Sunday, April 5, 2009

Politics as Usual ...

I'm not sure what exactly is happening in Virginia in the Virginia Republican Party whose Central Committee voted yesterday to depose the Chairman Jeff Frederick who was only elected last September. All sorts of charges have been floated, so many really that they all end up looking like trial balloons to see what will stick and gain traction. The Washington Post story had this little clip:

After six hours of debate behind closed doors, the party's governing board, the State Central Committee, voted 57 to 18 to remove Frederick, 33, a conservative delegate from Prince William County.

"I ran for chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia with the hope of changing our party so we could once again be a major party in Virginia [and] so we could achieve real progress for our state and our families,'' Frederick said after the vote. "Unfortunately, the headwinds to change course were just too great. . . . Too many are still invested in doing things the old top-down way. I'm sad for our party and for our grass roots."

First Vice Chairman Mike Thomas, a leader in the movement to remove Frederick, took over as interim party chairman, a post he has held three times since 2003. The committee will select a chairman May 2.

Now frankly I don't know if Frederick did anything worthy of removal. The whole thing smells like a railroad job by the moderate wing of the party to oust a conservative. Transparency this is not, at least so far. The cost in grass roots support is hard to gauge but may be significant if they can't get a better story together than they have floated so far. The next calibration point will come on May 2nd when we see who the committee selects as a chairman. If it looks like a real conservative then maybe they'll weather the storm at the convention. If not, there will likely be hell to pay.

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