional state party behind them. Heading into such an important year, it is critical that our state party have the full confidence of our candidates, our elected officials, and our grassroots. Like you, we are convinced that the only way to ensure this is a change in leadership at RPV.

Accordingly, we support and appreciate your efforts in this regard and stand ready to assist as needed.

Sincerely,

Sen. Thomas K. Norment, Jr.

Republican Leader

Sen. Stephen D. Newman

Republican Caucus Chairman

Sen. Kenneth W. Stolle

Republican Leader Pro Tempore

Sen. Walter A. Stosch

Republican Leader Emeritus

Sen. Mark D. Obenshain

Sen. Frank W. Wagner

Republican Whips

P.O. Box 1697 ♦ Williamsburg VA 23187 ♦ (757) 259-7810

Paid for and authorized by the Virginia Senate Republican Caucus

**

**

Virginia Senate Republican Caucus

Sen. Thomas K. Norment, Jr.

Republican Leader

Sen. Stephen D. Newman

Republican Caucus Chairman

Sen. Kenneth W. Stolle

Republican Leader Pro Tempore

Sen. Walter A. Stosch

Republican Leader Emeritus

Sen. Mark D. Obenshain

Sen. Frank W. Wagner

Republican Whips

Sen. Harry B. Blevins

Sen. Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, II

Sen. Emmett W. Hanger, Jr.

Sen. Robert Hurt

Sen. Stephen H. Martin

Sen. Ryan T. McDougle

Sen. Frederick M. Quayle

Sen. Frank M. Ruff, Jr.

Sen. Ralph K. Smith

Sen. Richard H. Stuart

Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel

Sen. William C. Wampler, Jr.

Sen. John C. Watkins

Thomas J. Cosgrove

Executive Director

The House of Representatives letter reads (as found on bearingdrift.com):

March 12, 2009

The Honorable Jeff Frederick

Chairman, Republican Party of Virginia

115 E. Grace Street

Richmond, VA 23219

Dear Jeff:

For the good of the Republican Party of Virginia we write today asking that you step aside as chairman in light of the recent call from three-fourths of the State Central Committee seeking your resignation. Clearly it is the sentiment of the grassroots membership of the Party to move in another direction.

With November’s elections rapidly approaching, it is essential that our party be unified as we work to regain control of the governor’s mansion and retain control of the House of Delegates. No one will benefit from a protracted battle over the leadership of RPV. It is in that spirit that we ask you to step down.

Sincerely,

Frank Wolf

Robert Goodlatte

Eric Cantor

Randy Forbes

Robert Wittman

Although kept secret for some time, the particular charges offered by the State Committee are broader reaching than the three listed above.  This morning I got an email from Chairman Frederick that lists all of these charges as well as his response.  It is as follows:

Notice of Intent to Remove Jeff Frederick as State Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia

Initial Response to Charges – Summary

The Call to remove Chairman Frederick consists of ten charges. Charges 1, 2, and 3 concern the Chairman’s management of RPV finances. Of those three charges, Charge 1 is the most specific, while Charges 2 and 3 are widely ambiguous, lacking specific references detailing the allegations. The remaining seven charges in the Call concern alleged infractions of the Party Plan or specific interpretations of the Party Plan.

Charge 1:

Failure to transmit, in a timely manner, online contributions made to the Republican Party of Virginia and processed by his own company. Withholding 7% of online contributions made to the RPV for a period of weeks during the summer of 2008 after repeatedly assuring the Executive Committee that he was not using his company as a vendor for RPV.

Response to Charge 1:

While waiting for a newly contracted vendor to complete work on a new RPV website and for a new online donation vendor to complete its setup requirements, the Chairman established a “place holding” website through his own firm, GXS Strategies, Inc., also using its online donation company and subsidiary, ChargedContributions.com, for a period of 91 days. In return for a 7% discount fee, it was expected that ChargedContributions.com would cover all incidental expenses related to any transactions, including payments to merchant banks and credit cards.

