Social media has been in hyper drive over the last 24 hours about a story that broke yesterday on PJMedia entitled, BANANA REPUBLICANS: New Head of Virginia GOP on Eric Cantor’s Payroll. Mark Levin, VA Right, The Blaze w/Doc Thompson, SaraforAmerica and JHPolitics are just a few who are talking about it. The short version is as follows:
Shaun Kenney is the co-owner of Bearing Drift, which has historically been the “premiere conservative” blog for the last 10 years in Virginia.
Shaun Kenney and his brother, Jason Kenney (also a contributor at Bearing Drift), are principals of K6 Consulting Group LLC, a political and communications consulting firm.
Eric Cantor is a client of K6 Consulting, but until Monday of this week neither the Kenneys nor Bearing Drift had publicly and directly disclosed the existence of this relationship, contrary to the claims by Kenney on Breitbart today.
Shaun Kenney has previously attacked, maligned, and insulted those who have inquired if he or K6 Consulting have any relationship with Eric Cantor.
Shaun Kenney has arguably written positive articles on Bearing Drift about Eric Cantor and been conspicuously quiet on other stories that would not have been positive toward Cantor. (Obviously the credible response is that Kenney would have written those posts in the manner he did regardless of a Cantor client relationship).
Shaun Kenney was appointed two weeks ago as the new Executive Director of the Republican Party of Virginia.
Eric Cantor is facing a Republican primary challenger, Dave Brat.
The night before the FEC Campaign Finance reports were made public, Bearing Drift disclosed to the public that K6 Consulting does work for Cantor. It was an attempt to stay ahead of a story they knew would be toxic, since, contrary to the claims by Kenney on Breitbart today, Shaun Kenney had not been “very open” about the relationship between K6 and Cantor. The entire Cantor/K6/Kenney story isn’t about Bearing Drift per se, but it tangentially involves them since Shaun Kenney is co-owner and blogger at Bearing Drift.
Breitbart has now published a story this morning reporting that Dave Brat has submitted a letter to the Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. The letter said:
Dear Chairman Mullins,
I am extremely concerned with the breaking news regarding Shaun Kenney’s alleged connection to the Eric Cantor Campaign. If Eric Cantor’s campaign or any of his affiliates has hired Shaun Kenney’s consulting firm, any pretense of fairness in the upcoming Seventh District Congressional Race is diminished. With Shaun Kenney recently named Executive Director of the Republican Party of Virginia in this same time period, additional questions remain to be answered. How long has this relationship existed, and is there a relationship with Young Guns PAC or any other Cantor affiliated political committees? If so, for how long have these relationships existed, do these relationships continue, is Mr. Kenney still involved in any way with his consulting firm, does he profit in any way from that firm’s business, or does he do any work of any sort that contributes to the profitability and branding of that firm?
These unanswered questions are why we are calling on you as Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia to investigate these issues thoroughly and impartially. We ask for an independent investigation into the relationship between Shaun Kenney, K6 Consulting Group, Eric Cantor, and the Republican Party of Virginia. The ethical and legal findings should be made public as soon as possible.
Specifically, we ask for an opinion of the RPV General Counsel. We want to know if Shaun Kenny has violated Article 3, Section F 1,2 of the RPV Party Plan where it states that:
Any written or verbal contract or other transaction between (i) the Party and (ii) the Chairman, one or more members of the State Central Committee, and/or the Executive Director (hereinafter “Responsible Person”), or any corporation, partnership, firm or association in which a Responsible Person or a family
member of that Responsible Person has a material financial interest, is void unless:
a. The material facts as to the transaction and as to the Responsible Person’s interest are fully disclosed or known to the State Central Committee, or to the Executive Committee acting in its stead pursuant to Article III, Section E.1.b, prior to the time that such contract or transaction is approved, and
b.The State Central Committee, or the Executive Committee acting in its stead pursuant to Article III, Section E.1.b, approves the contract or transaction in good faith by an affirmative majority vote (without counting the Responsible Person) at a meeting at which there is a quorum present (without counting the Responsible Person).
2. The term “material financial interest” shall mean a financial interest of any kind which, in view of all the circumstances, is substantial enough that it would, or reasonably could, affect a Responsible Person’s or family member’s judgment with respect to transactions in which the Party is involved. The term “family member” shall mean a spouse, parent, child, spouse of a child, brother, sister…
Even if there is no legal conflict of interest in this matter, I’m sure you understand the gravity of the obvious appearance of a political and ethical conflict of interest. This will not serve the Party well if we want to build an inclusive, fair, broad-based organization. The Party can not be seen as being owned by any machine or clique.
We hope to see these questions answered and this situation resolved in a timely matter, as the election is now less than sixty days out.
To be fair, The Bull Elephant has spoken directly with Jason Kenney and Shaun Kenney and they have unequivocally and emphatically denied that Shaun Kenney has financially benefited from the Eric Cantor/K6 relationship, or that any other financial relationship exists between Shaun Kenney and the Cantor organization. We are glad to hear that and appreciate the recent openness on that question. However, this denial does not address the broader issue of transparency and the perceived political/ethical conflict of interest that Dave Brat mentions in the last paragraph of his letter.
