Categorized | Opinion

Social Conservative Politics is dead in the Virginia Republican Party : Let’s Kill the Convention, too

By Kim Singhas
Recently  I submitted an article to Virginia Right calling Closed Primaries and Party Registration “Voter Disenfranchisement,” also known as “Incumbent Protections” for the political ruling class.
With this post, some in the  So-Con branch of the Republican Party of Virginia’s  Conservative Fellowship are going to be irritated.   They are party leaders past and present who served on the State Central Committee. They  work in a movement called the  Conservative Fellowship  and who for years have favored  Conventions over Primaries in Virginia arguing conventions allow less well funded conservative candidates to run for office and allow more politically astute delegates who know the issues to nominate candidates rather than the average low information voter. Their words not mine.
I sincerely hope the Party can hold a civil discussion on this issue of Conventions vs. Primaries without the usual vitriol from the very people who hold the Constitution up and wave it and wrap themselves in the Flag but somehow have disdain for actual elections and the Right to Vote. 
Conventions disenfranchise voters, have too much room for corruption, and  I support Open Primaries for Republican Party nominations in Virginia. 
On August 6th,  I attended an all day program promoted as a  “Virginia Conservative Action Summit” held in Goochland County. Let me say I consider myself a Conservative and yet the program content and speakers did not  represent me or my political principles.   This coming from a former College Republican and a lifelong Republican activist who has worked for decades for conservative  Republican candidates.  Several people I know well  who had driven hours to attend the program got up and walked out after the first speaker. They said it was a Middle Resolution Convention  supporting an A5 Convention of States and their  Charter Schools agenda among other issues we don’t consider conservative. I remained for the duration.
A former GOP Unit Chairman from the 5th District, Daniel Bradshaw, proudly home schooled, and a self described  “Grassroots Political operative” all of twenty four years old organized it and served as the moderator. He worked for Bishop EW Jackson’s campaign for Lt. Governor in 2013 and Senator Ted Cruz’s Presidential primary campaign. With his experience  he has the network of statewide grassroots contacts which explained his ability to put together an invitation list of three hundred netting  130 RSPVs from every Congressional District in the state, a farm team of sorts, to mine delegates for the Conservative Fellowship’s candidates for the proposed 2017 convention.
The attendees consisted primarily of Ted Cruz Supporters with some #Never Trumpers and  a few “Vote my Conscience Objectors” sprinkled in.   In attendance were many distinguished Republican Party Insiders and Tea Party Federation leaders past and present  whose names I won’t mention but I do respect many of them for the hard work and commitment they have made to the party and its candidates over many years. It’s a volunteer army for the most part and they deserve our respect.  I recognized many faces from past campaigns, elections, and conventions.
But the jaw dropping observation I made at  the registration desk while I waited to check in was that many attendees couldn’t name their delegate or state senator when asked.  The purpose of the question at  registration was not a “gotcha question” to embarrass anyone  but to appoint people in their appropriate congressional  district in light of the recent Congressional  redistricting in Virginia.
Virginia’s state representatives in the General Assembly  were on the ballot last year-  November 2015. Why were these “potential delegates”  in a political training class  if they didn’t vote last November or are so politically uninformed they can’t recall their delegate or state senator at a grassroots political meeting? Who are these people the Conservative Fellowship are mining for delegates for their candidates? If you don’t know who your state delegate is or their voting record, how are you going to understand complex issues facing the Attorney General’s Race such as  civil asset forfeiture? Restoration of Felons’ voting rights? Criminal Justice Reform?  The EPA’s complex storm water taxes and the Chesapeake Bay Water Act? Eminent Domain and the Dominion Pipeline? Voter ID laws?
During one breakout session I attended Saturday led by 5th District Republicans Rick Boyer and former State Central Committee member Chris Shores, the discussion centered around how to “take over your Republican committee as they outlined their plan to take over the RPV Party leadership in 2018” with the help of the people in the room. Their advice? “Mine your home school networks, your hunt clubs and your churches and get them all out to a mass meeting for your candidates.”  But they  admitted it took them seventeen years to take over control of their unit/district. These are the MEN with the “PLAN” to take over the RPV Leadership by 2018 and gain control of the SCC? Turn out your home school networks and your Gun Buddies? That’s a plan?
The leaders of that discussion group  weren’t being completely transparent with their raw recruits in their presentation of their overly simplified  “plan.”   I pointed out to them if their church members and hunt club buddies voted in Democrat Primaries in past elections their SBE voting records would reflect that and they would not be allowed to vote in a GOP County  mass meeting or caucus. One woman from  very Democratic Alexandria stated to the group she has to regularly vote in Democratic primaries for the more moderate candidates even though she is a Republican “to keep the radical democratic candidates from getting elected.”  I said “Honey, you can’t go to a Republican mass meeting or  state  convention if you vote in Democratic Primaries.”  You see? That is how these folks disenfranchise good REPUBLICANS like you with state Party Conventions. They look up your voting record and Brand you with a BIG BLUE  “D” on your chest like Hester Prynne in the Scarlet Letter.   I   personally watched the credentials committee line delegates up like a firing squad and tell them they couldn’t vote at the 7th District Convention in 2014 in Henrico County.
The phones are RINGING. The Conservatives WANT a CONVENTION for 2017. They’ve been working for years to win the seats on the Republican Party’s State Central Committee. Deals have been brokered.   The Word “Conservative” has been so distorted by this group it no longer has any meaning coming from their microphones.
In order to keep this simple for readers who are not Party Insiders but who simply consider themselves Republican voters, I will not outline the details of the RPV party plan for weighted votes at convention but when Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders tell you the ‘SYSTEM IS RIGGED” they are CORRECT.
Hanover County home of VA RIGHT is VERY REPUBLICAN and has a high voter turnout in state and federal elections.  In 2012  Hanover County’s  population was  103,000, and the county  had 73,000 registered voters.
Hanover is a powerhouse in a Weighted Convention Vote. In the November 2012 election,  Hanover County had 67.7% of its vote go to Mitt Romney or 39,920 votes and 31.0% of its vote went  to Barack Obama with 18,283 votes. Hanover Delegates will have a greater weighted vote at the state convention than a small rural Southwest Virginia county where voter turn out is low and NOT REPUBLICAN.
Statistics on Virginia’s voter registration can be viewed at this link:
If you are a  lone Republican voter from  a small rural Southwest Virginia  county and you and a few friends  sign up to serve as delegates to the state convention, you will spend significant  time and money out of your own pocket to attend,  and your vote is really worthless.
I prefer the one man, one vote System of Open Primaries. 

