Both sides are working hard to get their message out and trying to claim they are the ones with the “real truth.” Emails with accusations and bravado abound. Some active and former 5th District leaders who are supporting Berkley, Â issued an email yesterday because of Â the “spurious attacks” on Jon Berkley. Here is a portion of that email:
As active and former leaders of Republican Committees in Virginiaâ€™s 5thÂ District, and in view of the spurious attacks aimed at one of our 5thÂ District Vice-Chairs and successful County Chairs; we wanted to express our displeasure concerning these attacks and present to you the qualities that we think are important in electing a new 5thÂ District Chairman at the Convention this Saturday.
– Our Chairman should have a history of active membership in a County/City Committee
Jon Berkley has been a member of his local committee for 7 yearsÂ Â
Â Mark Lloyd has NEVER been a member of any County/City Republican Committee
– Our Chairman should have experience at being a successful leader of a County/City Committee
Jon Berkley has been a successful Unit Chair in Charlotte County (2 Terms)
Mark Lloyd has NEVER been an elected leader in a Republican Committee
– Our Chairman should have participated in the leadership of the 5thÂ District Committee
Jon Berkley has been an effective Vice-Chairman of the 5thÂ District Committee
Mark Lloyd has NEVER been a member of the 5thÂ District Committee
– Our chairman needs a leadership style that is calm and unites Republican leaders
We encouragedJon Berkley to run because we respect his leadership styleÂ
Mark Lloyd has run an offensive negative and nasty campaign and has a history of making inflammatory statements about Republicans (see below)
-Our Chairman needs the confidence of the sitting Republican 5thÂ District Congressman
Jon Berkley has been endorsed and encouraged by U. S. Congressman Robert HurtÂ
Mark Lloyd has stated many times that heÂ can not support Robert Hurt
– Our Chairman should have an extensive record of supporting Republican candidates as soon as the nomination process is complete
Jon Berkley has supported and voted for every Republican Nominee in the 5thÂ District general election in the last 20 yearsÂ Â
Mark Lloyd has publicly criticized Republican candidates for 20 years.
The recent mailings, emails, and blogs are attempting to rewrite Mark Lloydâ€™s history and paint him as some grass roots activist for Republican candidates.Â Those of us who did work in Republican campaigns, know that those who put up signs, knocked doors, and made the phone calls were members of our local Republican Units, not Tea Party publicity seekers. We never saw Mark Lloyd in these campaigns because he wasnâ€™t there. The anti-Perriello signs that he takes credit for producing were designed and printed by Steve Petersâ€™ family.Â Unsubstantiated claims made on social media sites can not rewrite history with us.Â We know the truth about Mark Lloydâ€™s lack of support for Republicans.Based on the comparative record of the two candidates, we enthusiastically supportÂ Jon BerkleyÂ as the next 5thÂ District Chairman.Â We hope that you will join us in supporting U.S. Congressman Robert Hurt by voting for Jon Berkley and the Plan that he has presented for the future of the 5thÂ District Committee.
A few of the individuals who signed the above letter were involved in the slating and Democrat turnouts at GOP mass meetings and canvasses that have disenfranchised Republican voters and created major havoc and dissension in the party.
Other 5th District Republican Leaders had something strong to say in response to these claims and issued their own email today:
Dear fellow Fifth District conservative,
Sometimes in the rough-and-tumble of election-eve politics, emotions run so high.Â Itâ€™s difficult to sort out fact from fiction.
Thatâ€™s why we, as conservative leaders across the Republican spectrum in the Fifth District, want to stand up for one of our own, Mark Lloyd. Mark has been one of the central figures in the Republican resurgence in the Fifth District.
He has run an upbeat, positive campaign despite enduring one of the ugliest campaigns that we have ever seen in the Fifth.
Here is the truth about Mark Lloyd:
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Mark has been a longtime member of the Campbell County Republican Committee for 20 years. During Markâ€™s service, Campbell delivered the Fifth Districtâ€™s highest percentage of the vote to Robert Hurt, the highest to Ken Cuccinelli, and the second-highest to Mitt Romney.
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Mark has served as the leader of both the Lynchburg Tea Party and the Virginia State Tea Party. Under Markâ€™s leadership, in 2010 and 2011, those clubs delivered over 150 crucial volunteers to Robert Hurt and provided the crucial margins in State Senate wins that gave us a Republican Majority. Mark played a crucial role in keeping Tea Party supporters from supporting third party candidate Jeff Clark, and on board with Robert Hurt. In 2010, Clark took only 2%, thanks to Markâ€™s unifying skills, and Robert won by 3.5%.Â
. Â Â Sure, Mark has worked for conservative challengers to sitting incumbents in Republican nomination contests. And he is proud of that.Â But Mark always strongly backs our Nominees. Mark helped our party unite behind Robert Hurt. While the Lynchburg Tea Party made no endorsement, Mark himself was on the ground delivering countless volunteers and hours of his own time for Robert Hurt.
