Tag Archives: primary vs convention

Republican Party of Bedford supports disenfranchising local voters

GOP elephants fightingBy Lee Walker
Guest Post

Saturday in Charlottesville the Republican Party of Bedford supported the use of a Convention to pick the next Congressman for the 5th Congressional District. Some of you may say “so what, how does that affect me.” In a Primary every registered voter can voice their decision either in-person in the voting booth or by absentee ballot. In this Convention there will traditionally be approximately 1200 to 1500 delegates who show up as opposed to the approximate 124,000 actual Republican Voters who did vote in the 5th District in 2014. These political activists will meet in Nelson County on May 14, 2016 to choose the Republican Nominee for this November’s General Election.

If you are not one of Bedford’s 450 allowed proportional delegates, you do not get a voice in the decision. If you do not register as a delegate, you are excluded. If you cannot take off from work for the day long Convention, you are excluded. If you are elderly and normally vote by absentee ballot, you are excluded. If you serve this country in the military overseas or out of the Commonwealth, you must jump through several complicated, archaic political hoops or you are excluded. Before you become indignant about being excluded from the process to exercise your rights, let me give you the reasoning that the political extremists here in Bedford County use to disenfranchise you.

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10th Congressional District votes primary for Comstock

Barbara Comstock 6By Lynn R. Mitchell

Good news out of the 10th Congressional District for first term representative Republican Barbara Comstock who saw the committee vote for a primary. From Brian Schoeneman’s Facebook page:

Very pleased to see that the 10th District Congressional Committee voted in favor of a state-run Primary for Congresswoman Barbara Comstock‘s reelection bid next year. It was a tight vote 8-8 and broken by Chair Jo Thoburn’s tie breaking vote, but we owe the 10th CD committee thanks. And hopefully she will have no competition and we won’t have to worry about a primary at all. Looking forward to being able to cast my vote for her next year.

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New citizen applauds RPV Republican primary decision

Photo 7 Cortez

Naturalization ceremony held at Mt. Vernon on July 4, 2015.

By Daniel P. Cortez

Jessica Hatchley of Fredricksburg proudly became a citizen last week during 4th of July ceremonies at Mt. Vernon. And as one the nation’s newest voters she can’t wait to vote for the next president during the Virginia primary scheduled for next March.

That was the contentious issue recently in Staunton, where the tea party wing of Virginia’s Republican Party attempted to force a convention and discriminate against their family.  That’s what it would have been.

Originally from Kaiserslautern, Germany, she met her Marine husband Robert, now stationed at Quantico, online.  They married and have a 13-month-old son, Robert Hatchley III.  They consider themselves independent voters.

As nonparty members they would have been excluded from voting for their candidate for president at a republican convention.  Not because he is in the military, but because only party members would be allowed to vote.  As a fellow independent voter who may lean conservative, I call that intense discrimination promoting exclusion.

Fortunately, a primary was recently chosen by 42-39 vote in Staunton by republican members of the state central committee.  Eric Herr, chairman of the First Congressional District Committee, and Steve Albertson, chairman of Stafford’s Republican Committee, both spoke in support of a convention.

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Live-blogging RPV State Central Committee meeting in Staunton, Va

GOP imageBy Lynn R. Mitchell

The debate has raged for weeks about one item on today’s agenda: Virginia’s 2016 Republican presidential nomination method. Should it be a primary, or a convention?

LynnRMitchell.com endorsed a Primary. For background and to see all the guest posts debating the issue with reasons to hold a 2016 primary, see LynnRMitchell.com endorses a 2016 GOP presidential primary.

Today it comes down to the vote. The meeting is being held at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel and Conference Center in downtown Staunton beginning at 1:00 pm.  and a capacity crowd is expected. Check back here for updates throughout the proceedings.

11:30am: I’m in the meeting room where there are eight chairs for visitors and I was told that was all there would be.

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Western Tidewater Young Republican chairman supports a primary for 2016

Thomas Turner YRBy Thomas Turner
Chairman, Western Tidewater Young Republicans
Guest Post

The debate over the pending vote that the RPV State Central Committee (SCC) will take Saturday June 27,2015, recalled a memory from seven years ago when I voted for the first time for President of the United States. I was an 18-year-old senior in high school and most importantly had figured out that I was not a Democrat, but a Republican. I was excited to have the opportunity to join my fellow Republicans in choosing our nominee for president in the primary.