In 2013, I served as a delegate to the state convention in Richmond. I, along with my husband,  sat in a seat in the coliseum from 10:00  am to 10:00 pm. Most people with kids and dogs or people with  disabilities or even many seniors  couldn’t do that. Deployed military servicemen, doctors, nurses, law enforcement, Fire and EMS and thousands of other voters couldn’t have participated.  They don’t have a VOTE in a convention. Think about that. Deployed Military Servicemen and women and National Guard can’t vote in a CONVENTION.

The So Cons don’t believe the  Military should have a say in who their Governor, Lt. Governor, or Attorney General  nominee should be?
I wonder what the Soldiers and Marines and Sailors who were  deployed to the Middle East to risk being blown up by an IED so AFGHANS and IRAQUIS could  walk miles and travel for days to vote in THEIR FREE ELECTIONS  would think  about a small group of narrow minded politicos Disenfranchising the military votes back home in Virginia? Home to Seal Team Six.
In 2015, there were almost 5,200,000 registered voters in Virginia.
Millions of people can vote early absentee in person or by mail, and vote before and after work on election day with thirteen hour polling location opportunities.  In fact, in 2013,  more than 2 million two hundred and fifty thousand  Virginians VOTED.   Going to convention is out of the question for most people. When the party makes it difficult to vote, I am going to call  FOUL. 
There is a cost  to serve as a delegate at a convention. The RPV asks you to pay a fee, which is labeled a “donation.” It could be as much as $35 per person to offset the very expensive costs of the convention. There shouldn’t be a fee to vote.   If you live two to three hours away, you may spend the night in a hotel.  And because  it is a twelve hour hostage situation in the Coliseum- you will spend at least $75 or more for food. If you are elderly or handicapped, getting around the convention center and parking is difficult. The seats are killer after about four hours. The bathroom lines and wait times were really long. Eventually after 13 hours, the toilets no longer worked. I am not kidding. It was disgusting. The floors were flooded with sewage.

