As Chairman of the Clarke County Republican Committee I will have to decide to support either an Open House Primary or a Party Run Process for the 2016 10th District Congressional nomination and it is highly likely this subject will be discussed and voted on at the August 19, 2015 10th District Meeting. I have been told our Congresswoman favors an Open Primary.
I believe Barbara Comstock has had an excellent freshman term as our Congressperson. While I don’t agree with every position she has taken, or every vote she has cast, I believe she has represented the 10th District well. She tirelessly reaches out to our community, is a strong supporter of our Party and unless something drastically changes I see no reason to replace her.
This opinion has absolutely no bearing on the nomination process I support.
I am against Open Primaries and support a Party Run Process.
My reasons are –
#1 – An Open Primary is an unfunded mandate on local governments. No monies are received from the State, Federal government, or political parties to subsidize it. With only 7 Precincts and 9,325 registered voters in Clarke County, it will cost my neighbors between $5,500 and $7,000 to hold an Open Primary. On average only 5% to 8% of registered voters participate so you could be talking $10.00 a vote! While I do not know the total cost of a 10th District wide Open Primary I can easily guess with 191 precincts it will be in excess of $250,000, probably much more.
The Republican Party of Virginia is a private organization. How can we morally expect taxpayers to pay for such an extravagant ‘Party’ function? I cannot in good conscience cast a vote forcing my neighbors to spend any of their hard earned money on something we are more than capable of handling ourselves.
For this reason alone I will not vote for an Open Primary.
#2 – Without party registration, Open Primaries allows Democrats to participate in our nominating process. When I first became Chairman of ClarkeGOP in 2012, we sent out a fundraising letter to what we thought would be hard core Republican supporters. We asked for a list from RPV of only those voters who had participated in three or more Republican Primaries. Out of 550 letters mailed, 50 of them–either through follow up phone calls or letters received–said they were Democrats and wanted to know how they got on our mailing list. Most hung up when we told them the source of our data. The bottom line – 10% of the most active voters in Republican Primaries in Clarke County have been Democrats.
Democrats should not be choosing Republican nominees.
#3 – Party relevance. Once an Open Primary is chosen the law is written the incumbent will be able to choose this method of their nomination in ensuing elections with no consultation with the committee. I believe we should be a party-centric organization that relies on representation from local party leaders, not candidate-centric, where one person can dictate the nomination process. Just as our Founders designed this great experiment called the United States of America with three branches of government, I believe the ability to choose a nomination method is part of our system of checks and balances.
Party Process: Firehouse vs. Convention?
Personally I prefer a Firehouse Primary (also called a canvass) over a Convention to nominate Political candidates. A Party Canvass allows more people to participate, is an excellent tool for collecting voter data and because it is a party-run process, it allows us to limit the participation of Democrat spoilers.
It is also the logical compromise between a Convention and an Open Primary.
Party Canvass (Firehouse Primary)
Two years ago we held a very successful Party Canvass, aka Firehouse Primary, in the 10th Congressional District. Throughout the 10th District 13,609 people turn out on a mid-April day to elect Barbara Comstock with a majority of votes in a six-person race. This Firehouse Primary had a higher turned out in the 10th District than the previous year’s Open Primary to choose the Democrat Lieutenant Governor nomination.
In Clarke County we had 480 people participate in our 2014 Party-run Firehouse Primary. Compare this to previous Republican Open Primaries; June 2012 only 469 people voted, August 2011 – 246 voted and June 2007 – 562 people voted. Our Firehouse Primary had only 1 polling station open for 5 hours compared to Open Primaries having 7 polling stations open for 13 hours!
Can the 10th District afford to hold a Firehouse Primary?
In 2014 it cost the 10th District Republican Committee about $25,000 to hire a company to man 10 polling stations with optical scanner voting machines. Since then most jurisdictions have bought these scanners. Clarke County has 11. The question I have been asking these past couple of days, “Why don’t we borrow them from the local governments?” The answer received. “No one has asked.”
