I greatly appreciate Jeanine Martin bringing attention to the important issue concerning Delegate Mark Berg’s resignation from the Republican Party of Virginia State Central Committee (“the SCC”), 10th Congressional District Republican Committee (“the 10th District”) and Frederick County Republican Committee (“FCRC”). I have already commented on this issue in the only media story on the issue in Winchester and have provided notice of this situation to every member of the SCC and every Unit Chairman in the Commonwealth.
However, Ms. Martin has done a disservice to her readers and to Republicans by editorializing without a full statement of the facts surrounding this situation and failing to give the RPV an opportunity to share its side of the story. The following will correct the record and show exactly why the General Counsel Ruling deeming Delegate Berg to have resigned from official Committees was the right decision. Moreover, you will see from the facts that Del. Berg was given every opportunity to correct the situation and chose not to do so.
For the sake of clarity, I should point out that Del. Berg was never removed from the Party, nor did he resign from the Party. There really is no such process because we do not register by Party in Virginia and I certainly do not have that power as Chairman. However, our Party does elect individuals to serve on the Official Committees that govern the Republican Party of Virginia (“RPV”). Up until October 31, 2015, Del. Berg was elected to serve on three Official Committees: the SCC, the 10th District and the FCRC. While individuals who serve on an Official Committees can be removed from their elected office after due process this did not happen to Del. Berg. Rather, he was deemed to have resigned from all Official Committees pursuant to Article 7, Section C, Paragraph 2 of the RPV Party Plan which states:
A member of an Official Committee is held to a higher standard of support for nominees of the Republican Party than an individual who merely participates in a mass meeting, party canvass, convention, or primary. Therefore, a member of an Official Committee is deemed to have resigned his Committee position if he (a) makes a reportable contribution to and/or (b) allows his name to be publicly used by and/or (c) makes a written or other public statement in support of a candidate in opposition to a Republican nominee in a Virginia General or Special Election. Such member may be re-instated by a majority vote of the other members of the Committee. (Emphasis added).
[Editorial Note: The original post has been updated to replace the word “removed” with “deemed to have resigned.”]
This Rule predates my becoming Chairman and is not a Rule that has regularly come into play in my experience as a member of SCC. Read the Rule very closely…it specifically states that members of Official Committees are “held to a higher standard” in terms of supporting the Republican nominees. This statement is powerful in the sense that it reminds us that members of an Official Committee are actually elected to represent the millions of Republicans around the Commonwealth and therefore are held to a higher standard in terms of their support for our nominees.
What the above Rule does not contain is due process. In other words, the resignation of a member of an Official Committee is automatic if they violate the Rule. There is nothing in the Rule that gives a member of an Official Committee a “hearing” or any other type of way to defend oneself. I frankly think that is wrong, but the Rule as currently written must be followed. Despite the lack of due process, when it came to my attention that Delegate Berg allegedly was violating the Rule, we actually gave Del. Berg a mechanism or “due process” to assure he was not deemed automatically resigned. In fact, members of SCC, friends of Del. Berg and myself bent over backwards to keep this from happening. Consider the following timeline of events:
Del. Berg selected a state-run primary as his nominating process for re-election this past cycle. He was defeated in that primary by Chris Collins. At that point, Delegate-Elect Collins became the Republican nominee. As a member of several official committees, Del. Berg had no obligation to endorse or actively support Mr. Collins (though he should have). All he was required to do was not violate the provisions of the above Rule.
For weeks the RPV and 10th District had been getting complaints from voters and FCRC members that a write-in campaign was being waged against Delegate-Elect Collins. A mailer containing Del. Berg’s name was issued, official Mark Berg for Delegate signs were posted around the District and letters to the editor were sent in to the local newspaper.
After several weeks of this, Chairwoman Jo Thoburn called Del. Berg and spent a long time trying to convince Del. Berg to disavow the write-in campaign and/or tell the individuals behind the campaign he did not authorize the use of his name. Del. Berg refused to do so. A prominent conservative leader then called Del. Berg to try to get him to disavow the write-in campaign. Del. Berg refused. Del. Berg could have been deemed resigned from Official Committees after these telephone calls, but we did not take any action at all in this regard at the time.
Instead, Chairwoman Thoburn contacted our General Counsel and requested legal advice on what her obligations were in the face of a groundswell of activists, elected officials and Party leaders demanding action against Del. Berg for the write-in campaign. Both the Chairwoman and I took this matter to be one of grave concern and we wanted to make sure everything possible was done before any resignation became public. RPV Counsel advised that Del. Berg was deemed to have resigned from all Official Committees.
However, even though Del. Berg was considered resigned from Official Committees at that time, I still felt it was imperative that we give him another opportunity to correct the situation. Thus, we did the following:
First, I sent Del. Berg a letter [NB: embedded below] stating “I believe it is only fair you have an opportunity to disavow the write-in effort.” Based on options provided me by our Counsel, I suggested that Del. Berg could remedy the situation by doing one of the following: 1) send a press release disavowing the campaign; 2) write a letter to the editor of a newspaper or blog; 3) post something to social media; 4) email constituents; and finally, and most notably 5) email party officials. In other words, all Del. Berg had to do according to our counsel was email us and let us know he was not supporting the write-in campaign. We gave Del. Berg until the Saturday before the election (approximately four days) to take action. Del. Berg’s wife replied to the letter saying they had seen it and would be responding.
Second, I called a prominent conservative leader who is very close to Del. Berg and asked him to please help me convince Del. Berg to state he did not authorize the use of his name. This individual was kind enough to make the call and try to reason with Del. Berg despite the fact that he wanted Del. Berg to win the election. Del. Berg refused.
Third, I had been invited by Del. Berg’s wife to speak at a fundraiser for a local candidate she was assisting on the Friday before the election (the day before the deadline for him to respond). Del. Berg was going to be attending. I drove out on that Friday night to the event with the intention of speaking with Del. Berg and trying to reason with him. He did not attend the event.
Keep in mind this was all going on when the RPV was in the midst of the 2015 election and all around the state we were fighting against the McAuliffe/Bloomberg onslaught of money in our state and local races.
Despite all of the events unfolding, I found the time to deal with this issue. I wish the Del. Berg had given this issue a similar priority. Unfortunately, Del. Berg never responded to our letter and took no action to disavow the write-in campaign. In fact, he did not respond to us at all.
After not getting a response from Del. Berg, I issued a letter to him informing him that he was deemed resigned from all Official Committees. [NB: also embedded below] Some folks have interpreted this as me removing Del. Berg from the Party and question whether I even have the authority to do so. The fact is, I absolutely do not have the authority to remove Del. Berg from an Official Committee. However, as Chairman, it is my job to follow the Rules and it was also my job to be the one to inform Del. Berg of his automatic resignation.
On a side note, let it be known that in 2012 Del. Berg and I worked together on our election to SCC. I also threw a fundraiser at my own expense for him when he got the nomination in 2013. In short, I have been a supporter of Del. Berg. I am very saddened by the fact that this occurred which is why I worked so hard to avoid it.
On another note, I would point out that last night, seven days after the election and almost two weeks after we brought the resignation problem to his attention, I was copied on an email to the 10th District wherein Del. Berg stated:
“Let me be clear – I did not allow my name to be used, I did not publicly endorse, nor did I affirm, any other campaign against the Republican nominee.”
Pursuant to the letter I sent him on October 28, 2015 this would have absolutely been sufficient for Del. Berg to maintain his position on all three Official Committees as one of the options he was given to correct the situation was an email to Party officials.
