Sources close to the Brat Pack are feeding information regarding a peculiar set of text messages being circulated in order to boost the candidacy of “independent conservative” Joe Hines against the GOP nominee Mark Peake — an open violation of the RPV State Party Plan.
Hines, who just recently announced his independent bid against the conservative replacement for Congressman-elect Tom Garrett, is a little known quality among Republican activists in SEN-22. Which makes the involvement of the Rep. Dave Brat’s campaign apparatus all the most concerning.
To wit, The Jeffersoniad has obtained exclusive images of text messages sent by Brat campaign manager Nancy Smith to former Brat campaign architect Gray Delaney — who promptly rejected the offer.
Of course, as a duly nominated Republican candidate, Peake enjoys the protection of the RPV Party Plan, which states very clearly in Article I, Section 1, sub 2:
A voter who, subsequent to making a statement of intent, publicly supports a candidate in opposition to a Republican nominee shall not be qualified for participation in party actions as defined in Article I for a period of four (4) years.
Now while this action automatically removes Smith from the Republican Party of Virginia infrastructure, she can indeed publicly re-affirm her commitment to support the principles of the RPV Creed and the party itself if she takes advantage of Art. 1, Sec. 1, sub. 5 and express in writing her support for the nominee.
However, there is another wrinkle to this… one that makes this a bit more than a overzealous campaign manager (albeit one who is embedded in the Brat Pack leadership) — from a member of the 7th District Committee on background who was flabbergasted at recent activity to drain 7th District funds so that the committee could not support Mark Peake financially:
So Dave Brat’s campaign manager has been reaching out to Brat campaign staff to work for the independent candidate running against Mark Peake. All while draining the 7th District fund to send to Brat instead of to the Peake campaign.
Obviously the first is corroborated with hard evidence, making the explanation for the second part of this tough to explain as something other than what it appeared to be from the inside — an effort to choke off support for Peake.
Now according to a third source, the committee did send $2,500 to Peake, but Brat chief of staff asked the committee to make another $5,000 donation to the Brat campaign — which did not receive so much as a motion in its favor.
Still, questions are raised. Why is the Brat campaign apparatus asking the 7th District to bleed itself white while seeking staff to run against the GOP nominee in SEN-22? Are they working in concert with Rep. Brat or in opposition to his wishes?
To make matters more odd? Brat endorsed Peake just the other day… and so perhaps the right hand simply doesn’t know what the right hand is doing here — which is entirely plausible given Brat’s public actions vs. the machinations of his campaign staff.
…but it sure does look unseemly.
Nancy Smith was running to fill the slot for 7th District SCC Congressional yesterday evening as well, after having served a vacancy for State Central since January 2016.
Ron Hedlund, 7th District SCC at-large member, offered his thoughts:
My statement last night was to the effect that the reason why I was concerned about the vote for Nancy Smith was that she was Brat’s campaign manager, and just gave a presentation to the entire committee as Brat campaign manager.
Now you have Dave Brat the very same day endorse Mark Peake for State Senate, and now you have Brat’s campaign manager admitting that she [Nancy] is supporting the third party candidate in public? That puts Brat in a very tough position, and that’s why we shouldn’t have this election tonight.
There were even folks stating clearly that folks are very uncomfortable having campaign managers serve on State Central Committee, after having been opposed to Cantor having staff serve on 7th District and State Central. We were opposed to this as well. So right now, technically Nancy Smith has automatically removed herself as a member of the GOP by her actions, so technically one could argue that there is a vacancy in the 7th District SCC representative seat.
Once again, Dave Brat is being under-served by his staff. They might know rVotes, but they don’t know politics.
The vote tally was 12 to table, 4 opposed, two abstentions. This action will more than likely be referred to RPV General Counsel for a declarative opinion. Given how State Central treated the l’affaire Mark Berg? Nancy Smith’s chances do not look positive…
Given that if the roles were reversed and Ron Hedlund were the one accused? I doubt there would be much conversation about what would occur next.
Either way, all evidence points towards Nancy Smith as actively undermining our duly nominated Republican candidate by actively supporting another candidate — contrary to the endorsement of her boss.
That’s a problem.