A Time for LCRC Redemption
[Pardon me if this is old news to some of you, but it's new to me and falls in the "What fresh hell is this?" category so I am going to write about it.]
My introduction to local politics of any type occurred in early 2006, soon after we moved here, when I joined the Loudoun County Republican Committee. A central topic of my first two meetings was a bunch of people trying to gain membership in the LCRC, some of whom were considered personae non grata by some members of the committee because these applicants had worked for or supported an Independent or Democratic candidate running against a Republican candidate in local elections years before.
Having been informed that to work against the party's candidates is a major no-no, and enjoying retribution and lifelong grudges as much as the next guy, I cheerfully voted with the majority to keep these scofflaws out of the LCRC.
Fast forward to June 9 of this year: Greg Ahlemann defeated Steve Simpson for the Republican nomination for Sheriff. Obliterated, actually, because Ahlemann defeated the incumbent Simpson by more than a 2-1 margin at the Loudoun County Republican Convention. Ahlemann was the victor fair and square and undisputed nominee of the party.
All participants in the Convention had been required to sign a "pledge" to support the Republican candidates in the November election. This, I can tell you, was a bit of a pain because in signing up delegates for the Convention many of us encountered citizens who had serious moral qualms about whether they could honestly support all local Republicans on the ballot in November. It was rumored there might be an additional pledge required - and perhaps videotaped - as delegates showed up to register at the Convention. This did not occur but the general sense we first-timers had was: We were on our honor to support the winners from the Convention.
After the votes were tallied, the losers were given the opportunity to make a motion to nominate by acclamation their respective victorious opponents, and Sheriff Simpson came to the podium to call for the nomination of Greg Ahlemann.
Then, in less time than it takes to read The Art of War, Simpson reversed himself, broke the pledge, and announced he was going to run for Sheriff as an Independent. This is pretty serious business because Simpson had appropriated some of Ahlemann's key campaign positions related to illegal immigration, and splitting the Republican vote created a very real possibility of handing the election to the Democratic challenger.
Soon after this, it came to light that a prominent member of the LCRC, Dale Polen Myers, assisted Simpson in gathering signatures for his application to the state election board to be placed on the November ballot.
At one of the next LCRC meetings - which I missed because of the press of Help Save Loudoun business - a petition was apparently circulated to have Ms. Polen Myers removed from the committee. This seems, to me, a perfectly logical step, and it seems strange that a petition would even be required. But as the Connection newspaper reports, the petition failed. (Link found at Too Conservative).
1) A bunch of people come to mind who really ought to consider re-applying for admission to the LCRC, now that the standards have been relaxed.
2) I REALLY wish the true meaning of "pledge" had been explained earlier in the year, because it would have made the delegate sign-up process so much easier. ("Oh, you needn't worry about that, Mrs. Smith. Allow me to cross out the word 'pledge' and write 'joke' in its place.")
3) I have to try not to miss any more meetings, because I would have loved to hear the rationales for not bouncing Ms. Polen Myers out.
As most everyone who reads this blog knows, I am a big Greg Ahlemann supporter, because he is light years ahead of the other two candidates for Sheriff on addressing the illegal alien problem in Loudoun County. He understands the problem, he has a broad plan for fixing the problem which includes telling the Board of Supervisors what they need to do to fix it (which will get massive citizen support), and he is truly a stand-up guy who has been running with a consistent message since the campaign began. Greg Ahlemann is someone the citizens of Loudoun will be able to trust.
Since he is not only a great person and great candidate but also the Republican nominee, I would expect the party leadership to get behind him.
Now comes apparent evidence that, in addition to Ms. Polen Myers, a few other key Loudoun Republicans may be opposing Mr. Ahlemann. I'm not going to name any names just now, but there is an important event Tuesday night - a fundraiser for Greg Ahlemann featuring film director Ron Maxwell - which provides a singular opportunity for the LCRC leadership to show up en masse to support Ahlemann's candidacy.
Those who, in a moment of weakness, might have toyed with the idea of following Ms. Polen Myers, have a great opportunity for redemption, to rethink their positions and make a public showing of support for Greg Ahlemann. Show up Tuesday night, guys, and give us some photo ops and statements of support for the Republican nominee for Sheriff.
And, uh, after our sitting Sheriff and a major Republican power broker abandoned theirs, please try to convince us the pledge is not a total joke.
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