Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | March 21, 2009

Letter to 1 CD on Jeff Frederick

Here is the letter I sent to the 1 CD – because I couldn’t make it to the meeting tonight.  Just got in from CA.  And, of course, my bag didn’t make it.

As you can see, by the tone, this is a letter to people I like, respect and admire.  There is no double secret, inside the clubhouse, secret handshake Republican information. 

My “yes” means “yes” and my “no” means “no.”

Here are my words to a majority who holds an opposing view – and to everyone about the Jeff Frederick political lynching.

19 March 2009
Dear 1 CD Committee,
I’m away on business.  My plane home from San Diego doesn’t land until 11 pm.  So, I regret missing the meeting.  Here are my thoughts about L’affaire Frederick for your consideration.
Chairman Jeff Frederick shared the accusations and his response with all city and county chairmen.  I’m glad that he includes you in trust and confidence as officials in the RPV.  This is in sharp contrast to the email Mike Thomas sent to me saying that his information, his accusation letter, was restricted to SCC members only.
Particulars.  Nothing illegal was done.  In 2007 when a Republican legislator’s nominating forms indicated voter fraud, the involved party official immediately handed the evidence over to the Commonwealth’s Attorney.  Surely, if there was malfeasance, or any other illegal action, the accusing members of the SCC would not have covered up a crime – and turned everything over to the Commonwealth.  Obviously, from any reading of the charges, nothing illegal happened.
Likewise, nothing immoral took place.  If so, the accusing cabal would have taken action immediately.  They wouldn’t have shopped around their complaints for months.
So, we, the RPV, have ten charges that look like little “inside baseball” details to Virginia’s voters.  The charges could best be summed up as “irritations to some members of SCC.”  All members of the RPV should read Chairman Jeff Frederick’s detailed response.  Robert’s Rules of Order govern in most of the complaints.  According to Robert’s Rules, the complaining SCC members failed to respond to any alleged wrong properly.
Process.  When King George County removed its chairman in 2007, I was asked, as the District Chairman, to sit in as an observer on the proceedings.  The folks in King George handled a complicated, emotional situation with as much fair play, attention to detail, and above board honesty as I’ve seen in the Court Martials where I served as an Army officer.  Party organizational proceedings aren’t subject to due process.  But, they should follow the same concepts and intent as “The Rule of Law” while ascribing to the letter and spirit of The Party Plan and Roberts Rules of Order.

A District Chairman wrote In late November, just before the Republican Advance, I was asked to support his removal.  I declined and advised against it.”  Which means a few members, a cabal, took it upon themselves to remove the Chairman.  When did they first collude to do so?  Why?

And the Chairman continued, “Since that time, more things have been brought to my attention.  Only after separate meetings at the end of February, with three members of the Executive Committee and detailed questions and answers, did I sign on to ask the Chairman to step down or to be removed.”  The letter of accusations was shopped around the SCC.

I, your representative on the SCC, was not allowed to see the letter because I wouldn’t agree to sign it first.  What is wrong with this picture?  Why the sneakiness?  Why the double-secret exclusivity to the SCC?

Furthermore, when I asked who would replace Jeff Frederick, I was told only, “a male and female are being considered.”  Considered by whom?  Approved by whom?

The Party Plan says a Chairman can address the list of charges in a hearing in 30 days.  I’ve been told additional charges will be presented at the meeting on April 4th, 2009.  It will be a “gotcha” moment.  That is a violation of The Party Plan.  You can’t play “surprise” with new charges – even though the meeting isn’t a court of law. 

If, in fact, there are some super secret financial matters, then they should have been sent under a separate cover, by registered mail in a controlled manner.  I can’t imagine anything being so sensitive – because it will all come out sooner or later.


The few folks who started these accusations should come forward, for the good of the party, and lay down the timeline of who they are, what they did – when, why and how.  It’s time to be upfront, open, fair and honest with the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth – now.
The crisis of confidence was cooked by a cabal on the committee.  It’s an attempt to undo a convention of thousands.  It’s been worked well with elected politicians and, apparently, leaked to the press.

