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June 12, 2012


Robert Kenyon

Other than perhaps Patrick Murray, there's no one in NoVA up and down the ticket that I'm really motivated to get out and support. A disappointing result.


Yeah its a pretty cookie-cutter crew. I'm not even that psyched about Murray, to be honest.


Sorry - are you implying that Vaughn would have avoided a "bloodbath"? I voted for Vaughn, but that's just silly talk.

Brian W. Schoeneman

More people participated than would have participated in a convention, Chris. That's the whole point.

supreme camp hats

Just shows that writing by way of knowledge brings so a lot depth and relevance to types readers. Thank you for sharing.


In a "low turn-out" primary, 795 Republicans voted in the City of Fairfax and 30,457 Republicans voted in the County. This is compared to the ~20 in the City who attended the convention and less than 600 from the county. Seems like primaries - even in low turn-out years - involve more people and expand the reach.

MORE THAN 30,000 people turned out in Fairfax County for a small election. How can you say we should just leave it to the "truly committed" and shut out these THIRTY THOUSAND people who want to participate.


More people participated sure, but you neither Bruce nor Brian can tell me that this process "grows the party." We are scraping 3% or whatever it was to vote isn't doing anything to engage and grow the party. We get situations where obvious front-runners are forced to fight back anklebiting challengers who are just looking to tear them down. How does that help? And honestly, there is nothing in RPV rules that says all 30,457 county voters nad all 795 city voters can't go to a convention.

I've maintained all along - this debate doesn't move me the way it does so many others. I personally think the method of nomination has very little bearing on the outcome of a race. Primaries can work (2010) or fail (2005 and 07), primaires can work (2009) and they can fail (2008). The best example for a primary working is actually Herrity-Fimian in 2010.

No way is perfect . . . open primaires mean non-Republicans can vote and have a (limited) impact. A convention menas less people (though more committed) decide the nomination. Its just these disasterious primaries of 2012 have done nothing to make our candidates stronger.

But while folks like Brian and David Ray and Eve Marie Barner will wax philosophical on this issue, the brass balls of politics is simply that Bill Bolling will ge the shit kicked out of him in a Convention and the people who don't want Ken Cuccinelli to be governor are supporting him. That is what this is. Bill Bolling will lose a convention so he is latching on to arguments he didn't have a problem with in the past. Bill Bolling didn't seem to have all these worries back in 2008. I don't remember him threatening to sue the state party if Jim Gilmore got a Convention over Tom Davis. Shit, he was the CHAIRMAN of the convention.

So we all know what this is REALLY about. Its about GOV 2013.


In Fairfax County we recruited hundreds of NEW volunteers at the primary, and when we finally get the primary data from the State Board of Elections, we'll be able to identify thousands of additional Republicans. As opposed to a convention, where we bring in only people who are ALREADY activists, and drive some of them away from the party in disgust at that.

I'd rather have 4-5% participation to identify thousands of new local Republicans who are motivated enough to vote in a non-Presidential primary, than <0.1% participation to identify basically no new Republicans. No contest.


How do you know your volunteers are already activists. In 2009 Ken Cuccinelli brought all sorts of new folks to the convention that weren't there in 2008 (I was at both), and so did Bob and Bill.

There is nothing about a convention that says new activists can't sign up. The difference is campaigns now have to go and find this people rather than waiting for them to come to us.

Look, I'm not trying to be a jerk and there are a million valid reasons to hold a primary over a convention. But this canard that in a Convention the party is shutting out volunteers and activists is nonsense. There is no requirement to sign up to be a delegate at a convention . . . there is no loyalty oath, there is no dollar value, you don't have to be in a unit committee. Nothing. Just fill out the paperwork.

As a magesterial district chair, THESE are the people that will run through walls for you and the party. People ready and willing to go through this process should be your first call because they have proven to have a lot vested in it.

That's all I'm saying. Other critcisms of a convention are fine . . . the military, religous voters, etc etc etc, I get it. But if your concern is about activists who want to help the party and identifying those people (which it sounds like it is) there is NO better list than a convention delegate list.

All I'm saying is its not as bad as you think it will be. 2009 is proof enough of that. All our races were landslide wins, seems to run counter to your argument that people were driven away in disgust by the method of nomination.


Chris, once that baby comes you're going to feel a lot differently about conventions next year. It is incredibly difficult for parents to participate in such all day affairs. Yes, a few do it, but it is miserable. Most simply won't try. We're telling a key demographic for our party we don't care about giving them a voice.

But I'm going to say it again, I've been at the work of recruiting volunteers for 5 years. And I've tried to engage the 2008 and 2009 convention attendees every year. I found exactly ONE active volunteer through a convention list. There are several others who were already precinct captains before they ever went to a convention. The rest of the convention attendees apparently think that attending the convention means they've done their political duty, or maybe went in support of a losing candidate. I don't know why, but most of them have never returned my calls or emails. I have found HUNDREDS of volunteers through primaries, either by meeting them at the polls or contacting them after the primary voting lists come out.

That's just the facts. I've checked the numbers in my comprehensive database of nearly 3000 Republican voters in 6 precincts that I've been in charge of since 2009. You can say you don't believe me, but what's the basis of your assumptions?

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