They make this as difficult and unpleasant as possible to serve as a delegate to state convention and that is intentional. One Candidate hopes to wear down the Other Candidates’  delegates and strong arm them for their votes. After the first ballot, the gloves come off and all kidding aside, war doesn’t begin to describe what goes on and it is ugly.  There is actual harrassment of delegates by candidate operatives. I witnessed it.  Operatives target delegates wearing buttons and carrying signs for their opponent  and intimidate them to relinquish their vote for “their guy.”  Lies are told about your candidate that you devoted an entire weekend to support.
I prefer the privacy of the voting booth where I can cast my vote and no one knows who I voted for and where it is  against the law to INTIMIDATE ME OR INFLUENCE MY VOTE AT THE BALLOT BOX. 
Most people who have experienced the state convention  ONCE will never willingly do it again thus the need to bring in your hunt club buddies and Home School Networks  as  fresh new raw recruits every four years.  The big problem with state conventions is that huge numbers of delegates just get up and walk out and  leave before the voting is over  and it dramatically  changes the weighting of the votes. It happened during the Lt. Governor’s nomination in 2013. I sat directly across from the Henrico Delegation at  the convention in the coliseum and when it was time for Happy Hour,  most of the Henrico County delegation went home. I watched it collapse.  There were more ballots to cast  for Lt. Governor. The voting and counting lasted four more hours.
Conventions are the WORST form of rigging the outcome by those insiders who run the rules committee and count the ballots.
2013 was memorable for us in other ways. Conventions have too much opportunity for corruption.
In 2013 we cast our votes for Lt. Governor. EW Jackson and Susan Stimpson won the top votes out of the slate of seven candidates on the first ballot. BUT the Favored  RPV Establishment candidate- Pete Snyder- didn’t make the cut. So what did the rules chairman do? He passed out the second Ballot and had the delegates vote without reporting to the delegates the exact number of  votes EW Jackson and Susan Stimpson had actually received on the first ballot.  That piece of information could have changed the outcome of the Second Ballot. What if Susan Stimpson had won?
How does that happen? The Rules Chairman controls it all. Conventions can be rigged.
On the second ballot, RPV favorite Snyder garnered enough votes to stay in the hunt. And so this went on for hours, Susan Stimpson was cut along with Steve Martin, Jeannemarie Davis, and Scott Lingamfelter and then Corey Stewart and finally there were two: Pete Snyder and EW Jackson.
If you ever wondered why EW Jackson won the nomination, I always felt the  people at the convention were just so angry at the process they witnessed controlled by Party Insiders that  the delegates voted for  EW Jackson- the outsider.  His people never left. They stayed until the very end. The removal of 7th District Chairman Linwood Cobb in 2014 was payback for his actions to Susan Stimpson in the 2013 state convention where he served as Rules Chairman. Some in the Conservative Fellowship  made it their life’s work to elect Tea Party Leader Fred Gruber 7th District Chairman in May 2014.
And so for those of you who were disappointed for the GOP loss in the statewide races in 2013, I want you to see that the Party is presently very  divided. Some in the Republican Party prefer a convention because they believe they can turn out the SoCons to vote for their candidates. But can they win in a statewide election in November against a well funded Democrat?   For Republicans like me I see Conventions as Voter Disenfranchisement: an extraordinarily small sample size with narrow political ideology determining the Party nominees. I’m not resigned to give up Primaries to the Convention voters singularly aligned with  Sunday Hunting  and the Home School networks to determine our party’s nominees at a state convention.  Don’t know the names of your representatives in the General Assembly?  No Problem but Be Sure and Sign up to be a  Delegate for ME at the state convention next year.
I urge you to  call and write the Republican Party Leadership and SCC members  this week and ask them to vote FOR A PRIMARY and  AGAINST CONVENTIONS as the 2017 nomination process at THE STATE CENTRAL COMMITTEE MEETING of the Republican Party of Virginia. THE VOTE IS SCHEDULED FOR  SATURDAY AUGUST 27th at the Richmond Convention Center. Contact information for state central committee members can be found at the link below:

