The State Central Committee (SCC) of the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) met for our quarterly meeting on Friday, December 6, at the Homestead. RPV Chairman Jack Wilson, in apparent response to some sharp criticism of the RPV leadership, was very careful to emphasize that even though Executive Director John Findlay is leaving at the end of the year, Jack had not offered the job to anyone nor would he make that decision on his own. Jack will appoint a nationwide search committee to find the right person with the right skills to lead Virginia back to its conservative roots.
In apparent response to real anger within the Party about lack of candidates in the General Assembly races this fall, Jack assured SCC members that in 2020 we will have a Republican candidate in every Congressional district in Virginia. He also noted that the RPV will establish financial accounts now for every district that does not have an incumbent running, so that each Republican candidate who wins nomination will have a “nest egg” of funds to jump start their campaigns.
There were some subtle differences in how the meeting progressed that gives me hope that the conservative, grassroots members of the SCC are developing a rapport with a group of SCC members who have not traditionally been our allies. It appears that the SCC is no longer a “two faction” committee. The faction of the SCC that had the majority on all votes (not the side I’m on) has apparently split (loosely) into two groups. One of those groups is still hardcore Establishment. The other faction is more pragmatic and bucks the Establishment leadership when they think the leaders are wrong – which has happened several times this year.
The “new” faction joined with the conservative faction on several votes at this meeting just as they have done on other issues during the last couple of meetings. And this new three-faction situation appears to have caused the Establishment element of the SCC to be more conciliatory and cooperative. This seemed evident to me during the presentation of the several Party Plan amendments we debated.
A couple of amendments were housekeeping changes. We added a definition (Article II) of a legal signature. When multiple signatures are required on Party documents (such as an appeal or a petition to remove an officer) those signatures must now be either handwritten (in ink) or an electronic signature consistent with the Code of Virginia (Section 59.1-479). It also clarifies that a copy of the original signatures may be provided to the “defendant” rather than the actual signatures. We also changed wording (Article VI, F) that no longer comports with Virginia law.
As an outgrowth of last spring’s District 97 debacle, we added a paragraph (VIII, A, 11) that says simply “Once a call has been published, the method of nomination may not be changed.” During discussion someone pointed out that certain calls were not required to be published, so we also added a line to require publishing of all calls.
Due to questions this year concerning appeals, we clarified language in Article X, B and C. Also, in X, B, 5 & 6, we have changed the time frames for various steps in the process from 14 and 30 days to a consistent 21 days.
The final amendment also grew out of the District 97 issues. The Party Plan (I, B) now requires that anyone who is appointed to a committee that deals with rules governing any official committee (such as a Legislative District Committee) must be a member of a unit committee or an RPV auxiliary committee (CRs, YRs, VFRW). If a chair designates an individual to represent the chair as a proxy or to serve on a committee appointed by the chair, that individual must be a member of an official committee or auxiliary. This proscription does not apply to individuals elected to office by a convention or other nominating meeting.
Finally, we approved a call for RPV’s mandatory quadrennial convention. The state convention will be May 1-2, 2020, at Liberty University’s Vines Center in Lynchburg. We will elect the RPV chairman, elect delegates and alternates to the National Convention in August, and select our National Committeeman and Committeewoman.
I came away from the SCC meeting encouraged. Hopefully, the events at the meeting indicate that the state party is finally getting into a frame of mind in which the Party can actually get important work done – successfully.
Steve “Doc” Troxel, Ph.D.