Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | April 6, 2009

L’Affaire Frederick: One Post-Mortem on SCC

I’m not at liberty to discuss the deliberations of the State Central Committee, Republican Party of Virginia.  I may comment on my own observations of the meeting – just as others did to the press.

I watched Conservatives with impeccable Conservative credentials rise to speak.  I listened carefully to try to figure out why we were talking about different things and about to vote opposite each other. 

The fundamental issue was trust and confidence.  A leader must have trust and confidence up with his seniors – his bosses – and down with his subordinates.  If either echelon loses trust and confidence, then the leader will have to fix things quickly or be gone.   It’s Leadership 101 – anywhere.

Clearly, people I respect, admire, trust, and like – lost trust and confidence in Chairman Jeff Frederick.  Totally.  Completely.  And, for the most, irrevocably.

That part of the removal vote makes sense.  It took me hours during the meeting and later – thinking and remembering to sort this out, wheat from the chafe, in all the words, words, words spoken.

If you interviewed 58 votes for removal, you would hear many particulars.  But, I think if pressed a bit with a little socratic inquiry, you’d find trust and confidence at the heart of the matter.

Trust and confidence speak to the urgency of the matter – in an election season  – and the seriousness of the matter – as in what redemption is possible, when and how, for Jeff Frederick.

Trust and confidence opens the door to for this old gray head to lean in and ask if I can come “set” and tell some stories.   I’ve seen trust and confidence built and destroyed – deliberately, in the Army, in industry, in church, and in politics.

I’m debating with myself if any of these stories serve well enough as parables to be told in public.

Regardless of my tale-telling as a teachable moment to illustrate how trust and confidence are built and destroyed,  I must say this:

A few people made it their job to destroy the trust and confidence of Jeff Frederick.  

It was a cheap political trick.  Perhaps its expected in New York City or Chicago.   But, it is beneath Virginia.   It wasn’t open, honest, or above board.  It manipulated the rule of law – as expressed in the letter and spirit of The Party Plan and by-laws.  It was evident in the win-at-all-cost proxy fight over the winning/losing vote of one person.  It included the predictable “gotcha” accusation on the day of the SCC meeting. 

It’s not what the Good People of the party in King George County did to remove a chairman, when Iwas Chairman 1 CD.   

I am troubled that so few of my colleagues on the committee were troubled to the extent I was.   They may be troubled that I wasn’t more alarmed about the good of the party operating in a trust and confidence crisis. 

Of course, I couldn’t get off how manufactured this crisis was. 

So, my observation to every passionate conservative, libertarian, tea party, constitutional Republican in Virginia is this:  People you can trust in the future voted their best judgment on a fundamental issue of trust and confidence. 

My disaffection with being associated with such low politics – by simply being active in the Party – and personal, petty agendas is my problem to sort out.



  1. Power is corrupting, and to become all powerful…

  2. I have friends on both sides of this issue. Hello Spanky. Hello Tucker. I still love you both. Pass me a beer and we’ll talk about it sometime.

    I agree Bubba, it all comes down to trust. How can you work with someone in whom you can place no real trust. I mean that from both sides. If the leader cannot trust the followers, or the followers cannot trust the leadership, the result is the same.

    Were there personality conflicts? Sure. Were there idealogical differences? Certainly.

    Did some go into Saturday’s meeting determined to oust Jeff, regardless of the strength of the evidence provided? I know of at least one who did.

    Did some also go into Saturday’s meeting determined to support Jeff, regardless of the strength of the evidence provided? I’m sure there were some.

    There are some important lessons to be learned from this episode. I pray that they be learned. Quickly.

  3. […] than dwell on the particulars of that event, (by the way, Deo Vindice has an interesting write-up of the event) I want to focus on the future.  As I stated earlier, I […]

  4. I disagree that this crisis was “manufactured”. Frederick made numerous public gaffes, took a slice of RPV contributions after saying he wasn’t, and was shamelessly promoting himself and his wife. We need a selfless competent conservative in his place.

  5. LI: Disagree all you like. The facts are the facts. It’s over. Today is a new day.

  6. Do you think Frederick should run again? If not, who do like as a potential replacement?

  7. I’d support Frederick in a Heartbeat.

    Let’s start listing all of the Allen selected Chairwo/man, and their Executive Directors screw ups!

    Then we’ll start on Allen’s himself… starting wise the rise and the fall of the GOP, which he has been part and parcel of both.

  8. LI: No. If asked, I will advise Jeff Frederick to NOT run in 09.

    It doesn’t matter what I think who should be Chairman.

    Bob McDonnell will pick one – coordinate it with Bolling, Norment, Howell and others. That will be the candidate selected for us to elect on May 2nd at SCC and blessed again at the Convention.

    I take a different view of the RPV. It should be something it isn’t now – an institution that carries principles and supports nominated candidates (as opposed to incumbents) for the whole of Commonwealth – representing what are consensus, or large majority, Republican -held deas.

  9. I absolutely agree with your last paragraph. I just don’t believe that Jeff Frederick was ever going to make that happen.

  10. […] 16. […]

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