RPV Brass Doubles Down on Anti-Trump Primary Vote Scheme, Pushes Secret “Talking Points” to Va. Unit Chairs To Combat Media Firestorm

Written by on December 30, 2015

RPV Brass Doubles Down on Anti-Trump Primary Vote Scheme, Pushes Secret “Talking Points” to Va. Unit Chairs To Combat Media Firestorm

THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE. OR, JUST SPIN IT. 

The latter appears to be the new mantra of the Republican Party of Virginia’s top brass: When in doubt, spin your way out!

Under fire for slipping in a “Statement of Affiliation” pledge requirement at the voting booth to repel unsuspecting Independents, disaffected and newly registered voters from participating in Virginia’s March 1 Super Tuesday primary election, the Republican Party of Virginia’s ruling elite countered by sending out talking points to it’s unit chairs.

If logic fails, spin it like a top.

The Statement of Affiliation, gleefully approved by Governor Terry McAuliffe’s (D-VA) Democratic controlled State Board of Election representatives, mandates that those who choose a Republican ballot on Presidential primary day must first sign an intrusive document stating official affiliation to the Republican Party.

Failure to comply at the registration table would cause the unsuspecting voter to be denied a ballot, stripping away their right to vote.

The General Assembly has failed to pass registration by political party in Virginia.

Talking points or not, the subterfuge appears to be a blatant attempt by the RPV to disenfranchise core Trump supporters, many of whom are Independents or new to the process and may not be comfortable signing papers stating their party affiliation.  These are the very voters the Republican Party of Virginia desperately needs to win in the fall.

Virginia Republicans have lost six state-wide races in a row and two consecutive Presidential races.

Rather than create spin mechanisms, The RPV should abandon the pledge gimmick.

Let Virginians vote in peace and in private. Potentially turning unsuspecting registered voters away at the polls on election day is unconscionable.

MOULTON: “PULL THE PLUG ON THIS DISASTER”

Here is what longtime Virginia conservative activist leader Russ Moulton sent to his GOP leadership colleagues today:

“I understand the statement of affiliation wording has been changed by SBE/McAuliffe, and won’t be the one voted on by SCC in September.

I understand that SBE is refusing to allow us access to the executed statement forms, so we won’t get this gold mine of Republican voter contact data we were promised.  We will have to fight for it under FOIA or other legal approaches that may or may not be successful.

UH, IT’S ILLEGAL GUYS, DID YOU MISS THAT DETAIL?

RNC Rule 16 d 2 says RPV must have published the statement of affiliation qualification in a newspaper of general circulation 90-days before the Primary.  RPV didn’t do so, and so if RPV proceeds with the statement requirement with SBE, it is violating RNC rules and VA’s delegation is subject to a credentials challenge.

I understand why many voted for this statement initially.  At one time, I supported them too.  But I have come to believe with deeper understanding they are a mistake.

Establishment Republicans have recently hurt our brand-idea so badly, we have many in our base disgusted with Republicans.

After all the recent disappointments with Republicans on the Hill for voting for more deficit spending, funding of executive amnesty, funding for ObamaCare, funding of planned parenthood, etc … — how many of you heard folks say, “I am no longer a Republican” or “I’ve left the Republican Party”?

Even the Rev. Franklin Graham recently made such statements publicly.

If we are going to get our party back on the right track, we need these disaffected folks back participating now, not turned away by a statement.  We need them to get our Party back.

Primaries are taxpayer-funded evolutions, not party processes.  As a result, people instinctively believe they have a taxpayer right to participate in Virginia primaries.  We are trying to push a rope uphill, trying to convince voters they should accept they have no right to participate in our primary nominations unless they are Republicans – only to hurt our eventual nominee with outraged, turned-away voters.

If we wanted a statement of affiliation and to have only Republicans vote, we shouldn’t have picked a primary in the first place.  If we pick an open primary, then don’t expect to keep out non-Republicans.

In practice, we relinquish our right of free association the minute we adopt a state-run primary.

We keep allowing the establishment to force us into primaries – and then we try to dress up the pig with statements of affiliation to make them less objectionable.

We should not support statements of affiliation designed to fix primaries — because they don’t.

And on top of this, now we hear the SBE won’t go with the wording adopted by SCC, won’t give us access to the statement voter contact data, and our statement is in violation of RNC rules.

It’s time to pull the plug on this disaster.” – Russ Moulton

Below is the full text of the letter we obtained from a Virginia GOP unit chair last night, who shared it on the condition of anonymity. Name and time/date stamp has been redacted to comply with the request.

