When is the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) going to have its State Convention? How the RPV is dealing with that issue shows exactly what is wrong with us right now and what I intend to fix if elected Chairman. The RPV’s leadership couldn’t have foreseen the COVID-19. But, they can control how they respond to it. Right now, the response is, at best, lackadaisical – and that has to change if we ever expect to win elections again.
Per the Party Plan, the State Central Committee (SCC) calls all State Conventions and decides the basis for representation, the time, and the place. For his part, the Chairman convenes SCC meetings when they are needed. So, with all of the upheaval in our convention arrangements, why hasn’t the Chairman convened a meeting of at least the SCC Executive Committee to discuss the matter? Why is he appointing his own ex officio committee to consider the options for moving forward, without even consulting the SCC?
The selection of convention delegates has been and remains a big problem, too. The selection process for the May convention allowed RPV committees to use different criteria for certifying delegates. As a result, had our convention been held on May 01-02, the RPV would have no idea how many delegates were coming until they all arrived. Even now, some committees are still selecting delegates – under a meeting Call that expired last April. We know that we are going to have to issue a new Call for our postponed Convention. The SCC needs to decide whether, under a new Call, we re-certify old lists or re-open the delegate selection process? But, if the SCC isn’t consulted, who makes that call? Do we just press on with the haphazard approach?
I think that we absolutely, unconditionally must have our State Convention as soon as possible, it needs to be in person, and it needs to be majority vote for the Chairman’s office. If we can go to Costco or Walmart, we can figure out a way to hold our convention. The RPV will need at least 6 weeks to organize a convention. Accordingly, the SCC (at least the Executive Committee) needs to meet now and start the process if we are to unify the RPV before the uber-contentious Presidential election and the November 2021 State-wide elections.
The SCC needs to seize the initiative in this case and be prepared to take radical actions. Our ability to settle our leadership contest can’t depend on the cooperation of our Governor, the largess of the mayor of Richmond, or the decisions of Richmond Convention Center manager. If we have to find a venue other than the Richmond Convention Center, so be it – even if we forfeit a deposit. The need to resolve our leadership challenge and unify the party is far more important than a venue deposit.
This entire episode underscores what is wrong with the RPV and what I want to fix, as Chairman. First, the Chairman needs to be proactive and anticipate problems and seek solutions. Second, the Chairman needs to work closely with State Central and recognize that he is exercising their power. Third, we need to plan and execute actions carefully and with attention to detail – and avoid messes like the delegate certification fiasco. And, as long as we are considering actions of the RPV leadership, maybe we should consider why we failed to run candidates in 27 Legislative Districts last year and review what the RPV has done to avoid a repeat next year.
We are the Virginia branch of the GOP – the Grand Old Party. Virginia needs us to be “Grand” again. Doing that is exactly why I am running for Chairman.