It is silly to say that your company and brother work for Eric Cantor and that it does not influence your behavior at all. If this is the case, then why has there been such an overt attempt to hide it? Why has Shaun Kenney gone on the offensive for the last couple of months attacking anyone who asks if his company is doing work for Cantor? It is hard to imagine Shaun Kenney (or anyone for that matter) NOT making decisions that benefit and advance their company or help/protect their company’s brand or brother’s work. It would be natural for anyone, frankly.
Everyone remembers long-time Republican consultant, Boyd Marcus, defecting to Democrat Terry McAuliffe last year during the governor’s race. Boyd Marcus and Ray Allen had been partners in Marcus & Allen Consulting for more than a decade, and their chief client was (and still is for Ray Allen) Eric Cantor. Does anyone really think that Marcus & Allen Consulting could have stayed together while Boyd Marcus took on McAuliffe as a client? Clearly this would have caused a serious conflict of interest for Eric Cantor, regardless of whether any McAuliffe money made its way to Ray Allen.
Or how about Boyd’s son, Randy Marcus, who was Chief of Staff to the scorned Lt. Governor Bill Bolling? IF Randy Marcus had publicly been bashing Ken Cuccinelli last year in the press, would anyone really think that it had nothing to do with his dad or boss?
The problem here is really an issue of transparency, which only makes the conflict of interest questions more pertinent. Now Shaun Kenney is the Executive Director of the Republican Party of Virginia, which elevates the conflict of interest questions from beyond merely blogging into the realm of actual GOP governance and operations. I think Dave Brat raises some very good questions in his letter. We will have to wait and see the response. The more transparent and forthright the response, the quicker this can all get behind us.
[…] 4/16/2014 Is there a conflict of interest between Eric Cantor and the RPV Executive Director? […]
[…] The Bull Elephant: […]
[…] http://thebullelephant.com/conflict-interest-eric-cantor-rpv-executive-director/ […]
[…] Rep. Eric Cantor as a client. (Jamie Radtke has a thorough and objective run-down of the story in her post here, with links to views from all sides). However, the facts in evidence do not in any way support some […]
Ann Coulter endorses Dave Brat.
In reading all of this, only one thing becomes crystal clear: we do not need liberals to destroy us, as we have plenty of evidence here our party is perfectly capable of self-destruction. Congratulations, you have certainly mastered Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals! I hope those wreaking this havoc are proud of their accomplishments.
You mean, such as:
RULE 4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”
It’s time you folks dialed down the psychological projection some, it’s really and truly pathetic.
Marta, maybe a light will go on and bring you the realization that we owe no allegiance to political parties. We owe allegiance to our country! The RPV has been hijacked by virulent (read Shaun Kenney’s posts) open borders, cheap labor multinational corporatists and crony capitalists. Everything Eric Cantor has done in his years in the House has been to further the interests of the Crony Class which he serves: serial bailouts; TARP, limitless spending, enlarging government programs, busting budgets, killing the Sequester, pretending to obstruct Obamacare and doing every possible legislative trick to pass a stealth amnesty that he can later dishonestly claim is not an amnesty. Political parties come and go. If the Republican Party implodes it will not be because of patriots and conservatives. It will be entirely because of those who have hijacked it for their own selfish ends.
Jory, I’m on the RPV State Central Committee. No one has hijacked RPV. I don’t agree with the ED’s stance on immigration and perhaps even a number of other issues, but can assure you that he’s not setting any policy for us, nor is he able to put his thumb on the scale of any competitive races to favor any candidate over another. All of your elected party representatives are still in charge.
Steve, could you clarify for us if the RPV ED actually has any authority or cloud to determine policy?
Marta, for the most part, no one at RPV determines policy positions. We have a Republican Party Creed that has been adopted by a past statewide Convention. Otherwise, any foray into policy is usually only in support of the messages being carried by our candidates. The degree to which RPV staff, including the Executive Director, carries those messages is really up to the chairman, who is in turn accountable to the State Central Committee and the statewide Convention. The ED on his own has no specific authority to determine policy positions for the Party.
Thanks Steve for confirming what I thought was the case. So those screaming bloody murder because Shaun is now the ED are going a bit over the top…
Jory at no point am I advocating allegiance to a party, and not our country. What I am trying to say here is we need to win elections in order to put people in office that will re-instate the policies that made this country great, before the damage of the progressive policies implemented by this admistration is irreversible. Healthy debate on who those individuals should be is great, and I strongly encourage it. That does not mean we need to be destructive towards different factions, activists and candidates within our party, does it? Last time I checked, we are still in a 2-party system, so the bottom line is this: if the GOP is destroyed or implodes on its own, the only alternative currently left is the Democratic party, unless you are advocating for a third party. That is simply a fact. People need to make a choice: will we work within the party to build it, make it strong and representative of our values (whatever those may be), or will we throw a tantrum, destroy everything and everyone in our way that we do not agree with 100% and see eye-to-eye with, and hand the Democrats a resounding victory? Is there another choice left at this moment, in this election cycle? I think all of us need to ask ourserlves these questions. From my part I chose the constructive option.
Why should/would people support a party that doesn’t support their values and concerns? I don’t support democrat candidates or democrat lite candidates because I see no point in it. Democrat lite only slows down the destruction of my country by a few years.
Of course, Janine, and in another comment below I suggested we work within the party to fix what needs fixing in a constructive way. Supporting candidates that represent our values is one of the ways. I belieive if there are enough supporters for Dave Brat and he wins, the more the power to his supporters, and that is a way to improve our party and make it more representative of its constituency. What is bothersome to me is the vitriol being used while these discussions take place. It’s not so much what is taking place, but the way it’s being said and done. I’m just personally averse to conflict 🙂
Some have grown very weary of trying to change the party from within. At some point, you have to cut your losses and move on. I’m not saying that I’m completely ready to do that, but many others have reached that point.
I don’t know anyone who really enjoys conflict. Do you? I completely agree the name calling and vitriol has not helped to heal anything.
If anyone manages to launch an US version of the UKIP, the GOP as we know it today is gone the next day – it becomes a rump, 15% party almost immediately.
I know that to be the case. I get very weary myself because I work very hard for all our nominees in all races, and something that was really upsetting last year is to have the seating Lt. Gov, Bill Bolling, practically endorse the Democratic ticket. I let Pat Mullins hear in person what I thought about that!
What Bolling did is standard operating procedure for the GOPe. If they do not control the nominee they will do all they can to sink the GOP chances to win the election. It happens so regularly, I am confused as to how not everyone can see it by now. This pattern extends at least as far back as Goldwater!
From the Breitbart article, Shaun says “”The executive director is kind of like the first diplomat. You listen to all sides, give them the truth, and they generally respect that”. He blew that when he called us nativists and told us to get out of the party. Then his blog partner piled on by calling us racists. Not very diplomatic.
I’m no diplomat.
Finally something we can all agree on!
We used to agree on plenty before you went off the deep end.
It wasn’t me who moved. You were a nice guy prior to becoming a lawyer and what you perceive as a hot shot on the Hill. I like the old Brian much better than the new pompous ass, know-it-all Brian. I also preferred you as a republican.
I’m still a Republican, and I haven’t changed at all. I’ve been working on the Hill in some capacity or other since 2003 and the entire time we were “friends” I was in law school and still working as a lobbyist.
I’m not a know it all either. I know my limitations and what I don’t know. But I also know what I do know and I try to pass that knowledge on. Sorry if that offends you.
I just want someone to answer this question. What power does Shaun Kenny have over the Republican voters of the 7th and 10th congressional districts? What magical powers does he wield to affect the outcomes of said races? Everyone is throwing around “conflict of interest” but what exactly can he do? Last time I checked, primaries were run by the state and localities and the 10th firehouse primary will be run by the 10th CD committee that is lead by some of the most conservative, grassroots-friendly activists I know. So again … explain to me these magical powers Shaun has to ensure defeat of Brat and the 10th candidates?
He has no direct impact on any of these races.
Thank you. There is no conflict of interests … this is just the whining of people who are likely backing losing candidates who can’t take the medicine they are used to dishing out.
Find better candidates, run better races. The “conservative” alternatives to Comstock (other than Hollinsghead) have been laughable at best, and sad at worst.
I’m not sure Brian’s word on it is good enough for most. I actually do think Shaun does everything in his power to be objective and I do trust him. That being said, the relationship between Shaun and Bearing Drift and K6 and Cantor does not make me feel comfortable. There’s too many bad incentives at play there, even if we’re talking about honest men. The incentives and the appearance are negatives.
And I agree completely with you in regards to Hollingshead. He is a conservative firebrand that can articulate our message well. I would be happy if he or Marshall won the nomination. But whether Hollingshead wins or not, he should stay in the political sphere. We need more like him in Washington.
Or Richmond … 33rd Senate seat is up in two years again.
I have told Hollingshead exactly that, we need him to stick around in Loudoun county politics. He’s smart, conservative, knows history and the Constitution, and a very nice guy.
I have not given anyone an excuse to question my word.
You mean, besides the fact that you’re running an anti-conservative jihad under the tagline “Virginia’s Conservative Voice”?
That’s just too easy. I’ll let someone else field this one.
I think calling some of us racists and nativists and putting us in the KKK may come back to bite you on your rather substantial butt. I could be wrong………..
You’re always wrong, Jeanine. It’s the only thing consistent about you.
Uhhh, didn’t Riley over at Virginia Virtucon call you out on your white sheet comment, and then again when you called other’s racists at his site? You have been getting around Brian. At one point you only used to pee on the carpet and refuse to clean it up at BD. Since you’ve expanded your horizons into other VA conservative sites, and brought your high road arguments with you, it shows you are very worried about the optics of the latest revelations, if not more. At one time everything outside of your own bubble was beneath you.
I have always made my rounds, pinecone. I know you’re new here, but this isn’t any different than it’s ever been.
There are conflicts all over the place here. For example, it’s not like they blog about knitting – they write about Virginia politics. There’s a clear conflict of interest between their readership, which I presume is interested in truth, and their clients, who wouldn’t want the truth to come out if it were not favorable to their interests.
That’s the smallest conflict of interest that I can identify in this affair. It’s there. It’s real. So denying the existence of conflicts of interest is denying something that everyone with an ounce of commonsense can see is obvious.