On average it costs $1,400 to reprogram all the balloting machines in Clarke County so it can’t cost much more to program the dozen or so machines needed for our Firehouse Primary. Ballots are $0.35 each so add on $5,250 and maybe another $5,000 to rent polling locations and other expenses. If done right the total expenses for a 10th District Firehouse Primary should not exceed $15,000.
We are not starting out empty handed. To begin with we are legally allowed to charge each candidate $6,960.00, or 4% of the yearly salary of a Congressperson, to file as a candidate. If we only have two candidates file, this will bring in a minimum of $13,920.00. If we have a contested race maybe we can ask Rob Wasinger if he would like to run again and turn it into a fundraiser.
My bottom line is: We, as fiscally responsible Republicans, should not have our local governments pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for a private political party process we are more than capable of running ourselves. If you agree please contact your local unit chairman before next Wednesday.
In closing, I am saddened by a comment made to me, “If you don’t support the Open Primary process you can kiss your chances of becoming a State Central Committee member good bye.” So be it. If I roll over on one of our core Republican principles like fiscal responsibility, I don’t deserve to be on State Central.
Frank Wolf always left the door open for primaries and no one complained. What happened? The last time he did have a challenger, there were precincts in which the challenger got ZERO votes. Can’t blame that on Democrats and liberals.
Republicans should pay attention and learn how to win a election from Congresswoman Comstock.
For those of you making absurd claims that Democrats will vote for Comstock in a primary here are the hard facts:
1. The Democrats have spent almost 10mil over the past 5 years trying to defeat Comstock.
2. Comstock worked on the impeachment of Bill Clinton hardly making her a favorite of the Democrats.
3. The Democrats as we speak are working hard to find a Dem self funder to defeat her.
4. The unions and planned parenthood have a bullseye on her to defeat her.
Congresswoman Comstock is everything Democrats hate. She is intelligent, hardworking,fearless, and uses common sense.
The “consultants to the world” on this site should study Ms Comstock election winning strategy.
I once thought that way too. Read my report later tonight about the 10th district committee vote.
“If you don’t support the Open Primary process you can kiss your chances of becoming a State Central Committee member good bye.”
You certainly were not the only one to be threatened. It seems to be a threat (or some semblance thereof) leveled at every single voting member that wants a party process.
Firehouse primary makes the most sense anyway. However, in light of the overt threats made, I say tell them to @#$%#$% off and vote party process just to keep the egos in check.
PS It was good to meet you at the LCRC meeting. I think the warming relations between the two committees is a good thing and should be expanded.
That is horrifying to think our elected leaders are threatening fellow Republicans. Disgusting. Shame on them.
Just to give people an update the costs for holding an Open Primary in Frederick County in 2015 was $19.386.00 with 13 precincts. There was no costs for an Open Primary in 2014 because THE 10TH DISTRICT GOP HAD A FIREHOUSE PRIMARY and the GOP paid for it!
In 2013 a Dual Open Primary for all 21 Precincts in Frederick County was $31,868.00.
In Loudoun County there are now 92 precincts. Using figures above as guidelines Loudoun County LOCAL TAXPAYERS could pay upwards of $139,612.19 to have an Open Primary.
CONTACT YOUR LOCAL GOP CHAIRMAN IN FREDERICK COUNTY, WINCHESTER CITY, LOUDOUN COUNTY, FAIRFAX COUNTY, PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, MANASSAS and MANASSAS PARK AND TELL THEM TO VOTE AGAINST AN OPEN PRIMARY!
I been thinking about this primary/convention nomination issue since my previous posting. Since control of our state’s legislature is determined by “off year” elections in odd numbered years, we should build our party through congressional primaries in even numbered years. Holding primaries for congress every two years will be a tremendous help to local party building. These self-identified Republicans who will vote will provide us with tens of thousands of names that we will not otherwise have in our data base to use to win the all-important state and local elections in the following odd numbered years. And these names will be where we can find new members for our county and city parties and where we can find precinct workers. The leadership of our congressional district committees have a responsibility to use their position to build our Republican Party. If we identify more and more voters who are Republicans through a congressional primary, it will make our ability to win majorities in the General Assembly and win back the Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General easier than it will be otherwise. And these names will be key to winning elections on the county and city level as well. Primaries send important messages as Dave Brat’s victory about 14 months ago clearly shows. Dave Brat won with a primary and those names of voters in that primary are important to have in a party building process.
