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10th District Wrist Slap

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It appears the 10th District Convention thuggery deliberation is over; Shaun Kenney reports it's a 'reprimand':

10th District suffered a reprimand for the manner of which their election for chair occured. The video has definitely made the rounds, and no one is happy with the manner of which the convention was conducted. It certainly has stained the reputations of those involved, and that sentiment has been made very clear.

Thanks to BVBL for the link.

Thanks, also, to John Grigsby for providing the video.

Thanks, finally, to the 10th District leadership for reminding us all that 'power' is not simply an abstraction.

It was mildly scary but one heck of a Convention.

Virginia 10th District Convention Video!

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Anyone fortunate enough to attend the 10th District Convention this year likely still bears a lingering scent of gunpowder and pitch. If you weren't there or just want to relive the insanity, you can go here to read one of our reports straight from the colosseum floor.

Better yet, check out the new video clip featuring the Athena of the Loudoun County GOP herself, Eve Barner, being treated in a fairly unparliamentary manner.

Right click on one of these links and choose either "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" to download to your computer.

May 20, Virginia 10th District Convention (High Speed Connection required unless you have all day)

May 20, Virginia 10th District Convention (For Not So High Speed Connections)

Here is a summary of the video by the very quick-on-his-feet gentleman who filmed it:

My first GOP convention was twenty years ago. I've been to county, state, and even one national-level GOP convention, and I've never seen something remotely like this.

It was an incredible display of thuggery or incompetence, take your pick, something I'd expect in a country whose name ended in 'stan', or perhaps Chicago, but certainly not in Virginia.

I had some hint of Jim Rich's capability for this, from his meddling in the affairs of our Loudoun GOP unit, back when Randy Minchew was chair, and my wife was on the Executive Committee. Still, I was dumbfounded by what I saw, especially since his hand-picked chair is an assistant Commonwealth's Attorney for Loudoun County.

The video is a six minute segment that starts after I believe most parliamentary procedure violations had taken place. I took it with an analog camera, though I'll certainly purchase a digital model before the next convention. As camera work goes, clearly I should keep the day job. I chose this segment based on my limited ability to work with the video editing software this incident inspired me to purchase. There was a lot more of this sort of material to work with, had I better video editing skills. Oh well, it looks like there will be a next time.

-- John Grigsby, Loudoun County

UPDATE: Video of a portion of this part of the convention is now available!

Virginia 10th District Convention Smackdown on Vimeo

This point in the agenda is where things really got interesting.

During the earlier "vote" for Chair and Secretary, Jim Rich had refused to heed requests from members for a division of the question - technically, I understand, you just can't do that if you are acting Chair and purporting to follow Roberts Rules of Order.

As the morning progressed, however, it became clear that the rulebook in place was less "Roberts" than "Marquis of Queensbury."

A motion was made, and the motion carried, to allow reading of the names of Convention delegates who had donated to Democratic opponents of Republican candidates in the past year. Eve Barner was given the floor to commence reading the names.


What happened next was ... Darn, I keep losing my concentration, sorry. It's just that I've got this song going through my head for some unknown reason and I can't get it to stop:

"Woke up this morning, got yourself a gun…"

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I used to have friends who played rugby; I've spent nights in the ER waiting room that made you literally feel the thin line between life and death; I've watched a man bite the head off a live chicken: But none of that - none of that - prepared me for my first Virginia 10th District Republican Convention.

Ok, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration. But the parliamentary procedures dispute was stimulating.

The problem, in a nutshell, was that the Jim Rich contingent was running the show, the Heidi Stirrup contingent tried to force them to follow parliamentary procedures, and the Rich people were trying to just move the meeting forward. So in the voting to establish a temporary Chair for the Convention and a Secretary, the Stirrup stalwarts were unable to get a word in edgewise.

Although they tried, they certainly tried. Two gentlemen, last names Ferrara and McHugh, from other parts of the state, did yeoman's duty: It ain't easy under Roberts Rules of Order when the Chair won't recognize members who want to speak. Basically all you can do then is yell.

Dmitri was one of the key members on our side of the room attempting to make points of order and, really, just get the Chair to recognize him so he could say something. Thank goodness a few people understood, even with Roberts Rules supposedly in use, you sometimes have to play hardball to have a democratic meeting.