This memory comes to mind especially now because there is a distinct possibility that many young, first-time voters would be excluded from the nominating process if the State Central Committee chooses a convention instead of a primary for the allocation of delegates. If the SCC had a convention instead of a primary back in 2008, I would not have known where to attend a mass meeting or been able to navigate the political landscape as a first timer, and would not have had the means to attend a convention which would have left me voiceless. I would have been disenfranchised without my direct consent because I would not have been informed on how to participate in the process and, like many others, would not have stayed active.

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Pro-primary Bedford Republican responds to email from pro-convention Stearns

Dolores Switzer 2By Dolores Switzer
Guest Post

[Editor’s note: Christopher Stearns, who is chairman of the 3rd Congressional District and former leadership in the Libertarian Party, emailed Virginia Republicans encouraging them to write members of RPV’s State Central Committee to vote for a convention at Saturday’s meeting. He received the following response from Bedford County Republican Dolores Switzer who shared her response.]

I am sorry, Mr. Stearns, but I am tired of seeing the State Central Committee disenfranchise our military, elderly, those who cannot afford to travel to a convention, and for those that simply may be working or cannot conform to your way of thinking. I do not agree with a convention and until we can take those mentioned above into consideration, I will not be changing my mind.

Sir, for me this is personal.  My father was a war veteran with 30 years of service.  Needless to say, he was not someone who went to work Monday through Friday and came home every night.  By having a convention, those in our military are not included in the process.  I myself do not care if there is only one member serving in our military who takes advantage of the absentee ballot, it is well worth having a primary to give that man or woman the opportunity to cast their ballot. I have never been in their shoes to observe what it is like to see war, to live away from family day in and day out.  I am sure there are some on SCC who have been in those shoes.  I hope they will vote for a primary and think of their fellow soldiers.

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College Republican leader supports Republican Party inclusion

Nick Welham CRBy Nick Welham
College Republican Leader, Christopher Newport University
Guest Post

On Saturday the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) State Central Committee (SCC) will meet to decide how Virginia Republicans will nominate our candidate for the 2016 presidential election. The choice is between a statewide primary and a convention of delegates. We have all heard the main points hundreds of times. They have been splattered all over our Facebook timelines and Twitter feeds for months now but there a few points that have been neglected, including the effect a convention would have on millennial participation in the nominating process.

First, I would like to state the hard truth. Republicans have done a bad job at winning statewide office for nearly eight years now. Republicans have failed to elect a statewide candidate in five out of the last six statewide elections. Furthermore, of the twelve statewide positions up for grabs during that period (2006-2014), Republicans have succeeded in electing their candidate only 25 percent of the time, with all three coming in the same year. A large part of this was the unforeseen demographic shift as Northern Virginia and other areas became more populace and more Democratic. Thankfully, our party has been growing both in strength and number, especially among the youngest voters.

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LynnRMitchell.com endorses a 2016 GOP Presidential Primary

Primary by J HigginsWe are two days from the Republican Party of Virginia’s quarterly state central meeting that will be held in Staunton to determine if 2016’s presidential nomination will be by Primary or Convention. Both sides of the issue have voiced opinions through various media and blog outlets, hoping the representatives who sit on RPV’s governing board are listening and weighing the pros and cons. Because LynnRMitchell.com supports a 2016 Presidential Primary for the Republican Party, we are providing the links of the pro-primary posts that have appeared on this blog from various authors who have provided many reasons why Virginia needs a Primary. –The Editors

Bill Bolling: Virginia needs a Presidential Primary

ACLU suggests mandatory 2016 Va GOP Convention fee same as poll tax, could invite litigation

Primary v convention 2016: Practical, logistical concerns for Fairfax County Republicans by Fairfax County Republican Committee Chairman Matt Ames

A 2016 Presidential Primary will be more inclusive by former Staunton Republican Committee Chairman Alex Davis

How a 2016 Presidential Convention disenfranchises Virginians by former SCC Western Vice Chairwoman Trixie Averill

Kenney: My husband is wrong by Melissa Kenney

2016 Primary vs Convention: How to avoid a logistical nightmare by Gerrie Smith

‘No to Virginia GOP Convention’ by Fishersville resident Larry Tillett (LTE in Richmond Times-Dispatch – Correspondent of the Day)

College Republican leader supports Republican party inclusion by Nick Welham

Pro-primary Bedford Republican responds to email from pro-convention Stearns by Dolores Switzer

Western Tidewater Young Republican chairman supports a primary for 2016 by Thomas Turner

2016 Primary: Here’s who to contact to voice that opinion

Legal, financial reasons for a Virginia GOP 2016 Presidential Primary

Wake up, GOP!

