Had the opportunity to sit down with a friend from the past and share some “Catch-up” time since dropping out of the local Shenandoah Valley political world to focus on work. During this get together that featured a fine “Romeo-Y-Julieta 1875” a sip or two of a fine single malt, conversation came around to political turmoil in our nation’s capital with the upcoming 2016 election. Little did I know that this was about to be overshadowed by the antics going on now here in the Shenandoah Valley.
As I got caught up on what happened recently at the sixth district meeting at the Homestead it came back to me how the VA-GOP has perfected the art of destroying the perfect atmosphere of the Homestead with political antics. Turns out a familiar name surfaced once again and after I read her vivid “description” of the meeting at the Homestead I got sucked back into local 6th politics and her somewhat “fantasy world” of the blogworld. Now RightsideVA is not one of the big ones out there with impressive logos, graphics, or even a neat decal to put on my laptop, but it does give me the opportunity to ask\investigate a question or two.
After reading Lynn Mitchell’s post which failed to cite sources, I made a call, text, and visit to check into the facts regarding the most recent Sixth District Republican committee meeting held at The Homestead.
What a nice place to tarnish with these antics and falsehoods…
Turns out, only three committee members opposed what the other 22 committee members wanted to get done at the meeting. Those three Committee members; Georgia Long, (the wife of Ed Long, who has worked for Congressman Goodlatte and who was conveniently the Parliamentarianfor the meeting) Roger Jerrell, (former employee of the Congressman) and Cole Trower, (current employee of said Congressman) were accompanied by three proxies: the Chairman's wife, Roger Jarrell's Secretary, and a college student from JMU.
Now, Lynn Mitchell says the meeting was hijacked. Neat catchword and I am sure it works well with some in the political blogworld, but how so in this case? When 22 members allow three members and the Chairman's wife (as a proxy) to shout, attempt parliamentary procedure tricks, and call into question the integrity of the committee's Vice Chairmen and others for 2 1/2 hours, one can hardly describe this meeting as being hijacked. This sounds like a familiar writer with an opinion influenced and bias with prejudiced disposition towards the majority of the members of the Sixth District committee. And that describes the SWACGIRL from the past.
From what I hear by the end of the meeting, the 22 members allowed almost every substantive amendment to the business they were trying to conduct, which was the adoption of a draft Call for the District Convention submitted by the Vice Chairman two days in advance of the meeting.
It seems that hindsight reveals that most of the amendments were made by the Roanoke County Chairman (now Virginia State Senator) David Suetterlein who never attempted to amend the location of the meeting. What was the reason to have a district convention all the way in the extreme south of the district when a more convenient location, say the central region, would have been better for all of the district members?
As I hear it by the two and a half hour mark the shouting, innuendos, provocation and questioning of their integrity led a member who opposed the three vocal committee members to Call the Question. Who will ever know if David Suetterlein did not oppose the location of the meeting because the eventual nominee would be his boss, State Senator Ralph Smith, also from Roanoke? Well that’s just darn convenient. Is this what Ralph Smith meant when he said at the Botetourt County Ham dinner three months ago that he was not retiring from politics? This would not be the first time the Senator and his Legislative Aide, now Senator, have worked together to create a favorable outcome (see Virginia's New Senator Stooge by John Fredericks, TheBull Elephant).
So I called Vance Wilkins to get the facts on the scoop Lynn Mitchell presented. Turns out he had not talked Sixth District Republican Party politics since June 2015 to anyone on the committee or present at the meeting that day.
So I called Scott Sayre to find out more regarding Lynn Mitchell's "sources" uncovering a secret meeting held on November 21st in Rockbridge County. Turns out Sayre was at the Virginia Tech football game that day. He admits caucusing with several members of the committee, but they share a common goal of bringing efficiency and conservative principles to the table. Something that we just have to get back into Virginia Conservative politics. I now just read that Republican(?) Senator Emmett Hanger was one of the two “R” votes that sunk the Charter School bill in Virginia. Surprised?
I also asked him about the video he made the day before the District meeting. He commented that he planned to announce he was running for district chairman at that particular meeting because it was at the same meeting, two years ago, where Wendell Walker voted against his motion to research and recommend a database for the entire Sixth District. Had the draft Call not been adopted nor the date set he simply would have run a different video. As to having a website up and running before the end of the meeting he said that was just his way of being prepared.
That’s pretty much it and confirms what I learned a long time ago in 6th and “Valley Politics”. You have to make some calls, send a text or two, and fill the email boxes to find out the “other side of the story” and not rely on a single feed coming from some blogs. I saw in the past that when there is only one info feed to the troops that is all they have to go on without any other voice present. That is something Richmond never understood about what was really going on in SWACLand for they were only getting one feed and that was from a committee chairman not interested in growing the local GOP party for the good of the party. Smaller committees are much easier to control but exclude the people we need to seek to grow the party...