(Through it all, the children just played…as though they knew something we didn't.)

I think that Eugene fellow was in there, if I recall correctly….maybe it was somebody else.

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The Convention finally got started a little after 10:05 am, and as a first-timer I have to tell you it was quite exhilarating to be in a room full of cheerful Republicans on this spectacular, sunny day in the mountains.


With the last notes of the Star Spangled Banner still lingering in our ears, however, a lightning-bolt was about to shatter our world and perhaps none of us will ever be the same.

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There wasn't much going on at 8:45 am in the Convention area, so I set back off down the hill to look around.

One of my reasons for supporting Heidi Stirrup was I had met her and spoken with her at some length on a couple occasions. She really did a good job doing the meet-and-greet thing at Republican events over the past couple months and this was no exception.


This got me thinking: Maybe in the interest of fairness I should give Jim Rich the same chance. But I did not even know what he looked like. Thus began my quest.

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This will be broken into a few reports, I think, so the large number of images don't have to be loaded into one gigantic molasses-slow extended entry.

Getting there was half the adventure in itself!

No, I don't mean getting to the Wakefield School in The Plains - I mean getting from the parking to the registration area to the Convention.

The parking directional people were apparently tasked with making parking as confusing as possible. When we drove up a stern-faced individual looked me in the eye and gestured with great fervor like he was swatting a fly. As I drove past and looked in the rearview mirror, he was still doing it. The meaning I gathered from it was, "Drive damn you, just drive!"


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Well now, that was interesting.


My report will take a little longer to put together so please check back soon for updates. In the meantime, here are a few fond memories from this lovely morning in May:





8:45- Wakefield Scool is bustling with activity. The Stirrup campaign has a massive registration tent right next to the valet parking. About 100 people around the registration area... looks like lapel sticker war is about even but I haven't been to the gym (where convention will occur) yet.

The BIG NEWS is that the Rich Bolling endorsement does not exist... TC either was trying to mislead delegates (stealing a play from Rich) or he was just misinformed. Bolling sent a thank you letter to be read to the entire convention but NO endorsement and his staffer says he is neutral.

A pro-marriage amendment resolution passed the commitee after surviving a 4-4 vote to kill it.

9:45- Hall is beginning to fill. looks like a satelitte location will not be needed, which hurts Heidi. Steve Chapman is here with a Stirrup sticker...

10:06- Convention has not started yet. Rich supporters just handed out blue and white pom-poms to wave when he speaks. Crowd looks evenly divided but it is hard to tell. Room is filling up fast, I am a poor judge of crowd size but would say at least 200.

10:09- Rich just started the convention.

10:09- Bolling letter thanking and supporting EVERYONE working in the GOP read. 5 min reccess.

10:26- Jim Fisher beat Susan Volpe (Heidi suporter) for Temporary Chair Convention. Rich is ignoring call for divison and Roberts Rule.

10:30- Calls for divison ignored and "overruled". Heidi suporters are being ignored... tension high.

10:45- Debate over rules... all votes are by voice, calls for division continue to be ignored. Rules have been shoved through. 7 resolutions will be considered later. 3 people are certified as candidates but Delguadio has withdrawn, only 2 finally certified.

11:04- Cuccinelli's aide moves to remove people who gave money to Democrats this year. Voice vote supports but still rule against. Mass chaos as Heidi supporters are ignored. Wolf speaks for Rich durring candidate speeches.

11:27- Candidates spoke, Heidi didn't use her time well and was cut off after 8 min. Balloting has begun.

12:20- Allen, Wolf and Kate Griffin spoke. Now the big results...

12:50- The winner and next Chairman of the 10th District is JIM RICH. By a margin of about 600-400.

That is all of our live coverage, we'll have more after action later. Congrats to Jim Rich.

Live coverage of 10th District Convention

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NOVA TownHall is pleased to announce that we have acquired mobile blogging technology that will enable us to cover unfolding political events in real time. Thus we’ll be posting live on the status of the 10th District Convention tomorrow.

We may also post some photos, but only in the event of fisticuffs or other unexpected excitement.

Check back often for live in-the-field coverage of one Northern Virginia's hottest political events.

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