Mark has always worked diligently for EVERY Republican once the nomination was complete
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â By contrast, many of Jon Berkleyâ€™s key supporters, and signers of a recent email supporting him, have a record of opposing our Republican nominees, thus helping to elect Democrats. Vivienne Smith, a Berkley supporter, served as Fifth District coordinator for Robert Sarvis, helping to elect Terry McAuliffe. Gene Smith, a Berkley supporter, has supported third party opponents to EVERY single Campbell County Republican nominee for the past four years. Greg Eanes, a Berkley supporter, contributed $250 to Democrat Roscoe Reynolds over Sen Bill Stanley. Â John Ferguson, a Berkley supporter, actively recruited Democrats to help him win election as Campbell County Republican chairman on March 20.Â Â When you hear personal attacks on Mark â€“ with his record of unmatched work for our candidates â€“ consider the source.Â And ask yourself, why are so many people who support Democrats backing his opponent?
-Â Â Â Â Â One of the most disturbing things to us is how Jon Berkley and these same people of his campaign have aggressively tossed out Mark Lloydâ€™s supporters from the 5th District Convention.Â In Campbell County, Jon Berkleyâ€™s supporters recruited scores of Democrats and anti-Republican third party activists and, led by Eric Cantorâ€™s right-hand man Mike Thomas, slated off (purged) over 100 loyal Republican Lloyd Delegates at the Campbell County Mass Meeting. Â In Charlotte County, Jon Berkley himself throw out 19 qualified Mark Lloyd Delegates â€“ hiding them from the Charlotte Mass Meeting altogether!
– Â Â Â Â Also disturbing to us is how our 5th District is being manipulated by Rep. Eric Cantor and his consultants Ray Allen and Mike Thomas.Â They have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars via their â€œYoung Guns VAâ€ PAC trying to take over the State Party, to get back their statewide â€œopenâ€ primaries where Democrats can vote and they make millions on direct mail and TV.Â They desperately want the 5th District Chairman vote on the State Central Committee to achieve this.Â That is why they slated off Markâ€™s Delegates in Campbell.Â Â Mr. Allen is even seeking to bankrupt the State Party in order to take it over!Â http://pjmedia.com/davidsteinberg/exclusive-eric-cantors-top-aide-ill-bankrupt-virginia-gop-install-allies-rebuild-it-with-cantors-donor-cash/
No wonder Mark is bitterly opposed by Eric Cantor, and ENDORSED BY conservative Senator Tom Garrett and by Delegate Ben Cline, who courageously led the fight against Bob McDonnellâ€™s 2013 tax hike.
We are supporting Mark Lloyd because we believe that the Fifth District chairman should unify our party, bringing in Tea Party folks, prolifers, Second Amendment folks, evangelical voters, and liberty activists. Mark Lloyd has been exactly that brand of positive, unifying voice. That is why we ask you to join us in supporting our next Fifth District GOP chairman, Mark Lloyd!
The election tomorrow will be intense and hard fought. It will be a difficult battle for Mark Lloyd, who goes into the Convention at a distinct disadvantage with his delegates slated in Campbell County (which carries a significant weighted vote) and Mark’s delegates in Charlotte County being thrown out by Jon Berkley himself.
Patrick McSweeney, the newly appointed RPV General Counsel, has responded to an inquiry by Senator Stanley and issued an opinion that all delegates from Campbell County should be seated. McSweeney stated:
It is also clear that the District Committee in considering the appeal concluded and ruled that the actions of the Campbell County Mass Meeting were in violation of the State Party Plan and/or Robertâ€™s Rules.Â It was plainly within the prerogative of the District Committee to declare the Mass Meeting results a nullity and to declare that each of the Campbell County prefiled delegates were certified to participate in the district and State conventions in light of Article VIII, Â§ A (11).Â Because the District Committee has not done so, each of the prefiled delegates should be entitled to participate at the District Convention unless they are properly challenged by the Credentials Committee pursuant to Article I, Â§ A of the State Party Plan.
This election is really about whether our party is going to embrace slating, disenfranchisement, and exclusion OR whether we want to grow our party, embrace our conservative values, and win elections. We will see if Republicans rally and insist that all Republicans be included in the Grand ‘Ole Party.