Tag Archives: RPV State Central Committee

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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Please stop being hypocritical about secret ballots

Secret ballotBy Lynn R. Mitchell

The howls continue about Saturday’s secret ballot at the State Central Committee meeting in Staunton (see Live-blogging RPV state central meeting in Staunton).

Please stop the hypocrisy.

In January, John Whitbeck took over as chairman of RPV and the very first thing on his agenda was the illegal removal of Jon Berkley, chairman of the 5th Congressional District (see RPV in Crisis: Due process and rule of law ignored in removal of 5th CD chair Jon Berkley). The vote at that State Central Committee meeting that removed Berkley was a secret ballot.

I wrote at the time:

Mr. Whitbeck announced it would be a secret vote and, when asked by a member of the body why it was secret, he responded, “Just because.”

Those who are now complaining about the process from Saturday’s meeting were all in favor of it in January. Could we please stop the faux outrage?

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Photos from Saturday’s RPV meeting in Staunton

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Staunton 4 rainyOn a rainy Saturday morning, the Republican Party of Virginia arrived in Staunton, located in the 24th Senate District, to resurrect a lawsuit in the 24th District (see Here we go again: RPV resurrects lawsuit in Emmett Hanger’s 24th Senate District), and to vote for a Presidential Primary during the five-hour marathon meeting (see Live-blogging RPV State Central Committee meeting in Staunton, Va).

Brian Schoeneman has a good analysis of Saturday’s meeting at Bearing Drift (see SCC meeting in Staunton puts RPV dysfunction on full display).

1RPV’s First Vice-Chairman Michael Thomas (right) with his son Alec Thomas. Mike has been a pillar in the party and a voice of reason during the turmoil in recent years.

2Kasha Nielsen, ‎Chairwoman at College Republican Federation of Virginia and UVa student, rallied the pro-primary supporters prior to the vote. She was cheered by the crowd that included at least two dozen College Republicans (CRs) and Young Republicans (YRs).

3YRs and CRs sat on the floor due to lack of chairs: YR and small business owner Emily Brewer (left), CR Samatha Sedivy (middle), student at University of Richmond’s T.C. Williams Law School; and YR Thomas Turner (right) who had written a pro-primary post for LynnRMitchell.com (see Western Tidewater Young Republican Chairman supports a primary for 2016). #TeamPrimary

Trixie, Don Wms, Ben DessertDonald Williams, Chairman of Chesterfield County Republican Committee; Trixie Averill, former RPV Western Vice-Chairwoman; Ben Dessart, law student at the University of Richmond T.C. Williams Law School.

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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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A 2016 Presidential Primary will be more inclusive

Alex Davis 2aBy Alex Davis
Guest Post

“For if we do not determine the nature of the beast before we set it free, it will end by consuming us all.” –Judge James Wilson, a signer of the Declaration of Independence

There is a beast that lies sleeping in Staunton. Whether he will be awakened from his slumber or remain dead to the world will be answered on June 27th. The beast is one of exclusivity – of disunity – of disenfranchisement. He doesn’t sound too appealing, does he? Yet, for a very vocal wing of the Republican Party of Virginia, he is a godsend. But for the good of the Commonwealth, the Party, and common sense we cannot allow him to awaken.

The beast is called Convention. And his supporters are many. The question we must ask ourselves is, why? Why is a convention for a presidential primary even an option? Your guess is as good as mine

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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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Kenney: ‘My husband is wrong’

By Melissa Kenney
Guest Post
[Originally published at Bearing Drift; republished with permission]

Yes, you read that right.

I rarely write on Bearing Drift because I have better things to do with my life. Yet so visceral is my hatred of most conventions that I have come out of hibernation to make the time to talk about it. But you know what I don’t have time for? Conventions.

In fact, I think the last time I wrote on Bearing Drift was about the RPV “guest/user fee” implemented in 2013 which was a $25 charge per-extra-person (including each and every kid brought along) to participate — but not vote — at the 2013 convention. Thankfully, last year’s dashing Executive Director, ahem, had the wisdom to rid our Commonwealth of such a scourge, but I have no confidence that it will not be resurrected this year if SCC votes for a convention. Given the proposed high-dollar costs for candidates to participate — which will likely depress participation from the 2016 contenders — I would bet you a gallon of milk, or 50, that the guest/user fee will reappear because conventions are seen as “moneymakers”.

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2016 Primary vs Convention in Virginia: How to Avoid a Logistical Nightmare

Primary by J HigginsBy Gerrie Smith
Guest Post

On June 27, 2015, State Central Committee (SCC) Republican officials will gather in Staunton, Virginia, to decide which method of nomination shall be adopted to select our nominee for President on November 8, 2016. Regardless of one’s opinion of the value of conventions vs primaries, the sheer number of Party officials and administrative offices to be determined next year must be included in the calculus.  These offices and nominations are to be completed according to the Party Plan, which the SCC is charged with implementing.

Although there are many and varied philosophical and political reasons for a primary or a convention, 2016 promises to be a very active year for Republicans.  The method whereby we select our nominee for President must be the preeminent task of the SCC. All business must be conducted and completed within a fairly tight time table, and adding to the mix is our popular annual RPV Advance which will be held in December. Completing these tasks is a daunting undertaking, but will be further complicated if the Convention method is adopted to nominate our candidate for President.

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2016 PRIMARY … here’s who to contact to voice that opinion

By Lynn R. Mitchell

There are numerous reasons why it makes more sense for the Republican Party of Virginia to hold a 2016 Presidential PRIMARY instead of a convention. The vote on PRIMARY versus convention is June 27.

If interested in a 2016 presidential 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 (chairman@rpv.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 1st and vote for presidential candidates. Otherwise, most Virginia Republicans will be shut out of the process.

For background on the issue, see:

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