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A Disturbing Conversation and What I Plan to Do About It

At an undisclosed location with a person who I did not catch his name I had a mostly wonderful conversation with a staunch conservative. He had a old pro-GOP bumper sticker on his vehicle and that started a conversation on politics with a shy blogger. There is no question about his conservative bonafides based on our conversation. Very pro-Trump. Liked Corey Stewart. Lamented lack of support for Stewart. Wants a fighter to take on Senators Warner and Kaine. Amen to most of this. (As you know, I did not support Stewart because I had hoped the Libertarian would get ten percent.)

However one of the first things this person said was that he had no intention to vote for Scott Wyatt and might vote for the Democrat because he felt that Wyatt had rigged the process to ensure he won. What’s wrong with a fair primary he said? I suggested that Democrats might taint the process; he was not terribly concerned about that. We did that too? I suggested (and he got my blogger business card so he might reveal himself but I’ll never rat him out here) that voting for the weakest candidate in the other party’s primary is politically unethical.

I wish I had gone into deeper analysis but I was not sure I had a great grasp on the issues. So I have turned to sources that I CAN cite openly about it. Hence this next series of articles.

The issue was moot for many years due to a law that is informally named (unlike DC we do not name bills with misleading and sometimes fraudulent names like the USA PATRIOT ACT) act called the Incumbent Protection Act.

The IPA said that the holder of the office got to decide the mode of selection and it was usually a primary. So the 97th District Committee of the GOP would meet in Del. Chris Peace’s office and “decide” in the manner that the incumbent wanted in advance and it was always a primary.

But the law was challenged this year and the United States District Court actually declared the law unconstitutional. So the 97th District Committee, just like district committees all throughout the Commonwealth, might have had some wondering what might occur but the state appealed to the Fourth Circuit and most people, including me, thought the appeals court would restore the statute. (BTW, are you disturbed as I am about one federal judge can declare a state or federal statute unconstitutional? I would prefer a three-judge panel and immediate appeal of right to the SCOTUS if the law is declared to be outside the authority of the Constitution.)

On January 9, 2019, the Fourth Circuit ruled that the IPA was unconstitutional on the grounds that:

…the act infringes on political parties’ First Amendment rights to free association because it limits their ability to select candidates for office as they deem appropriate.

Now, this kind of thing should be appealed to the Supreme Court. But our Attorney General, who likes causes rather than defending the state’s laws, did not seek certiorari. Now the Office of the Attorney General might have been right that the SCOTUS would have agreed with the Fourth Circuit but I think if a state law, passed by the General Assembly, signed by the Governor, placed into the Virginia Code, ought to be defended to the highest court in the land. Even if review is denied, the SCOTUS has at least touched the case.

The repeal of the IPA threw the process into chaos. And the 97th District Committee no longer needed to go to Chris Peace’s office and await the ukase of the incumbent delegate.

Now, Scott Wyatt was in late 2018 and early 2019 the Hanover representative to the 97th District Committee. And I have some evidence that Wyatt tried BEFORE the 97th District Convention to get off this committee:

Scott Wyatt offers his resignation as the 97th LDC Representative for Hanover after making the decision to run for delegate and challenge Chris Peace. Hanover Chairwoman Dale Taylor refuses to accept it.

I am in the process of confirming this information. I can say I spoke with Wyatt before the convention vote and he stated to me he was uncertain of his decision to run against Peace.

If this is true, and we know (I was there) Wyatt sent a proxy (who can vote his conscience) to vote on the convention.

If this is right, then there was no attempt (well no overt attempt by WYATT) to subvert the process.

Let’s have more later…

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

3 Responses to “A Disturbing Conversation and What I Plan to Do About It”

  1. NOYB says:

    It’s gotten to the point now that practically everything eventually winds up before the corruption appointed Catholic and Jew run SCOTUS. A big part of the reason why this is so, is our corrupt congress, made up of cockholsters for lobbyists with checkbooks. And, on the state level, we in Va. have a power company run government.

    The media likes to focus on peanut sized laws or issues, rather than report on the extent of our totally corrupt government. Neither will media focus on the bigger and more important problems in this country that remain unsolved by a dysfunctional government at all levels that refuses to do their job.

    Why have low levels appeals courts anymore? Just a waste of money in a failing country that is fast approaching $23 TRILLION IN DEBT.

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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