Del. Berg, if it is in fact true that you did not allow your name to be used, did not publicly endorse nor affirm the write-in campaign, why did not you send this email to the 10th District by the Saturday deadline or at least before the 2015 election? This all could have been avoided and I would have fought very hard on your behalf to show everyone that you did your duty as a member of three Official Committees. Instead though, you ignored our very reasonable attempt at giving you a way out and forced us to consider you resigned from all three Official Committees.
At this point Del. Berg has two options. First, he can appeal the General Counsel Ruling and attempt to have his resignation overturned. Second, he can be reinstated by a majority vote of the SCC, the 10th District and/or the FCRC. He had the opportunity to have someone make a Motion last night at the 10th District meeting to reinstate him and chose not to do so or no one wished to do so. Instead the entire 10th District committee, made up of Party members holding diverse views on issues and nominating processes, unanimously chose someone else to fill the seat. Del. Berg has instead appealed the General Counsel Ruling and we will be acting on that in accordance with the Party Plan.
As you can see, Ms. Martin’s post for whatever reason ignores almost every fact on the Party’s side of this issue, including misrepresenting the fact that Del. Berg was deemed resigned and not removed from his Party Committee memberships. I hope in the future Ms. Martin will be fair to all sides and ensure that individuals and organizations are given a fair opportunity to comment or at least tell their side of the story. We always get that courtesy from the liberal media and we should at least get the same courtesy from a conservative blogger.
[…] of Delegate Mark Berg (R-29) from the Republican Party as well as the explanation from RPV Chairman John Whitbeck, Delegate Berg’s rebuttal, and 10th district ChairmanJo Thoburn’s recent remarks. However, […]
I support Johnny Whitebitch. He’s doing a great job.
John Whitbeck is being less than honest when claiming that this quote from Del. Berg “seven days after the election and almost two weeks after we brought the resignation problem to his attention” which was copied on an email to Whitbeck would have prevented Del. Berg from being stripped from all committees:
“Let me be clear – I did not allow my name to be used, I did not publicly endorse, nor did I affirm, any other campaign against the Republican nominee.” — Del Berg
Sorry folks, but that’s not what was demanded from Del. Berg by Whitbeck, which I’ll quote from the letter sent to Del. Berg Oct. 28 on RPV letterhead and signed by Whitbeck:
“As of the time of the sending of this letter, there is no evidence the Party can locate you publicly condemning or repudiating this write-in effort . . . I would suggest a press release from the RPV wherein you are quoted disavowing the write-in campaign. However, any of the following actions will be considered public: an op-ed or letter to the editor published in any of the local papers of record and/or blog, a social media posting available to the public or an email sent to your constituents or Party officials”.
“Condemning or repudiating” means that Whitbeck demanded of Del. Berg to “condemn or repudiate” the write-in, not just say that he had no part in it, and as such, Whitbeck’s language was a demand to squelch voter’s rights to choose the candidate they felt was best suited to represent them. Shame on Whitbeck, and shame on the RPV.
Sounds to me that Whitbeck should be stripped of his chairmanship.
Jeez it really is a different world for you. Mark could have said/did any number of things that would have covered his sorry butt in this debacle as far as party leadership positions but didn’t. Just as he CHOSE the open primary, he CHOSE not to lead. He was twice-stupid — once to be a sore loser and allow write-in folly with his name and twice by actually believing he could win. We don’t need more stupid, judging from this public discourse, we got stupid locked down tight!
This seems like a similar situation to which my ex congressman SHOULD have found himself in a couple of years ago in Henrico.
Didn’t they toss Geary to the dogs? Yes, but they actively supported the Independent…right?
Did Cantor and Co. need to be voted back into the party?
One small quibble. John Whitbeck said “He (Berg) had the opportunity to have someone make a Motion last night at the 10th District meeting to reinstate him and chose not to do so or no one wished to do so.” No one at the 10th district meeting was aware of this option because Chairman Thoburn said at the time that the 10th district would have no further discussion and there was no appeal for Delegate Berg other than to take it up at the State Central Committee meeting in December. She was rather empathic that there was no recourse for appeal or reversal other that at the next SCC. I have spoken with members of the committee who have verified the message communicated by Chairman Thoburn.
One small quibble. Didn’t you resign from all your committee assignments when you suggested folks write-in Jeff Frederick in Prince William?
Of course you don’t like this precedent. If it’s true, you’re out on your ear, too.
What committee assignments? Say goodnight, you’re done here, again.
And could the fact that John Whitbeck did NOT send Delegate Berg the letter dated November 5th — which he led everyone to believe he did send to Berg — mean that no one could process the rules and procedures? It gave Thoburn and Whitbeck the time they needed to line things up as they wanted, thus, they could ram this overreach through the 10th district committee meeting. I know John BENT OVER BACKWARDS and all to try to be fair to Mark Berg, though.
I don’t doubt what you say here, but how can there be so many people on the 10th who have not read the plan?
I have not read it in years, but I remembered that if you loose membership (even for missing 3 meetings) all you need to do is show up and get voted back.
You’re saying that the 10th Chair didn’t know this? If that’s the case, it highlights a much larger problem.
I have no idea if the chair knew that someone on the committee could have immediately moved to re-instate Delegate Berg. For whatever reason she gave them no opportunity for that to happen. She said he had been deemed to have resigned and they were moving on to elect his replacement. She went on to say If Delegate Berg wanted to appeal it he would have to take it up at the next SCC meeting. According to her, the 10th district committee had no further say in the matter.
Apparently many members of the committee have not read the party plan because they were unaware that could have any say in the Delegate’s dismissal. The members I spoke with had no idea that was the case until they read Chairman Whitbeck’s statement here. As Steve Albertson said on his post, a discussion among the members of the 10th district may have been a good idea but there was no opportunity for that at the meeting. The room was told any further discussion would not happen there but had to be presented at the SCC meeting in December. The Chair was very clear on that.
The chair announced that the vacancy could be filled by Mark, she said it right to him. She gave the board opportunity to have his name nominated. Crickets. The chair was clear that Mark was out, any question with that was up to the SCC. But had Mark had the wisdom, desire, any support on the board whatsoever, he could have been considered.
The make up of the 10th board is unit chairs and party faction representatives. They know the plan, they know rules, they know what went down, they know Mark. One thing the board members do have in common, is that they have never let their names be used without objection in contests against Republican nominees.
In every committee I have ever seen, all it would have required is ANYONE to make a motion to re-instate, the motion be seconded, and the chair HAS NO ABILITY to prevent a vote, after discussion of course.
That said, I do not know the district, nor the players. maybe there was a reason NOT ONE PERSON made that motion? I really don’t know the ins and outs of those dynamics.
Quibble correct: Chairman Jo said at that meeting that Mark could be chosen to fill the vacancy. Mark actively resigned. He resigned by his actions. No one on the 10th present that night was willing to say “Why yes, we think Mark’s behavior was correct and we want someone of his caliber to continue on representing the 10th congressional district on the State Central committee.” No one moved, no one seconded. The silence was deafening.
[…] unfortunately puts RPV Chairman John Whitbeck in a rather unfair spot. Whitbeck explained in response to an inaccurate and incorrect Bull Elephant article that the Party Plan does not offer any form of due process, the termination from party offices […]
Tenth district? Isn’t this one that nearly had a party revolt not too long ago?
We have a revolt every election, the one next spring will be a doozy. Don’t miss it!
Naa, nothing will happen in the Spring because the 10th district, lead by Jo Thoburn, did as Comstock wanted and gave her the primary she wanted. She will not be Congresswoman for life and the Republican party will have no say in that. It pays to be the incumbent!
