Diary

The Frederick "Indictment"

Bob Lewis gives the world a look at the charges made against Jeff Frederick by those who seek his removal from the RPV chairmanship:

—Spent party money for unbudgeted purposes without consent from either the central committee or the executive committee;

—Gave central committee members little or no time to review the proposed 2009 budget in December, failed to complete either a show-of-hands or roll-call vote by the committee on the budget, then declared it passed without a complete vote count.

—Damaged the party in last fall’s elections by refusing to “coordinate activities, including campaign messages, with Republican nominees for public office.” Democrats won three GOP House seats, the second of Virginia’s two Senate seats, and carried the state in a presidential race for the first time in 44 years.

—Failed to tell the executive committee of a possible security breach of party data on computer servers and not promptly investigating the matter after he was asked to.

In some ways, it reads like a negative employee review — actions taken without approval, actions not taken at all, and possible self-dealing.

Are they firing offenses? In a private company, they might be. In the three-ring circus that passes for the Republican Party of Virginia, they appear to be hanging offenses.  Or at least they are for some.

It does appear that Frederick’s hold on the chairmanship is tenuous at best, though I also believe that the release to the press of the charges against him — in a letter that was previously held in strictest confidence — shows that those who want him gone were sensing a change in the winds…against them.

That only follows, considering that in the last day we’ve learned that the McDonnell campaign may have been a driving force behind all of this (a potentially grave unforced error) and that the whole thing has made folks like Bob Marshall (who, despite the enmity of some within his own party, remains a potent force), openly warn that if it looks like Frederick is being railroaded, there will be hell to pay.

With the payee being Bob McDonnell.

Those who want Frederick gone may prevail. But it could also be a Pyrrhic victory.

Conversely, there are those conservatives, like Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and Attorney General candidate Ken Cuccinelli who are arguing a different course — Cuccinelli making the case for caution, lest the whole episode blow-up in the party’s, and Bob McDonnell’s face, and Bolling, who says he’s going to stay neutral.

Virginia’s Republican congressional delegation, which in the past has been silent on matters of state import, is also calling for Frederick to go.

No matter what comes of this episode, there really won’t be any winners, and as my friend and boss John Taylor wrote: “…the members of the GOP may find that no serious-minded adult with a pulse would consider being the leader of such a dysfunctional cluster ….”