Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Desperate measures

Faced with his looming ouster, Virginia Republican Chair Jeff Frederick fired off a lengthy email to GOP activists in an attempt to stop the daily bleeding. In recent weeks, the party's gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell, the Speaker of the House of Delegates Bill Howell, the Virginia Senate Republicans, and all five GOP congressmen have called for Frederick's removal. The party's central committee has drawn up 10 charges of mismanagement and misuse/abuse of power - the most serious being sending party business to a firm Frederick owns, damaging the reputation of the party, and making unauthorized expenditures.
Although it looks like many of the GOP big guns are lined up against him, Frederick has a record pulling out a victory from what looks like defeat. He was twice elected to the House of Delegates in spite of Democrats pulling out all the stops in a fairly friendly district. Frederick became chair by besting former Lt. Governor John Hager at last year's state convention, overcoming many of the same party insiders who now oppose him.
While his email addresses the charges against him, it is basically a rallying cry for the grassroots radical right wingers that put him into the chairmanship, to rise up again against the "small minority" of party elite who Frederick says want to turn the Virginia Republican Party into a "rubber stamp for for its longtime insiders."
The divisions can be felt all the way down to local committees and elected officials. Some of the elected, those elite insiders, are backing Frederick's ouster - one Rockingham County elected Republican's spittle flew at the mere mention of his name. But, the party activists on many committees are comprised are far right supporters of Frederick and can be expected to rally to his right side.
The State Central Committee meets on April 4 (wouldn't April 1 be more appropriate?). Let the fight be joined, the words bitter, the scars deep, and the divisions lingering for all of 2009!


unionman said...

Oh let's hope Jeff wins and keeps his job as GOP chair, as he's been so good for the Democratic party of Virginia.

Belle Rose said...

I agree. Jeff Frederick is the best thing since... George Bush.