.  The Party Plan doesn’t specify the reasons for removing a chairman.  The list of accusations is petty, personal, and neither illegal or immoral.
So, here we are.  A few folks on SCC have initiated a divisive, embarrassing, public relations nightmare for the RPV.  Some may have had the best of intentions.  But, their mishandling of this reminds me of how HB 3202 – the worst single piece of legislation since Massive Resistance – was concocted, snowballed, cheered and crashed.  What matters, like HB 3202, is the precedent and the many perspectives of the public narratives that follow.   There are serious political consequences.
Finances.  Both sides will offer competing visions of how money will be raised if Jeff Frederick is deposed or not.  I find this argument particularly subjective and anecdotal.  Jeff Frederick has the largest giver in Virginia raising money.  If Ed Gillespie can’t get donors to give to Bob McDonnell, simply because of young Jeff Frederick, then perhaps he lacks persuasion or these are the same folks who see government as their special interest – like those who supported Mark Warner over Jim Gilmore.  If Bob McDonnell has a message that inspires Conservatives and Libertarians, he can motivate millions of voters to give a little – which results in a lot.
Election.  Will Jeff Frederick as Chairman cost Bob McDonnell the governorship and Republicans the majority in the House?  Or, will a committee lynching of Jeff have the same effect?  The arguments run past each other – loaded with emotion.  Given Bob’s last margin of victory, I’d think every vote would be vital.  Why can’t the cabal back off until after the election?  They waited this long to work the issue, so they can wait longer.
Confidence.  A number of elected politicians have piled on to say they don’t have confidence in Jeff.  If that is the case, they should run their candidate in the next convention.  The overwhelming majority of Republican legislators have lined up like lemmings before – HB 3202 – to disastrous results.
When party members lose confidence in politicians, they have to run a candidate to primary them.  Ask John Van Hoy about how hard that is.  You may recall all that Senator, His Lordship Sir John Chichester did for the Republican label and Conservative candidates while in office – and since he retired.  Confidence from our elected officials is situational – it can be good or bad – depending on the issue.  Yet, the letters from Republican politicians bring us to the real questions.
Jeff Frederick has severely angered a number of people.  I haven’t defended any action of his.  I think he has made mistakes.  Yet, I grant him, as all folks – especially those in the public eye – the grace of making mistakes.  Who amongst us hasn’t made errors?
Jeff hasn’t raised our taxes, rammed regional government down our throats, prohibited Christian chaplains from praying “in Jesus’ name”, or put millions in earmarks in Democrat budgets, etc.
Now that the fight is on to lynch Jeff or let him keep his duly elected position, two diverse factions are pulling on him like a rag doll.  Jeff is less and less the issue – other than the antipathy some people whisper behind his back.  Jeff hasn’t done anything that merits his removal by the SCC.
Good people are on both sides.  No labels fit the sides properly.  Conservatives are on both sides.  But, the sides stake out polar positions on a number of questions:
Who elects the Chairman of the RPV at a convention?  Or, who selects the Chairman and gets the convention to ratify the decision of the biggest Republican dogs in Virginia?
Should the RPV be an institution that transcends generations and carries immutable principles – and be responsive to a majority vote of We, The People?  Or, should the RPV be an extension of the campaign of the most powerful Republican-elected politicians?  Politicians come and go.  They are one “macaca” moment from having their power wiped out and their legacy – even good works of decades – diminished.
Should the RPV focus on supporting the duly nominated Republican candidates for office?  Or, should the RPV serve as an incumbent protection society?
Does the SCC know better, and have the greater moral authority, than the thousands of Virginia Republicans at a convention?
Finally, the SCC is voting on its own reputation in ascribing to the political lynching of Jeff Frederick – or not – when the charges aren’t illegal or immoral behavior.
The vote of the SCC to remove Jeff Frederick, or not, will answer these questions.
So sorry to miss you at the meeting.  Thanks for the input from y’all who’ve contacted me.
Best always,
James Atticus Bowden
1 CD Representative, SCC, RPV
Poquoson, Virginia


  1. DEAD ON!

    If they can prove truly intentional and illegal conduct, I don’t think anyone will argue that we shouldn’t hold Jeff accountable. But the fact is, SCC has made a longtime habit of trying to remove chairs duly elected by the true grassroots, delegates to the convention.

    A couple of comments:

    1. What in the world was McDonnell thinking to turn a fairly peaceful coronation into a bloodbath just in time for the convention? As far as I can see, Jeff hasn’t gone after anyone, but a lot of sharks are circling him.

    2. I find it humorous and illustrative that the elites (no offense to Atticus, who’s one of the few good guys on SCC, but the SCC is hardly the grassroots) think they can throw unsubstantiated or half-substantiated charges of near-criminal behavior at Jeff, and yet when pushback develops, it’s a low blow and “destructive of fellow Republicans.”

    Atticus is dead on that there are two views of what a party is for. To elaborate:

    First is the John Warner view: A party is a group of serfs, sworn to work for their lords (the Republican Incumbents) regardless of how the lords betray our platform.

    Second is the view that a party is a group of people, come together around shared principles, to elect candidates who subscribe to those principles, hold them accountable to those principles, and throw them the heck out of office when they cease to represent those principles.

    To the elected officials and SCC types of the Warner persuasion, you deserve a little pushback, and it’s a breath of fresh air to see it.

    To the grassroots, if they do “get” Jeff, you have another chance to elect a chairman of your choice on May 30. And in a couple of years, you can express your feelings to your SCC members who flaunt your instructions. Run against them, recruit delegates, and throw them out of office.

    As Mr. Jefferson put it, A little revolution now and again is a good thing. Lord knows our party needs it desperately. And yes, we need some new chairmen. But not at the state level. May I suggest it’s time to replace some dead wood in some district chair spots?

    Unless and until they prove ACTUAL misconduct, not just political witch hunts, I say, Go, Jeff, go!

  2. This snarky comment below is interesting because it gives a germ of truth. Obvious why they can’t write under their own name.

    “Is it not immoral to specifically promise while campaigning that you will not give business to your own company, but to then do exactly that?”

    Okay, anonymous. Pay attention. A friend of yours leaves their car at your house. They ask you not to drive it while they are away. You agree. Your spouse is out and wrecks your car. You drive your friend’s car to the hospital. You put gas in the car. You tell the friend and they say, “Okay.” Have you committed an immoral act?

    Of course not. If you read Jeff’s explanation of why an interim contract was given to his company – and how much more money they raised, how much less they cost for better service -and that he fully informed the Executive Committee and THEY DID NOTHING UNTIL THEY WANTED TO LYNCH HIM -months later.

    How much did the company – not Jeff personally- make? Does it matter to your sliding moral scale? What if the company – before the cost of discounts – made a million dollars over 3 months? What if they made less than five hundred dollars? Figure it out, Snark.

  3. Rick Boyer: There are some great people – Conservatives – on SCC. Many of them.

    The mass hysteria isn’t the first time. LIke HB 3202, its a political tactic. It may go as badly as HB 3202, too, for Republicans in the elections.

    Thanks for your comments and support for doing what is right.

  4. […] Rebellion, using the words of James Bowden, provides a thoughtful commentary here.  Here is some of what Bowden has to say at his own […]

  5. […] This sort of thing, last minute charges, was predicted here. […]

  6. […] 11. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: