RPV Chairman Jeff Frederick revokes his promise not to run for re-election to the House of Delegates in 2009, as former Senator Brandon Bell opines:
I’ve got some friendly, albeit unsolicited advice for Jeff. Pick one. If you want to be Chairman, great. Announce you’re not running for re-election and, if there is interest, have your wife begin her campaign. Then focus on the job of being Chairman. If you want to stay in the House, that’s fine too. You’ve got the best shot at holding the seat. But resign as Chairman. You cannot do both effectively. This is already fodder for the Dems, who no doubt look forward to running someone against you to keep you pinned down and ineffective as Chairman. I can almost hear Chairman Dickie laughing all the way from Vinton.
Apart from the promise-breaking, Bell brings up several excellent points.
With the exception of a handful of appointments, I have been largely disappointed with the replacements (and non-Virginians) at RPV. Fundraising is going to be extremely difficult as Frederick inevitably is forced to defend his seat — with or without him running in the race — while simultaneously doing all the work Virginia Republicans expect from an active chairman.
Having been so close to the throne, I can tell you it ain’t gonna happen unless something gives. All this comes in the wake of Hager’s long-awaited swan-song, via e-mail today:
While we did not win this time, I am confident that a great deal of good came out of our efforts. We left our Party with a sound balance sheet and out of debt. We left our party with plans in place to grow the membership. Most of all, we left our Party with a greater sense of identity. It is this identity as the Party of low taxes, strong defense, and individual liberty that will move our Republican Party forward.
Hager rings 100% true. Now some of this is in defense of the Frederick e-mail fundraising letter that was issued just before special session started — thankfully, Hager does not trade blows with Frederick here. But he does leave one instruction clear to his successor: Execute the Plan.
Whether there is anything left after the housecleaning at RPV is yet to be seen. But there is some part of me that wonders: Virginia Republicans are heavily fractured. Conservatives vs. moderates. Marshall conservatives vs. Gilmore conservatives. State Central vs. the RPV Chairman. NOVA vs. ROVA. Western Virginia vs. Eastern Virginia. The list continues ad infinitum.
Here’s a real kicker: Of all the changes at RPV, not a single Marshall insider was put on staff… Frederick has to know his seat is owed, not earned.
Add to it the revisitation of HB 3202 and the flight of all the heavy-hitting fundraisers from RPV, and one really has to wonder whether “the Democrats are worse” is really all we have left to fight with intellectually.
If so, we are in sorry shape.