How many Republicans can you fit in a phone booth? OK, I know, we don’t really have phone booths anymore, what with cell phones and all. But give it a thought. Just a handful, right? Well, a handful of Republicans is what some in Augusta County seem to want. A handful in power that is. If you haven’t heard what happened at the Augusta County Mass Meeting last week, read this article: http://www.newsleader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008804110324
Kurt Michael (who lead the revolt against Senator Emmett Hanger) was running for re-election as Chairman. He was originally opposed by 5 others, but 4 dropped out leaving Larry Roller as the only opposition. