Cowards, Corruption, and Conventions

By now, most observers of Republican politics here in the Old Dominion know what transpired down in Virginia Beach Monday evening. Gary Byler, the current chair of RPV’s 2nd Congressional District Committee, is a supporter of conventions to determine our statewide nominees, and the establishment old boy network of our state party doesn’t like conventions anymore, so they wanted to replace him. He elected NOT to run for re-election, and the Vice Chair of the 2nd, Curtis Colgate, stepped up. He also is a supporter of conventions, and is a fairly big donor, has a long history of party activism, and notably owns the historic Cavalier Hotel in Virginia Beach. Establishment Senator Frank Wagner (R-7th) put together a campaign for the chair of the 2nd before Byler announced he wasn’t running. You may remember Frank Wagner is the genius who introduced, along with his buddy Del. Scott Taylor (R-85th), bills in both houses of the General Assembly this past session to forbid any method of nomination except open primaries by ANY political party for statewide candidates. Thankfully, this effort went down to ignominious defeat after a popular outcry.

Senator Frank Wagner, the man who would be king.

Senator Frank Wagner, the man who would be king.

Back to Monday evening at the Virginia Beach Republican Party mass meeting. Sen. Wagner knew the Beach comprises 64% of the total voting strength at the 2nd Congressional District Convention this year, so he was kind enough to help slate the Virginia Beach delegation down to just 32, including himself and his most reliable minions. This was out of nearly 1,000 people who filed to be delegates. He disenfranchised all of these people simply because some of them were Colgate supporters. The hand count was NOT done through a ‘division of the house’, so that both sides get an accurate, fair count. It was orchestrated so Wagner’s people had every advantage. If it stands, he has 100% of the Beach’s voting strength, and is now guaranteed the chairmanship of the 2nd. Slating is something that’s done to remove ineligible or compromised voters, such as known members of another political party, etc. This was done so that Frank Wagner can win. No other reason. Del. Barry Knight (R-81st) and Sen. Jeff McWaters (R-8th), along with Taylor, helped organize and lead this effort. Del. Chris Stolle (R-83rd), chaired the mass meeting and played along. The rumor is that Sen. Wagner is planning to use this as a springboard to take control of the RPV State Central Committee over the next few years, and then run for Governor in 2017 in an open primary, which he will ensure is the mandatory method of nomination. Particularly distasteful is how Wagner, Taylor and co. hide behind the “Conventions disenfranchise members of the military!” canard. This is the worst, basest, craven cowardice. I’ll bet some of the nearly 1,000 folks you slated were military, Frank.

Senator Jeff McWaters, minion of both Bob McDonnell and Frank Wagner. He made his fortune off of Medicaid, through his firm AmeriGroup, which was then sold off to WellPoint. Real conservative.

Senator Jeff McWaters, minion of both Bob McDonnell and Frank Wagner. He made his fortune off of Medicaid, as CEO of AmeriGroup, which was then sold off to WellPoint. Real conservative.

Needless to say, I have no intention of standing by and letting this happen, and I know plenty of other grassroots Republicans leaders in the Commonwealth won’t either. If they get away with this sort of underhanded behavior here, it will happen all across Virginia. Not a chance. I plan to do my part to shine a light on this, have the Virginia Beach delegation either include everyone who filed, both at the RPV Convention in Roanoke and at the 2nd CD Convention, or have the delegation black flagged (disqualified). Then I plan to help ensure Wagner, McWaters, Taylor, Knight, and Stolle all face strong primary challenges next year. Should they gain nomination, I wouldn’t mind seeing conservative or libertarian independents in the general. These men are unworthy of being leaders, and certainly unworthy of the public trust.

9 responses

  1. ANY “Republican” who advocates for “open primaries” (as I understand the term) is a RINO and not to be trusted with ANY elected position. “Open Primaries” INVITE vote fraud by allowing NON-GOP voters to decide who is nominated to represent the GOP. It’s why we got Bob Dole, G.W. Bush, John McCain and Mitt Romney to be the “standard bearers” for the GOP in the last 4 Presidentials. Bush turned out to be less “progressive” than the others and fooled a bunch of Democrat “cross-over” voters who thought he was too stupid to win, but NOBODY but Registered Republicans should be allowed to determine who the GOP candidates are in ANY election.