Mark got the primary he chose, you see the good it did him. Live by the primary, die by the primary. You know, Susan Stimson could run against Barbara! If Cong. Comstock doesn’t fix things, the 10th might get to select the process again in 2018!
That vote was right down the middle with chairman Jo breaking tie. Del. Berg voted against the primary with many on the board exiting with arms in slings. Landslide Beau is still swatting at strings you cannot see
Yes, we have Chair Jo to thank for making Comstock Congresswoman for life.
Wouldn’t have happened without her! But won’t be for life unless Barbara changes her spots and starts leading from the front rather than just helping to prop up the RNC Potemkin Priesthood
Did Jo Thoburn PROMISE to support a convention? Isn’t that how she won over all of the Ron Paul liberty-minded individuals who voted for her for her original state central seat? Promises shmomises.
Chairman Jo may have promised to support a State Convention over a state primary but she broke the tie giving the primary choice to the 10th Rep. B Comstock. Of course one could make the case that she was only following the precedent of Del. Berg CHOOSING his own primary. (The one he lost, not the sour grapes fantasy write-in) Sauce for the goose and all that. Did somebody fail to extract a promise from Jo supporting ‘not-a-primary’ in the 10th??
The phrase “Deemed to have resigned” means “removed” in the real world, no matter how many General Counsels and Chairmen spin it in a pretty sanitized way.
Crap like this is why people (like me) will never officially join any political party. A candidate isn’t the best choice in an election just because they have an (R) behind their name on the ballot.
Excellent, we are happy to have the likes of Del. Berg join your ranks. We will try to have candidates worthy of your vote. Except secret write-ins, we usually don’t know that these are even happening, and if we did we wouldn’t condemn them… Unless we had lost the first time, or we didn’t think your reasoning for voting the way you did in an earlier election was sound.
Any strong write-in suggests that the political leaders are out of step with their community.
Yes, making the counter that any weak write-in means the opposite. 90% didn’t write in — community agrees with leaders. Maybe would have been enough to win if it wasn’t such a secret??
You know nothing about politics when you call that a weak write-in. Your Rino is toast in the next primary/mass meeting..
I’m more familiar with results than interpreted futile gestures. You couldn’t even get enough people to staff the polls to push the write in for your RINO.
90% (I’ll give you 80 if you wish to claim the Micky Mouse protest votes as yours) of the people that voted, voted AGAINST the sitting Republican delegate. Many more eligible voters didn’t bother because they were ok with the candidate on the ballot.
The voters voted, the winners won and the losers whine and blame. Good Republicans actively support the nominee and build the party while bad Republicans actively resign.
If Collins is a worse politician and delegate than Berg that might be true. But he did beat the pants off Mark in two elections. Berg’s vaunted RINO machine actually managed to lose votes from the primary that refused to join the secret write-in folly.
How’d you guys do on the contested nominated races for supervisors? How did they do in the general? How about your independents? How about your independent Sheriff that was also endorsed by the dems?
Methinks he will choose a primary. It worked for him once and should work again.
There are a lot more people angry now than back in the last primary. On top of that, they will be watching Collins performance in Richmond. Other things will change as well. Keep watching.
No, less people, the stealth write-in had many fewer voters for Mark and Mickey than voted for Mark in the primary.
However, Mark would run as an independent so he may have better luck because that is coming into fashion in Frederick Winchester.
Wait a minute, choosing the primary favors the RINO?
Yes, of course.
90 percent didn’t write in? It appears that you need a basic math class. Del. Berg garnered 14.42 percent of the write-in vote. That leaves 85.58 percent — which left Collins looking pretty weak. On average in House of Delegates primaries, only 2 percent are write-ins.
I thought I conceded the Mickey Mouse votes to Mark elsewhere — simplifying the math even further, give not-mark write-ins to Mark — add a bonus, pretend he got 20%.
Collins got four out of five vote cast in the election, Mark and Mickey got LESS votes than Mark in the primary (that Mark CHOSE)! Only on Planet Fogle does Collins look pretty weak compared to Berg’s sour grapes write-in! Part of playing in politics means you have to respect the will of the electorate no matter how that makes you feel or how much it disrupts the narrative. Refusing to accept the results of elections (sic Semper tyrannis), among other things, helps you to resign from being a Republican.
On this we can agree, people know that ‘deemed to have resigned’ means “removed” from the party. I don’t know why this is being debated.
Because when you say “removed” you act like he had no say in the process. He did. That’s the issue. To not resign he just had to say “I didn’t let them use my name.” You idiots are pretending this wasn’t self inflicted.
You aren’t fooling anyone. Time to say Good-bye, again.
There is one factual error in Chairman Whitbeck’s response here: “Del. Berg selected a state-run primary as his nominating process for re-election this past cycle. ”
My understanding is that this is not true. Berg did not file the SBE-516 DESIGNATION OF METHOD OF NOMINATION form with his LDC. As far as I know, no Republican Delegates in the entire Commonwealth did so this year, due to the ongoing lawsuit. The decision of what method of nomination to use was entirely the responsibility of the Legislative District Committee, with the Frederick County Chairman or his designee having the controlling share of the vote.
[…] Whitbeck wrote an Op-Ed at the Bull Elephant (Click here to read his piece) detailing the considerable effort he put forth to avoid this […]
Mark Berg is a friend, but I did not participate in the write-in nor encourage anyone to. As an observer I would like to point out that Berg has proven his strength with almost 1500 people choosing to cast a write in vote even if they didn’t correctly enter his name. Collins proved his weakness by having to call in the democrat party to help him over the top and used lies and a smear campaign to win. That means if Collins does win the election, he will most likely lose reelection in two years. 1,500 people is more than enough to win a mass meeting or any other form of nomination the next time around.
The reason for this squabble is simply that FCRC is still controlled by the old time politicians that are not really conservative republicans. They like big government, they like taxes, and they love being in power. Many have been democrats before they moved here, and switched parties not out of conviction, but just for convince – when in a republican area, be a republican, and for sure claim to be a conservative what ever that is.
As to this squabble, our leaders need to wise up. Collins needs to get a backbone and prove his is worthy of our support. He is going to be under a lot of scrutiny for his democrat election tricks. Berg is still a republican and a very conservative one at that. FCRC needs to take him back. The RPV can’t afford to have a feud going on between the old and the new republicans. The next Federal election will belong to the new republicans. We need a realignment here as well. The old republicans need to let go. “The times, they are a changing.”
Did Mark win the Primary he selected? No.
Did Mark support the nominee who did? No.
Did Mark win the secret write-in of which he was unaware? No.
Does Mark’s example of leadership help the party or hurt the party? Hurt.
As one of his constituents, I’m glad he resigned.
Am I surprised that NONE of the 10th board was willing to recommend or support him? No.
Do I expect him to recognize the outcome or implication of this action? No.
Will I support him or those of his ilk in future party or other elections? Hell no!
Yea and your point is???
Did he win his primary? No, his opponent broke the rules and should be kicked out of the RPV, but he won’t be – that is politics.
The Nominee is a secret democrat. Why should any republican support him?
Why would you call the write in Secret? Were you sleepwalking?
Hurt the party? Rinos hurt the party by calling themselves Republicans when they are just politicians of no particular persuasion. We see this in John Boehner and Chris Collins who depend on Democrats to carry their water. This is a fight between real republicans and those who are republicans in name only. The 10th is politely trying to calm the waters. You are gloating and ill serve their purpose.And yet you fail to see the implication of such a large write-in in our small community. You support rinos, fine. You are in good company with a lot of Democrats. You should be proud. You are part of the system that is destroying our country.
Still don’t see the point? Let me try more blunt.
