Monday, January 2, 2012

RPVA Chair Pat Mullins calls special meeting to revisit the loyalty oath

Pat Mullins

A special meeting on January 21 will decide whether voters in the Republican presidential primary will be required to sign a loyalty oath.

Less then a week has passed since the Republican Party of Virginia announced that March 6 presidential primary voters would be required to sign a loyalty oath. The voter pledges “to support the nominee of the Republican Party for president” or else (they get thrown out on their ear?}

Virginia voters don’t have to declare their party affiliation or lack thereof when they register to vote. Virginia has “open primaries” and anyone can vote in either party primary (just not both at the same time.) When only one political party has a primary that party becomes suspicious of “mischief voting” by the opposing party.

The only two candidates who qualified for Virginia’s Republican presidential primary were Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Texas Congressman Ron Paul.

This year there is a conundrum – five of the Republican Primary candidates did not make it on the ballot – Gov. Rick Perry, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Senator Rick Santorum, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and Jon Huntsman  did not meet Virginia’s requirements (10,000 with at least 400 in each congressional district.)

Perry has filed a lawsuit against Virginia’s State Board of Elections. Backmann, Huntsman, Gingrich and Santorum have joined him in the lawsuit claiming the state’s ballot rules are unconstitutional.

For example say your preferred primary candidate is Gov. Rick Perry. As a diehard Republican would you vote for Romney or Paul or just not vote. Doubtful but you could be an Independent who would vote for President Obama if your Republican candidate failed nomination. That scenario is not too far-fetched – I know of several who supported Hillary Clinton in 2008 then voted Republican.  

With Republican voters crying foul (Independents Libertarians too), slim pickin’ on the ballot, lawsuits, possible challenges at the polls, attorney general intervention (now withdrawn), legislator dissension (see Del. Bob Marshall) the whole Super Tuesday business is getting too messy for the Republican Party of Virginia.

Below is RPVA Chair Pat Mullins facebook post:

“I’ve called a special meeting of the Republican Party of Virginia’s State Central Committee meeting for January 21st. The only agenda item will be to revisit the loyalty oath that Republicans must agree to before voting in the GOP Primary for President. I’m asking the members of the State Central Committee to talk to their various constituencies about this before the vote.

The broader issue is …. we need Party registration in Virginia. Democrats have fought this for years for obvious reasons. We can’t have Democrat party loyalists flood our primaries to affect our nomination process. Party nominees must be chosen by their party. However, in 2012, there are quite a lot of non-party-affiliated voters who will be helping us remove the current occupant of the White House — tea party members, conservative independents, new first-time voters, young people who can’t find work — people who want to participate this year to save their country. We must consider this in our deliberations.”

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Election 2012, Elections, National, Politics, State Politics

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