Facts are stubborn things – John Adams
There has been a lot of talk about the recent 6th District Convention meeting a couple of weeks ago, where the GOP officials of the 6th Congressional District (Scott Sayre being the chair, several SCC members, and the 17 Unit chairs) met and decided on a convention. For the record, this vote was either unanimous or pretty close to it. The “controversy” came out later when it was determined that there would only be one vote to replace Congressman Bob Goodlatte.
For the record, let me state clearly that I am not supporting either Cynthia Dunbar or Ben Cline. Both are personal friends of mine and either or would do an outstanding job as our next Congressman. However, I am a proponent of the truth. And like it or not, there is precedence for the rules proposed by Matt Tederick and those working on behalf of Cynthia Dunbar.
First off, according to the 2016 6th District Convention rules as written by the Rules Committee appointed by Wendell Walker (These rules were adopted unanimously by the Rules Committee and approved by the Convention), they clearly state and I quote:
Candidates for the office of State Central Committee shall be elected by plurality in which the three candidates with the most votes shall be deemed elected.
For the office of Presidential Elector, the winner must be elected by plurality.
These words are straight from the office of the Rules Committee appointed by Wendell Walker. This 2016 Rules Committee included some of the most vocal critics of the rules which were approved by supporters of Cynthia Dunbar. Now the forces who think that we need a multi ballot convention will say (with some sincerity) that the offices of Chair and Regional Vice Chair required a majority. However only Scott Sayre ran for Chair and only one candidate ran for Regional Vice Chair, so that argument is specious at best. Disingenuous is a better word to use. One could also say “hypocritical”.
Currently there are 6 candidates vying to replace Bob Goodlatte. Three of these candidates are quite well known (Dunbar, Cline, and Rockingham Clerk of the Court Chaz Haywood) and three who are lesser known (Ed Justo, Kathryn Lewis, and Chan Park). For those of us who were at the GOP State Convention in 2013, where it took multiple ballots and many hours to determine a winner, we have a life and have other things to do besides stay in a hall all day waiting for votes to be weighed and then counted. Quite frankly, this is a nothing burger dreamed up by some establishment hacks to try and make people on Team Dunbar (aka Matt Tederick) look bad. So let’s be honest, all Mr. Tederick did was to use the wording approved by Roger Jarrell in 2016 and use it for 2018. To the contrary, Mr. Tederick and Ann Fitzgerald and patriots like Ken Adams et al should be praised for making sure that the rules will be known to all delegates months in advance so that everyone can go into the convention with their eyes wide open. Allowing delegates to see the rules and digest them before the convention did not occur in 2016. And for those of us who like facts, a super majority of the 6th CD Committee supported these rules for 2018. The vote to approve these rules being 20-10 in favor of transparency and a plurality – aka letting us get out of the convention at a reasonable time.
So to those who have or are trying to drink this bad Kool Aid given to us by the 6th CD GOP establishment, don’t touch it. Learn the facts. And the facts clearly are – Wendell Walker and the GOP Establishment were for pluralities before they were against them.
Interesting that Dunbar has pledged to term limit herself if elected. Goodlatte said the same thing 25 years ago. Cline was on Goodlatte’s staff around the time Goodlatte went back on his term limit pledge, essentially becoming a liar.
So, who will the convention go with, the new term limit candidate or a candidate who let his boss lie?
6th District Patriot is right. A party office is vastly different from a Congressional office; the rules that are acceptable for a minor office aren’t necessarily acceptable for a higher office. If saving the convention delegates’ time were really the point of having only one ballot, the committee could have chosen a ranked-choice voting system. It’s fast and ensures the nominee has majority support. If you’re not familiar with this voting system, check out this 70-second video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHRPMJmzBBw
One of the advantages of a convention with the possibility of multiple rounds of voting is that candidates have an incentive against throwing all of the punches that they might otherwise so as to avoid angering the supporters of the other candidates. These rules remove that incentive.
Those behind these rules should remember that party activists have long memories. And these rules could divide the party, depress volunteerism, and even depress turnout this fall — hardly what our US Senate nominee needs. We saw how well things went in 2013 after the divisive fight over the nomination process. Furthermore, I think it’s terrible that the committee deliberately chose to hold its convention on graduation day at Liberty University effectively disenfranchising many students, parents, faculty, and staff. I’m sure some number of those people have loyally supported, volunteered for, and/or donated to our candidates over the years. What effect will this snub have on the party?
Finally, for those on the 6th District Committee who only support conventions, they should recognize that they are undermining support for them. Once people realize that the powers-that-be can change the convention rules to favor their candidate, they might be less inclined to support conventions over primaries.
Big money has decided that another parachutist is right for Virginia. Just what Virginia needs, another lawyer who parachutes into Virginia to run for office. Anybody seen Ed Gillespie lately? Ed didn’t happen to loan his parachute to this lawyer from Missouri/Texas now did he?
What exactly qualifies Dunbar for congress? Why doesn’t her name come up on the Virginia State Bar website? Again what qualifies Dunbar for congress? When/where has she ever had a real job?