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.

15 Responses to “Social Conservative Politics is dead in the Virginia Republican Party : Let’s Kill the Convention, too”

  1. lawrence wood says:

    A political party that can’t find it in the definition of free association to broadly trust their participating base to use the power of the vote to directly engage in it’s political candidate evaluation and selection process but rather prefers or outright maintains that guidance by a selected minority participation with the resources, availability and pre approval to engage is necessary to facilitate democratic representation is working a 19th century process agenda in the 21st century culture of open and widely available information and decision process access.

    As an aside let’s also not overlook that the primary vs convention issue has been fraught with inconsistencies from both wings of the Virginia Republican Party waxing and waning seemingly largely based on how it might best facilitate specific segments of the state party political elite. Actions are fervently driven in the name of the voter base but one can’t realistically point to any actual event where the pro or con proponents have ever asked that very same base what it is they would actually prefer regarding this electoral process.

    Meanwhile we are assured that the voter base will be just fine with a weighted thumb being placed on their state party vote by election rules proponents whose only reason for such actions is “because it’s in your best interests”, trust us. As Virginia turns darker and darker shades of blue the party planning rules apparatchik gather to vote on narrowing the participation door one turn more restrictive. Perhaps a second of reflection is called for on the 27th to assimilate the reality that the brand is fading into obscurity and now might not be the best of times to build further hurdles to participation and association. Just an opinion from a long time Republican voter.

    • Kim Singhas says:

      Agreed, Mr. Wood.

      The Middle Resolution Pac has been focused like a laser on Republican Control of the State Senate for several election cycles for their agenda of School Choice among other things. Yet the RINOs in the state senate currently ARE NOT conservative. There exists in the Conservative Movement a Bi-Polar disease. The So Cons vote Republican with enthusiasm and once elected loathe the very liberal voting records of the senators they elected. So-Con politics died in Virginia in the last General Assembly.

      It’s over.

      Read what Victoria Cobb of the Family Foundation said in her newsletter during the last General Assembly.

      Victoria Cobb, President
      Friday, January 29, 2016

      The third week of the 2016 General Assembly session winds down today, with some major disappointments and a few key victories.

      Today, the state Senate, with several Republicans in support, unfortunately passed two bills (vote count for SB 12 and vote count for SB 67) that elevate sexual orientation/gender identity (SOGI) to a protected class, despite no evidence that widespread discrimination is taking place and despite the fact that such legislation weaponizes government to discriminate against people who have an opinion about marriage that is contrary to the government.

      SB 12 (D-Ebbin, D-McEachin) adds “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the list of “protected classes” within state hiring practices. SB 67 (D-Wexton) adds these same categories to our housing laws.

      We have seen case after case around the nation where so-called “anti-discrimination” policies such as this are used to do exactly that, discriminate, but against people with deeply held beliefs about marriage. Case in point: Atlanta, Georgia fire chief Kevin Cochrane who was fired – not for “discriminatory” action – but for writing his personal, morally based opinion about human sexuality in a book.

