Posted by MAXIMUS
Bill Flanagan, of Colonial Heights, VA, is a long time member of RPV's State Central Committee. He is a retired full bird Army Colonel---a Vietnam Veteran who calls it like it is. Flanagan is as straight a shooter as anyone you will ever meet. He has served on the RPV SCC for over years, two of which were as a District Chairman from the 4th Congressional District.
About two years ago, Col. Flanagan won the RPV award for best Precinct Captain in Virginia. Also under the leadership of Col. Flanagan, the Colonial Heights City Committee won the RPV award for Unit of the Year. Col. Flanagan is as conservative as they come. He has done yeoman's work for George Allen, Jim Gilmore, Randy Forbes, Vance Wilkins, and the Republican Caucus in the House of Delegates. This is Col. Flanagan's letter regarding Jeff Frederick. It is the most articulate spot on passage that I have read regarding Jeff Frederick. Here it is:
First, full disclosure - I voted against Jeff Frederick. Before I left the convention however, I shook his hand, congratulated him on his victory, and said I would do what I could to help him be a success. I also stated that I expected much from him and I expected him to make good on his campaign pledges. For the rest of 2008, I sent him many emails with suggestions and feedback on his initiatives and, to his credit, he answered each in some detail. In late November, just before the Republican Advance, I was asked to support his removal. I declined and advised against it. 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. You can’t say that everyone supporting this action was against the Chairman from the start.
Second, I note that some email writers are veterans, as I am, and they cite their military service and the need for loyalty to the commander. There is some validity to that point, but in the military we also relieve commanders from command for cause. I say that as a 30-year Army veteran who has been a commander and a Chief of Staff for a 10,000 member field organization in Europe and a Chief of Staff for a 22,000 member organization based in the US with elements around the world. We expect our commanders and leaders to meet certain standards and to succeed in their mission. When necessary, we have to relieve them of their responsibilities to protect the welfare of our soldiers and for the good of the service. Our State Central Committee has the responsibility to hold our Chairman accountable and, in accordance with our party plan, is following the proper procedures for relief for cause for the good of our party, elected Republican officials and candidates.
Third, regarding the role of our grassroots supporters that are vital to our party, I know something about that issue. I have been a grassroots guy for 15 years, serving as a precinct captain, a city committee chairman, a congressional district chairman and I am currently serving as a member of the State Central Committee and a legislative district chairman. Over this period, I have been recognized at the congressional district level as the volunteer of the year. Our unit has been selected as the outstanding unit by RPV and I was designated by RPV as the Outstanding Precinct Captain of the year at our 2006 Republican Advance. This is not ancient history as our city election results always reflect some of the highest – in the top 5- voter percentages for Republican candidates in Virginia. Last November was no exception, with a 71 percent vote for McCain and over 50 percent for Gilmore. The grassroots people I work for have elected me at least 6 times for various positions to include 3 times to the State Central Committee. Republican grassroots supporters have elected almost every member of the State Central Committee, to include the executive committee. As most of you know, State Central Committee members are not appointed by an all powerful person working in opposition to our grassroots members. The State Central Committee members are elected to represent the grassroots supporters in their cities and counties, the people that are out there with them working the polls, stuffing the envelopes and making the calls, year in and year out. The grassroots members elect their State Central Committee members, for the most part, at their district conventions. The grassroots people who have elected me several times, elected me to use my best judgment to advance their interests and the Republican Party’s interest. That is what I try to do, and I am sure other members of the State Central Committee, regardless of what side of this issue they are on, are trying to do the same thing. When we hear from our Congressional delegation, Virginia Senators and Delegates – we know they were all elected by the people and would not be where they are without our grassroots supporters. I see the representatives of our grassroots – the State Central Committee - meeting their responsibilities to make decisions in the best interest of the grassroots, the Republican Party, elected Republicans and Republican candidates.
Finally, a Washington Post story is cited as it states the removal action under consideration by the State Central Committee could do harm to our candidate for Governor. This is the same newspaper that is probably the most anti-Republican paper in Virginia. This is the same newspaper that led the charge to oust Senator George Allen based on a one word slip. As I review political news clippings from 3 sources as part of my daytime job, I can tell you there are other papers out there that support this action and the remarks by our candidate for Governor. The Richmond Times Dispatch for example, one of the few major papers to support Republican candidates, ran a favorable OP-ED on our gubernatorial candidate’s stance on this issue. Other papers have been extremely sarcastic and critical of our Chairman. What I see in the wide range of press relating to our Chairman tells me he is in a no win situation. There is such a loss of respect and credibility that I believe our Chairman could put out a statement saying “it is a nice day” and he would be criticized for emphasizing nice more than day. One of the Chairman’s major tasks is to be the spokesperson for our party. Do you think he can be an effective spokesperson? Even before the removal action and the public statements of no-confidence, I had my doubts. Now there is no doubt – he can’t accomplish that mission.
I wish our Chairman would be a great spokesperson for our party; I wish we had not lost the many elections that we lost on his watch in November 08; I wish our Chairman had the confidence of our Republican elected officials from Washington to the courthouse; I wish that all our Chairman’s actions were beyond reproach; I wish we were not where we are now; I wish our Chairman would recognize he cannot effectively lead our party and step down for the good of the party; and I wish I did not have to support his removal. But we are where we are and I support the call for a special State Central Committee meeting to remove the Chairman.
I respect those who feel otherwise. Whatever the results, I pledge to be out there with our grassroots supporters working to elect our Republican candidates on November 3, 2009."
4th District State Central Representative