The fact that certain parties can’t see obvious conflicts of interest should inherently disqualify them from playing any role in the party. After all, if one can’t perceive a conflict of interest anywhere, under any circumstances, then one cannot adhere to ethics requirements and avoid them.
Hell yeah, there’s a conflict of interest! It started when I started the site 10 years ago to promote Republicans over Democrats as a member of the Republican Party of Chesapeake Executive Committee. Good Lord. If you want BD to be a newspaper, tell us. We’ll have the same ethical standards they do and you will get the same drivel and nonsense. But you want hard-hitting conservative opinion – even opinion you don’t agree with…because you don’t find it at WaPO, or RTD, or the Pilot. That’s why we blog: because we know what’s going on and want to get the conservative message out there. Does it not support your precious anti-establishment candidate sometimes? Yeah. Boo-hoo. That’s why you can freely comment or start your own sites.
The beauty of blogging, at least how it started, is that it is free wheeling and the truth will ALWAYS come out. That why we’ve always striven to be transparent and that’s why I wrote the preemptive piece, ’cause I knew the pillars of greatness that exist elsewhere in the Virginia blogs would read more into it than they should.
Boy, was I ever right. In spades.
Here’s the bottom-line about my politics : I support candidates who can win – but also know that candidates NEED to be held accountable. There’s a time and a place for everything.
But for my and the integrity of my friends to be questioned – well, that’s somewhat annoying.
But there’s no actual conservatives on your blog, except the minor bit player Tim Donner. You’re not entitled to completely redefine the word “conservative” to your own pleasure and then claim offense at skepticism.
Not conservative! Norm Leahy? DJ Spiker? DJ McGuire? Shaun? Scott Lee? Me? Even our token NoVA 51 percenter Brian Schoeneman is on our side. You must be joking. Look, I’m not 100% pure. I might not agree with you on everything, but, “no actual conservatives except for Tim Donner” (who, by the way, thinks I’m conservative)? You lose your credibility card, Alexis Rose.
No conservative would EVER use the term “nativist” unironically.
This is why you guys aren’t trustworthy. You invent your own meanings for common words in order to misrepresent the truth. So we can’t even have a basic discussion, because the meanings of words in plain English are not the meanings of the words when you say them.
So when you guys claim “no conflict of interest”, I have to wonder if you interpret the words “conflict” and “interest” just as liberally as you interpret the word “conservative” – which in your book applies to establishment anti-conservative board warriors who dishonestly and antagonistically label actual conservatives with words like “nativist” – which, I should note, is also being used in a way that differs quite significantly from its actual meaning in the English language.
Words mean things, and not simply what you want them to mean.
JR, it’s nice to see you back at the helm of Bearing Drift, where you belong. The blog was excellent under your stewardship and it will be again.
Again, happy to have you back in charge at Bearing Drift. I have no doubt that you drag it back out of the mud.
So … the conflict of interest is that before he was RPV ED Shaun had business dealings and personal opinions with Republicans?
Heavens to murgatroyd! Alexis, what I see here is the tea party/grassroots seeing their candidates – espc in the 10th – crashing and burning and refuse to be held accountable for it and instead are looking for blogger boogeymen to explain what is going wrong. Shaun can do absolutely nothing to affect these outcomes, and honestly if a candidate loses because of a couple of blog posts on Bearing Drift … they were a shitty candidate to begin with.
No DIRECT impact. Interesting choice of words.
But the party looks bad
If I lived in the 7th I’d vote for Dave Brat but these attacks on Shaun’s character is ridiculous. Business that a company he no longer works with Eric Cantor doesn’t mean anything, and these vague notions that our primaries will be tainted is asinine because RPV has nothing to do with primaries (or firehouse primaries). Barbara and Cantor will probably win because they have more money, more supporters, and more people will vote for them. That is the nice part about a primary actually … it means that you can’t rig it through slating or various other shennanigans that happen with vote distribution and what not that happens in conventions.
So what if Shaun supports Cantor personally or if a consulting company has helped Cantor. That doesn’t explain why Dave Brat won’t win. You guys are so desperate to create an excuse for losing that your are tearing down the entire house to prove something that isn’t true. I can’t speak to the 7th, but I can to the 10th. Barbara has simply run a better campaign, reached out to more voters, and will likely win because Republicans of all stripes up here believe that she’s the best candidate.
Maybe the tea party/liberty movement, of whom I normally support, should spend more time finding better candidates than creating a strawman to try and invalidate candidates who won because they are better candidates. Same goes for Ed Gillespie.
Dave Brat is at least as qualified to take office as was Eric Cantor when he first won his seat.
Eric had been in the House of Delegates when he ran for house. Brat has never held elected office.
And Eric was never a professor of economics who advised the governor. I’ll take someone who understands (teaches conservative economics over a house delegate any day. That is what we need, right now, very badly.
You won’t get that with Eric. At all.