      In addition, proponents have offered no proof that discrimination is taking place. In state government, according to the Virginia Department of Resource Management, there have been no cases of proven discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity since 2010.

      The six Republicans who joined all nineteen Democrats to pass the bills were Senators Bill DeSteph (R-8, Virginia Beach), Glen Sturtevant (R-10, Midlothian), Siobhan Dunnavant (R-12, Glen Allen), David Suetterlein (R-19, Roanoke), Jill Vogel (r-27, Winchester)and Tommy Norment (R-3, Williamsburg).

      On the bright side today, HJ 1, legislation that would put a Constitutional amendment on the ballot this fall to increase the number of Charter Schools in Virginia narrowly passed the House Committee on Privileges and Elections.

      The resolution, patroned by Delegate Rob Bell (R-58, Charlottesville), would allow public charter school applicants the ability seek approval from the State Board of Education rather than from local school districts, which abhor the competition that would allow parents and students more choice in deciding their educational paths. But competition improves everything, including education. The bill passed the General Assembly last year but must pass again this year in order to be on the ballot.

      • Middleburg GOP says:

        Jill Vogel, candidate for LG in 2017, has a horrible voting record- no way the Conservatives are voting for her:

        and when voters are reminded of the Vogel-Radtke smearing of Mark Tate- She won’t be the nominee.
        Good thing Radtke is exploring God now. Maybe HE will forgive her for the lies she spread about a good and honorable man Mark Tate. We will not.

        More reasons the voters hate the GOP and Virginia is Blue.

  2. Day Trader says:

    The internal war within the “Conservative Fellowship” rages on. Hard liners don’t like Senator Jill Vogel for Lt. Gov and sent an “anonymous” email attacking Vogel’s voting record. Here is her response to a Tea Party leader defending her vote:

    “You may have received an anonymous email over the weekend attacking me on a vote I took in the Senate surrounding the consideration of judicial nominees to the Supreme Court of Virginia during the past legislative session and I want to make my position clear.

    The email refers to me, Senator Bill Stanley, Senator Sturtevant and others for voting for the sitting Justice Roush and characterizes that as supporting a Justice who would have allowed felons to vote.

    That is a total mischaracterization of Senator Bill Stanley’s action on the Senate floor with respect to the Judicial nomination process and it deserves to be corrected.

    I voted as part of a pro forma vote for the sitting Supreme Court Justice Jane Roush as the courtesy that should be extended to a sitting Justice. Senator Bill Stanley placed her name in nomination via resolution on the Senate floor in a bipartisan effort to move the process forward. Her name was not introduced in the House and therefore in order to move to the next candidate, we had to vote for her.

    Had it not been for his resolution and that vote for her, there would be no new Justice on the bench today and the outcome of that felon voting decision might have been different. In other words, without calling her name up to vote for her, Governor McAuliffe’s choice for the bench would have remained on the bench.

    The Senate was stuck at an impasse in the first place because Sen. Glen Sturtevant declined to allow Senate Republicans to advance any other candidate to replace Roush and procedurally the process needed to advance.

    At all points, I was aligned with Senate and House Republicans in this effort to make sure we would have the best and most qualified conservative member of the Court.

    In the end, my vote along with Senator Stanley’s was part of a larger process that ended with the appointment of Justice Stephen McCullough, whom I supported.

    I think personal attacks do not reflect well and do not advance a person’s political campaign, especially when they disparage other well meaning conservative legislators in the process who worked hard to execute a path to nominate an extraordinary Supreme Court Justice.


    Jill H. Vogel

    • CLAUDE M. says:

      Day Trader:

      I believe this is the email to which you referred in your comment: It refers to 5th District’s Rick Buchanan, Chairman of the VTPPF- who endorsed Jill Vogel along with Ron Hedlund, SCC member from 7th District. Who cares? Right?


      CLAUDE M.