Mark was a lousy delegate who did not build sufficient support with his constituents. He did a lousy job for his constituents — perhaps it was the skill set of his staff or advisors, but he made the decisions, he is accountable.
Mark was a lousy strategist who CHOSE the method of election that favored his opponents, or he had lousy advisors and was strategically ignorant but he made the decisions, he is accountable.
Mark’s political acumen was so lousy that a carpetbagging secret democrat could file as a Republican, be recognized as a valid Republican, be supported by Republicans, convince voters that he was a Republican, get democrats to vote in a Republican election, and gain signicantly more votes then Mark and become the Republican nominee.
Mark’s campaign skills were so lousy that after the election, his Valerie Jarrett mounted a secret write-in campaign (secret because Mark was totally unaware of any such efforts but would tell (anyone who could find him to ask) that he wasn’t running.
The implication of 10% write-ins in any election is that 10% prefer other than the candidates. The implication of the 90% is that 90% plus all of the people choosing not to vote were ok with the candidates. The candidates that get the most votes win, not the sore losers focused on false lame conspiracies, political excuses, and electoral revisionism.
The 10th district, out of kindness and decorum, tried to warn the politically ignorant RINO that refusing to feign a token gesture of support, nor document the ‘polite fiction’ that Mark had absolutely nothing to do with the write-in. The 10th, and its units, has had enough of RINO’s masquerading as conservatives and leaders.
Refusing to accept the actions of the voters and the will of the electorate, is a tyranny that will not be tolerated. Many of you have resigned, some of you will be resigned and you may go pretend to be conservative enough for the libertarians. We will continue to offer the best candidates for the general election and you may vote or mount secret-not-secret write-ins for fantasy Republicans, but you won’t be in a position to select our nominees, nor cost us any more elections.
You may call Mark Berg many things but he is not a RINO. He is a conservative who represented well a conservative district. However he is not a politician and therefore made an error in choosing his method of nomination. Mark wanted to serve and protect the people from an over zealous government he did not want to play these political games. That’s just not his style nor does he have any interest in it.
Looks like Mark choosing to transcend politics and politicians really paid off for him. No matter how he wants to pretend political reality, he demonstrated a lack of respect for his constituents in all offices. There is no room for imperialist representatives nor philosopher-kings in electoral politics. The kitchen has been cleared.
I can use RINO with it standing for Republican in Name Only. Mark lost the election to another Republican, Mark chose to not support the Republican, Mark chose to not repudiate others (secretly) using him as a write-in implement (knowingly/unknowingly/wink/whatever). Mark chose not to respect the people that elected him as a Republican leader and became a RINO as he actively resigned.
Perhaps a Checkers speech would be good about now.
Can you define RINO? By that, I mean can you define the difference between one “type” of republican and another?
If I call myself a republican because of my positions on any given topic, who can say I am not a republican?
There was, is, and will always be diversity of opinions within any party. Since when has that led to anyone beliving they have a right to define my party affiliation?
I’m not picking on you. I sincerely believe we (everyone in the party) need to have this discussion or, contrary to what you might think, future elections will be lost.
honest question: Do you know roughly how many write-ins were not counted because they did not spell his name correctly?
I haven’t seen the final count. I travel a lot and so can’t follow the issue closely. But I believe it was between 1200 and 1500. Write-ins are terribly hard to win for major positions, but they show a strong degree or loyalty that can be mobilized with the right kind of leadership..
I understand your point, but I don’t agree.
Write-in campaigns, when conducted within a party, are often toxic to that party.
I think the concept of “old” and “new” should not exist, and I also think that all involved or interested would benefit greatly from a set of agreed upon definitions. Add them to the Plan, just like any Ordinance. If someone could pull that together, all the fighting would end.
all of them.
I think none of them, I believe the elections office counted the ones that reflected intent, so minor misspellings, or dropping the middle initial. The ones for Mickey Mouse, dead and other fictional characters would be discounted.
If we want to talk about the party plan and how this is a logical enforcement of its provisions we need an answer from Whitbeck and a formal binding answer from GC to the following.
At exactly what point did Mark Berg effectively resign from the SCC? Give me a definitive answer as to when Berg “Allowed” his name to be used for the write-in campaign thereby resigning his position on SCC, and I can explain how the party plan was not properly followed.
I think when he selected the primary. And the other when he found out about the write-in — oh wait, it was a secret that he was supposed to be oblivious to — I’m changing to when he lost his political astuteness.
Who has said the write-in was a secret? I missed that.
Double-nought Top Secret as in ‘don’t tell anybody but we’re doing a write-in for Mark right before the election’ is what I was told, but surely you don’t think that Mark could be aware of someone using his name for a write-in without his permission. Terms for this are also ‘open secret’ or ‘no secret’ ‘Stealth’ is also acceptable for the Election Day write-in activities that resulted in what some claim as the greatest ‘implication’ votes.
I honestly missed all that and thought everyone knew about the write-in before the election. For instance, it was all over Facebook with various people urging the write-in. It wasn’t a secret as far as I saw.
In a low-turnout contest with a single candidate in race, a last-minute effort is preferred so as to catch the other side napping. This requires a good candidate, precision execution, a competent and motivated team, and a driving force issue that is not sore-loser. And then we had this from the gang that couldn’t shoot straight.
I would also ask, how many members of SCC does it take to “deem someone to have resigned”? I believe in the local units the chair alone can do it, but the committee can immediately reverse that decision with a vote. I am assuming that SCC works the same way, the chair alone can “deem someone to have resigned” and the committee can then decide to reverse it. However, several members of the 10th district committee have told me they had no idea they could reverse the “deemed resignation”.
Well then I expect the 10th to motion to reconsider at the next meeting! If we do need leaders that don’t support Republicans, the 10th will make that so right away!
I’m not so sure about that since Jo Thoburn told the committee they could not do that and only State Central can take it up.
Here is your more complete timeline:
October 17, 2015 the Winchester Star publishes an article indicating a write-in campaign is being waged for Mark Berg.
Sometime between 10/17 and 10/28 Jo Thoburn requests a General Counsel ruling (this is a formal process) regarding Mark Berg’s status.
Sometime between 10/17 and 10/28 RPV GC gives a ruling that Berg is no longer a member of SCC, but does not put it to paper at the behest of Whitbeck.
Thursday, 10/28 a letter is mailed(?) to Berg demanding he disavow the write-in campaign publicly by 5:00 PM Saturday 10/31. Whitbeck thinks this is “(approximately
four days)” to respond. We have no idea when it was received by Berg. At an
unknown time Berg’s wife acknowledged receipt.
A person that Whitbeck identifies as close to Berg called Berg and said something on some unspecified date. Berg did not do what Whitbeck wanted in the letter.
On Friday 10/30 Berg did not attend an event Whitbeck attended.
Thursday 11/5 two days after the election a letter was sent to Berg telling him he is no longer a member of the SCC.
Tuesday 11/10 a formal RPV GC ruling is issued at the behest of Thoburn AND Whitbeck functionally stating that Berg has resigned from the SCC.
Tuesday 11/10 The 10th District meeting is held where a fresh off the press general counsel ruling is used to prevent Berg’s participation, and vote in a replacement.
Tell me what I missed from Whitbeck’s description?
Although apparently Mr. Berg never directly refused to comply and in effect finally did so but after the required set deadline – the question becomes to me then is there enough circumstantial evidence in this timeline to justify his removal based on the language contained in the state plan? I don’t maintain that I know with any certainty but apparently the chairman and his legal counsel are convinced that there is lacking any actual direct evidence to support their actions.
