Scorched Earth: Eric Cantor's Staff, Supporters Drain Cash From Virginia GOP, Dave Brat
Ray Allen, Mike Thomas, Donald Williams and ten other Cantor supporters continued their assault on the grassroots last night with a 13-6 vote on the committee to bleed the 7th District GOP bank account. Here is how it happened …
Last night at the Goochland Library the 7th District GOP Committee held their first meeting under the new chairmanship of Fred Gruber. [Ed. note: Gruber is the Tea Party-backed chairman who defeated Cantor's favored incumbent, Linwood Cobb, which came weeks before Cantor's loss.] The Treasurer’s Report showed that the 7th CD Committee had approximately $470,000 cash on hand, with almost the entire amount coming from Cantor’s Victory Fund. (As an aside, can the other side please stop bemoaning the loss of Linwood Cobb’s fundraising prowess? The man did nothing to raise money. He simply cashed the Cantor checks.) Ray Allen and Mike Thomas (who are not elected members of the 7th District Committee) were conveniently in attendance, carrying a voting member’s proxy, so that they could vote on the motions. [UPDATE: Ray Allen held a proxy for a voting member (Kristi Way - Cantor's Chief of Staff); it is not clear whether Mike Thomas held a voting or nonvoting proxy.]
An initial motion was made by conservatives on the Committee to spend approximately $288K of the money to help Gillespie/Brat win in November, while saving the balance for future elections. Specifically, conservatives wanted to spend $288K to build a sophisticated grassroots operation for each of the ten counties in the 7th District to help with general election voter turnout in November. It would have far exceeded any sort of GOP victory efforts in the past, with each county having the necessary resources, talent, and technical support to increase our voter margins in November. This proposal was flatly denied.
Chesterfield GOP Chairman, Donald Williams, made a substitute motion to give $150,000 to to the Republican National Committee (RNC), $150,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), $25,000 to Ben Chafin who is running to replace the state senate seat of Phil Puckett down in southwest Virginia, $12,866 to the Republican Party of Virginia so that GOP units in the 7th district could obtain i360 data licenses, and $5,000 to all Virginia congressional campaign – leaving only approximately $86,000 in the 7th district bank account.
Interestingly, this proposal basically gave NOTHING to 7th District election efforts in November, only allocating a total of $12,866 to purchase i360 data licenses!!! The 7th District Committee decided they had no interest in growing the GOP and turning out the vote in their own district, they would rather give their money to Washington D.C.!
The Cantor allies on the 7th District Committee even slighted their own state party, not giving the Republican Party of Virginia a dime! Why do I say this? Because RPV is simply being used a pass thru to pay for i360 licenses for the 10 GOP units in the 7th District. RPV doesn’t get to keep a dime of the $12,866 they are being sent. Make no mistake, this is retribution for Pat Mullins standing up against the slating tactics of Eric Cantor, Ray Allen and Mike Thomas. Their intentions were exposed when Fred Gruber tried to offer a compromise amendment to the Cantor/Allen/Thomas/Williams budget that the $300K going to the RNC and NRCC be split three ways so that RPV would at least get $100K. This proposal was also flatly denied. No money to the RPV and only $12,866 to 7th District operations.
You need to know how your local GOP members voted. Only 6 members voted against this proposal to bleed the money from the 7th District bank account. Those were:Fred Gruber – ChairmanBen Slone – Goochland Unit ChairmanNick Freitas – Culpeper Unit ChairmanMark Daniel – New Kent Unit ChairmanJordan Marshall – Orange Unit ChairmanRobert Stuber – Spotsylvania Unit Chairman
Here are the members who voted to raid the 7th district account and send the money outside of the 7th District:
Donald Williams – Chesterfield Unit Chairman
Chris Obenshain – Richmond City Unit Chairman
Nancy Russell – Hanover County Unit Chairman
Don Boswell – Henrico County Unit Chairman
Graven Craig – Louisa County Unit Chairman
Liza Bradford – VFRW District 7 Rep
Kate Rennolds – Young Republican Rep
Klarke Kilgore (proxy) – College Republican Rep
Jane Ladd – State Central Presidential Rep
David Fuller – State Central Congressional Rep
Doug Rogers – State Central rep
Marie Quinn – State Central rep
Kristi Way (proxy) – State Central rep
So now you know who is truly for building the party and grassroots in the 7th District and who simply wants to protect turf, punish the grassroots, and keep the local party small and ineffective.
Folks, where do you think that money is going after it makes it to the RNC or NRCC?
I did post Radtke's entire post here, but do visit her blog, The Bull Elephant, and thank her for the excellent coverage. Journalists like her are why, occasionally, the bad guys in Washington get sent home.