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  2. Denisa Dellinger

    I am a member of the RPV in Norfolk, ours went pretty smoothly with nary a city mass meeting in sight, the reigns of power were simply handed over to a worthy man, Mr Cherry. As far as I know, I will be a delegate in both the second district convention and the state convention. You see, here in “Democrat Land” we treasure all of our activists who want to participate. We may have our weak points but I am thankful today that there is no scandal (as far as I know) in our little Norfolk by the sea. These “good old boys” shot themselves in the foot because they just angered a bunch of activists and some of them are used to being called names and fighting tooth and nail for everything just to get some real conservative financial accountability. These people want to actually keep their taxes low in Virginia Beach and save the residents some of their hard earned money. I have never seen an administration that wants to play at being a big city any more than this one. Every new fangled thing that comes down the pike that may bring a few tourist dollars in, they are for it and vote to spend on more things than “Carter had oats” as my mountain mama used to say. Nothing short will heal this breach as a “do over” and everyone that paid money to be a delegate and wants to go to the convention be able to go and be included. If this is taken to court, I wonder what would happen?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you Denisa, ORF GOP has its act together and demonstrated just how well organized they have become while supporting Wayne Coleman for VA senate. That campaign had moderates, conservatives, tea party activists and libertarians working alongside one another for a common goal. RPVB has many great members and they are not the issue. The problem is the leadership is a display of puppetry and old guard rino’s holding the purse are calling the shots for their own personal benefit despite the will of the members they just hoodwinked. Virginia Beach Republicans are discussing this and have linked to this good article. https://www.facebook.com/groups/VirginiaBeachRepublicans/

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  4. Republicans like Frank Wagner aren’t really conservative and don’t like the idea of moving the party to the right. Other reps in RPVB have a problem with the idea of the conservative rabble rousers actually influencing events in their elections because in reality they are career politicos who don’t care about anything other than keeping the power that goes along with their real job of representing us that comes second when its a conflict of interest with holding their grip on power. People like Wagner tend to surround themselves with go-along-to-get-along sheeple, take pork home, and don’t want to do anything that might draw the ire of the RTD or Virginia Pilot. To them, the “true believers” represent nothing but problems and blocking true believers is their justification for Slating, to defend their power. But, its not their party.. its ours.

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    1. Guys like Wagner and McWaters are establishment stereotypical rich guys who think they’re entitled to work their will on the rest of us. The arrogance of these guys and their supporters is staggering.

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  5. Cheryl Hargrove

    Thanks to all who fight for justice & what is “right” like our inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I believe these rights, upon which our founding fathers based our Constitution, were seriously tread upon by slating tactics experienced at the recent VB mass meeting in question.

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  6. Yet ANOTHER reason I have left the GOP. Tired of the infighting. Time for a new conservative party.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hardworking, committed Republicans all over the state of Virginia have put our faith in this party to promote not only Republican standards but “conform to a standard of right behavior; sanctioned by operative on one’s ethical judgement, a moral obligation ”
    There is talk all over the State of Virginia of slating, and we all know of the shenanigans pulled in Virginia Beach! Do these actions go unchallenged, do we waste our time vetting candidates, and attending meetings, do we have no recourse and no representation and no importance other than to show up on Election Day?
    What will our elected party officials do to right these wrongs?
    Subject: Slating Is Evil | Bearing Drift
    2009:
    Pat Mullins takes the spot vacated by Del. Jeff Frederick, who was fired last month for a series of alleged offenses, including refusing to coordinate with Republican John McCain’s campaign. He infamously posted a Twitter message about Republican negotiations to flip a Democratic state senator over to their side. The deal blew up.
    2014
    There’s a reason why RPV chairman Pat Mullins is angered and outraged at this tactic, and he’s right to express those feelings. Wagner — were he honorable — ought to walk in and concede the election tonight. I suspect he will not… but Virginia Beach voters ought to treat harshly any attempt by any faction of voters to slate.
    http://bearingdrift.com/2014/03/10/slating-is-evil/
    In Victory
    Mary Leedom
    Member of York County Republican Party
    “The man who lets a leader prescribe his course is a wreck being towed to the scrap heap.”
    Ayn Rand

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