How politics is played: Chris Collins moves out of his home and rents a home in Mark Berg’s district to become eligible to run against him. The reasons for his move prove to be not true. Berg has several enemies in the Frederick County board of supervisors, and Collins seems to be their answer to Berg. The entire board endorses Collins in the primary though Berg carries the county in the primary. Berg is offered a Mass Meeting or a primary. The Mass meeting would be run by Berg’s opponents in the FCRC so he ops for a primary to avoid a fiasco. The Board of supervisors that has regularly passed out generous bonuses to the Teacher’s even in bad years and done considerable favors for the Valley Health Hospital (killed the cost cutting independent surgical center) somehow gets the support of the Teacher’s Union and the Hospital Worker’s union. Campaign literature from Collin’s campaign gets into the hands of the local democrat party and they encourage their members to vote for Collins. At the last moment Collins publishes a scare piece about Berg with no time to answer the obvious lies. Did I miss anything? Isn’t politics fun???
Sooooo, Sitting Delegate Berg loses a primary to a challenger with no ties in the district, who outmaneuvered Berg by getting more support and votes than Berg, in the manner of election that Berg chose.
And the reasons above justify Mark not denouncing the secret write-in that he had no idea about??
And Mark’s refusal to abide by the decision of the voters in the primary led to alleged Republican leader Berg’s principled Swiss-like neutrality in the general?? By refusing to publicly condemn a non-party election process of which he was unaware? (Despite this being done by someone who was connected to his august offices?)
Your point is??? How is Collins a Republican? He was put up by the local Supervisors who are out of step with the county voters. We have a political machine in Frederick County who practices the old style of politics and you gloat over that fact? It is a cause of shame for our community.
He declared himself as such, ran and won the nomination as such, and was elected Delegate — just like Mark the first time.
Oh, so you now know more than the voters and can channel the correct way things should be? Sic Semper Tyrannus
If you got issues with Frederick County anything, you should challenge that, persuade enough people to agree with you and change things.
Or you could whine about it, not-support Republicans, claim a faux moral high ground and blame others.
I see which you have chosen and THAT is shameful!
You must be that crazy Colf person that goes under so many other names to hid her terrible history in California and Michigan. Who whispers such angry things into your ear? Don’t you get tired of being an attack dog?
Again, who said Mark was unaware of the write-in?
Why are you so angry about this? Just curious.
If Mark was aware of the write-in and had something to do with it, then that conflicts with the other stories told.
I think intense is preferable to angry. Mostly because Mark betrayed conservatives, lost an election to one less conservative, exhibited poor leadership skills as a conservative Republican, is playing Clinton-clever with semantics, squandered a future conservative challenge opportunity, is in general embarrassing conservatives and party and is unwilling to respect election results. Oh, and he doesn’t know how to win.
If he was aware of it, and did not try to stop it the action taken was exactly what it should have been. Are you admitting knowledge that Mark WAS aware? From where I sit, that’s the entire point.
Clearly it comes down to the definition of the meaning of support, the meaning of lead, and the meaning of loss.
Go into the timeline for Mark’s endorsement and support of Republican nominees
How do you know the November 5th letter was sent? Look at John Whitbeck’s semantics. He only says he sent the October 28th letter. He never said he sent the November 5th letter. He led you to believe he did. Delegate Berg did not receive the letter dated November 5th – not in the mail and not in email. Ask him. John Whitbeck, did you send the November 5th letter that you embedded in your “Setting the Record Straight” post? Did John Whitbeck set the record straight or did he mislead you? If he misled on this, what else has he misled on? More to come…
You cannot read this objectively and disagree with John’s analysis and conclusions.
Still nothing said about Collins smear campaign and lack of support to Winchester Republican
candidate for Commonwealth’s Attorney Beau Correll.
Thank goodness you are available to right the wrongs of elections that don’t go your way. Your resignation has helped.
Disclaimer: I don’t live in Virginia, nor do I have dog in this hunt.
I do, however, follow local and state party corruption, especially with respect to the use and misuse of parliamentary procedure and party rules, around the country.
I agree that the first commenter, Mr. Shaftan, said it best when speaking about the state chair’s post:
“You cannot read this objectively and disagree with John’s analysis and conclusions.”
Here’s another point-of-view that has been touched on by other commenters.
The rule as written, while it may have some deficiencies, is the rule. Everyone appears to agree that the critical operative language is:
“if he … (b) allows his name to be publicly used by … a candidate in opposition to a Republican nominee in a Virginia General or Special Election”
None of the commenters have focused on the last clause of the above sentence, so I’ll leave it alone as well, even though there is a lot of room for interpretation in it.
The issue, however, is that the rule is written.
The rule is also self-operative in that no individual is assigned enforcement. It depends on the act of an individual which has either occurred or not occurred.
What the state chair, general counsel, and Mr. Berg’s opponents have done, however, is very clever and needs to be pointed out.
Instead of noting the self-operation of the rule, the state chair has created a new rule — this is key — under the guise of due process. The new, unadopted rule is that the subject of the rule must publicly renounce in one of a variety of ways within an arbitrary time.
This is against the higher law in the Robert’s Rules hierarchy of law. The new rule
1. is an ex post facto rule;
2. shifts the burden of proof from the accuser to the accused;
3. has never been noticed and adopted by any committee of the state party;
4. compels the accused to make a defense without the accuser having made a case.
This falls squarely on the state chair.
The chair’s argument is compelling and reasonable only if you ignore the above.
“None of the commenters have focused on the last clause of the above
sentence, so I’ll leave it alone as well, even though there is a lot of
room for interpretation in it”
Oh, yes there is. I caught that can of….
The clause I was referring to begins with “by a candidate in opposition …”.
There aren’t enough facts in the post or comments to be clear how this went down exactly, but the first paragraph of the October 28th letter to Berg appears to sum it up.
Are “a group of individuals and a PAC” (unnamed, of course) a “candidate”? The letter suggests that Berg knows of this “write-in effort”. Does “allow” mean the same as “know”?
The last sentence of that paragraph is the precursor to the unadopted rule.
“As of the time of the sending of this letter, there is no evidence the Party can locate you publicly condemning or repudiating this write-in effort.”
Where did this alleged duty of “condemning or repudiating” arise from?
As to your opinion that inaction (silence) is action, are you also of the opinion that not buying insurance (inaction) is engaging in commerce?
The rule, as written, clearly contemplates the typical situation where someone endorses an opponent, especially an independent opponent. It just as clearly does not contemplate the situation where unhappy voters launch a write-in campaign for “a member of an Official Committee.”
The state chair’s solution, suspecting that this rogue band of individuals might cause the party nominee to lose, is to create a new rule. The chair has no authority to create rules out of thin air.
At a fundamental level, the state chair is demanding that Berg suppress voters’ rights to freely associate and vote according to their own judgment.
Doesn’t Virginia have a “sore loser” statute that prevents a candidate that loses a party primary from competing in the general?
All of this messy business would be moot if Virginia were to adopt a statute (or even party rules) like Texas that prohibits elected officials from holding party positions. (Texas has, in my considered opinion, the least corrupt party organization in the country and that statute is the major contributing factor.)
That was the same part of that clause I noticed, but like you, i’m leaving that alone.
I understand the points you are making, and I agree that the Chair can’t make up new rules.
I believe your point on the rule as written is exactly the point Whitbeck and Counsel were using, although viewing it a different way. Because he lost the primary, he has a duty (especially as a committee chair) to support the nominee.
There is at least one comment above, by she who wrote the first post, that suggests he WAS aware of the campaign. In my opinion, and due to the insanely vague language of the plan that allows for this much interpretation, AFTER he was asked to do so, he should have publicly disavowed the campaign.