Key facts:

· This “place holder” approach was immediately successful. Under the previous chairman, the Party raised only $2,000 online for the first five months of 2008 combined. After the Chairman and RPV staff set up an efficient, yet temporary system, the Party raised over $21,000 online in just three months at no cost to the Party. The funds collected by the RPV website were deposited into a non-interest bearing escrow account for distribution to the Party. Distributions were made on 8 July and 1 October.

· The “place holder” page automatically reported contributions to the RPV employees’ responsible for fundraising supervision, and, providing redundant transparency, the entire account was accessible to RPV employees.

· Of the $21,135.00 in contributions collected for RPV by ChargedContributions.com, the company retained 7% of the total, or $1,479.45, to cover incidental expenses and required remittances to merchant banks, credit card companies, and an online processing service. After fulfilling obligations to merchant banks and credit card companies, ChargedContributions.com retained a maximum total of $581.62 to cover other incidental expenses associated with the credit card collection process.

· In order to fully comply with Virginia campaign finance disclosure law regarding the work it did on behalf of RPV in constructing the “place holder” website and donation page, GXS Strategies, Inc., of which ChargedContributions.com is a subsidiary, reported an in-kind contribution to RPV in the amount of $17,717.61 on 8 September.

· Far from withholding money from RPV to benefit himself, Chairman Frederick’s company provided free services to the Party in an amount that was 30 times greater than the total of the alleged monetary compensation received by his company.

· All records, documentation, and filings verifying this information and detailing these transactions can be accessed via the Virginia Public Access Project, The State Board of Elections, the Federal Elections Committee, and internal RPV documents.

To summarize Charge 1, the Chairman’s company donated $17,717.61 in-kind to the RPV. During the period this company was used, RPV netted $19,655.58 from its online donations. The Chairman’s company provided interim services for 91 days, and the Executive Committee and RPV staff had a full accounting of the fundraising.

Charge 2:

Repeated failure to fully comply with a July 22, 2008 directive unanimously adopted by the RPV Executive Committee to disclose existing and pending contracts with vendors.

Response to Charge 2:

A search of existing contracts reveals that the Executive Director of the RPV provided every known contract to members of the Executive Committee, and that a good-faith effort was made to inform members of future contracts. The Executive Committee itself acknowledged in September 2008 that they were in possession of those records, and no member has indicated to RPV, in writing or otherwise, of the existence of any contract or agreement by which we have not fully complied with this directive, let alone repeatedly so.

Charge 3:

Unauthorized expenditures of RPV funds for unbudgeted activities without either State Central Committee or Executive Committee consent.

Response to Charge 3:

While there is no specific allegation in this charge, it has been suggested by more than one Executive Committee member that the Chairman’s procurement of office space in Northern Virginia was a breach of his authority.

The Chairman rented space at a rate of $600 per month for an office in Prince William County to serve as a Northern Virginia satellite office for RPV and for his legislative constituent service office. It was his intention to use the office space for himself for donor meetings and for other business to be conducted by RPV’s Northern Virginia Field Director and its Finance Director. For the period beginning 15 October 2008 and ending 15 June 2009, Friends of Jeff Frederick paid $2,400 for its portion of the office and RPV paid $2,400.00 for its portion. All payments were made directly to the landlord.

The Party Plan grants the Chairman authority to operate the State Headquarters within the approved budgets for personnel, but makes no other restrictions on the Chairman’s ability to authorize expenditures.

Charge 4:

Failure to provide members of the State Central Committee with a reasonable time to review and consider the proposed 2009 budget prior to proposed adoption by the State Central Committee. Failure to provide one or more members of the State Central Committee with any opportunity to see the proposed budget prior to the meeting.

Charge 5:

Disregard for the minimal rights of members of the State Central Committee to participate in discussion and debate at the December 2008 meeting by refusing to recognize numerous members attempting to speak and failing to ascertain the required 2/3 vote necessary to end debate. Lack of transparency in the budget process by giving members less than 36 hours to consider the budget rather than the usual three weeks.

