Attending unit meetings and being involved at the local county GOP level can be a passionate exercise in self-sacrifice. Restoring our nation to its Founding begins at this level of activism and sets the stage for the direction of our county, state, and nation. I embrace it and love it.
Delegates of Virginia’s 5th Congressional District will soon gather in Lovingston, VA, on May 14th to choose the next Republican Congressional Candidate for the 2016 November election. For full disclosure, I am a Michael Del Rosso supporter. I’ve hosted Michael in my home and have actively campaigned for him; I believe that Michael is the man for this exact moment to represent us and face our nations current struggles. Michael speaks truth to power on a host of issues and supporters love that about him. This is not to detract from the other qualified candidates at all. Contrasted to the Democrats we have the best to offer in this race, hands down.
Being a delegate to the May 14th, 5th District Convention means that I have “skin in the game”. I’ve attended meetings and forums to listen to candidates and their surrogates present their campaigns’ message. I’ve put in the time to research positions, the current issues that are important to all of us, and have assessed their individual character. I’ve paid my own filing fee and I’m ready to go to Nelson County!
However, some recent news about this process in my own Greene County really bothers me and I am somewhat pained to share what I believe is necessary.
Imagine how you would react if you received verification that one of the candidates in this race paid the convention filing fees for at least 7 of the 35 individuals in your unit’s delegation, many of whom have NEVER attended a unit meeting at all…ever! Did someone other than you pay your fee? That candidate is Senator Tom Garrett. Is this standard operational procedure for a grass root Conservative campaign?
Yes, folks, Tom Garrett for Congress paid the delegation convention fees for at least 7 of the 35 Greene County delegates attending the 5th District GOP Convention. This has been 100% verified and I am very disappointed.
Do I have concerns? Absolutely I have concerns. This smacks of what establishment hacks do on both sides of the isle. We are not Democrats, nor have we embraced GOP establishment tactics. Paying convention fees from a campaign fund may be 100% legal, but do the donors know that his campaign is using funds to pay delegates to attend a convention on HIS behalf? Where is the judgement? Is this win at any cost?
Other delegates who have their favorite candidate may not have the financial resources to pay for fees and incentivize delegates to go to the convention on behalf of their delegate. This is all about getting out votes and is akin to trolling for those votes. It calls into question using a campaign’s financial advantage over the everyday working delegate who has actually used their own resources of time and money to invest in the process. How can an individual delegate financially compete with this if we are talking about a paid vote advantage?
Before this, I thought we were above these tactics and I thought more of Tom Garrett. Perhaps Senator Garrett just surrounded himself with the wrong people who made this decision without his approval?
The question remains…has this occurred in other counties across the 5th GOP Congressional District? I believe that we all deserve a further explanation on what happened here before the final round of votes on May 14th.
Eva Young Greene County 5th District Delegate