The debate among Virginia Republicans about convention versus PRIMARY for the 2016 presidential nomination continues as we approach the June 27 meeting where a vote will be taken.
The latest voice for a PRIMARY is from the former president of the Young Republican Federation of Virginia, John Scott in an op-ed at Bearing Drift (see Conventions have their limits; go Primary in 2016).
Scott’s reasons for seeking a PRIMARY include:
1) Location: Scott notes that the 2013 convention boasted 13,500 delegates and, in a presidential year, that number would surely grow which would make the largest arena in Virginia, with a capacity of 14,600, too small.
2) Data: Far more voters participate in a primary which builds the information base.
3) Money: Now this is an important one since RPV is in dire financial straits yet state central wants to put on an expensive convention estimated to cost at least $300,000. Scott rightfully notes, “Even if we charged every Presidential candidate $25,000, we would not raise enough unless 12 candidates filed—which history suggests will not happen. 2000 had 5 candidates (Bauer, Bush, Forbes, Keyes, McCain); 2008 had 6 (Giuliani, Huckabee, McCain, Paul, Romney, Thompson); and 2012 had 2 (Romney, Paul).”
4) Poll Tax: Scott writes, “Last year, SCC voted to allow RPV to require convention delegates to pay a mandatory filing fee to vote.” He continued, “The Supreme Court ruled in Morse v. Republican Party of Virginia that mandatory convention filing fees are subject to DOJ preclearance (pre-approval) under the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Additionally, voters are given a legal right to challenge the fees as a poll tax. Simply put, the RPV is highly susceptible to lawsuits and will have to expend precious resources to defend itself.”
5) Poor PR for the GOP: Scott noted the backlash that could happen: ” ‘REPUBLICANS INSTITUTE POLL TAX.’ ‘BACK TO JIM CROW DAYS.’ ‘NO BLACKS IN OUR PARTY.’ Is it race-baiting? You bet. Will the media do it? Absolutely. And finally, as a result, there is not a single Presidential candidate on record supporting a Convention with mandatory filing fees in Virginia, and several oppose it.”
If interested in a PRIMARY, here are some ways to express that desire:
1) Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.
2) Contact the Republican Party of Virginia (804. 780-0111 / Info@Virginia.GOP) and let them know you want a PRIMARY.
3) Contact your local state central committee (SCC) member. Their contact info is listed here. The state is divided into regions with reps from each; contact RPV if you need further help with this.
4) Contact RPV Chairman John Whitbeck (firstname.lastname@example.org).
5) Contact everyone on the RPV Executive Committee (find contact info here).
Share this information with others who would like the opportunity to go to the polls in a primary on March 1, 2016, and vote for presidential candidates. Otherwise, most Virginia Republicans will be shut out of the process.