RPVNetwork

Grassroots Network of the Republican Party of Virginia

Problem: The Grassroots Ignored Again. What To Do About It.

These problems do not go away until all concerned understand the importance of maintaining the party's autonomous structure apart from the candidates. One of the primary duties of the party is to be a watchdog to ensure that the candidates stick to our conservative principles.

The candidates and elected officials serve us, the grassroots, the people. We, in the balance, select the party leaders who keep things in check and run the day to day for us from the local committee, to the Congressional districts to the SCC.

If the party officials and representatives are not doing your bidding, then the grassroots have been derelict. There is more to it than just knocking doors, making calls and doing events or blogging. There are accountability standards that must be enforced.

The power flows from the grassroots upward, if you feel you are being ignored, then do something about it, shed the shackles, the grassroots have bound themselves with, through complacency. Tell your representatives at the Congressional District and SCC level to change or be changed.

There are two parts to the equation. Principled candidates alone are not enough. You need the principled party organization to be an effective go between for grassroots and the candidates. If you let the quality of the party organization slide or you fail to hold it accountable at all levels, then it won't be long before the quality of the candidates or the job they do deteriorates.

The good news is that, it can be fixed. Let the candidates know what you expect from them in return for your efforts and start paying attention to your party organization and holding the players accountable. If they won't cooperate, replace them.

The party and the body of elected officials are no different than having two houses in the Congress or General Assembly or the checks and balances built into the Republic. The idea is a fair and balanced representation of the people, the grassroots.

The party being the representative of the grassroots, enforces with the candidates and elected officials that the will of the grassroots is done. Don't forget that the elected official has his own survival at stake and represents all of the voters from his jurisdiction so at times your best interests can be at odds. with his. That is why you need a strong party to protect your interests.

The party(RPV) has forsaken its autonomy and lost its ability to maintain the checks and balances we so dearly need. The result is an ethic where the politicians control the party and feel that we work for them instead of vice versa.

Yesterday the politicians and their supporters won, the grass roots and the party lost!

It is time to throw off the shackles and do something about it. Take party building, as seriously as campaigning for candidates and it won't be long before our house is set right again.

The question of the day is "Who's in charge?". You all know the answer, of course, it is the grassroots! Well, what are you waiting for? Start acting like it.

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Tom,

I agree completely. The SCC has shown for the third time in less than a year that they are not the independent body responsible to the Republicans in their units that they were intended to be when the organization was created. First, they (pretty much the same infamous 57) endorsed John Hager for Chairman. I suppose they have the right as individuals to support whoever they want, but they should not do so as members of a body. Secondly, they approved unprecedented procedures for the 2009 nominations in the middle of the 2008 campaign when all good Republicans were out working to salvage what we could out of a coming disaster. The Dec 1 deadline for candidates and the petition requirements were designed for only one purpose--to make sure there was no competition for the top two spots. The third time was what we saw unfold over the past month. There is no doubt they have a phase 4 in mind on May 29-30. I say "fool me three times-shame on me". I'm willing to work with anyone who can get us at the end of the day on May 30th with a Chairman we can be proud of, and with a set of nominees ready to work with the grassroots.
"The party(RPV) has forsaken its autonomy and lost its ability to maintain the checks and balances we so dearly need".
Horse hockey.

The Party demonstrated with full autonomy it's distinct ability to perform it's own checks and balances, Mr. Whitmore.
That's what the Party Plan allowed for.
We need to drop this in-fighting and get McDonnell elected already.
Well, I guess I've been put in my place this afternoon! I have been assured in no uncertain terms that the party(RPV) is in great shape, the system works and there is no need for checks and balances. I was certainly relieved to get that good news.

But then, I had a flashback to 2001. We had just finished redistricting, we had a Repub. Governor, 2 Repub. U.S. Senators, 7 Repub. Congressmen, 22 Repub. State Senators and 52 Repub. Delegates. We were in the cat bird seat for the next ten years. Wow, unbelievable.

Our 15 minutes of glory lasted about that long. We promptly lost the Governors seat, and then a US Senate seat and then another Governors seat and another US Senate seat and gained a US House seat but then lost three, along the way we lost the State Senate. We were supposed to have steadily picked up more seats, what happened?

Here we are today with a Dem Governor, the Dems controlling the State Senate, 2 Dem US Senators and 5 Repub Congressman and 6 Dem Congressmen. We still have the State House for now.

I just can't help but think that the party might have an itsy bitty teenie weenie problem, that needs to be addressed. I certainly know, how important this election year is, as I have been preaching about redistricting for months now. I would just feel a lot better if all the grassroots were onboard, instead of a select few. There have been far too many folks staying home the last few years and we need to find a solution, fast.