HI Andrew- can you do our radio show tomorrow on this? Email me at [email protected] — good piece.
In my opinion, we should by state law require voter registration by political party and nominate by closed primary. Until then we should nominate by party canvass in many locations as was done in the 10th CD last year. Something like 13,000 participated, 6 times or more than a convention would have produced. In canvasses the voters should sign the party pledge.
When the Virginia Voters Alliance compared voting records between Maryland and Virginia, we did not look at or care about the party designation contained in the Maryland records. It turns out that party affiliation can be changed every other day in Maryland. It really means nothing if we want to use that to determine participation in our primaries. Much like requiring voters to sign the Republican Pledge or even worse non-citizens registering to vote by checking a Citizenship box under threat of perjury. Has anyone ever been prosecuted for violating the pledge or a non-citizen registering to vote? These are nothing but a naive approach and a false sense of security.
The Republican Party is a private organization, much like a labor union. Being a private organization we should be having closed primaries and use our own internal membership list to determine who is allowed to vote in our nominating determinations (AKA Primaries). Am I missing something? We need to get the state out of our internal functions. RPV could have a rule that says you have to pay dues to the party, be a member in good standing, and have been a member for six months before you are allowed to vote in a primary.
I doubt that our incumbents would vote for that since they rely on Democrats crossing over and voting for the most Progressive Republican candidate in their Gerrymandered District. Then the Republican rank and file become frustrated why the Republican Elected Officials have performance grades of “Ds” and “Fs”. Wake up fellow Republicans!
Strong conservative state and national delegations are nominated and elected in many states with party registration and primaries.
Since Comstock has voted with Obama and Pelosi on three major programs, she could probably get a very large chunk of Democrat support with an open primary. It is my preference that Delegates take necessary steps to end open primaries in Virginia.
Why would incumbents take steps that would hurt their chances in a primary? They won’t and hence we’re stuck with open primaries.
While incumbents may well prefer primaries, I fail to understand how having the opposition vote for what they consider to be the least competition is necessarily good for incumbents. I would think Democrats, for example, would rather have some unknown on the Republican ticket than some incumbent whose name recognition would likely be greater.
Incumbents always have an advantage in a primary because of name recognition.
Dave Brat, as the lesser known candidate in the open primary, had a lot of Democrat votes in the primary, did he not? Was that not most likely because he was considered the easier, unknown-name candidate to beat in the General Election?
In case you missed this— She is in bed with the PEC types, loud and clear—
Support Funding for the American Battlefield Protection Program
From: The Honorable Robert C. “Bobby” Scott
Sent By: [email protected]
Help Save America’s Hallowed Ground
Support Funding for the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program
America’s preserved Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and Civil War battlefields are living monuments to the courage and sacrifice of those who served during these formative conflicts in our nation’s history. These beautiful and timeless landscapes are outdoor classrooms that inspire our young and draw millions of tourists each year.
Unfortunately, many of these battlefields remain unprotected and are extremely vulnerable to development. In fact, according to the National Park Service, development has already erased the historic character of 50 Civil War battlefields and more than 300 of the 677 nationally significant battlefields and associated sites from the Revolutionary War and War of 1812.
One of the most effective tools for saving these hallowed battlegrounds is a competitive matching grants program administered by the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program. To date, this unique program that encourages state, local and private investment in battlefield preservation has been used to save more than 23,000 acres nationwide. Every federal dollar that is appropriated is matched at least 1-1.
I hope you will join me in urging the Appropriations Committee to fund the American Battlefield Protection Program at its authorized level of $10 million in the FY 2016 Interior Appropriations bill. This request is slightly above the President’s request of $8.9 million for the Program.
By including this funding for these grants, the American Battlefield Protection Program will be able to continue serving as an excellent example of sensible, cost-effective land conservation policy in action.
