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Does the Republican Party of Va Party Plan Already Prohibit ‘Slating’?

The Republican Party of Virginia’s (RPV) Party Plan  Article VIII Section H (4) states:

No delegation shall vote under a unit rule at any Convention; nor shall any delegation be instructed on any vote at any convention.

First and foremost I am no expert on Parliamentary Procedures, Robert’s Rules of Order and the impact of things such as the RPV Party Plan on Republican conventions, mass meetings and proceedings. And it may very well be the case that some behind the scenes back room vote prior to mass meetings and other methods used to nominate delegates and candidates took place and held a vote to modify the rules.

Suffice it to say that I am simply asking a question and hoping that someone in the know can provide an answer.

I am curious by nature and was doing a bit of internet background research into the reasons for the existence and use of the controversial practice called “slating” that has been used in several localities in Virginia this year. I assumed that there was no legal question that this was allowed and it has been called a “Parliamentary Maneuver” which lends the taint of something less than above board, even shady, but still legal.

Slating basically divests delegates of their votes and places them in the hands of a select few.

Now I could imagine that a century ago this could be something useful if a locality was pretty much unanimous in their support for a candidate and  the logistics of travel and accommodations were slow and iffy. The prospect of traveling on a somewhat lengthy journey on horseback with no way to make reservations for a room would be a reason to willingly allow your vote to be cast by someone else. Sort of a mass proxy. A willing act.

But I can see no reason these days for a practice like slating. And there are even more reasons not to slate, especially if a slight majority forcibly slates your vote, which is what happened this year in Virginia Beach. According to

Party officials, including top Cantor hands, were accused of slating at a March 10 meeting in Virginia Beach where 32 moderate, hand-selected Republicans were chosen for an upcoming convention instead of hundreds who had been eligible in years past.

“They ramrodded through votes to replace the list of 1000+ with a list of 32 moderates to carry the entire vote to the convention to ensure Eric Cantor’s ally State Senator Frank Wagner would be elected 2nd District chairman instead [of conservative Curtis Colgate],” said Brat campaign adviser John Pudner.

GOP State Party Chairman Pat Mullins even criticized slating in a Facebook post in late March, saying “it’s time to quit excluding and slating Republicans and time to start beating Democrats!” he wrote.

(And a hat tip to Breitbart for quoting me and linking to Virginia Right! in that article.)

So 1,000 people were disenfranchised in favor of 32 who now own their votes. And RPV Chairman Pat Mullins has opposed the practice – kudos to Pat!

But in researching the history of slating in Virginia I came across some interesting facts.

Pat Mullins called the practice of slating “ancient” and said that it has not been used since the mid-1980’s.

But I found this from John Frederick:


Appearing on my radio show on Tuesday, Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Pat Mullins lambasted State Senator Frank Wagner (R-Virginia Beach) for “slating” delegates for his Second Congressional District convention at Virginia Beach’s GOP mass meeting on Monday night.

Mullins said the tactic has not been used since the mid-1980’s.

He was off by a few years.

This was shared with me by a reader who dug up an Associated Press story from April 29, 2001 that appeared in The Daily Press.

“State Sen. Randy Forbes won the Republican nomination for the 4th Congressional District seat Saturday in a raucous and bitter convention that literally became a shouting match.

Forbes won 464.7 delegate votes to 332.7 for Del. M. Kirkland Cox for the right to run in a June 19 special election for the seat left vacant by U.S. Rep. Norman Sisisky’s death last month.

Forbes ‘ victory came after a failed parliamentary bid by Cox supporters to free a major block of votes from Portsmouth’s delegation to vote as they wished. Delegates from Portsmouth and Forbes ‘ hometown of Chesapeake were constrained by “slating and instructing,” a practice that commits all of a delegation’s votes to the candidate that wins the majority.

As a result, Forbes won all 93-delegate votes from Portsmouth and 261 from Chesapeake, the largest voting bloc at the convention.

The practice is legal under GOP rules, but is regarded as a divisive tactic that often favors candidates from the most populated areas.

Cox supporters sought to have the slating and instructing overturned in Portsmouth. They said that the vote among the delegation during a mass meeting earlier this month was not done properly.”

So slating was used back in 2001 and the practice was not well received then, either. And it is properly called “slating and instructing” according to the article.

A bit more digging turned up the following comment from James Young, an attorney in the comments on a 2007 post at Renaissance Remunerations:

More importantly, since 2002, the RPV Party Plan bars slating and instructing (Art. VIII, Section H(4).

So after the 2001 controversial use of slating, Young believes the following year slating and instructing was against the RPV Party Plan. Now in the back and forth in the comments Young seems to almost concede slating is not banned, but instructing is. And I am not clear on the difference. Were the Va. Beach delegates slated AND instructed?

I believe there is at least a question that needs to be addressed here.

I learned a few years back as a brand new Little League Umpire during a 4th of July All Star game that sometimes the obvious escaped the experts. There are rules in the All Star Games that are different from regular season games, specifically in regards to innings pitched and the require amount of rest. The pitcher for one team threw a pitch to start the 3rd inning and the coach for the other team called “time” and told the umpire that the pitch was illegal because the kid pitched a couple days earlier and when you add the number of innings today, he is now over the limit.

This was my first game as an umpire and the other 3 guys had years of experience. I did the simple math and the coach actually made the charge at the beginning of the final inning the lad was allowed to pitch. He should have waited for the next inning. Oops.

I raised the question and was brushed off because I was brand new. They even called the Little League commissioner in Atlanta on the 4th of July to get a ruling. While we were waiting, the umpires left the field for the air conditioned umpire shack to cool off. I again posed the question and someone listened.

So I am simply asking a question. Does the RPV Party Plan prohibit slating?

Is “slating” as used today different from “slating and instructing”? Or is the “instructing” that was prohibited in 2002 something else today?

Any experts have an opinion?



About Tom White

Tom is a US Navy Veteran, owns an Insurance Agency and is currently an IT Manager for a Virginia Distributor. He has been published in American Thinker, currently writes for the Richmond Examiner as well as Virginia Right! Blog. Tom lives in Hanover County, Va and is involved in politics at every level and is a Recovering Republican who has finally had enough of the War on Conservatives in progress with the Leadership of the GOP on a National Level.

3 Responses to “Does the Republican Party of Va Party Plan Already Prohibit ‘Slating’?”

  1. W. S. Wright says:

    If I recall correctly, wasn’t OBAMACARE passed in the middle of the night by scandalous “PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURES” as well?

    Look how well that turned out!

  2. Ben says:

    The only people that can rid us of slating is State Central Committee but don’t wait for that bunch of lard asses to get it done.


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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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