Update from Mike on the RPV State Convention
Like many of you, I am deeply concerned about when, where, and even whether we will have our State Convention. As a candidate for RPV Chair, many delegates and other RPV members have been asking me what I know. Discussions are underway, but here is what I know – and what I myself am asking. (These are only my opinions; I welcome corrections and clarification).
- When is the RPV’s State Convention? No date has been set. Some want to delay it until after the November election. I think that would be disastrous. For me, the absolute latest date should be mid-August, not the least of which is because we have to choose our National Electors by August 21st. More importantly, we need to elect an effective Chairman and unify and invigorate the RPV as soon as possible, certainly before the election season kicks into high gear after Labor Day.
- Will we have a traditional, in-person convention, some form of unassembled convention or even a mail-in election? My esteemed opponent Rich Anderson and I both think we must have a real convention. Our Chairman formed an ad hoc committee to consider options, which will report to the State Central Committee (SCC) on June 27th. I wish that the committee had been authorized by the SCC, but so be it. In my opinion, the best question would have been, “How do we conduct an in-person convention safely and correctly and ensure the safety of our delegates while conducting essential business?”.
- Has the convention planning process been transparent? The Party Plan vests authority for the convention in State Central. Our Chairman hired former RPV Chairman John Whitbeck and his company, Stratpoli, to make arrangements for the convention. I can understand hiring a company to execute something as complex as hold a huge convention, but no one I’ve talked to on State Central has ever read the contract. Given a lack of information, questions and rumors are swirling. Many people (including State Central members) have asked me about the contract our Chairman signed. I have asked to see it so that I can say factually what Stratpoli has been contracted to do. Despite three requests, our Chairman declines to reveal the contract. So why does he, as a candidate, have access to it, but refuses to share it with the other RPV Chairman candidates or even State Central members? Why the refusal to share this information?
- What are the financial arrangements for the convention? According to it’s most recent financial statement, the RPV has a cash balance right now of a little less than $1600. Has money been set aside for the convention? Given my own significant filing fee, plus what was paid for by other RPV candidates and filing fees from several thousand delegates, we should have a significant amount on hand. Is this just an issue of accounting terminology or are there big financial holes? I asked the Chairman directly about the status of funding the convention. He gratuitously assured me that it is being handled and refused to provide any specifics. So, what is the real story?
To me, this loosey-goosey convention planning demonstrates what ails the RPV right now. We have the Party Plan and Roberts Rules of Order to guide us and we have State Central to execute it. Why are they not being used? We must plan a convention – and our Party Plan lays out how to address it. It all starts with our State Central Committee’s authority – which hasn’t been invoked. Our Chairman has ignored the Party Plan, “rolled his own” committee, hidden the finances, and deflected any requests for information. And, while he and we are flailing around with this, is anyone at the RPV Headquarters thinking about real issues? Is anyone preparing to call out Gov. Northam on his planned July energy tax increases? Will we will be silent as he re-introduces his assault rifle ban? Is anyone doing anything to position us to win the November 2021 Virginia elections? Nominating petition drives for that election start in less than six months.
If elected Chairman, I assure you that I will run things differently. These are difficult times for our Commonwealth. We are the GOP- the Grand Old Party. Now, more than ever, Virginia needs us to be Grand again.
Candidate for RPV Chair