Republicans held a state convention in Beckley this weekend…lots of enthusiasm but less than half  of the authorized delegates  attended…good thing the State Executive Committee  met that morning…not sure what this means for the Fall campaign or the Republican movement.
Convention goers were give red meat by their leading candidates…Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito…led as she had a granddaughter visiting and a son’s engagement party brewing at home…Congressman David McKinley gets stronger and better every day…his speech was a real old fashion “barnburner”…Bill Maloney taking a second run for Governor was more businesslike…and Senate Candidate John Raese…on his fifth statewide race…just cannot wait to debate Sen. Joe Manchin.
Ultra conservative Melody Potter teamed up with Kris Warner who supported former Senator Rick Santorum for President…seems this ultra conservative push to control National Committee positions is going on all over the country…they won over Donna Gosney [strong conservative] and Bill Phillips [that’s me]…both leaders in the WV Romney effort since 2006.
Money is what politics is all about these days…it has even reached the level of selecting party leaders…that was made an issue in the above election…Gosney said “why not an auction instead of an election”…it’s sad today’s political culture has become all about money, mean and partisan to the point if you are friends with a Democrat it may cost you a party election.
Both partisanship and money got in the way of my candidacy for National Committeeman…in my speech I reminded Committee members the importance of working with Democrats to the success of Governor Underwood’s campaign I ran in 1996…things were more civil in those days…plus I got hit for my wife contributing to Democrats…never try to control your wife.
Ever take a look at the voters registration numbers…if you add up the registered Democrats (640,378), Independent(213,154), Mountain Party (1298) and Other (21,879) that is 598.272 voters…Republicans had 352,941 registered in June…now tell me how you win without Democrats.
Seems Beckley was chosen as the convention site…as party leaders believe candidate Rick Snuffer has the best chance in years to defeat Congressman Nick Joe Rahall…remember Speaker John Boehner visited WV a few weeks ago…raising money for the 3rd District race.
Party Chairman Conrad Lucas aided those pushing the money issue…he issued a three page “Members Alert” to State Committee members…outlining “his expectation” for the new National Committee members…saying he “expected” them to raise $50,000 annually…from new donors… defined new donors as having not contributed in the previous 5 years…great goal but should have been done more than two days before the election…this was really out of line…coming from someone who has only been Chairman since May.
Lucas got his authority from a By-Laws provision Kris Warner pushed while Chairman…he got added to the By-Laws Article about National Committeeman and National Committeewoman…”They shall also perform such other duties as may be assigned to them by the Chairman”….Warner wanted rid of Donna Boley [National Committeewoman at the time] and Bill Pauley [Committeeman]…Warner who was run out as State Chairman after the 2004 election does not take orders…and Lucas wants to control…there is a divide coming that could extend into the membership of the Committee…will be an interesting show to watch.
Convention delegates got an example of that when Lucas attempted to just name…WV Presidential Electors…without nominations from floor…this created a small ruckus and a lot of parliamentary questions.
Lucas slate was to honor those who have served the GOP… Supreme Court Judge John McCuskey, SOS Betty Ireland, State Chair David Tyson, Congressman Mick Staton and Senator Sarah Minear…the convention confirmed his slate.
Other state candidates spoke and a 2012 WV Republican Party Platform was adopted before the day ended.