Grassroots Network of the Republican Party of Virginia

Henry County Lost to Tea Party / Socialist Take over! Warning!

It's that time in Virginia's political cycle when Republicans reorganize their local units and elect new officers. I attended Floyd County's re-organizational meeting a few nights ago. It went well, it was very well attended and ran smoothly. Long time Chairman Gene Bishop retained his position in the face of strong up-and-comer Lauren Yoder.

Unfortunately, that's not always the case. Some of you may remember Tazewell County a couple of years ago. There the incumbent chairman actually locked the doors, keeping those who did not support her out of what is supposed to be a public, open meeting. That same year there was a kerfuffle in the northern end of the 5th district. Something about not keeping the pre-filing forms secure, if I remember correctly. And who can forget the mess that came out of Augusta County that year?

The fact is, under the system now in place, the incumbent chairman pretty much controls the entire process up to the minute the re-organizational meeting begins. Too many chairmen use that fact as a way to "game" the process in their favor. What I mean by this is that a chairman has such tight control over the process in his own unit that he can follow very close to the edges of the rules in order to assure his re-election. Sometimes, like the examples above, he may even stray across those edges. As long as no one is aware enough to catch it, he can pretty much get away with it. Here in Henry County, our previous chairman had become expert at riding those edges and keeping folks in the dark enough to actually cross the edge if he needed to.

Until this year. This year the previous chairman knew he was being watched very closely. He knew he was a weak and ineffective chairman who had very little real support. He knew that anyone who could bring a couple dozen votes into the re-organizational meeting would take his seat.

So, what did he do? He called an executive committee meeting the weekend before the re-organizational meeting and essentially dismantled the local unit. He asked for the resignation of all executive members, got resignations from all but one, and then resigned himself. Before he dismantled the unit, he asked for and got a vote to transfer the treasury to a neighboring unit. Party officials are working on getting the finances straightened out. (At this time there is no real need to name him or his primary accomplice in the scheme.)

All that to save himself the indignity of losing a fair, open election. That's a pretty embarrassing way to prevent embarrassing yourself, but it was the way he chose to do it.

Now, he's further embarrassing himself. He refuses to relinquish control of the domain name, "HenryCountyGOP.com" and, until recently, was using it to promote a PAC he claims to have founded. He was actively soliciting donations to that PAC using a website named "HenryCountyGOP.com". He has no PAC registered with the SBE, however.

A few days ago he changed the front page of the "HenryCountyGOP.com" website to reflect the sour grapes and childish attitude he clings to.

The front page now reads, in big, bold red letters on a blue background, "Lost to Tea Party / Socialist Take over! Warning! You may have Socialist [sic] embedded in your unit committee ! " Hey, nobody ever said he was a literary giant.

(Click images for full size.)

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Comment by Alton Foley; Henry County on June 20, 2010 at 9:05pm
Good evening Chip. Thanks, but I have a copy of the Party Plan. I've read it thoroughly. And I fully understand it. I do appreciate your efforts at educating me, though.

I completely agree that the purpose of the committee is not to bicker and complain. Many will say that was the problem with the previous chairman, but that is open to each person's interpretation, I suppose. In what way is it my fault? Coming from someone who has not attended many meetings where I was present, I find that accusation interesting. Also, it should be known that I was forced out of the committee a year ago, for the incredible sin of writing an article, on my own website, which stated that Ward Armstrong could have a challenger. A challenger I never named, from a Party I never named. A fact I'm sure you are aware of. However, you probably are not aware that I am not presently a committee member, and was not a member or candidate for membership at the time of the Mass Meeting.

Facts, indeed, do weigh much. It would behoove you to actually have some in hand before hurling unfounded accusations. Every item in the above article is true, and can be documented. If you have facts that prove any of the above to be wrong, I'm big enough to issue a retraction as well as an apology to anyone who deserves same.

Comment by Chip Hairston on June 20, 2010 at 8:07pm
Astonishing news! So what will the future of the Republican Party look like in Henry County? I bet that debate about the party’s future made it to the highest ranking media venue there, Cable 18- right? lol. Let’s make sense, the functionality of the committee is not to bicker and fuss for the sake of being heard. Unbeknownst to you, which is not entirely your fault, even though there is this “thing” called State Party Plan which means Plan of Organization of the Republican Party of Virginia, (okay I lied it is your fault, on my Hampden-Sydney honor I didn’t mean to, though. Please do not summon the HSC honor court). I digress, sorry, in the State Party Plan, you will find a plethora of letters, which with a closer look tend to make words- then if you read these words from left to right that would be a sentence then from top to bottom that would be a paragraph, finally you will then start reading. Do not pay too much attention to the V’s or I’s. I do not want that to distract you at the task at hand. That would only complicate the process, but point of information those are called Roman numerals. What will you read, you might ask? I was ready for that question, what you will find are explicit policies, definitions, and other exciting readings as well, but you don't have to take my word for it (darn- plagiarism, I hope LeVar Burton doesn’t read this) read it for yourself, (http://rpv.org/fileuploads/PartyPlan.pdf). In short, the previous chairman did nothing wrong, facts weigh much more than your muck writing. Though, I do enjoy reading your writing. However, I am not a big Syfy fan.

Best regards,









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