However, the same plan also says all he needs to do is go to the next local meeting and be voted back in, assuming that would be no problem.
And you know that Berg discouraging the write-in campaign in no way suppresses anyone’s right to vote for whoever they wish.
I would submit the problem is in the language of the Party Plan. That can be fixed, and should be.
That’s if your assumption is that John Whitbeck is being truthful.
Perhaps one can “objectively disagree” with Whitbeck, if one thinks responsibly: There’s a box on voting screens and paper ballots marked “WRITE-IN”, and the Virginia Department of Elections puts them there for a purpose. That’s so voters can exercise their constitutional right to choose the candidate they feel is best suited for the job, even if their chosen candidate’s name doesn’t appear on the ballot. Having said that, what Whitbeck demanded of Del. Berg was this, or else: Tell voters in the 29th District to forego their rights, and vote for who the RPV chose for them. Are we now on the same page, or do you still believe that Whitbeck and the RPV can trump voter’s constitutional rights? And that, my friend, is precisely why Del. Berg refused, because he’s all about protections allotted by our Constitutions, both state and federal.
Nonsense. Nobody did anything about anybody’s rights. At the time, Mark was a member of the RPV SSC, the governing body, as well as a member of the FCRC and a sitting albeit lame duck Republican delegate. We are a party because we work together to achieve political goals and objectives. Mark can and did anything he darn well pleased, but at the price of his Republican leadership position. Because his behavior is what leadership isn’t.
Your response is precisely why conservatives are yearning for candidates outside of the mainstream: “We are a party because we work together to achieve political goals and objectives”. As a conservative, the RPV showed me they’re no better than schoolyard bullies “working together to achieve political goals and objectives”. Please tell me precisely why you believe voting screens and ballots have a “WRITE-IN” box, and why you believe the RPV has the authority to demand of it’s members to tell voters they cannot use it.
There is no problem with write-ins and/or protest votes. There is a problem with Elected Republican leaders allowing themselves to be affiliated with them in a contested race with a Republican nominee. Anybody can vote anyway they want — Mark Berg is just as relevant as Mickey Mouse and just as elected.
Team Berg are the bullies here by being sore losers, ignoring election results, embarrassing conservatives and Republicans. So I accept the active Resignations and look forward to winning elections without them dragging us into irrelevancy.
Wrong on all accounts. Whitbeck’s Oct. 28 letter to Del. Berg written on RPV letterhead clearly stated he expected Mark to “condemn or repudiate this write-in effort”, and recommended he hold a press conference to do so. Quite a difference from what Whitbeck now wants to claim would have sufficed in his letter above, which was a quote from Del. Berg after the election:
“Let me be clear – I did not allow my name to be used, I did not
publicly endorse, nor did I affirm, any other campaign against the
Del. Berg’s statement neither “condemns”, nor “repudiates” the write-in effort, thus, Whitbeck is obfuscating and out-right lying.
No problem with write-ins and/or protest votes — RIGHT.
Mark allowed himself to be affiliated with opposition to a rightfully elected Republican nominee — RIGHT.
Anybody can vote the way they want — RIGHT.
Mark Berg as relevant and as elected as Mickey Mouse — RIGHT.
Team Berg – Sore Losers ignoring election results, generally embarassing — RIGHT.
I expected Mark to condemn or repudiate the write-in because he was a party leader — he didn’t, by not doing so he actively resigned. Mark could have said or done any number of things that would have stopped his automatic active resignation — many asked him, he didn’t. (Why? My theory is that his political instincts so sucked that just as he thought CHOOSING his open primary would give him victory, he thought that he would be vindicated in his second grab for the ring with the fantasy write-in.)
In my mind, Mark resigned from his party positions not because ‘Whitbeck said’, but because the party could no longer stand someone of his dopiness in a leadership position.
Perhaps you’re not familiar with how partisan politics works. Mark wasn’t. The Awesome and Powerful John Whitbeck, PBUH, may have formerly written a letter helping Mark to apparently not-understand, yet recognizes Mark’s resignation. The Head Shaker and Tie Breaker Chairman Jo recognizes Mark’s resignation, and even explained to him that he could succeed himself. The 10th District GOP board unanimously validated Mark’s vacancy (because he actively resigned) He ain’t my leader anymore, and he’s gone from the position.
Do you think that the GOP needs someone to hold up an elephant on a stick to Mark and watch him hiss and shrink away to illustrate that he is a leader-no-more?
How about we quit dragging him through the mud and let him contemplate his electoral retirement or allow him to quietly and privately shake his fist at the political times going by?
You got a problem with party operations? Join up, join in, and work to make it better. You want to sit in the comfy chair and rewrite events and history to make you feel good about Crusader Mark — go ahead and pretend, but when you try to pass it off as truth, you shall be opposed by the folks in the know.
Also when he and you claim: “Let me be clear – I did not allow my name to be used, I did not publicly endorse, nor did I affirm, any other campaign against the Republican nominee.”
He did allow his name to be used. He did NOT try to stop it. He CLAIMED that he corrected anyone who asked. He was NOT proactive in controlling his loons and cronies, he did NOT lead — and for THAT, he is out!
I repeat myself…..
I wrote in Mark J. Berg for House of Delegates, 29th District. I encouraged family, friends and anyone that would listen to do the same. I wrote letters to the editor, recycled old Berg yard signs I had in the garage & knocked on a few doors.
WHY???….I found the ugly campaign smear tactics and lies challenger Chris Collins perpetuated in the primary election to be detestable and over the line of decency. For this reason I will always have doubt
about the trustworthiness and character of this man. I cannot imagine sending him to the General Assembly to represent me.
Collins calls for Democrats to participate in Republican Primary. Collins has former Senator Russ Potts (Supporter of Democrats McAuliffe & Warner) host a fundraiser. This hypocrite sends a mailer to tens of
thousands of Frederick County residents accusing Del. Berg of “…championing the privacy rights of sex offenders who assault children” and “…won’t protect abused children”, all the while Defense
Attorney Collins is in court defending a confessed child pornographer.
By the way, anyone gonna ask Collins why he refused to support (lend his name) Winchester Republican candidate for Commonwealth’s Attorney Beau Correll. Making statements in the local newspaper that the Correll campaign didn’t have permission to use his name. My goodness, is this tantamount to supporting the opposition?
REALLY.!!??? As a member of the local committee, I am supposed to support & cast a ballot for the candidate that would do these things. The Republican Party demands my loyalty while doing nothing to admonish this type of behavior. All this “back & forth” on the Party plan but no comments on how Collins got elected? ENDs Justifies MEANs.???
Del. Berg has now been removed from the Republican Party for something he had nothing to do with, for something he had no control over, for something he didn’t authorize or organize. If he had told me to stop, I would not have nor would many others.
Now the purge begins. I assume I and others will be next. If the GOP prefers to spend their time & effort on throwing out members who may be critical of their process and candidate selection, yet embrace those that are unethical, so be it.
Clearly something must be done. Would you like us to have another election for you?
Good points, and expanding on the RPV demanding loyalty — or else — and throwing good legislators to the wolves should they believe voters have a right to support anybody they choose, I’d like to likewise follow your lead and repeat myself.
What Del. Berg did was NOTHING compared to what Russ Potts did in comparison, and he was never thrown from the party, and this is just the short list of Potts’ peccadilloes:
2003: “Republican” Potts asked Democrats to vote for him in the GOP
primary *, proclaimed himself the conservatives’ “worst nightmare”, and
called conservatives “Johnnies-come-lately obsessed with abortion”. Even
with Dems supporting him, Potts won by only 106 votes.
