Political intrigue used to interest me. Now, it just gives me a slight migraine and the desire to listen to Schubert.
The RPV has opened itself up to attack over a wildly unpopular “loyalty pledge” or “statement of affiliation” and Russ Moulton, former 1st District Chairman and leading Whitbeck critic, isn’t wasting any time capitalizing on the debacle.
Russ Moulton released a message addressing the issue (via Virginia Right)
- I understand the statement of affiliation wording has been changed by SBE/McAuliffe, and won’t be the one voted on by SCC in September.
- I understand that SBE is refusing to allow us access to the executed statement forms, so we won’t get this “gold mine” of “Republican voter” contact data we were promised. We will have to fight for it under FOIA or other legal approaches that may or may not be successful.
- RNC Rule 16 d 2 says RPV must have published the statement of affiliation qualification in a newspaper of general circulation 90-days before the Primary. RPV didn’t do so, and so if RPV proceeds with the statement requirement with SBE, it is violating RNC rules and VA’s delegation is subject to a credentials challenge.
Typically, I tend to side with Whitbeck and have been supportive of his leadership, however on this point Mr. Moulton is correct. This project and purpose was ill-conceived from the start, it is unworkable at present, and offers us nothing but heartburn in the future. As I understand it, it is John Whitbeck’s job to execute the will of the State Central Committee. The State Central Committee has been unwilling, apparently, to let go of this statement of affiliation nonsense.
They’ve got to let it go.
Fact is, the data they would have collected wouldn’t have been any good anyway. Donald Trump and Rand Paul, both on the ballot in the Republican Primary, would be pulling in Democrats, Independents, and Libertarians that are not likely Republican voters, may not have voted in the last twenty years, or may have voted for either Republicans or Democrats in the past. While the RPV may have achieved some good data, telling it apart from the bad data would not be as simple as they would have us believe.
I have nothing against Russ Moulton, other than that I adamantly support open Republican primaries as opposed to conventions. I also support growing the Republican Party and building a party that will better represent the people’s desire for a GOP centered around fiscal responsibility, limited government, and constitutional integrity. I do not believe that conventions are a wise path to that end. John Whitbeck seems to favor multiple options, but supports primaries only if Virginia has Party Registration. Well, if we’re going to have closed primaries, how is that better than a convention?
In this regard, I don’t have a dog in the fight. Apparently, I’m out here alone in my belief that open primaries are the way to go.
Needless to say, this entire ordeal has been unnecessary, unpleasant, and embarrassing for Virginia. We have Donald Trump, a candidate for the Republican Nomination, calling out the RPV for being a stooge to the RNC, which John Whitbeck has flatly denied. Trump has offered no proof to support his claim, though I have heard from sources that there is truth to his accusation; but I have no proof either, so what good are suspicions? There are too many people playing too many games with the Republican Party.
We are in a great position to continue to grow this party, if only the Party would get out of the way and let us grow. There is so much to be excited about. In 2012, Virginia attracted only enough support for two Presidential Candidates, Ron Paul and Mitt Romney. This year, we have thirteen on the ballot! Think of all the people who will want to come out to vote for their favorite, the volunteers engaged, NEW volunteers engaged. We defeated an onslaught of Democrat money pouring into Virginia to reclaim the Virginia Senate in November. We held the line.
The RPV is functioning… was functioning… better and Republicans could feel that they had momentum.
The State Central Committee, the Republican Party of Virginia, or the State Board of Elections – whomever has the power to end this ridiculous episode, needs to put an end to it. We need to put down our pitchforks and torches, holster our weapons, and sing “I feel pretty” and get about the business of winning an election in November of 2016 – while those of us working for candidates need to get back to the business of promoting our nominee of choice.
Please, to whomever is concerned, close this chapter. Let’s move on.