Charge 6:

Corruption of process by failing to conduct a proper vote on 2009 budget by (1) beginning, but not completing, either a hand count or roll call vote, both properly called for; and (2) unilaterally declaring the vote result without even a partial count of those in favor and no count whatsoever of those opposed.

Response to Charges 4, 5, and 6:

These charges all refer to the approval of the 2009 RPV Budget at the 5 December meeting of the State Central Committee. They state that Chairman Frederick demonstrated a less than firm grasp on the proceedings at various SCC meetings by failing to provide adequate time for budget review, or by failing to recognize various members during debate. More accurately, though, they reflect the disappointment of some State Central members in the outcome of this meeting.

The Executive Committee recommended against approval of the budget by the State Central Committee. But after a prolonged and contentious debate, the State Central Committee voted to approve the budget, which is now in force.

Robert’s Rules of Order and the Party Plan provide every member the opportunity to object and to challenge the Chair on rulings and by raising points of order. Further, Robert’s is clear that it is the responsibility of each member to guard the process by interaction and objection. In this case, no objections were made to the rulings, votes, and procedures described in these charges at the time of the meeting.

Charge 7:

Failure to “promptly convene” the Appeals Committee upon timely receipt of an appeal of a ruling by the General Counsel.

Response to Charge 7:

The “Appeals Committee” is not recognized by the Party Plan, so it not subject to any specific timeline. Moreover, decisions of the Appeals Committee must be affirmed by State Central if they overturn the ruling of RPV General Counsel. The appeal in question was filed specifically to the Appeals Committee the day before the December 2008 meeting of the State Central Committee. Because of an amendment made to the RPV Budget at the December 2008 State Central Committee meeting, the Party’s then-General Counsel stepped down. A meeting of the Appeals Committee could not be scheduled until after a new General Counsel accepted the post.

After a new General Counsel accepted the post, several attempts were made to schedule this meeting to comply with the availability of all participants. Despite these difficulties, the Appeals Committee is scheduled to meet on 20 March 2008, two weeks prior to the first State Central Committee meeting since December.

Charge 8:

Circumventing the State Central Committee by appointing committee and otherwise assuming Duties clearly prescribed in Article III, Section D, as duties of the State Central Committee without consultation or authorization.

Response to Charge 8:

There is ample and long-standing precedent for the Chairman to establish ad hoc committees without SCC approval. In fact, members of the Executive Committee and the SCC both offered positive feedback on the establishment of these committees, and further, no member lodged any objections. Further one of the established committees was specifically requested by a District Chairman on the Executive Committee.

Charge 9:

Damage to the reputation and effectiveness of the Republican Party of Virginia through refusal to coordinate activities, including campaign messages, with Republican nominees for public office.

Response to Charge 9:

Evidence to the contrary on this charge is extensive and heavily documented. In fact, the Chairman and RPV staff undertook several sensitive assignments from both federal and state elected officials and nominees.

Since Chairman Frederick assumed his current position, RPV staff works cooperatively, frequently, and regularly with Republican nominees, candidates, and elected officials. There are numerous examples to support this fact.

[NOTE: Since much of the evidence contradicting this charge contains sensitive internal campaign documents, supporting documentation is being offered exclusively to members of the State Central Committee.]

Charge 10:

Failure to notify the Executive Committee of a possible breach of security and/or compromise of security of data residing on servers and failure to act promptly to investigate potential breach when requested to do so.

Response to Charge 10:

In November 2008, some members of the Executive Committee alleged that there had been a breach of RPV’s e-mail lists. Less than 24 hours after the breach was alleged, Chairman Frederick utilized experts in his firm to investigate the possibility of any breach. After an extensive system analysis, which included an examination of log files, no evidence of a breach was found and the Executive Committee was so informed.

