Thursday, April 23, 2009

Augusta GOP officers resign in protest of 56 purged members

As many know, I have been very concerned about the actions of Augusta County Republican Committee Chairman Bill Shirley in illegally kicking off 56 members of the committee, and have tried a variety of avenues to resolve this issue. Now long-time volunteers who are friends, neighbors, and solid Republicans have been purged.

I am sad to say that at our last committee meeting on Tuesday, April 21, 2009, Chairman Bill Shirley would not allow anyone to speak to the issue even to the extend that he refused to recognize RPV Acting Chairman Mike Thomas who had driven up from Richmond, and did not even acknowledge Mr. Thomas' presence at the start of the meeting.

Committee members tried to speak but Bill Shirley threatened them with a Sergeant of Arms and a local deputy, a tactic that has become all too familiar to intimidate and shut down discussion. This kind of harassment is not how Republicans act.

In solidarity with the 56 members who were removed from the committee, I will stand with them and, in protest of their dismissal, have formally resigned from the Augusta County Republican Committee along with the majority of the Executive Committee who left for the same reason.

I apologize to RPV Acting Chairman Mike Thomas for his poor treatment, and to the 56 purged volunteers who have been there for us throughout the years.

It is a sad day to realize that the Party that was so vibrant and strong in Augusta County has fallen to such depths with no hope of the majority of the banished 56 returning anytime soon. My conscience will not allow me to associate with the type of behavior displayed by Bill Shirley and others. I will help the GOP in other more productive ways rather than fight members of the Party.

It is said that Virginians traditionally have a sense of civility in politics ... but we seem to have lost that in the Augusta County Republican Party under the chairmanship of Bill Shirley.

Some civil voices on this subject:

New - Too Conservative: What a mess in Augusta County
New - Yankee Phil: VA Bloggers asks a question about Augusta County....

- Yankee Phil: A letter from Swacgirl to local Republicans
- Augusta Conservative: Augusta County Republican Committee purges 56 members
- Yankee Phil: Majority of the Augusta County Board resigned
- Augusta Free Press: Local GOP committee splintering over ... what, exactly?
- Fishersville Mike: Something bothering me
- Augusta Conservative: Augusta County GOP Committee Falls Apart
- Yankee Phil: Time to print new brochures
- Fishersville Mike: It's the internet age, settle it
- The Augusta Water Cooler: Augusta axes hardworking grassroots volunteers

From Too Conservative blog with comments:

What A Mess In Augusta County

By Loudoun Insider Purges, RINO Hunting, etc.  Sound familiar?  The Augusta County Republican Committee sounds like a total trainwreck, with the Frederick types taking over.  SWAC Girl has a rundown with lots of links.


  • Apparently there are two sides to this, even in the blogosphere. Personally, I always come down on the side of inclusion, not exclusion.
    I can’t speak expertly to the legality of the explusions, or the procedure that was done to execute them, but I do question those who are standing behind it (like Spank That Donkey, a noted Frederick supporter) what they gain by purging their rolls? Especially in the case of many members who may have missed three County meetings but by all accounts attended other party functions and have been hard-working volunteers.
  • I could see the legitimacy of this if there were three regularly scheduled meetings. From what I’ve read some of these meetings were called on short notice at odd times to set up this purge.
    This is entirely symptomatic of the Puritan wing – they want to cast out any who do not fall in lock step with their version of “conservative principles”. Soon they’ll have a monolithic cabal running the show any of which couldn’t get elected dog catcher. But, to paraphrase the Protic Principle, at least they’ll be “pure”. A sure recipe for electoral failure, no matter how pure they may think they may be.
  • kelley in virginia
    though i was never chairperson of a large county, we were able to craft a cohesive group of individuals with very diverse reasons for being Republican in a small county.
    why is this such a damn problem?
    and mike thomas has more campaign sense in his little finger than most will ever have in their entire body.
  • LI, even if it is legitimate, my question still stands: what do you gain by kicking out 56 people?
  • Absolutely nothing, VAB. I hope you didn’t get the impression I was for this purge. it is an incredibly stupid move. brought to you by the Frederick Fanatics and their style of Puritanism.
    Mike Thomas drove all the way out there to try to mediate this mess and was refused an opportunity to speak. Nice.
  • It’s clear to me that the village idiot down there thinks that he can bump Frederick’s numbers by trying to purge the delegates as well. Thankfully, he got called on that part–and they were reinstated.
    Unfortunately–watching from the outside…and remembering our very own struggle here- makes me reflective. Glen Caroline is in charge here in Loudoun, and I think I appreciate him all the much more because I’ve seen just how bad a unit can go with the wrong leadership.
    So, looking at Augusta’s disenfranchised members…the sun will come out, and you will be included, because the jag-off who thinks he’s in charge down there is probably near the top of the list of first order of business on a new RPV Chairman’s gavel….not to mention the Congressional District Chair’s last nerve.
  • RichmondDem
    Augusta was, what? One of the four or so counties to vote for Gilmore over Warner last year? Not a shock to hear this.
  • NoVA Scout
    I love these bright sparks (“love” in the sense that they provide me with endless amusement) who think that political success comes from appealing to an ever-narrowing universe of voters.
  • VA Blogger comments….I can’t speak expertly to the legality of the explusions, or the procedure that was done to execute them, but I do question those who are standing behind it (like Spank That Donkey, a noted Frederick supporter) what they gain by purging their rolls?
    If you read my post that the Vice Chairs of Communications and the Vice Chair of Precincts resigned. You might ask Spank the Donkey and Rightside Va who got those 2 posts.
    I am not saying that they did not have a totally different motivation in their support. I am sure they felt that they were doing the right thing, but you can ask them that question.
  • As far as I know, those two got those two positions. And Lynn Mitchell, a fine Republican, is out. It’s utterly ridiculous.
  • So much for Jeff Frederick’s claims, and those of his people, that they represent the grassroots. It sounds more like they consider those grassroots to be a threat to them.
    Frederick is proving more and more that he is the ideal poster boy for what’s wrong with the Republican Party.
  • I have never understood the meetings requirements for the Republican Committees. For anyone who works, goes to school, or isn’t retired, making a monthly meeting isn’t always possible, and I don’t know many Republicans who would be willing to go on my behalf who aren’t already members.
    If I were cynical, I’d say that the primary reason for the rule is to enable purges like this – not to control party purity, but simply to require those who want to participate to pay the fee over and over again as a means of raising funds. Otherwise, I can’t see the benefit of removing people when the Committees are rarely, if ever, 100% full.

1 comment:

David Briggman said...

What is up with the widespread censorship occurring within Virginia's Republican party at almost any and all levels?

Makes me damn glad I'm Libertarian.