Go home Dunbar. Take your Wall St., power company, special interest money, with you. Oh, for once in your life you might try getting a real job without help from your buddies. I hear McDonalds is hiring…..
I don’t know anything about it, but I think everyone in Virginia who is conservative hopes that such a rural district will elect someone who is a strong conservative. In places like Fairfax and Richmond they often don’t have a choice but to elect someone who is an insider, can get donations, tip-toes around the issues, etc. In a rural district where the candidate chosen is almost sure to win (?) there doesn’t seem to be any of these kinds of issues involved, so I think every conservative in Virginia hopes that the rural counties that can, will elect conservatives that do not compromise. Rural representatives have to be the backbone of the conservative movement at the state and national level because urban conservatives and party insiders just don’t get the job done. Well, their donors might argue with that, but I don’t know if conservative voters would.
I agree with you to some degree. However, Goodlatte has been in the loser column here in Virginia. On his watch, the state has had a firestorm of “blue.” He has not come out to champion the conservative message. Month after month, town hall type meetings are led by “staffers.” BS to staffers and aides. From “Conservative Review,” here are his votes over his career:
Budget, Spending, & Debt 91 33 73%
Civil Liberties 6 10 38%
Education 7 5 58%
Energy & Environment 38 9 81%
Foreign Policy & Defense 16 8 67%
Free Market 49 10 83%
Health Care & Entitlements 25 9 74%
Immigration 17 3 85%
Moral Issues 19 4 83%
Second Amendment 1 0 100%
Taxes, Economy, & Trade 30 8 79%
Totals: 299 99 75%
All those above categories affects our liberty, once way or another.
To say that he is evenly remotely a “conservative,” is a lie. Dave Brat is a conservative and
it is reflected in his votes. Cline and Hayward worked for Goodlatte. I want someone who will fight like a rabid dog for the conservative voters.
Question: has there ever been a convention nominee by plurality?
(Answer: No, not since at least 1976 and probably not ever according to the research.)
Question: Why was this left out of the draft call?
Question: Were there any candidates, campaign staff, or close supporters of any campaign aware of this prior to the motion by Matt Tederick?
There is a video of the person who made this motion explaining it was made to prevent Ben Cline from winning on multiple ballots and because they did not believe their candidate could win under the normal rules.
After the meeting, multiple individuals who supported this motion said that any vote after the first ballot at a convention is not legitimate. I have even had people accuse a 2016 Congressional Nominee of bribing a candidate who had been knocked off for his support.
This whole thing stinks to high heaven, and a lot of people STILL have a lot of explaining to do.
Has she ever tried a case in court? Is she a member of the Virginia bar? Why not? What qualifies her for congress? Who’s money is behind the rule change?
What in God’s name does belonging to the “Virginia bar” have anything to do with being a conservative or great candidate? Look at what has happened in Virginia, under their auspice.
I think we could do better than electing another person who belongs to any bar, quite frankly.
The 6th District Republican Convention was done by plurality because there was only one candidate for chairman and most of the Regional Vice Chairman were contests with only 2 people. The fairest way to have a convention is by multiple ballots as the nominee will win with a majority. The candidates with the least amount of votes drop out each ballot. We don’t have to have backroom deals. Each delegate can vote for whoever they want. We want to come out untied behind a candidate and get behind the nominee of the Republican Party for U. S. House of Representatives.
So far, I can’t think of a Republican nominee who reflects conservative values. You’ve got to agree that these bums that have been elected and hold office HAVE DONE NOTHING to help elect more conservatives.
The thing that concerns me is if one candidate drops out, then “throws their votes” behind the candidate that they want to win. I say if the candidate drops out, their votes drop as well. No candidate should carry the authority of placing their votes in another candidate’s column.
2016 = party offices
2018 = party nominee
That these two FACTS are so entirely different, it flies in the face of reality that anyone would try to spin the 2016 rules as a precedent that the 6th District can follow in selecting their nominee.
And you forgot to mention the part where RPV General Counsel opinion has held that the rules the 6th District passed as 100% out of compliance with the Party Plan, and are meaningless.
Appreciate the post.
I would say how the Rules Committee came
To writing it all is enough for a November voter to say
Buyer beware .
I would hope Mr. Cline can line up his supporters
And secure the nomination.
Surely there must be convention delegates to push back
On those who IMO seem seized by an irresistible impulse
To traffic in fear, loathing and what can only be flat earth theories .
Mr.Cline may or may not win.
The choice of Ms Dunbar IMO would mean the
Fall election is in Faulkner’s phrase “written on the wind”
If I were Mr. Cline or Mrs. Dunbar, I’d worry about Chaz Haywood – he’s putting together quite a nice GOTV operation in Shenandoah, Page, and Rockingham counties. Now that’s only 3 of the 17 localities of CD 6, but it’s one heck of a start. FYI, I’m not supporting Chaz Haywood either.
I appreciate the courteous reply.