The party's report card speaks for itself.
Tom- Terrific article that I couldn't agree with more. I am not a party insider, and, if there were more reasons to oust Frederick other than the list of charges posted, I am not aware of those additional charges. I was particularly bothered by some of the language used which made it sound as though Frederick was to be their Robot, bow down and kiss the SCC members feet, and, he took every marching order from them. It also bothers me greately that a body of about 77 people could be so controlling and have the power to oust anyone who doesn't do their bidding as they see fit. I was satisfied with Frederick's responses. From what I understand, the person who fought hardest for his ouster is now the sitting Chair until the May Convention. That's another indication of "power grabbing" by the few. Unfortunately, the Northern Virginia contingent of the party holds all the cards it seems, and does not represent all of the rural areas of the state. The NOVA people, living amongst the most populated area in the state are the ones that feel the "need" to pander and to forgive candidates for not holding to Republican values and the VA Republican Platform. To them it is more important to get votes at any cost. That is why the Republicans keep losing. The voters don't know for sure what they will get if they elect anyone who is willing to side with the Democrats just to get along and win re-election. It is critical to promote and elect candidates that will stick to what makes Republicans Republicans. I've noticed that both on this thread and another, Mr. Schoenman believes the opposite. He appears to be someone who will do and say whatever it takes in order to gain a vote. Unfortunately, that is the attitude that divides and splits the party between those that have and hold to principles and those that don't. That also appears to be the split between the SCC and Frederick, with Frederick coming in on the principled side.
Brian -- Sandy is correct. While, in theory, there is nothing wrong with appealing to the broadest possible base, empirical evidence suggests otherwise. Moderate Republican candidates, and especially RINOs, lose more often than they win. Those that do win only pull the ideology of the party -- and the nation -- further to the left. We are now so close to a system of total government that it is unlikely that we will ever, as a nation, return to the government envisioned by our founding fathers.

As Republicans, we should first be conservative and hold our candidates to that same standard. Otherwise, what good does it do to elect them? Just so we can say that we have more Rs than Ds -- we win! No thanks.
"There have been far too many folks staying home the last few years"
Tom, respectfully...if they stay at home, even because they disagree with candidate selection...they ain't the real "Grassroots".
You have to get out there to be "grassroots".
So in order to be "grassroots" we must blindly support the party in all cases, even when they blatantly disregard our will and our values? That's quite the standard. I think this is exactly representative of the elitist point of view that is taking over our party. We don't need you to look our for us and protect us from ourselves. 60% of our convention voted for Jeff Frederick, and the SCC decided that they know better than the rest of us. I think you will find that many of us will still vote in November, but won't be out there knocking on doors and working our hardest for a party elite that just proved it doesn't share or respect our values.

Chairman Frederick should run again in May, if for no other reason than to give the people who make up the true heart of the VA GOP ANOTHER chance to be heard.

The Bulletproof Monk said:
"There have been far too many folks staying home the last few years"
Tom, respectfully...if they stay at home, even because they disagree with candidate selection...they ain't the real "Grassroots". You have to get out there to be "grassroots".
Sandy, Brian is absolutely right in his assessment of where the support for Chairman Frederick came from at the SCC meeting. Overwhelmingly from NOVA. Of course, that creates a question which begs to be answered, "Why, is that?"

A little history first. The state party is divided into political subdivisions. Congressional districts, Local Units or Committees, HOD districts, and State Senate districts. They all have geographical borders and in some cases there is a lot of overlap, while in others not so. Precinct and State boudaries form the various geographical borders, any mix is possible through redistricting.

For instance Prince William County encompasses parts of 3 Congressional districts, the 1st,10th and 11th. The 11th CD encompasses parts of Prince William and Fairfax Counties, while other Congressional Districts can have as many as 21 counties within their borders. It gets very confusing, especially when you throw in the State House and Senate districts.

The SCC which is the governing body of the RPV has a Chairman, Vice Chairmen, Treasurer, Secretary and others including regional chairs, but is comprised mostly of members from the 11 Congressional districts. The CD Chairman and 3 elected representatives. In addition you have 2 bonus seats for each district dependent on if the district voted Republican for the Congressional seat and/or President. There are also other elected and appointed members, YR's, CR's WR's, finance & budget chairs, etc. In essence the RPV is governed by the SCC and the Executive committee of the SCC acts under SCC control when the SCC is not in session. The majority of votes come from the Congressional District members.

Congressional Districts are based on populations of equivalent size, therefore the huge disparity in geographical size.

