Posts Tagged ‘Convention’

The Show of A Lifetime

As many of you may have noticed, I haven’t posted in a while. There’s a very good reason for this.

I know that early on my plans with this blog had been to cover the Valley’s biggest conservative and Republican events. I like to think I had some success with that–however, when I took my present position with the Republican Party of Virginia as a field representative, I became PART of the events, not just an outside observer.

This past weekend held one such event: The 2009 Republican Party of Virginia State Convention. From Thursday to Sunday I was in Richmond helping to set-up and execute the convention. You may have seen me or my colleagues in orange hats, some of us in radios, running around, directing people, and generally helping where possible. I hope that I was courteous and professional to all I came across, if not always helpful, and I am sure that my colleagues were as well.

For those of you who are political professionals, think of a rally on steroids with the additional kink of having to run in a certain way. Over 7,000 people (guests included) filed into the Coliseum over two days. I had to be there on Thursday night for the sign war in the Coliseum–talk about a sign war! No one has any idea on what the count was on downticket signs, and frankly, I think most of us can sleep better at night not knowing.

The RPV staff (Kim Jorns in particular) did an outstanding job of having everything organized and ready to roll so that myself and the rest of the Victory Staff were simply able to come and do the work of keeping the show running. Their eye for logistical detail and watching for problems before they started kept people happy and things moving. The McDonnell campaign also played a pivotal role in the logistics and had the demos and video presentations timed very well.

Of particular interest was the voting for the contested elections. All the campaigns were as civil and understanding as could be expected from an atmosphere were rival campaigns supporters are sitting right next to each other. The voting did not go to a second ballot as anticipated, and actually ended up being timed perfectly with the end of the scheduled presentations. The few kinks that did occur did not delay voting; rather, they were simply for the record books for next year.

One of the biggest surprises of the weekend: the final speech by VT Cadet Adnan Barqawi. He spoke of coming to America just a few years ago, and how our principles and values had made so much possible for him, much of which he could barely concieve of just a little while ago. His unabashed pride in America and his surety of principle (as well as his incredible presence) made for a perfect cap for an event where conservatives united behind their shared ideals and principles. I was counting ballots with the Sixth District during his speech, but even what I heard then reminded me why I became involved in this party and why I am proud to be an American and a Republican.

I have always told people I wanted to go to a legendary contested convention, like the ones in 1978 or 1993. I finally got my wish and a bit more, and I couldn’t be happier about what I saw. In my seven years of political work, both as a volunteer and a professional, I have never been more proud of any organization I have been part of than the Convention and this campaign. We did it gang–now let’s get back to work.

Republican Efforts Gaining Momentum

Alot of the focus in Virginia’s conservative blogosphere for the past week has been the ongoing battle between a majority of the Republican Party of Virginia’s State Central Committee and Chairman Jeff Frederick. This is understandable–political intrigue, of any kind, is always going to draw attention and speculation. However, it’s important to keep an eye on the fact that, regardless of who’s in charge, the grassroots is marching towards a convention in Richmond– and excitement is in the air. From RPV:

  • Petersburg, which is just slightly less fertile to Republicans than Detroit, will send 30 delegates to the State Convention this year, compared to just 8 last year. Great job Linas Kojelis for keeping the enthusiasm sky-high in Petersburg!
  • Wise County, 20 State Convention Delegates, up from 10 last year
  • Dickinson, 21 Delegates for 2009, up from 3 last year
  • And the unit with the highest percentage increase, Isle of Wight, which elected 46 Delegates this year, compared to ZERO last year!
  • However, just because people are signing up doesn’t mean that people will show up. From the Richmond Times Dispatch:

    Just ask former Gov. Jim Gilmore, who thought he had a substantial lead last year in the nominating contest to run for the U.S. Senate but came out of the nominating convention with a minuscule and politically damaging victory over Del. Robert G. Marshall of Prince William County.

    Marshall had gathered his forces for the convention; Gilmore had not. A total of 5,200 people signed up to go to the convention, but only about 3,200 showed up.

    Yet there’s a big motivator in getting people to the convention. Well, three actually–AG Candidates John Brownlee, Dave Foster, and Senator Ken Cuccinelli. 

    Each has filed large numbers of names of potential delegates under party rules in which the candidates file the names of delegates in each jurisdiction.

    “Step one is getting people signed up; step two is getting them to go,” said Dave Johnson, a veteran Republican political operative who is working for Brownlee, a former U.S. attorney in the western district of Virginia. Brownlee lives in Roanoke.

    The delegate selection process began Feb. 1 and concludes April 1. Among Richmond area jurisdictions, Chesterfield County already has held its mass meeting, and Cuccinelli claimed victory there. Hanover and Henrico counties and the city of Richmond will select delegates in coming weeks.

    However, there is no provision for declaring support for one candidate or the other in the pre-filing of delegate names phase. This gives the candidates the leeway to declare victory, even when it didn’t occur.

    That’s the key–nobody really has any idea just how this race is going. Internal lists are one thing–but with upwards of 8,000 delegates possibly in play, there’s going to be alot of politicking going into the final days of this race. 

    Another big motivator: The President. Republicans are seeing the results of allowing enough seats to slip to Democrats to hand them effectively complete control of the Executive and Legislative branches in Washington and the epic spending spree that has come forth. Also playing a factor: Governor Kaine and the Democratic Senate. With Kaine getting through his smoking ban and never ceasing in his search for budget hikes, conservatives are tired and ready to win again. 

    In 1978, 1993 and 1994 Virginia’s Republicans set records for creating the largest ever deliberative bodies in the Western world, with tens of thousands of delegates gathering to choose our standard bearers in those races. They were loud, noisy, dirty affairs. However, at the end of the day, the party stood united and with a face of average Virginians united behind common-sense conservative principles. 

    Let’s see if we can do it again.

    Bolling, Cuccinelli Score VCDL Endorsements

    March 4, 2009 1 comment

    The Virginia Citizen’s Defense League, Virginia’s premiere grassroots force on Second Amendment issues, has released its endorsements for the the 2009 State Republican Convention:

    LT. GOVERNOR:  William T. “Bill” Bolling.  This endorsement is based on the excellent record Lt Governor Bolling established representing the interests of Virginia gun owners during his career in the Virginia General Assembly, as well as his forthright and unequivocal 100% pro-gun answers to the VCDL Candidate Survey.  The Bolling campaign website is:

    ATTORNEY GENERAL:   Kenneth T. “Ken” Cuccinelli, II.  Despite being from Northern Virginia, Senator Cuccinelli has been among the stalwart leaders in protecting the 2nd Amendment in the Virginia State Senate year after year –- even when he is viciously attacked for such stands in his home district.  In addition, he has answered the VCDL candidate survey strongly pro-gun.  Senator Cuccinelli has supported us in very tough circumstances, now here’s your chance to return the favor.  The Cuccinelli campaign website is:

    Send in the Candidates!

    January 19, 2009 Leave a comment

    It’s already nineteen days into the year and, so far, we have no word on candidates for the Board of Supervisors. Three positions are up this year  (Districts 1, 4 and 5) and so far there’s no word from the incumbents or from any potential challengers–publicly at least.  Sharon Baroncelli is rumored to be facing an inter-party challenge from businessman Joe Wobbe, and Dennis Morris, should he run again, is said to at least be facing realtor and entrepreneur H.B. Sager, most likely as an independent. No word from District 1, but Dick Neese will likely seek re-election. On the House of Delegates front, Todd Gilbert is expected to run again without opposition. 

    Read more…