Saturday, May 24, 2008

Call for Unity?....


It appears that after five years of being a member of the Augusta County Republican Committee, this same committee has determined I am no longer a Augusta County Republican as they see fit. Self proclaimed Chairman Kurt Michael held a ACRC meeting last week, May 19th, to elect and position a new executive committee of the Augusta County Republican Committee.

The local newspaper reports that Kurt Michael advised that the meeting was announced 10 days in advance as compared to the seven day notice required by the committees bylaws. During my five plus years as a member of the ACRC I have always been notified by mail, or email, of all upcoming ACRC meetings as required by the same bylaws. The only form of communication that I have received since the ACRC mass meeting from the Augusta County Republican Committee vice-chairperson of communications, Lynn Mitchell, was the word “Traitor” which Lynn Mitchell text messaged me on two separate occasions.

Several phone calls provided that Kurt Michael only acknowledged and informed the 59 people that signed up and remained at the second meeting Kurt Michael held after the announced and original ACRC mass meeting. This in itself shows that Kurt Michael and his select few do not acknowledge or recognize the 141 Augusta County Republicans, including myself, who voted against and in majority to remove Kurt Michael from the Chairmanship. And what about the 44 people who did vote for Kurt Michael but also left after the first meeting? Are they recognized by the new ACRC leadership?

Both Kurt Michael and vice-chairperson of communications Lynn Mitchell have publicly called for unity within the party but have done little to promote such unity. Shortly after the Republican primary election between Scott Sayre and Emmett Hanger both Michael and Mitchell stated that they were supporting the candidate elected by the voters of Augusta County. The candidate elected was State Senator Emmett Hanger who went on to defeat both the Democratic and Libertarian candidates. This was not the candidate supported by the M&M Leadership team and it was evident after the Republican primary election. I did support and worked to elect Sayre during that primary and believe him to be a strong Conservative with views and opinions we need in Richmond. But he was not elected during the primary and I then supported Hanger for he was a much better choice then the Democratic Party candidate. I have spoke with State Senator Hanger several times about the "Large Bloated" Virginia state budget that has doubled in the past decade and his votes to raise taxes on the Virginia taxpayer in the past. The Senator has spent substantial amount of time discussing and explaining why he voted the way he did and even if we do not agree on taxes at time, I do have an avenue to express my opinions and ideas...

It was noted by many that after the Republican Primary the Augusta County Republican Committee did not operate and maintain a Republican headquarters as in the past to support ALL republican candidates prior to the election. The ACRC leadership in Michael and Mitchell also chose not to operate and maintain a Republican Party booth at the Augusta County Fair. The Resulting Republican Party booth that did appear at the Augusta County Fair was organized, developed, staffed, and maintained by ACRC members who became aware that ACRC leadership was ignoring this important event. Many of these same ACRC members who rallied behind the Republican Party booth have also been excluded from the same ACRC executive meeting noted above. Numerous ACRC members and Augusta County Republicans, without the ACRC leadership team, also provided a Republican Party float in the annual Staunton 4th of July parade. They also provided a float in the Stuarts Draft Fireman’s Parade which was attended by Congressman Goodlate, State Senator Hanger, Delegate Saxman, several elected Republican candidates, and Board of Supervisors candidates. All of these events were ignored by the ACRC leadership of Chairman Kurt Michael.

Since the 6th district Republican convention held recently in Lexington where the 6th district committee decided to recognize Kurt Michael as the ACRC Chairman, both Michael and Mitchell has once again called for unity within the Augusta County Republicans. The 6th district committee voted to recognize Michael as chairman by disregarding the majority of Augusta County Republicans who voted at the mass meeting to elect Dr. Larry Roller as new chairman of the ACRC. In a straight up vote before any procedural infractions were noted, the Augusta voters attending the mass meeting voted by a 60% to 40% in favor of Dr. Roller for Chairman of our party. Only after this up and down vote did anybody bring up procedural problems and after the voters of Augusta County had made their clear choice for chairman. By over riding and ignoring the clear choice of the Augusta County voters in attendance at the mass meeting, the 6th district committee practiced a procedure not unlike the “Super Delegates” of the Democratic Party may face in the next few weeks. The “Super Delegates” may have to decide if they know what is better for the party and disregard the clear votes made by the voting public. Is this the same “Unity” desired by the ACRC leadership that the 6th district committee has recognized?

After last weeks ACRC meeting it is apparent what and who the new executive committee acknowledges. Will the new executive committee continue to call for “Unity” within the Augusta County Republican Party and does that include all members of the party or only the 59 members of the second meeting? It is apparent the ACRC leadership does not recognize many who voted against Kurt Michael at the mass meeting as members of the Augusta County Republican Party including myself. My question is does the Republican Party of Virginia as well as many of my elected Republicans Representatives such as my Congressmen, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Delegates, and many local elected republican officials still recognize myself as a Republican of Augusta County?

The Republican Leadership in Virginia needs to acknowledge, respect, and value the votes cast by the Republican voters of Virginia...

NewsLeader Letter

Steve Kijak

Augusta County Republican?...