The 4 CD representatives and the bonus representatives are chosen according to the CD bylaws.

I believe that in a smaller geographical district the grassroots have better access to their SCC members through personal contact at committee meetings and events. Conversely the SCC members can more easily tap the heartbeat of the grassroots. Obviously the larger the geographical area and the greater number of local units involved it becomes harder for the SCC members from a district to get a real feel for the grassroots desires and for the grassroots to be heard..

I would have to agree that a large majority of the SCC members from NOVA voted with the grassroots. That was not the case in other parts of the state and with members under the influence of some politicians.

I would suggest that anyone, who is committed to working for our conservative principles and does not want to see their effort diluted, should invest a little time, in understanding how the party works. Join your local committee and get involved. learn about the Congressional and State legislative districts. Find out who your CD representatives on the SCC are and make sure they are invited to some of your meetings, that may be the easiest way to make sure the feelings and views of the grassroots are conveyed. It's like purchasing insurance. You are making a huge investment in time and money, protect your investment.
I have to say, you sir, Are a RINO.......Neo-Conservative, no hiding that fact.
Brian, An excellent assessment on big tent philosophy. I think too many folks get stuck on labels. The important thing for our candidates is to share and support in words and action our Republican principles.

Many times the social issue labels confuse folks. To the benefit of the party and ultimately the Country, we need conservative principled candidates. To win elections and preserve those conservative principles, we need candidates who identify with the problems and conscience of the community they represent. Those candidates will necessarily range from moderate to conservative on social and community issues. They have to be or they won't win their respective races.

That's why the founding fathers envisioned and provided for states rights. Different strokes for different folks. The Republic remains safe, so long as we all adhere to the founding principles, and those are embodied in the Republican Creed.
No empirical evidence? How about Congress, for starters. When Republicans ran on a conservative platform in the mid-90s they swept both houses for the first time in 40 years. Shortly thereafter, they began to moderate -- especially fiscally -- for fear that they would lose power. The result: it didn't take long to lose both Houses and the White House.

When Republicans run as conservatives, they win. When they try to pretend, they don't. Moderates are lukewarm -- nobody wants them because you never know where they are going to land on a particular issue. Heck, I'm not really sure what it means to be a moderate. Do you want defense, just not a very strong one? You favor spending, just not too much? Abortions are okay, just don't perform too many? Help me out here.

As for redistricting, I refer back to my original post. If redistricting leads to the election of more pretend Republicans, then I don't want them. It does no good to elect "Republicans" that govern as Democrats. I will concede that a moderate Republican is better than most Democrats. Both take us down the wrong road, only the moderate does it a little more slowly.

And that's what is wrong with this country. We are steadily moving away from the ideals of the founding fathers, and it shows. Each year we become a little more dependent on government and each year we become a little less great. Before long, we will simply be mediocre (read moderate).


Brian W. Schoeneman said:
Brad, there is no empirical evidence that moderate Republicans lose more often than they win. Moderates win when they are the best candidate in that area. Just as conservatives win when they are. Running a conservative in a district that is predominately liberal/moderate is a surefire way of never appealing to enough of the electorate to win. I hate running candidates who can't win - its a waste of people's time and money.

As Republicans we should first be true to our values as Republicans, regardless of ideology. As a moderate I can easily live within the creed of the party without compromising my core beliefs.

Having more Rs than Ds, even moderate Republicans is critical for a variety of reasons. We're going into a redistricting cycle and even the most moderate Republican is still going to vote for a redistricting plan that doesn't damage Republican interests statewide. Democrats won't do that. We as Republican activists have a much greater chance of influencing a Republican legislator than we do a Democratic one. And on core issues - fiscal discipline, taxes and smaller government - even moderates agree. And in this economic environment, those issues are far more important than anything else.

If we refuse to be the big tent party that Ronald Reagan envisioned and created, we're going to find ourselves relegated to obscurity and ineffectiveness. And then you'll really see the country veer away from the image the founders intended.

W. Bradley Hill said:
Brian -- Sandy is correct. While, in theory, there is nothing wrong with appealing to the broadest possible base, empirical evidence suggests otherwise. Moderate Republican candidates, and especially RINOs, lose more often than they win. Those that do win only pull the ideology of the party -- and the nation -- further to the left. We are now so close to a system of total government that it is unlikely that we will ever, as a nation, return to the government envisioned by our founding fathers.

As Republicans, we should first be conservative and hold our candidates to that same standard. Otherwise, what good does it do to elect them? Just so we can say that we have more Rs than Ds -- we win! No thanks.
The RPV good old boys who have been losing elections for years, just wrenched back control.

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