2005: While still serving as a “Republican” Senator, Potts ran for
Governor as an “Independent Republican”, because he said the GOP was
“out of line” with his thinking. This resulted in his GOP Senate
colleagues asking him to resign his five committee seats, which Potts
refused to do. (His abysmal gubernatorial bid ended by garnering 2.2
percent of the vote.)
2007: Potts realized he couldn’t survive another primary challenge and
announced his retirement. As part of his Swan Song, Potts effectively
endorsed Democrat Karen Schultz as his replacement by stating she was
“very capable and very articulate”. By comparison, Potts portrayed
then-Senate GOP candidate, Jill Holtzman Vogel as “too conservative”,
because she opposed abortion, which – according to Potts – placed her
“to the right of Attila the Hun”.
As a result, the Winchester Republican Committee revoked Potts’
membership and pressured him to resign from the Senate. Potts refused
and then defiantly endorsed Democrat Sen. Charles J. Colgan of Prince
William, and Democrat John Miller’s bid for the Tidewater area.
2008: Potts hosted a press conference and fundraiser at his Winchester
home for former Democrat Gov. Mark Warner’s bid for the U.S. Senate.
2009: Potts formally endorsed Democrat Creigh Deeds for Governor.
2013: Potts held a press conference in Winchester’s Rouss City Hall to
proclaim “I love Virginia so much”, and as such, he was hosting a
fundraiser at his home for Democrat gubernatorial candidate, Terry
2014: Potts held another fundraiser at his home for Dem. U.S. Sen. Mark Warner’s reelection.
2015: History repeated itself when Potts hosted that fundraiser for
“Republican” Collins, and according to a March 30 Star article, Collins
emulated Potts’ 2003 campaign by asking Democrats to vote for him in the
GOP primary (see *). Steph Vaughan, the Winchester-Frederick County
Democrat Committees’ Chairwoman boasted she was “so glad my Dems voted
for Chris Collins” in that squeaker decided by only 166 votes.
Déjà vu, anyone?
If you don’t want democrats to pee in the pool, don’t invite them to the party. If you don’t want to elect the Republicans you get, find better candidates and run better campaigns. Or you can continue to be irrelevant with nonsense comparisons, pointless challenges, and imagined victories. Tilting at windmills hurts you more than the windmill, and I should know!
Except that I distinctly recall Russ Potts being removed from the party by the Winchester City committee (the only official body in the party structure of which he was a member at the time). See: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A18445-2005Mar8.html I don’t know that he ever rejoined the committee.
BTW, if anyone ever deserved the RINO moniker it is Russ Potts. Unfortunately, the Senate Republican Caucus refused to remove him from his Ed&Health chairmanship after he announced his run against Kilgore (the party’s nominee). But, the party plan has no authority over the Senate caucus.
I don’t think that Potts is a Republican at all, actually, for the litany of violations you mentioned. But neither is he in a party leadership position, such that he can be removed from anything either and he hasn’t been for quite some time.
I only wish that people would more often read before they post. You said: “Except that I distinctly recall Russ Potts being removed from the party
by the Winchester City committee (the only official body in the party
structure of which he was a member at the time).”
I’m aware of that, and if you’d reread what I posted, you’d see that I’d precisely said that: “As a result, the Winchester Republican Committee revoked Potts’ membership and pressured him to resign from the Senate. Potts refused and then defiantly endorsed Democrat Sen. Charles J. Colgan of Prince William, and Democrat John Miller’s bid for the Tidewater area.”
And I’d also said: “While still serving as a “Republican” Senator, Potts ran for Governor as an “Independent Republican”, because he said the GOP was “out of line” with his thinking. This resulted in his GOP Senate colleagues asking him to resign his five committee seats, which Potts refused to do.”
But you had to say: “Unfortunately, the Senate Republican Caucus refused to remove him from
his Ed&Health chairmanship after he announced his run against
Kilgore (the party’s nominee).”
I AM in an echo chamber.
There’s a huge difference from having one’s membership revoked by a local Republican Committee, as was Potts, and being thrown from the party, as was Berg. What I clearly pointed out was that Potts’ transgressions were far worse than Berg’s, and Potts was allowed to continue serving as a “Republican” Senator.
I think we are in full agreement. And you absolutely did say all those things. I guess what o am trying to say is that I am just not sure what the party structure could have done differently with regard to Potts though. The Senate falls outside the party structure.
Of course Potts behavior has been much more egregious than Delegate Berg’s. But Delegate Berg was elected as a member of the SCC & of the 10th district committee, & of his local unit committee: 3 party leadership positions. Potts only had one such elected party role & he lost it. BTW, I consider Delegate Berg a conservative leader and a Republican. He just is not currently a Republican leader. That can be regained with a majority vote to reinstate, if he wants, and the committees agree.
I wrote Mark Berg in too…. I can’t stand control freaks like Johnny Whitebiotch.
Mea innocentia, mea innocentia as driven by the quietest “groundswell of activists, elected officials and Party leaders demanding action” in the seismic history of Virginia state politics and the piece de resistance Mr. Nicholson gets his job in Mr. Whitbeck’s former 10th district, very smooth, very smooth indeed.
Good for Jeanine, allowing John Whitbeck to give his side of the story.
Of course! John is the Chairman of our party and I have great respect for him. We want everyone to read his response.
If the details provided by Whitback are in fact true, I think it’s pretty clear that they’re right in acting as they did. I am a Berg supporter, but the evidence here seems to be overwhelmingly against him. I assume his motivations were “what if the write-in campaign actually works, if I disavow it then it’ll certainly have no chance.” I understand that reasoning, but unfortunately we’re now losing a good representative on SCC and 10th District, as if losing a great State Delegate wasn’t enough.
However, why does it always seem that justice is delivered like this against the good guys, but never against the moderates who do this same type of crap in every county? Why do the rules seem to only apply to the strong conservatives?
Also…what important votes are coming up at SCC and/or 10th district that they needed to get rid of Berg so quickly? What are they trying to ram through now?
Hi Nick, there may be multiple issues that come up at the next SCC meeting (in December at the Advance). Anyone is welcome to come and observe but after the call goes out, I’ll gladly share the major issues on the agenda with anyone on my email list (if you aren’t on it yet, you can sign up at http://www.evegleason.us/ ).
By the way, I think you make a good point Nick, the rules must and should apply equally to everybody elected to party leadership, regardless of where they may fall in terms of power, influence, or on the ideological spectrum.
[…] Setting the record straight on how RPV rules applied to Del. Mark Berg […]
So in John Whitbeck’s magnanimity — he really truly did try to work this out #sarcasm — he and Jo Thoburn moved forward with electing Mark Berg’s replacement last night. Why the rush? If John Whitbeck really wishes that Mark Berg had just let him know, why not wait until Berg had due process — time for an appeal — before he was replaced. Very hollow. And this still does not answer the main point of contention – where is the evidence that Berg allowed? Berg’s silence is not evidence. And this issue isn’t going away.
Once Delegate Berg had resigned according to party rules, the 10th District Committee had an obligation to make sure that the district was fully represented at the upcoming SCC meeting. If the SCC overturns the ruling by counsel and reinstates Delegate Berg, great! If not, we will have someone properly elected there ready to serve.
Chairman Whitbeck and Chairman Thoburn did all in their power to get Delegate Berg to state that he was not behind the write in campaign. He refused to do so. And he didn’t even have enough support on the committee to get someone to nominate him.
Delegate Berg is not some hero – he is simply a frustrated individual who does not want to play by the rules.