FULL TEXT RPV LETTER: Dear Unit Chairs,

Recently there has been a lot of media attention focused on our Party regarding the Statement of Affiliation. Certain media members have been spreading disinformation regarding the Statement and we feel it is important to arm our members with some important facts.

Below are examples of the disinformation being spread with points rebutting the assertions.

*Accusation: The Statement of Affiliation is targeted against Donald Trump.

*Response:

*When the Statement of Affiliation was being formulated back in September RPV reached out to all of the major presidential campaigns to seek input on our proposed form. The following presidential campaigns or their surrogates responded by saying the Statement was fine by them: Carly Fiorina, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush.

*Donald Trump’s campaign was sent an email on September the 8th outlining the Statement of Affiliation. A copy of the email has been attached to this email. The email address that the draft statement was sent to is the email address of Trump’s deputy political director. As proof, the email address was used when the Trump campaign threatened to pull out of the CNBC debate. Link here.  For 3 months there was no response from the Trump campaign. On December 9th, the RPV received a letter from the Trump campaign asking several questions regarding the Statement of Affiliation. Due to the State Board of Elections formulating implementation of the Statement we were unable to fully respond in writing until December 19th. However, the Trump campaign received a phone call the same day from RPV outlining most of the likely responses.
*For reasons unknown to our Party at this time, Donald Trump has decided that this an attack against his campaign. Let me be very clear, the Statement of Affiliation is not designed to favor or hurt any candidate whatsoever. The purpose of the Statement is to build our Party and prevent Democrats from voting in the March 1st Republican Presidential Primary.  Had the Trump campaign responded prior to the meeting, our Party would have alerted our members to their feedback at the September State Central meeting when the Statement of Affiliation was voted on.

*Accusation: RPV has been opposed to the Trump campaign from the start

*Response:

*The Republican Party of Virginia has treated all candidates equally throughout the nomination process. Our Party and our Chairman have highlighted all Republican presidential candidates when they have visited the Commonwealth through social media. In addition, our Party always attempts to send a representative when a candidate visits to encourage future visits and highlight the importance of Virginia in the upcoming presidential election. This courtesy has included Donald Trump’s campaign, our Chairman has attended a Trump rally, as well highlighting his visits in our Commonwealth, just like all of the other candidates.

*When it came time to qualify for the ballot this year, the Republican Party of Virginia developed a new pre-check procedure to ensure ballot access was simple and transparent in comparison to past efforts. All campaigns were invited to participate and Donald Trump’s campaign was the first to take part in the effort. Once the Trump campaign completed the process, RPV highlighted their efforts in an email and press release. RPV did this for every single campaign who passed our pre-check procedure.

*In addition, our Party offered to sell a copy of the voter file to all campaigns so each campaign could verify signatures. The Trump campaign was the only campaign who took the Party up on our offer. RPV took this unprecedented action to ensure all campaigns had the equal opportunity to make the ballot.  More recently, the RNC has given the Trump campaign access to the same voter file the RPV has access to for free. Link here.

*The Republican Party of Virginia also invited every single presidential campaign to our annual fundraiser at the RPV Advance and this included Donald Trump’s campaign. In short, the Republican Party of Virginia has treated all candidates equally and this includes Donald Trump.

*Accusation: The Statement of Affiliation is designed to disenfranchise independent voters

*Response:

*The Statement of Affiliation is designed to prevent Democrats from voting in our process and to serve as a party building tool for our Party. Our goal is to ensure Republican voters choose the Republican nominee for president.  It is not a pledge or an oath and does not bind voters to do anything other than state they are Republicans. The statement simply reads, “My signature below indicates that I am a Republican.” It is not targeted at Republican leaning independents or Tea Party members.

*A similar statement was required previously, in the 2000 Republican Presidential Primary. In 2000, voters had to sign a pledge stating they would not participate in another Party’s primary. Despite a very stringent pledge, over 664,000 voters chose to vote in our Party’s primary that year. The turnout in that election still holds the record for participation in a Republican primary.

*The fact is the Democrats are terrified that our new Statement will give us an opportunity to develop a large state-wide voter list for future Party building. The liberal, Democrat blog “Blue Virginia” has urged the State Board of Elections to squash our Statement to prevent our Party from gaining an electoral advantage.

Thank you all for your time on this issue. I hope you all have a Happy New Year — John Findlay, Executive Director, Republican Party of Virginia


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