Tomorrow is a huge day for conservatives in Virginia. The contest for the RPV State Central Committee at the 7th Congressional District Convention is between a ticket of grassroots conservative activists, Ron Hedlund, Susan Lascollette, and Dewey McDonnell, and the so-called Virginia Conservative Network “Unity” ticket, featuring Marie Quinn, Jasen Eige, and Alec Thomas. (More background on the VCN can be found here).
Alec is the son, of course, of Mike Thomas, First Vice Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. The elder Thomas is one of, if not THE, leader of the Imperial faction within RPV that is behind the Virginia Conservative Network and NextGen GOP, organizations dedicated to eradicating
the Rebel Alliance grassroots influence in party governance. These people make their living by monetizing politics in the most direct sense, as I detailed in my post about the race in the 8th. They’re also the same people who hatched the 2014 slating scheme that was designed to cripple and bankrupt the party.
What I didn’t realize at that time is that these people are running a statewide professional campaign for State Central Committee. Judging by what I saw a couple of weeks ago in Arlington, they have between 5-10 actual paid staff, considering they had a contingent down at the 3rd simultaneously, and they command the loyalty of easily-led moderate Republicans, and those who stand to benefit politically from that faction seizing absolute control of State Central.
I won’t mince words here: these people are the heart of political darkness in our party. We can do nothing until they are routed, and left begging for the opportunity to work for our conservative candidates. This is why they fight so hard to maintain control of RPV. It’s their life’s blood. Their meal ticket. They’re not in it for ideology or patriotism, they’re in it to make a buck.
Mike Thomas is a lobbyist with business before the General Assembly every day, as is Jason Eige. Their paycheck comes from getting lawmakers to vote a certain way, and if that means ingratiating themselves to those lawmakers by being able to control the party, then that’s what they’ll do. They’re allied with the establishment wing of the party as represented by elements of our House and Senate caucuses, and as has been detailed on TBE before, have a stated goal of stopping “as many primary challenges as possible.”
I made a few phone calls Wednesday and yesterday, and plan to make a few more after work this evening to help Ron, Susan, and Dewey. If you can do that for them, please do so, and please volunteer at the convention for them if you can. And, of course, if you’re a delegate, please support the conservative ticket!
Don’t be fooled by the VCN. They are neither grassroots nor conservative. We underestimated the effort they were bringing to bear up here in the 8th, and we take full responsibility for that. We were fighting the last war, back when making some phone calls to delegates, showing up at candidate forums, Republican unit committees meetings, and maybe a few emails and a mailer or two, were what you did to win a State Central race. Those days are gone, and now one of the leaders of their statewide effort sits on State Central from the 8th.
That said, we will not make that same mistake again. We’ll be back in two years for the CD Chair races, and retake those State Central seats in four. Count on it. In the meantime, it’s up to us to stop these people to the extent we can this year. We have an opportunity to strike at them where they live. The Cantorites and McGuire-Woods folks are based there and view these seats, and this district, as their sinecure. Let’s take it from them. And make no mistake… we need to remember everyone who stood with the VCN this year, and who now fawn over their candidates and their minions. They do.
Defeat the Empire in the 7th!