Concluding thoughts

And so the saga continues.  As more and more Republican leaders, especially conservatives like my own Senator Obenshain and the presumptive Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell, call for the resignation of the Chairman, it will become increasingly difficult for Jeff Frederick to hold on to his position.  My hope is that the State Committee will judge all of the evidence presented both for and against the Chairman fairly and render a clear decision that all can respect.  As 2009 will prove to be a key year for our party, we need to be united.  Although I do believe it will happen despite my protests, I sincerely do not want this conflict to spill over into May’s convention.  I do not believe that most of the delegates, myself included, have sufficient information to judge this case and such a public trial would likely be exceeding ugly.  Things are bad, yes, but do they warrant Chairman Frederick’s removal?  Right now I don’t know.  However, as Chairman Frederick fights for his political life and his opponents gather their forces, I don’t think any vicious new chapter to this conflict will surprise me.   Nothing defeats the Republican Party quite as well as the Republican Party itself.

Pictures from the Convention

Most of my photos didn’t come out well, but here are a few for those who missed the convention.  Enjoy!

 

Del. Marshall with supporters

Del. Marshall with supporters

More Marshall supporters gather

More Del. Marshall supporters gather.

-)

Those darn Ron Paul supporters. 🙂

If only we could do away with outdated concepts like liberty, maybe they would go away…

If you were from Richmond, VA Beach, or other important places, you get to sit up front.  If you are from the 6th district, to the back of the hall with you.

If you look closely, I think you can just make out a Marshall supporter or two.

If you look closely, I think you can make out a Marshall supporter or two.

The ever popular former Sen. Allen

The ever popular former Senator Allen.

Our new Chairman, Del. Jeff Frederick

Our new Chairman, Del. Jeff Frederick

The Convention

I hope you all had an opportunity to attend the state Republican convention in Richmond this weekend.  Overall I think it went quite well and here are my thoughts on what happened.

First of all, I should mention that I supported Bob Marshall for U.S. Senate and Jeff Frederick for Party Chairman.  I strongly believe that these were the two candidates who best represented my conservative values.  Of course, the results were a mixed bag.  

The U.S. Senate

Bob Marshall lost by only the slimmest of margins, losing by about 60 votes out of over 1,000 cast.  For those like me, who greatly wanted to see Del. Marshall elected, it was a heartbreaking loss.  In my hometown, Harrisonburg, I was the lone vote for Del. Marshall.  One out of nine.  Needless to say, I felt a bit out of place waving my Marshall sign among the Gilmore supporters, but I’m used to being the lone voice in the crowd from time to time.  As a mixed blessing, we were seated in front of the city of Lynchburg, and while they had a number of vocal Marshall supporters, I sincerely wish they had shown about a bit more respect to the former Governor.  I felt their booing gave the rest of us a bad name.  The 6th district as a whole went for Gilmore, but only by a little over 20 votes.  It was amazing that most congressional districts supported one candidate very heavily with 2 to 1 and 3 to 2 margins being common.  In the end, we came up just a little short.  I suppose the hardest losses are the ones that could have been won.

The RPV Chairman

Del. Frederick easily won election to the post though official results were not given to the mass public.  For the Harrisonburg delegates the vote was 7 to 2 in favor of Frederick.  Not only that, but in the 6th district Jeff Fredrick won every single county and city with the exception of Roanoke City where it was tied.  I suspect the result was somewhere between 60 to 70 percent in his favor.  I do confess that I feel a little bad for former Chairman Hager, losing decisively as he did, but we needed desperately needed a change.  I felt that the RPV has ignored the western part of the state for too long and the losses in the General Assembly were avoidable.  Let us hope that both situations will be reversed soon.

It was great to meet so many Republicans across the state.  The hospitality suites were a perfect way to get in contact with the candidates, their supporters, and other related groups.  In fact, if not for the fine people at thejeffersoniad.com, I would not be writing here now.  Special thanks.

Well, that’s all for now.  Talk to you again soon.

Joshua