The program was first authorized in 2002, when President George W. Bush signed into law the Civil War Battlefield Preservation Act and was expanded to include Revolutionary War and War of 1812 battlefields in December 2014, when President Barack Obama signed into law the FY 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 113-291). The program is authorized for up to $10 million a year through 2021.
If you have any questions or would like to become a signatory of this letter, please contact David Dailey in my office at extension 5-8351 or at [email protected], or Andrew Robreno in Rep. Barbara Comstock’s office at extension 5-5136 or [email protected] by close of business Wednesday, March 18, 2015.
BOBBY SCOTT BARBARA COMSTOCK
Member of Congress Member of Congress
So conserving our history/our battlefields even with public private partnerships is not a worthy vote by Congresswoman Comstock? This is truly a weird argument against Barbara Comstock.
After seeing the Virginia HOD 29th District Republican Open Primary, I’m not surprised about the Congresswoman’s preference. The moderate Republicans have chosen to invite liberals into the process rather that earn conservative “TEA Party” votes. Moving to the LEFT & compromising the Party CREED.
I disagree with your assertion that the so called moderate Republcans want a primary so they can”invite liberals” into the process. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Congresswoman Barbara Comstock wanting to make sure our active duty military service men and women have the ability to vote in a nominating process.
Republicans boast about supporting our military and folks like yourself in the party want to deny them their right to vote by supporting a party run nominating process which does not permit absentee voting,
Let’s not forget, giving Barbara Comstock in a primary in 2016 makes her Congresswoman for life because of the Incumbent protection act. That means there are no checks on how Comstock votes. Surely the conservatives who represent us on the 10th district committee would not do that to us.
You sir are man of honor, standing up for the people you represent. You are exactly who we need on State Central and shame on those who use a seat on SCC to threaten you. THAT is NOT honorable. Thank you for standing up for Republicans who want a say in their party nominee.
A couple of thoughts:
1. As a unit chairman,it is probably not a wise political move to publicly air your grievances with Rep. Comstock on a blog. Especially if you don’t want opposition from her supporters in your SCC race.
2. Good luck paying for a Firehouse Primary again.
That is the problem. Too many are worrying about politics instead of our country.
Maybe Rep. Comstock could use some of her money she received for her vote on Obamatrade. According to http://www.maplight.org I think it was $1,000,000.
Republicans deserve better performance than an “F” from our Representative in the 10th District. The only Representative we have with an “A” is Dave Brat in the 7th. Since all of our Representatives run as Conservative Republicans they should all be “As and Bs”; not “Cs, Ds, and Fs” as they currently are. BTW: Besides conservativereview.com, also Heritage Action and Freedomworks also rates her as a “F”
I’m not sure what Andrew meant when he said Barbara had a excellent freshman year. How could it have been worse? Her “F” was 4 times better than Gerry Connolly’s “F” in the 11th District, so I guess in Congressional speak, it was better. Much like a reduction in budgeted future spending growth is considered a spending cut.
If the 10th district gives Comstock a primary, we can expect more of the same. She will have no constraints on her votes. The voters be damned!
While I’m not so sure that many of our elected representatives are worthy of re-election here in Virginia, Comstock rating an “F” Conservative Review grade, I do agree that open primaries are the worst way to select our GOP candidates. It is certainly refreshing to see someone stand their ground on sound principle. Bravo!
I’d like to see all our nominees chosen via convention, but that’s me. Also, any elected official that pressures folks for a primary deserves opposition on that basis alone.
Only squishy establishment types like the ones populating the RPV and lobbyists prefer open primaries. I wonder why?
One might just as well say: only tea party types like the ones commenting here prefer to have as few voters as possible. I wonder why?
I prefer true conservatives selecting conservative candidates. Allowing Demwits to help in our selection process is pure insanity. I wonder why so many squishy establishment types need their help?
Imagine that, politicians bullying the grassroots. I’m pretty sure we’ve this act before. We have to hope our representatives on the 10th district stand strong for those they represent and that they don’t cave to bullies and their threats.