A minority faction on our State Central Committee (SCC) tried to convene a special session of the Committee on February 20th, their third effort to overturn SCC’s December 5th decision to use a convention as our method of nomination for 2021. Some members of this faction adamantly believe that we need a primary and that a convention is horribly misguided. I certainly have no issues with them and welcome the debate. For others in this group, however, this is just a cynical manipulation of our Party process so that they, for reasons known but to them, can favor an otherwise untenable candidate. And, they are apparently willing to use some of their idealistic SCC colleagues to achieve their ends.
At this point, this debate is no longer about our method of nomination. That was settled on December 5th. Now, it is about whether we will follow our rules or will we allow a small faction of elitists to short-circuit the principles of the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) in the interests of whichever candidate they are working.
Consider which faction should prevail. On December 5th, one faction caucused, debated, and, ultimately, persuaded a majority of their SCC colleagues to choose a convention as a method of nomination. On December 6th, after losing the vote, the minority faction unleashed a campaign of anonymous, threatening robocalls on some of their SCC colleagues and tried to browbeat them into capitulation. One of them on State Central had to have leaked confidential personal contact info to the robo-callers. Too, such an effort costs a lot of money. Did you ever wonder who paid for it? Ultimately, their nefarious behavior tapered off only after police were called in.
The minority faction then forced a bogus motion onto the agenda of the January 16th SCC meeting to try to overturn the December 5th decision. When that failed, they chose to hold the RPV hostage by blowing up the January 23rd SCC meeting, which obstructed the RPV’s legitimate efforts to organize the agreed-upon method of nomination. In other words, the minority faction showed that it preferred to see our nomination process crash and burn if they can’t get their way.
Most recently, the minority faction attempted to convene a rump SCC meeting, contrary to the Party Plan and Roberts Rules of Order. Since the last SCC meeting was never formally ended – it was adjourned to February 27th – only the Chairman can call it back into session. The minority faction has some smart, experienced parliamentarians. They clearly knew this distinction. They tried to call the meeting, anyway, demonstrating again that some of them are not overly encumbered by rules.
Adding more obfuscation last week, two of the VFRW Representatives on SCC sent an entreaty to VFRW members, which circulated invented threats from the Republican Change Committee (RCC) – an organization that hasn’t existed for the past half a year – to the SCC representation of affiliated organizations. Those two VFRW officers could have easily confirmed that the RCC no longer exists. But, they either chose not to or didn’t care to because truth wasn’t relevant to their objective. Instead, they resurrected hackneyed falsehoods to scare their associates into believing that the monsters under their bed were real. Do you want to be led by people who invent frauds in order to prevail in their elections?
Why is the minority faction working so hard to over-turn the SCC’s legitimately chosen method of nomination? Is it because at least five of them have endorsed a candidate who is polling in minuscule numbers right now and clearly won’t prevail in a convention? What are their conflicts of interest? One member is paid by the Senate Republican caucus which has a vested interest in the Governor’s race. Who does he represent in our internal discussions? Another works for a wealthy lobbying firm in Washington and has already endorsed a candidate very unlikely to prevail in a convention. Is there impropriety there? Maybe. Is there the appearance of impropriety? Absolutely.
The real question before our leadership right now is no longer the method of nomination. Rather, it is which faction will prevail – those who work inside the rules and those who see the rules as a tool to be manipulated to get the result they want. Which do you think has the best interests of the RPV at heart and which is just after power? I ask all State Central Committee members, with whom will you align? If the minority faction prevails in over-turning the convention choice, can we demand fair elections in Virginia when we show we that cannot tolerate one inside the RPV?
The Democratic Party is run by elites that pick their own candidates, pack their nominating committee with super-delegates picked by the elites, and demand that their members march in lock-step behind them. If swing votes on our State Central Committee opt to change to support the minority faction in debate and they get their primary, then how are we any different?
For my part, I do not want the RPV to be the mirror image of the Democratic Party. I want an RPV that responds to the views of its members, not a club run by a small, power-driven elite. We had that before, it failed, and I don’t want to go back there. The RPV is the party of common folk. Our leadership needs to respect that. Those who do not respect that need to leave. Their time has passed.