There is a larger trope I wanted to address
In this thread.
The disappointment that Dr. Park has dropped out.
IMO the RPV does a poor job of outreach and supporting
A wide demographic spectrum of candidates.
I would have liked Dr.Park to continue on, and speak at the convention.
His story is compelling and his service as a physician to the local
Community speaks for itself.
I live in the 5th district, believe strongly in a two party system.
A libertarian , distressed, alarmed actually at the recent election results.
When my local newspaper the Daily Progress , in a recent editorial
Refers to the Republican brand as “poisonous”, Local
Districts need to take stock of matters .
Really not about Ben Cline , or Haywood or Dunbar.
More about a party at a state level that seems , politely, off the rails
The need on a local level for a party to be appealing to a wide spectrum
Of people and a broad range of ideas under one tent.
The politics of grievance , the appeal to a small IMO set of people
And ideas will grind matters down further.
Again, appreciate your posts.
Thanks you’re very kind. Given that I’m not a white guy (caucasian but not white), I feel your pain in a way that few can understand. The GOP has a very poor history of reaching out to any non white male. And they really don’t understand the issue. Party representatives will show up at a function which would have quite a few Latino’s or African Americans, and they’ll talk and then leave and never make another attempt to contact these people. Allen West and Sean Hannity sparred about this issue on his radio show a few years back. West tried to tell Hannity that the GOP needs to show up. Hannity said back we do. West says yes you may show up occasionally, but the GOP will then forget about black people for awhile until the next big event, and wonder why African Americans won’t vote Republican.
They went back and forth a few times. And until someone high up in the GOP gets it, and really goes out of their way to court non whites – this will be a continuing issue for the GOP and conservatism.
This article was not a shot at Ben Cline who is a personal friend of mine and someone who I admire greatly. It was to try and explain just how the 6th District did not commit some cardinal sin.
Of course we all have a life, this point is irrelevant. However, it’s a small sacrifice to give up a day to determine our next Congressman, the first time it won’t be Goodlatte in over two decades.
Everyone knows the rules were changed to benefit one candidate and for that reason alone it should raise suspension, thankfully the Delegates can change the rules back to a normal convention.
Update: Dr. Chan Park has dropped out.
The rules do not benefit one candidate over others. The candidate with the most votes wins, and every candidate competes on the same basis. It makes sense to nominate the candidate with the most support. That’s the way every general election works too.
Oh but that candidate might be a horrible person, “too conservative”, or “too populist”, or “too establishment”, or whatever other issue that factions get worked up about. So the rules must be changed so that lesser candidates can collude and fix the game, wherein they knock out that horrible person on the fourth vote, right?
It is sickening to see all these shenanigans in our nomination process. We see this maneuvering all the time in counties with strong Republican majorities, which allows a few influential insiders to rig the nomination to effectively appoint their friends into political office (the election itself being just a foregone conclusion). It is sickening, to see the corruption that breeds within units that take advantage of that nomination power.
The Democrats just learned a bitter lesson with their own maneuvering to fix a nomination. They ended up with perhaps their worst possible candidate in the general election and got beat.
“it makes sense to nominate the candidate with the most support”
But what does that mean ? If it’s just the candidate with the most support on the first round of voting that doesn’t mean most people wanted them. That was the case in the TEA Party election years ago with a bunch of TEA Party candidates – conservatives wanted different candidates and the establishment would win because the TEA Party vote was divided among a bunch of candidates, but had that gone to a second round of voting they would have come together on one anti-establishment candidate and would have stomped on the establishment candidate’s vote totals.
Shouldn’t people end up with a candidate that the majority of them are actually happy with, one that they can all get behind ?
To say that a different way, if your goal is to get a candidate who actually has the most support from the people voting, multiple rounds of voting is basically the only way to do that. That gives everyone a chance to change their votes to winnow the field down to the last two people and then one of them wins. That seems fair, if being fair and getting the best pick for the people voting is actually what your goal is.
I understand the concept in terms of conservatives wanting any conservative to win versus any moderate candidate, and vice versa. I understand how the winnowing works. If there are too many candidates of one stripe and not enough of another, yes, it can be a problem. Is that really at play here? It’s also a self regulating problem, as candidates assess their own viability prior to the convention. Having too many candidates, all trying to beat the odds in an unpredictable, raucous, confusing convention can be fun, but it doesn’t necessarily produce rational satisfactory results. With a straight up vote, I would expect fewer candidates, each with more carefully prepared messaging, and much more pre-convention preparation for broader Republican appeal on a winner-take-all basis, which should help produce a more election-ready candidate.
I don’t know, it just seems to me that multiple rounds of voting gives you a lot and you don’t lose much of anything in that process. I think I understand what you are saying, but I don’t see how multiple rounds of voting gives you a lesser result. Surely everyone in attendance has time to take an extra vote or three to choose a candidate who is likely to end up being their representative for many years. Seems like an all around win to me. Well, unless you’re the guy who would have benefited by a single round of voting, of course.