Brian, what has Cantor accomplished? He was a party stalwart in the years in which Republicans controlled every lever in DC. What did he do to reduce the debt, limit government power and regulation, anything? What did he do to deserve this cover you provide him? What conservative points did he put on the scoreboard? What makes him more worthy than Brat? Eric Cantor represents arguably one the most conservative districts in the nation, what has he done for us? Your answer can’t include his leadership position and it can’t include the history that would be made for a Virginian to assume Speakership. What legislative victories can you point to for conservatives to rally around Eric Cantor?
You can ask the same question about Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee or any of the other conservative darlings in the House or Senate. I am not intimately familiar with Cantor’s record, but I have never judged the effectiveness of a legislator purely by legislative achievements, especially since he took over a leadership role, where he wouldn’t be leading and drafting legislation. He was never a committee chair or somebody responsible for moving specific bills. So I think you are asking the wrong question.
The right question is what could David Beat possibly do better than Cantor? Throwing away Cantor’s seniority, and the rest so we get a back bencher? What possible good could that do.
The man isn’t running for president, he’s running for house. Brat would not be in a position to do much of anything for at least a decade. It’s a waste.
The three you named above haven’t been around for a fully Republican controled DC so that comparison is very thin. Also, none have been in DC for as long as Eric Cantor. And if you are going to verbally pound away at Cantor detractors, you may want to familiarize yourself with at least some basic info on Cantor’s record.
Why? I’m not arguing Cantor’s ideology. I don’t care about ideology. You guys want to argue about that, that’s fine, but I’m not interested in those kinds of debates. They’re pointless.
That’s quite the defelection. At no point did I ask you to explain anyone’s ideology, I asked you for a list of accomplishments Cantor had achieved. You couldn’t name any and then threw out Cruz, Paul and Lee as examples of people not getting things done. Okay, but still, doesn’t answer the original question of what Cantor has accomplished to deserve another term. Just be honest Brian, it’s a pointless debate to you because you have nothing to backup your point. It’s alright just to admit you don’t have any facts in this race other than you don’t like the Tea Party/Liberty/Evangelical/Anyone who isn’t part of the Republican ruling class, voters. Everyone knows that’s how you feel. Just be honest.
You asked me what “conservative points” he put up, and then told me to explain his accomplishments without referencing his being in leadership. You might as well have asked me to tell you all the good things Ronald Reagan did, but don’t talk about anything but his movies.
Cantor’s accomplishments have been focused primarily on his leadership role. Like I said, he played a major role in the debt ceiling fight, which is well documented, and he’s been the voice for the Tea Party and House Conservatives within the leadership. He’s done a good job of herding the cats in the caucus, and I give him a lot of credit for that. That alone is worth another term, but frankly, you guys are demanding he accomplish the impossible.
I’m always honest. When the Tea Party is focused on fiscal responsibility, I like them. When the liberty movement is highlighting legitimate situations where government has overstepped its bounds, I like them. When Evangelicals are actually promoting beliefs that look anything like Jesus’ teachings, I like them. When all of those groups do and say ridiculous things that are indefensible, when they try to primary good Republicans, and when others try to hijack those movements for their own personal aggrandizement, I don’t like them.
I know this is a dated article, but found it and I had to comment.The problem is Cantor is a good Republican..cash cow…but not a good conservative. He supports crony capitalists, the surveillance state, police state aka the war on terror, is awful on civil liberties…he is a con artist…all about power and money for himself and the power elites he really works for. Hardly a limited government guy.
If this disclosure wasn’t going to happen anyway by way of the FEC, it would never have been disclosed – after all, as we can see in the other comments here, no conflict of interest is perceived by the accused. On the other hand you could shove a conflict of interest halfway through their small intestines and they still wouldn’t perceive it, so take that for what it’s worth.
Clearly then, they knew that others would perceive it as a conflict of interest, hence the day-before-it-was-out-there-anyway, get-ahead-of-the-story style disclosure.
One possibly important piece of the puzzle: on what date was the contract between Cantor and K6 signed?
I wondered also about the BD disclosure the night before the FEC reports were due out. If there was no financial relationship, why would it have been revealed at all? Yet, didn’t Kenney say they were not paid any money from Cantor? Can Cantor withhold payment for consulting services until after the election is over, thereby not requiring disclosure at this time?
Jamie, the way you phrased this article is disingenuous and you know it.
You–at least twice–go out of your way to say that Kenney “attacked those who
have inquired if he or K6 Consulting have any relationship with Eric
Cantor.” There’s three problems with this, as you well know:
1) What Kenney was responding to was not an “inquiry”, it was a baseless smear from the most irresponsible blogger in Virginia, Greg L. He was attacking Greg because Greg attacked him.
2) Despite Kenney’s adversarial response, he DID disclose his business relationship to Jason Kenney, while making it clear that his brother’s clients are his business, not Shaun’s (or Bearing Drift’s).
3) At the time, K6 did not have a relationship with Cantor, so there was nothing to disclose, and at the time, no one was asking if Kenney worked for Cantor. If they had been, I’m sure he would have been as forceful in saying “no” then as he is now.
Yet the way you phrased it makes it seem that Kenney was hiding something, when in fact he has been transparent this entire time. You used subjective terms to make the truth look like something else, and it’s shameful.
Furthermore, you use your incorrect and subjective assessment of that situation to allege that Kenney has only recently been open about the relationship between himself, K6, and Bearing Drift… when in reality, he’s been open and transparent about it the entire time.
