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Tea Parties &Virginia politics Richard Falknor on 22 Sep 2010 04:49 pm

Who’s Excluded from VA Tea Party Convention Top Lineup?

UPDATE OCTOBER 8! “George Allen preps for 2012 Senate bid” reports Politico (via NRO’s Kathryn Jean Lopez) —  “But Allen’s path to the GOP nomination wouldn’t necessarily be wide open. Allen could also face a primary challenge from a more conservative Republican candidate, according to Virginia GOP operatives.”

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“‘We don’t need a lot of Jim DeMint disciples,’ Lott said in an interview. ‘As soon as they get here, we need to co-opt them.'”    (Underscoring Forum’s.)

Anita Kumar in her Washington Post article yesterday “Va. plans tea party convention; McDonnell among top officials to attend” reports – –

“Virginia’s top three elected officials, including Republican Gov. Robert F. McDonnell, will speak at the state’s first ‘tea party’ convention next month, a sign that the grass-roots movement has grown in strength and popularity. About 3,000 people are expected to attend the event Oct. 8-9 in Richmond, just three weeks before the midterm elections. “

Kumar continues – –

McDonnell and Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R) will participate on a panel about reforming state government, while Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) and former governor George Allen will speak about federalism.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)

But where is delegate Bob Marshall on the top lineup?

Marshall has been widely recognized nationally for the enactment of his Virginia legislation to resist Obamacare.  Marshall is also well known in Virginia for his successful suit which led to the voiding of unconstitutional Virginia taxes.  He is competent as a legislator, he masters the murky details of policy, he is outspoken, not just on values matters, but on fiscal integrity, he is innovative, he is his own man  – – everything likely to make him toxic to many in the Richmond GOP Establishment.  Even worse, he has worked with Tea Partiers from the start!

Yes, Bob Marshall will be at the convention
but not with star billing. He will be speaking at two break-out sessions at the Tea Party gathering thanks to the timely intervention of the “Take Our Country Back PAC.”

Why is Marshall excluded from top billing?  Because this “Tea Party” group apparently favors one likely, if government-expanding, U.S. Senate candidate, George Allen, over another, Bob Marshall. Of course, both should have prominent billing. Their solution to the Marshall “problem”?  If he can’t be made to disappear, marginalize him.

And what about all the rest of us in the Tea Party movement: will Marshall be only the first Virginia conservative to run afoul of such top-down Tea Party “orthodoxy”? Is his exclusion our canary in the mine?

One might expect this kind of maneuvering from the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV), but from those who sail under the Tea Party flag? 

Staff writer Kumar quotes convention organizer and sometime Allen aide Jamie Radtke:

“This is a whole segment of the population that has been disengaged,” she said. “We want to educate and motivate.”

We believe Mrs. Radtke has got it backward.  The people she condescendingly calls this “segment of the population,” the paying attendees, should be the ones who “educate and motivate” many of the politicians with top billing – – – and maybe even Mrs. Radtke.

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