We wrote about them here and here. Now, in the aftermath of all of the appeals and an unsuccessful lawsuit, the perpetrators of the slating have given up all pretense of fairness or abiding by the rules in their naked quest for power. [read_more]
Under Jon Berkley’s leadership, the Fifth District Republican Committee has become progressively more unhinged and internally divided. Berkley has repeatedly and flagrantly disregarded orders from the Republican Party’s State Central Committee (“SCC”), and numerous rulings by RPV’s General Counsel. In short, Berkley’s 5th District has gone rogue, engaging in open rebellion against the Republican Party of Virginia.
This became plain last Sunday at an improperly called meeting of the 5th District Committee (the call was issued less than a full 7 days ahead of the meeting), where Berkley attempted to thwart the SCC’s final and binding decision regarding the slating in Campbell County.
That decision was to require the Campbell County mass meeting to be reconducted without the encouraged participation of Democrats and other non-Republicans. Berkley’s allies didn’t like that, so they decided to sue the Republican Party!
They also asked the court to allow them to postpone the mass meeting until the lawsuit was resolved. Campbell County chairman, Les Williams, decided to take matters into his own hands and unilaterally postponed the mass meeting that SCC had mandated be redone. Shortly thereafter, the circuit court completely threw out the slaters’ lawsuit, saying that the Republican Party has the right to run processes without the inclusion of Democrats.
But that didn’t stop Berkley and his now-infamous bullying techniques. Having lost in court he engineered last Sunday’s 5th District Committee meeting to declare that the Campbell County Republican Committee was dysfunctional, so that his 5th District committee could take control over it. His justification? That the CCRC had not conducted the mass meeting in accordance with the State Central Committee’s orders. That’s right…they first sued to stop the mass meeting, and when it was postponed, they decried it as evidence of dysfunction!
Berkley arranged for a majority of members present at his Sunday meeting in part by cheating (throwing out an unfriendly proxy vote) and in part by bullying (having a woman member of the committee physically thrown out by a former Marine serving as Sergeant-at-Arms for having the temerity to raise a point of order about the thrown-out proxy). Having then ensured a majority, Berkley led his committee to oust the current Campbell County Committee (in direct contravention of a General Counsel ruling on the topic), and install 18 new hand-picked members and a new chairman (in direct contravention of SCC, and an explicit binding ruling from the General Counsel).
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Time and again, in Berkley’s rogue Wild, Wild West, the only “rules” that apply are Berkley Rules. We had a preview of what to expect from him when he, with the support of Congressman Robert Hurt, refused to seat properly elected delegates from Charlotte and Campbell counties at the 5th District Convention. He personally threatened me at that very convention. Before that, we knew what he was capable of when he lied about discarding delegate prefile forms. Yet here he is, serving as a member of RPV’s Executive Committee while flagrantly disregarding its most fundamental rules, and promising to continue to do so. Here’s what Berkley had to say last week in an email exchange with Nelson County chairman Carlton Ballowe, in which he refuses to recognize RPV’s authority over matters in the 5th District:
“As far as me rolling over for a bunch of do nothing people that are destroying our Party. That will never happen.”
Rather than doing the hard work of trying to win the upcoming Campbell County mass meeting with legitimate votes, Berkley and his allies have taken the party to court and outright cheated. Berkley has persistently violated the rule of law in our Party and ignored direct orders issued by SCC. With his track record of anarchy Berkley should be removed as 5th District Chairman when SCC takes up the issue again on January 24.