The problem isn’t with Shaun Kenney, the problem is with irresponsible bloggers who, due to personal reasons, are choosing to bend (and ignore) the facts to fabricate this conspiracy. The truth has been available from the get-go.
1) Kenney was asked by many others on FB and the blog (besides Greg), but his response was to attack rather than answer those individuals. If he made it so abundantly clear, why was it necessary to give everyone a heads up this past Monday about something we all apparently would be surprised to find out about? 2) Many were under the impression they were not getting a the full story. Others knew about the relationship and felt they couldn’t share publicly. 3) K6 did not have a relationship with Cantor in February when asked?
I have not accused him of pay-to-play. I have not called for his head. I didn’t publicly pile on when he was in a swarm of controversy last week on his Nativist/immigration statements. I have intentionally left Shaun alone. My point is quite simple – direct and forthcoming transparency and disclosure on how K6 operates and their clients could have dispelled these issues. My Marcus & Allen example is a good example of why there is so much angst about this issue.
You’re not wrong about Marcus and Allen, which is why I didn’t address it.
Kenney both addressed the complaints, and attacked people who were attacking him. At a certain point you stop trying to be civil with people who are not interested in the truth. Can you point me to a specific question that you feel was unanswered?
The impetus behind Hoeft’s post was a reminder, as it repeated what Kenney had already said previously: his brother is a co-owner of the firm, he takes on his own clients that are not connected to Shaun Kenney, and they’re his business, not Shaun’s or BD’s.
Given the fact that they have been upfront about how K6 and BD works twice now, and some people still are making up stories about him, that’s why it’s necessary to give a heads up on Monday.
Stephen, all that was disclosed prior to JR Hoeft’s post Monday was that Jim, Shaun, and Jason were part of K6. It was not disclosed that K6 had a client relationship with Comstock (the subject of Greg L’s original attack) or Cantor (what has spawned so much gnashing of teeth since then). To say that “he’s been open and transparent about it the entire time” is just silly. Had these disclosures been made previously, this controversy wouldn’t exist. The way they were handled, unfortunately, made it appear the relationships were being kept secret, which is like catnip for controversy-mongers (e.g., Breitbart, PJMedia).
Steve, it wouldn’t have mattered. These demands for transparency are all bogus, simply designed to try to discredit Shaun, me and others. Shaun never worked for Comstock or Cantor. It would be like attacking you because of a client at Skadden that you don’t work on. Not exactly fair.
There is nothing Shaun could have done to prevent these attacks. If it wasn’t this, it would be something else. These are personal grudges.
If all of this personal, perhaps RPV erred in choosing an executive director with so many enemies.
You know anybody who has spent more than ten minutes in politics who doesn’t have enemies?
Two major differences, Shaun has an extensive record of written opinions because he is a blogger and an outspoken one. Second, not everyone, not even all bloggers, have ‘so many enemies’. Perhaps someone from out of state, with a proven record of fundraising, and without Shaun’s baggage and enemies, would have made a better choice for executive director.
He also has an extensive record as an elected official, someone who has actually won a race. Yes, most anybody who has ever held elected office, appointed office or has ever had to make an actual decision has enemies. Look at you – you’ve done nothing but repost rumors and nonsense and you’ve got far more enemies than Shaun ever had.
That’s what happens when you’ve got the loyalty of a rattlesnake.
I need to remember to add that to the growing list of names you’ve called me, nativist, racist, KKK member, and now rattlesnake.
With so many imagined enemies, it’s a good thing I have no desire to be executive director of RPV!
Nobody would hire you to do anything political.
Oh Brian, you would be very surprised and very wrong.
Surprise me then.
No. Unlike you, I do not have a constant and all consuming need to toot my own horn.
There’s nothing to toot.
Jeanine, you have a solid reputation.
Thank you Steve.
Are we talking about Shaun’s ‘extensive record’ of having run won one race for Supervisor Fluvanna County, population approximately 27, most of whom live in Shaun’s house? After one term, he chose not to run again. We can all draw our own conclusions on the reasons for that decision. I don’t think many of Shaun’s enemies are located in Fluvanna County. I dare say most of them have never heard of Fluvanna county.
I didn’t realize you were anti-Catholic, Jeanine. I guess having kids now is a bad thing.
Don’t be ridiculous. I have nothing against Catholics or big families.
Then why mock Shaun for having a big family?
I now realize that’s how my post sounded but that was not my intent at all. I was trying to make a little joke about how small Fluvanna is, that one family could be half of the population. I am sorry that I phrased it in a way that would make you and others think that I was criticizing large families. Fact is, I wish more responsible people would have more children. We need responsible, hard working citizens now and we’ll need them even more in the future. So I applaud my neighbors who have 12 children and my friends here with 6,7, and 9 children. I know that it’s not easy to raise that many children and all of us will benefit from their sacrifice when those children become productive members of our society. I applaud Shaun for having so many children and for home schooling. Those children are being raised right and all of us will benefit. I’ve seen that in the large families of my friends, most of whom also home school. They are amazing, wonderful, children who will be responsible citizens. Also conservative republicans! Big families are a win-win-win, for them and for us!
