I recently came across an interesting Op Ed article in The Freelance-Star, Fredericksburg, VA that caught my attention for two reasons. One was the title, “Russ Moulton’s Election Spells Doom for Virginia Republicans,” and the second was the author, William J. Murray.
This article’s prediction, published on June 2, 2002, came to pass in the 2013 election when liberal Democrats swept all three statewide offices.
The article begins, “The election of Russ Moulton as chairman of the 1st District Republican Committee begins an era of exclusion politics that could destroy the Republican Party in Virginia.”
When I read “exclusion politics,” I immediately thought of the situation we have right here in Campbell County with former Supervisor Rick Boyer. Boyer is a master of “exclusion politics.” I know all too well as I have been a victim of it.
The article goes on, “During his direct and surrogate management of the Spotsylvania (County) Unit Republican Party, dozens of good conservative people, including elected Republican officials, have been purged from the rolls.”
When I read that, I thought to myself the exact thing has happened here in Campbell County. After Boyer was soundly defeated in the 2010 election for Clerk of the Court, he actively worked to purge conservatives such as myself and long time elected officials from the party rolls.
The article continues, “He (Moulton) has accused pro-life advocates as being pro-abortion and called those who have fought for lower taxes ‘liberals.’ ”
When it comes to bold-faced lies, it would appear Moulton and Boyer are peas-in-a-pod.
In the 2013 election, Boyer ran a dishonest campaign for the three Republican candidates running for Supervisor. In the printed literature for two of the candidates (Rousseau in Timberlake District and Zehr in the Rustburg District), the two Republican incumbents who were running as Independents were labeled Democrats. The two, Charles Falwell in Timberlake and Hugh Pendleton in Rustburg, had been denied the opportunity to even contend for the Republican nomination by a Boyer family member.
All four candidates were invited to address the local Democrat Party, which had not put forth any candidates. After all four met with the Democrats, they voted to endorse the incumbents, and Boyer used that to label them Democrats.
Both Falwell and Pendleton refused to attack the accusations of their opponents, and they lost.
Shortly after the election Hugh Pendleton suffered a heart attack and died. Many of us, including members of the Pendleton family, believe that the lies told about Hugh Pendleton by Boyer and Zehr during the campaign were contributing factors in his death.
At the Mass Meeting to elect a new Chairman for the Campbell County Republican Party in March 2013, the Boyer contingent was soundly defeated. One of Boyer’s loyal followers and a past chairman reportedly absconded with the registration forms filed that evening. An attendee reported to us that they overheard the former chairman tell Boyer he had them and would check the forms for teachers’ names.
It appears that Boyer and his followers think if you are a public school teacher, you must be a Democrat. Ironically, the person who reportedly took the forms is himself a teacher in the county school system.
Boyer used the stolen registration forms to develop a list of 86 attendees he claimed should not have been allowed to attend. My name and the name of the Publisher of the New Lynchburg Ledger were on the list.
There is a time in political meetings such as these when the ability to attend can be questioned. That is when the credentials committee presents their report. Boyer and his followers failed to do so.
Our side conducted an extensive review of the list and found perhaps 12 at the very most out of over 600 in attendance, who could remotely be considered Democrats. Regardless, Boyer used this false list and direct lies about a column I had written two years ago in the Lynchburg Ledger to convince the Republican State Central Committee (RSCC) to uphold his challenge to the validity of the March Meeting. Joining Boyer was Russ Moulton and a host of others who already had their minds made up.
This same RSCC was the very same group who changed the nominating process for the three statewide offices from a planned primary election to a convention, which favored Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli over Lt. Governor Bill Bolling.
We know what happened. Cuccinelli, who I don’t believe was electable as governor but could have easily won re-election as Attorney General, lost and took the entire ticket down with him.
Within weeks in office, the Democrats proceeded to reverse all the gains we had made in traditional marriage and the sanctity of life over the years. Murray’s prediction, “doom for Virginia Republicans,” came to pass and we can thank Russ Moulton, Rick Boyer and the RSCC for destroying everything we had worked hard to achieve over the past 25 to 30 years.
The Democrats in Virginia could have no better ally than Moulton, Boyer, and the others of their ilk as they have destroyed the Republican Party from within.
As for the author of the Op Ed, William J. Murray, he is an author of five books, Baptist minister, and conservative lobbyist. He currently serves as the chairman of the Religious Freedom Coalition and the Government is not God PAC. But most notably, he is the son of the late atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair. In fact, he was the object of her lawsuit, Murray v. Curlett, in 1963, which resulted in prayer and Bible readings being removed from the public schools.
William J. Murray became a born-again Christian in 1980, much to the dismay of his mother. His mother, daughter Robin, and brother Jon Garth Murray were later kidnapped and murdered by former American Atheists employee David Roland Waters.
I had the privilege of meeting him some years ago when he came to our church in Northern Virginia. I think William J. Murray is uniquely qualified to identify corruption in politics.
Editor’s note: The New Lynchburg Ledger’s Editor reached out to Rick Boyer for a comment. He responded: “Your kind offer to allow me to respond to this (Commentary) speaks volume to your character as a human being and your credibility as a journalist. Reading it (Commentary) only solidifies my resolution in our phone conversation in our phone conversation not to do so (respond). Thanks again for your evenhandedness and decency.”
For background, see:
– Rebuilding the Campbell GOP
– Campbell County 1: What really happened at the 2014 mass meeting?
– Campbell County 2: Refusing to concede a loss
– Campbell County 3: Background on what led to appeal to be heard Saturday
– Campbell County GOP appeals results
– Campbell County Republicans file lawsuit against RPV and former GOP chairman
Bill Wheaton has been a resident of Concord, Virginia, since 2003, after living many years in Fairfax County. He began writing a regular column in Northern Virginia in 1997, and started writing a weekly column in the Lynchburg Ledger in 2004. Recent columns are available at billwheaton.blogspot.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.