Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | October 4, 2011

Virginia Tea Party Meets Republican Party of Virginia

Many Tea Party folks think they are Republican, and always have been, until they find out differently

Last week was the quarterly meeting of the State Central Committee (SCC) of the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV).  It’s 75 members are the top of the elected party office pyramid in Virginia.  I’ve been elected to represent Virginia’s First Congressional District (1 CD) since 2000.   Prior to this meeting Tea Party leaders from across Virginia asked the SCC to wait on deciding the method of nomination for state-wide office – the big prizes of Governor, Lt Governor and Attorney General – for the nomination of 2013.  2013!

The rush to vote on the nominating process is politics as usual – politics as business.  It’s the same string George Allen pulled on his minions to get a senate primary in 2012.  You see, we have open primaries in Virginia.  Lots of money makes a difference in a primary to get moderates, democrats and crony capitalists to produce the win.   It takes more grassroots appeal and far less money to win a convention.  Tea Party candidates are more of a threat to Establishment Republicans in conventions.

A Tea Party lady from Portsmouth, Linda Gunn, attended the SCC meeting.   Seeing the disdain the Establishment Republican party appartchiks hold for the Tea Party was an eye opener for her.  Hence, her letter to the Chairman of the RPV – produced here in whole with her permission.

October 3, 2011

Linda Gunn

Dear Members of the Virginia Republican State Central  Committee:
I attended my first committee meeting this past Saturday, and  I must say, it was certainly an eye-opening experience!  Had I been completely  oblivious to the nature of this meeting, I would have been absolutely certain  that what I was hearing were left-leaning Democrats fighting against Republican  conservatives, and I am not being facetious when I make that comment.  I mean  every word of it.
I learned at your meeting that just three weeks ago some of you decided that Virginia should change from a convention to a primary.   Gary Bylar asked for some time to talk to his constituents, but that wasn’t even  considered.  David O’Kelley spoke about a bloodbath if a primary were chosen  over a convention, as if it were a good thing.  His attitude seemed to be “Let’s  get it over with as soon as possible.  I’m looking forward to the battle.”  Then  of course, there was the comment from another member who said, “We’re not going
to let the Tea Party tell us what to do,” and someone else who said, “We have the power.”  With those words, you drew a battle line, and you told the voters  of Virginia that you really don’t care what they think.  Like I said, you  sounded like a bunch of left-leaning Democrats.
Just so you won’t  embarrass yourselves again, I would like to inform you as to the main core of  beliefs of the Tea Party:
1.  The Constitution is the supreme law of the  land requiring a strict interpretation.
2.  Limited, not necessarily small,  government.
3.  Free Enterprise and the Capitalistic System of  Economics
4.  Fiscal Responsibility
I always considered myself a Republican, and have always held these particular beliefs, and I believed that  the Republican party held them too.  What I learned at that meeting instead was  that all the majority of you care about is maintaining power.  It really doesn’t  matter to you what anyone else thinks, even if that “anyone else” happens to be
people who uphold what used to be traditional Republican beliefs.  Foolish me, I  actually thought the Tea Party and the Republicans were fighting on the same  side.  What disillusionment to discover that instead of listening to those in  the Tea Party, you castigate and slander us – just like the Democrats!     You  won’t even consider that you might be wrong.
Just to clear up another  issue, the Tea Party never got the foothold it has on Americans because we  wanted to fight against Republicans.  We didn’t form to “tell you what to do.”
We formed because those in power, including yourselves, care more about your own  agendas than you do about the future of our nation.  We are in grave danger, and  you are all playing inane games, because of your love of power over the rescue  of this nation.
Finally, to clear up one more issue, we are not a bunch  of uneducated dupes.  Many of us have advanced degrees, and we are quite capable  of thinking on our own.  We do not need elected officials telling us what is  best for us.
What you did at that meeting on Saturday October 1 was  unconscionable and completely lacking in integrity.  It’s only purpose was to  guarantee your own power.  Actions such as yours are why our nation is in the  peril it is in, and are what keep the Tea Party motivated.  Actions such as  these are the fuel that propels the Tea Party, and you and others like you, are  the conflagration that results because you have left your conservative roots.

Linda Gunn

She added a few more clarifying remarks:

The main point of what I was attempting to say can be found in the  first paragraph of my original email.  When you share this with whomever you are  going to share it with, please emphasize that point.  No one likes criticism,  and I understand that so very well.  So whatever tone you believed you sensed in  that email, please know that it comes from a person who is more than highly  concerned about the direction in which this country is traveling.
When I sat in that meeting on Saturday, and then wrote my comments, my purpose was to alert, not to insult.  Sometimes it takes an outsider to shed  light on an area, but in listening to the pros and cons of a primary versus a  convention, I had no trouble identifying who the conservative Republicans were,  and who the others were.  The demarcation was quite sharp.  It is that sharp  divide that prompted my email; it is that sharp divide of which I believe your  members need to be aware.  The original principles of the Republican party are  sound and will lead to financial and social stability for our nation.  What I  heard Saturday were people who sounded as if they had turned a corner away from
those principles, and that alarmed me greatly.  Had I been allowed to speak, you  all would have heard that alarm and you would have heard me plead for those who
have taken that turn to return to the original principles of the Party.  It is  one thing to disagree on an issue.  The type of arguing I heard (in comments I  referred to in my original email) were the same type of arguments I have heard  liberal Democrats using when they want to demean their opponents.  When you  share my original email, please add this one to it.
Sincerest Regards,
Linda Gunn
Interesting commentary.
The only power the political parties have in the Code of Virginia is the nomination process.   When almost 3 out of 4 elected Party Officials cheerfully give up that power to do as they are told by career Politicians, The People lose.


  1. Very sorry to hear that conventions failed. The military vote would be shocked and ashamed to know their reputation and name is being misused in such a manner, IMO.

    • Thanks, Shaun. It is a bit of a stretch to hang the primary on the handful of military absentee votes. But, if you puff yourself up appropriately when you make the argument it makes good political theater.

  2. These State Central (most of them) will be up for re-election (if they choose to run again). Now is the time to be deciding who you would like to be on that ballot,

    • They, we, are all up for election. You were great to make a run for 1CD in 2010. Thanks for making the effort.

  3. What the modern Democratic Party stands for is the main threat. However, the establishment supports what the Democratic party stands for.

    There are always people who have a stake in the status quo. We call such people the establishment. As big government has grown, it has become the establishment, and a great many people have acquired a stake in keeping government big and growing it larger. That includes many people who fancy themselves as Republicans. These people want only “moderately” big government. Such a lovely word, “moderate”.

    When such moderates have power in the Republican Party, those moderates must be replaced.

  4. Amen. Establishment Republicans need to be replaced by Constitutional Republicans for a season of years. Eventually, the Constitutional Republicans will be corrupted too, but not until Federal power has been returned to the states.

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