Agreed. RPV had no business electing someone to their Executive Director position who is so publicly disrespectful of his fellow Republicans — really, “nativists”?!? Talk about a firebrand. RPV does seem to be a closed, little clique — thumbing their nose at outsiders.
Look, I understand one can never please everyone, and that in politics there will always be people who snipe at little things and blow them out of proportion for all sorts of reasons. I don’t know what the business rationale was for not being more forthcoming (and its frankly none of my concern). There may be perfectly sound reasons for it. But clearly earlier disclosure here would have helped avoid this being an issue the ED is dealing with. That’s all I meant…not trying to discredit anyone.
Steve, again, it would not have made a difference. Even if he had done a press release every time his brother signed up a new client, the minute he was named ED, the knives would have come out.
Some people are clearly desperate to create any kind of story they can so that they can continue to ignore that their candidate to take out the House Majority Leader raised next to nothing in the first quarter.
They have never been forthcoming at BD.
I, for one will never trust Bearing Drift again. This little comment by Stephen Spiker looks a lot like damage control to me and, I’m sure others. It just goes to show that the Whig Party (establishment Republicans) have had yet another plan exposed for what it is. So glad that Shaun Kenney has friends like Stephen Spiker to be his lap dog. Woof
Thanks for posting this, both here and on Tom’s site.
For a baseless conspiracy, it’s is quite revealing that Jim Hoeft publishes an article that confirms it immediately before campaign finance reports are coming out. Shaun vehemently denied having a financial relationship with Cantor in February, and in April Jim Hoeft disclosed that such a financial relationship in fact exists.
But we’re all supposed to swallow that SK is a stand up guy who everyone can trust. Right. And that internal controls within K6 prevent any and all conflicts of interest that were previously denied, but now confirmed to be present.
Okay, Greg, if you can prove that Shaun Kenney profits from his brother’s clients, then you have a point. I doubt such proof exists, but that surely won’t stop you from making claims and inventing conspiracies.
If you were asking the question and requesting clarification, that’d be one thing. I can understand how something like this can trip people up; it takes a discerning mind and a modicum of effort to make sense of the situation put in front of us.
But you don’t care about facts, or proof. If you did, you wouldn’t have taken to your blog calling for his head before you had them. So you go do your thing, and let’s talk after Cantor and Comstock have won their nominations. Kenney will still be ED, your complaints will be moot, and we can agree to put your irresponsibility behind us.
Does Shaun remain an owner of K6 and a partner at Bearing Drift? If so, these dots aren’t difficult to connect.
No, u don’t care about them, your asking us to believe Shaun simply because he said so when he has a record, a public record of not being forthcoming with facts and he has a history of being divisive.
you just don’t like Shaun because he talked to some immigrants.
Wow, you sure missed the whole point on that incident.
No, Chris figured out exactly what the point was on that incident.
Really, I thought Jamie was too nice to Shaun. He blogged in support of Greenwald, emailed grassroots leaders claiming Brat was a fraud. Shaun was doing all he could do to help Cantor. Furthermore he has a history of doing this while at RPV dating back to 2007 and he goes out of his way to divide people and insult them on BD.
I was trying to eat my lunch while reading this but it turned my stomach. What lengths people will go to win elections. When the slander and backbiting stops we’ll start winning. Shaun is one of the most ethical persons in our party. This is pitiful.
You mean like running independents in commonwealth attorney races? That kind of winning?
The party plan is completely inapplicable here. That section deals with transactions involving RPV.
RPV doesn’t have anything to do with the state-run primary in the 7th. Shaun won’t run it, won’t count the votes, and won’t have anything to do with the campaigning.
The nub of this is an appearance of a conflict of interest Shaun has in the
success of K6 and his brother’s work, and that seems pretty limited,
particularly given Shaun’s inability to influence the Cantor-Brat race.
Unless there is any evidence to the contrary, that’s ALL THERE IS to this.
On that, it is very important that Shaun has gone on record as having absolutely no past or present financial relationship with the Cantor organization, beyond the pass-through payment to Jason Kenney for his work this past quarter. Further, Shaun made complete financial disclosures to Chairman Mullins before he was hired, and no conflict was found.
And the only people who are saying/lying that its a conflict of interest are those who are invested in the outcome of the Cantor/Brat primary.
Stephen, I’m not saying there is no conflict (or appearance of conflict). I’m saying its very limited and attenuated, and not worth getting exercised about. I suspect that’s where Chairman Mullins came out, too.
We all know in politics perception is everything. The perception here is something is not quite Kosher (if you will pardon the expression) with these relationships.
But Shaun through emails to grassroots leaders and blogpost on BD tried to split anti-Cantor vote in his promotion of Pete Greenwald.
The Greenwald folks approached Shaun, not the other way around. Talk to David Friend if you want that story.
Do you really think arguing with folks on the blogs is a good use of the $2500 a month Dave Brat is paying you?
Actually that Dave called Shaun is irrelevant. It’s what Shaun did. Emails and blogposts and only an idiot wouldn’t see that it was about splitting the anti-Cantor vote. Even still, calling us racists, leveling the false charge against Brat supporters of Death to Jews,” all show a compelling case as to why Shaun is not a united but a divider.
And I no longer am officially involved in the campaign but I live in the 7th and fully support Dave Brat.
Smart man – got your money and got out.
Do you ever finish campaigns?
You appear to be a bit testy today Brian. Perhaps you need a break from defending Shaun.
When you guys stop, I get to stop.
Why is that? You aren’t paid to defend Shaun and it seems to be making you unhappy. So why continue?
What makes me unhappy is to see people attacking my friend. Unlike you, I am loyal to my friends and I’m willing to defend them. So I do it.
I know this is probably a novel concept to you, but there are a few folks still out there who believe in loyalty.
Hahaha, you crack me up Brian. You obviously know nothing about me. So glad I could provide you with an opportunity to tell us once again just how wonderful you are.
Jeanine, people like you are a dime a dozen in politics. You are an archetype.
Well, I live in the 7th and I support Eric Cantor.
Another WTF moment. Steve, a simple YES or NO.. Did you attempt to get hired by Cantor?
Are u accusing me of trying to get a job with Eric Cantors campaign after my job was over with Dave Brat??? Just so u know, I know who’s putting you up this and you need to keep better company is all I’ll say.
Yes or No?
No! I did not try and get a job with Eric Cantors campaign, this election cycle or any election cycles in the past, even before I realized he wasn’t a conservative.
You know on a side note I realized you and Shaun have worked together on lies in the past over at Bearing Drift. Last year you were feeding Shaun the lies that the Tea Party leadership of the VTPPF was meeting to walk back, take away, their endorsement of the LG candidate, Corey Stewart. I recall this crystal clear because the very people you said were in this special meeting, several of them were with Corey, Chris Stearns and myself at a restaurant in VA Beach. I tried to get Shaun to retract the story based on faulty information supplied by you but he didn’t like Corey and typical Shaun and in BD fashion he was more than willing to go with the lie because it fit his agenda in trying to take Corey down.
So what does my telling people about you and Shaun conspiring together in the past have anything to do with what the issue is today and Kenney and RPV? Nothing, just like your fabrication of accusing me of trying to get a job with the Cantor campaign after my time was up at the Brat campaign.
Well maybe it is relevant as to the credibility of those defending Shaun.
What exactly did you do for Dave Brat that you could be finished after less than two months work months before the primary? Write a campaign plan? Don’t you want to see that through?
Sooo.. Uh.. Corey Stewart didn’t get a Middle Res Tea Party endorsement?
Corey Stewart did get the Middle Resolution, VTPPF endorsement that was put out and you fed Shaun Kenney false information that they were walking it back, trying to un-endorse Corey which was not true in the slightest. I tried to correct both you and Shaun with the truth but you would have nothing to do with that.
Now you are accusing me of lying. Steve, I ran with the information I had at the time that was not entirely accurate, I owned up to it and updated. I stand by my words and when I make a mistake I own it.
Oh, Corey did get the endorsement though.. Call me out for my mistakes, I admit to them.
Now that you mention it, Steve, I heard about this back-out-of-the-endorsement rumor spread by Kenney and Cohen. Sure took me by surprise since, as a member of the Executive Board of the VTPPF, we had already begun on working with Corey’s campaign when this lie surfaced. I can assure you, no meeting or even thoughts of such a meeting ever occurred.
What??? Shaun lied about something?? I’m shocked I tell you, shocked. Soon you’ll be telling us that there’s gambling at Ric’s!
Article 3 Section F deals with contracts between RPV and a vendor, and is designed to ensure no self dealing. It does not apply here.
The reason why Kenney and others have gone on the defensive is their integrity is being questioned, for no reason. RPV has zero impact on the 7th District primary process, so I’m at a loss as to understanding why David Brat is spending valuable time on this issue.
Attacking Shaun Kenney is not going to help David Brat beat Eric Cantor.
I agree that Brat’s time would more likely be better spent on Cantor, although I do believe its a valid concern to be raised….as a candidate, I wouldn’t want to think that my party’s leadership team was actively engaged in the primary against me.
Well said. Seems simple enough. Even if that’s not what is happening, the appearance is there.
I think your legal analysis is probably accurate given how I read it as well, which would then just leave the political and ethical concerns.
“The reason why Kenney and others have gone on the defensive is their integrity is being questioned, for no reason.”
Don’t worry, it’s only “nativists” who do that, and I have strong assurances that they are a small group on their way out of the GOP.
“nativists” he really shouldn’t have gone there, normally Shaun is one of the fairer and more conservative voices on BD, I had a twinge at the time ..here comes the bar room brawl
Name calling those in the party who believe in the rule of law for our country, and those who do not support open borders, does not help build the republican party. That seems fairly obvious.
In long run it has nothing to do with 7th race but a lot to do with integrity of RPV.
And a lot to do with the integrity of those being paid by the Brat campaign.
Steve, ya lost me there. Do you think you would have taken the job with Cantor? Yes or no.
Turbo, typical style of you guys, attack the attacker with falsehoods you’ve been fed by those being attacked! Anyone that knows me, knows that I wouldn’t have taken a job with Cantor, never asked for one, never offered one.
You NEVER applied or in any way asked for a job with Cantor or one of his pit bull orgs?