Graphic by JHPolitics.com

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ACLU suggests mandatory 2016 Virginia GOP convention fee same as poll tax, could invite litigation

By Lynn R. Mitchell

In the midst of the ongoing discussion of a 2016 Primary versus Convention, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has been informed of the Republican Party of Virginia’s vote by the state central committee to require mandatory fees to attend a convention.

In a letter from the ACLU’s Claire Guthrie Gastañaga to RPV Chairman John Whitbeck dated June 23, 2015, the ACLU warns, “Such a fee would unfairly exclude Republicans from voting based on their economic means, and would invite prolonged and costly litigation.”

There followed a reminder that the Party endured litigation in 1994:

The last time the RPV charged a fee for participation in a nominating convention was in 1994, when the party nominated its candidate for U.S. Senate. Three delegates challenged the fee under the Voting Rights Act. The Supreme Court ultimately determined that the fee was subject to preclearance by the Department of Justice under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, and that the plaintiffs were entitled to challenge the fee as a poll tax under Section 10 of the Voting Rights Act. Morse v. Republican Party, 517 U.S. 186 (1996).
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Primary v convention 2016: Practical, logistical concerns for Fairfax County Republicans

By Matthew C. Ames
Chairman, Fairfax County Republican Committee
Guest Post

My concerns are based entirely on practical considerations arising out of Fairfax County’s size and past practice, and are not intended to address the advantages or disadvantages of conventions vs. primaries.  I have a number of questions regarding the practical effects in Fairfax County if the SCC chooses a convention, which as far as I know have not been addressed.  In this regard, I believe my perspective differs from that of most of your correspondents on this issue.

Here is a summary of my letter [included below]:

  • With over 700,000 registered voters and 238 precincts, Fairfax County represents one in seven Virginia voters.
  • Because of our size, we have developed practices in the past that would need to be substantially altered if the RPV moves its convention to mid-March.
  • Any method adopted by the RPV must be able to accommodate both the largest and the smallest units.
  • We have historically held our County convention to elect the County chairman and conduct other party business in late March, which gives us about 90 days to plan and organize the convention after the holidays.
  • Holding the RPV Convention on March 19 will force us to move our convention to mid- to late-February, and cut our planning time in half, unless we start during the holidays.
  • We have a general election on November 3.  We cannot afford any distractions before then, and because of Virginia’s unique election cycle, the only down time our volunteers will have is between Election Day and New Year’s.
  • It seems likely that interest in the process, and therefore in our convention, will be much higher than in other years.  I have seen no estimates of how many delegates are likely to attend our County convention under the March 19 convention proposal.  Without knowing that number, the FCRC cannot plan appropriately.  Without knowing that number with some degree of certainty, I think it would be irresponsible for the State Central Committee to approve a mid-March convention process.
  • If the potential number of delegates to our convention is large enough – in excess of 2500 or 3000 — there may not be a venue in the County that is large enough to accommodate our convention.  The Patriot Center at George Mason University is unlikely to be an option, if only for reasons of cost.
  • As far as I know, RPV has not taken any of these concerns into consideration at this point.

Letter to John Whitbeck, Chairman, Republican Party of Virginia

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Averill: How a 2016 Presidential Convention disenfranchises Virginians

Trixie 2By Trixie Averill
Guest Post

I am not a blogger and rarely, if ever, make comments on blogs.  However, this issue is too important for me to let it pass without weighing in with my own perspective.  I have said this verbally to other Republicans and I’ll say it here now:  if the Republican Party of Virginia chooses to go with a presidential convention, it will be the same as putting a gun in the mouth of the party for many reasons – not the least of which is that Virginia will be the laughing stock of the nation yet again.  However, that is far from the main reason that I oppose a presidential convention.

The main reason is because a convention will disenfranchise too many people who are paying attention and would like to vote for their favorite candidate for President.   A convention is a time and money investment that many people simply can’t make.  First, you must attend a mass meeting to run for and be elected as a delegate to the convention. Then you must make travel arrangements and, depending on your distance from the venue, you will need to book a hotel room for one or two nights, again depending on the length of your trip — not to mention the length of the convention.  In 2013 it ran until past midnight. Back in the 80s I attended one in Norfolk that ran till past 1:00am. That kind of takes the gilt off the lily for a lot of folks who are Republican voters but not the “party-hearty-till-all-hours” type. To force Virginia Republicans to attend a day- and possibly night-long convention out of town shows small respect for their voting rights and disenfranchises way too many people who cannot make the trip.

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