      From: VA Patriot Watch
      Sent: Saturday, July 23, 2016 5:44 PM
      To: [email protected]
      Subject: Vogels vote for liberal judge would have led to felons voting in Nov


      In March, RINO Jill Vogel joined with the Senate Democrats to vote for the appointment of liberal judge Jane Roush to the supreme court. If the House Republicans hadn’t blocked the Vogel-led RINOS and Dems, THE SUPREME COURT WOULD HAVE UPHELD FELONS VOTING YESTERDAY! The 4-3 vote would have been REVERSED 3-4 and McAuliffe would be cheering as 200,000 felons cast their vote for “crooked Hillary.”

      THIS IS WHY YOU CANT TRUST NOVA RINOS LIKE JILL VOGEL. She’s pretending to be a conservative and has even tricked Virginia tea party chair rick buchanan into supporting her. But check her actions, not her words!

      Don’t believe me? Here’s the article on jill vogel leading a group of RINOS and Dems to vote for liberal judge jane roush.

      DONT BE FOOLED LIKE RICK BUCHANAN! We need to stand strong for our conservative principles.

      • CLAUDE M. says:

        Tea Party Leader Rick Buchanan endorses Jill Vogel.

        • THE FAT LADY SINGS says:



  3. Balderson says:

    Conservative Fellowship and RPV State Central Committee member Travis Witt endorses Bryce Reeves for Lt. Gov is a direct result of Vogel’s vote for Transgenders in the state senate.

    That group probably sent the “anonymous email” attacking Vogel for her voting record. came from some Patriot group email.

  4. Cameron Stills says:

    Vogel criticism may have originated here:

  5. HOMESCHOOL MOM from Chesterfield says:

    Ken Cuccinelli’s good friend Michael Farris and the Farris Wheel of Money: HomeSchool Legal Defense Fund—- YOU DON”T WANT THESE PEOPLE RUNNING THE TABLE AT A CONVENTION.

  6. Teachers are Great says:

    Ken Cuccinelli is rumored to be running for US Senate in Virginia
    using Michael Farris’ HSLDA child slave labor for his campaign army to be sure
    Unvaccinated Children with no Documents- LOL

    Reasons to vote Democrat

  7. mr green jeans

    Has any of the self proclaimed leaders of the Conservative “Kabul” ( RINOS) dared to read the A Free Peoples Suicide by Os Guinness. I have door knocked, given, and supported many of those listed above but now more. Central planners and Conditioners whether socialist , communist or conservative, D/ R or progressive are different sides of the same coin. So please Mr Cu, Mr F, and Mr Cr and your like minded control freaks just please stop constant criticisms of the Presidential candidate, DJT. I think it is evident that the above MRs are yesterdays news (code for losers?). We gave the House and Senate to the Republicans. Then Republicans delivered the spoils to the Democrats. So please, please keep quiet until the people get thru with the business beating this corrupt government operation headed by HRC. Let it be know that the “daylight” between DJT and down ballot Republicans will be noted by WE the people! All or None!

  8. Waverly Woods

    I’m gonna set this record straight right now. Jill Vogel has a great voting record. She is a good conservative and all this so called Tea Party attacks ain’t gonna fly with this Tea Party gal. None are more TEA Party than me. Furthermore, if these folks are Tea Party then put your name out there not some anonymous bogus email. I would like to think that MOST TEA Party folks are smart enough to look for an actual name to the email they received.

    And for the other side of the record, WHAT IS UP WITH TRAVIS WITT ALL OVER REEVES?? Money is involved on this as it was on the Garrett for congress campaign. Not knocking Garrett at all. He offered a price and Travis excepted. Simple pimple. My question is how much did Reeves offer on these PAC’s?

    And for the RECORD, out of the three candidates before me now, I’m with Jill Vogel hands down. Then again so is a lot of people. Her list of Tea Party, Establishment, and Trump supporters grows. All I have seen from Reeves….. Wagner, Hanger, Norment, Taylor….. That’s an ugly list for any REAL TEA Party person.

    Bottom line put your name on it if you want to sell this CRAP to the TEA Party!


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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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