Delegate Berg did not resign, that’s the point. John Whitbeck declared that Mark Berg had effectively resigned. John Whitbeck has produced no evidence that he allowed his name to be used. I love how Whitbeck hammers Berg for staying silent yet did nothing when democrats were being invited to come vote in the Republican primary by Chris Collins. He’s being duplicitous.
Susan, I think John is in a very difficult position, and very new to the job. Mark Berg let the write-in play out, and the rules are vague because the rule makers wanted them to be so. There are many out for blood so I am not sure where this will end. Politics is about power. Those who win today will lose tomorrow. But we are hurting ourselves with these squabbles. Keep strong, you are one of our brighter lights in Virginia.
No, the narrative is that Mark had no idea about the write-in. Young John Whitbeck is naive and inexperienced and doesn’t yet know the nuances of deniable secret write-ins. Yes, stay strong as a brighter light who also lost a delegate race.
No Susan, that is not correct. Please read John’s very thorough explanation. The Party Plan is very specific. “… Therefore, a member of an Official Committee is deemed to have resigned his Committee position …”
Either we are a party of rules, or we are not. John Whitbeck bent over backwards, did a flip, and added a half-twist in order to avoid this unpleasantness. This flap is all on Mark Berg.
I very respectfully disagree. The burden of proof lies with the accuser and the accuser — Whitbeck — has provided no evidence that Mark Berg “allowed.” That is the rule! We are indeed a party of rules. Mark Berg did not resign because he did NOT allow. Whitbeck has very effectively muddied the waters, though, by all of this chaff thrown up about sending letters to Mark, etc. Where in the party plan does it state that you must disavow or denounce someone doing something in your name? You either gave a person permission or not. Where is the evidence that Mark Berg gave permission? Whitbeck didn’t do one darn thing about Chris Collins publicly calling for Democrats to come out and vote. So much for his caring about the integrity of the Republican process. The real cause of this flap is John Whitbeck. If someone assaults you and the judge says, you are to blame because you didn’t stop the assault, is that just?
Hey, do you hold any position in your local unit where your chairman or leadership can resign you? You’re kinda not getting this party thing.
Are you suggesting that the party should have somehow screen out certain voters at the primary that Mark chose? You do know an important part of elections is winning?
The reason to fill the seat is that there are important votes coming up at the next state central committee meeting and as a member of the committee, I wanted to make sure the 10th District was well and fully represented.
What important votes are coming up?
Susan, the call hasn’t gone out yet. But one of the issues that is certain to come up is a party plan amendment addressing “slating” – the practice that saw people many described as non-Republicans come to a mass meeting and vote to keep long time GOP activists from from being delegates to an upcoming convention (see post from TBE last year: http://thebullelephant.com/breaking-va-beach-grassroots-fight-back-appealing-slating/ ). An amendment essentially ending that practice is one of several that will be considered at the next State Central Committee meeting.
Susan, if your name was being used to wage a write-in campaign against Speaker Howell in this year’s General Election against your wishes, what would you do? Would you stay silent after being repeatedly asked by your friends and colleagues to say something, or would you do something as simple as make a comment on your Facebook page?
I am a supporter of Mark and I sincerely wish he would have run again in two years, but I am afraid that this write-in campaign has effectively ended that chance. If Mark was truly against his name being used, why didn’t he say anything? Why did he refuse to respond to the requests of his friends?
Now we have Conservatives fighting amongst each other right before we are set to have some very important elections for SCC positions in the coming year. The moderates have declared their intentions to reclaim control of RPV. Now is not the time to fracture.
“I sincerely wish he would have run again in two years, but I am afraid
that this write-in campaign has effectively ended that chance.” Well, ladies and gentlemen, there you have it.
There is an ongoing theme here, not only in your comments but in several others in the past day, (including one in TBE recently by Mr. Nicholson regarding this issue before Mr. Berg’s removal) among those who support and defend this action that I find misplaced. Specifically that somehow in the minds of party functionaries and party standing candidates that the write in process is something that the political “masters of the universe” are responsible to manage or control rather then a codified state electoral based process and right granted to every state voter. That Mr. Berg should have disavowed the effort according to state party plan language (as open to interpretation as that appears to be) I’m fine with, but many of these comments seem to inch a step further and disparage the write in process per se as an electoral right of the Virginia voter, either as an individual or a collective group. In the final determination the party plan is a piece of meaningless paper managing a free association compared to the voter’s unrestricted and open option to select the candidate of their choice. To imply otherwise either explicitly or implicitly is to function more as a modern progressive Democrat then a traditional Republican, conservative or otherwise.
No one is questioning the right of the people to initiate a write-in campaign. My problem with it revolves around the fact that I would like Mark to run for the seat again in two years, and this write-in campaign will be used against him politically should he attempt to do so.
Had he publicly distanced itself from it, the people would still have had every right in the world to write his name in, he would still be on the 10th District Committee, and he could run again in 2 years on a firmer footing.
Exactly correct, Mick.
You know, if you were in the district, or more familiar with the players, you might have a different opinion.
I’m a Republican in the district, I supported Mark the first time around. I thought he was a great delegate. He lost my support when he chose a primary. He lost the support of the Republicans in the district as he lost the primary. He lost the support of the party when he tolerated the write-in. He resigned when he put his personal interests ahead of the party and the voters.
Therein lies the problem. If I were “more familiar with the players, [I] might have a different opinion.” I do know the players but that’s not the standard when weighing justice. At least that’s not what it’s supposed to be. But you’ve proven my point, it’s all about who you know, who you like and who are your favorites. And I may not live in the district but this precedent applies to my district and all over Virginia. That’s why I’m engaging so vigorously. It impacts ALL of we Republicans.
I really want to assume you’re familiar with elections and elected office, I know you ran for office and I thought got elected to something before you blew this last one, but just as Mark et al are not the arbiters of elections, you are not the arbiter of justice, in a party squabble, outside of your district. Did you have a secret write-in against Speaker Howell? Did you lose this one worse than Mark? Oh wait, I get it now, the rhetoric, the blaming and the crusading — you’re running for something! You’re coming over here to play, outside of your district so either you’re an exile or… You’re running for statewide office? You got creamed against Howell, so it wouldn’t be anything public. Your posturing butthurt and concern trolling for the collective party make me think… RPV Chair??? That explains the Anti-John invective! Yeah, good luck with that. Try not to roll out on the first ballot like last time.
Sophomoric and disappointingly unchallenging.
Yeah, so you’re not challenging either?
You heard it here first! Susan Stimpson can be that someone who will finally rid us of this meddlesome Whitbeck! Get your candles ready!
When the rpv got involved the issue became a state party concern. In that case what “district you are from” doesn’t matter.
RPV is often involved in the Wild West of the 10th. Many of us were unhappy that not only was Mark not supporting the nominee, he and/or his people were pursuing a (not so secret) futile write-in effort that would hurt the rest of the ticket. No doubt all the Republican readers and commentators of this thread have similar local problems. Mark’s prominent (at the time) position created a unique circumstance where logic, reason, and friendly advice could fix this quickly and quietly. But then we were exposed to Mark’s RINO machine and apparently RINO side. With Mark’s act of resignation, the local party quickly agreed accepted, and moved on.
Well then maybe the 10th should take care of their own dirty laundry instead of creating more heartburn throughout the state.
It’s funny the rpv has time to involve itself into this issue but can’t represent a district in an election issue state lawsuit. Just one more example that there is no true party in Virginia.
Amen! We won’t until we have party registration or closed primaries — but we’re working toward it.
I ve been advocating party registration for a decade. Ever since I got a look at how this state plays with elections. California is better setup, and we both know who runs things there.