Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Jeff Frederick is a jerk

Jeff Frederick is chair of the Virginia GOP. Elected about five months ago, Frederick was known as a firebrand. He won with the strong support of the most conservative elements of the state party including many from the Valley - Scott Sayre, Anne Taetzsch, Chris Darden, Jim Crosby, Audrey Berkshire, and others.
Last week, while trying to motivate volunteers, Jeff Frederick threw out lies that are the red meat of hate and racism. A reporter from Time recorded the events:
With so much at stake, and time running short, Frederick did not feel he had the luxury of subtlety. He climbed atop a folding chair to give 30 campaign volunteers who were about to go canvassing door to door their talking points — for instance, the connection between Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden: "Both have friends that bombed the Pentagon," he said. "That is scary."
The hopped up volunteers responded by repeating more lies
"And he won't salute the flag," one woman added, repeating another myth about Obama. She was quickly topped by a man who called out, "We don't even know where Senator Obama was really born." Actually, we do; it's Hawaii.
As Frederick's comments have spread across the national media, the Virginia GOP has become the laughing stock of the nation. Or, more like the leper of the nation.
Newspapers from east to west across the Commonwealth have been critical. From The Roanoke Times:
One might expect that type of dangerous rant to be blasted on talk radio, but it falls far beneath the level of respectability that people expect of their state political leaders. The McCain campaign criticized Frederick's remarks. As for Frederick, he remains unapologetic. His tenure as chairman truly must be scary for Virginia Republicans.
In the five months since he took over the GOP apparatus, Frederick has shown himself to be desperate for attention. He took a cheap shot at House Speaker Bill Howell, the Assembly's leading Republican, for trying to work with Democrats in drafting a transportation package. A few weeks ago, he made a baseless statement about voting registration irregularities around the commonwealth. All Frederick has accomplished is to show why he should not be taken seriously.
Now is the time for the Virginia Republican Party to fire their chairman. Jeff Frederick is a drain on the party and is diminishing McCain's chances in the state every day he remains as chair. Jeff Frederick is tarnishing all Virginians with his racist and hateful bile. Jeff Frederick is an embarrassment to all who love our democracy.
So, will people like Anne Taetzsch, Chris Saxman, Matt Lohr, Chris Darden, and other prominent Valley Republicans move to oust Frederick? Or, by their continued silence, will they condone his brand of ugly and hate filled politics? 

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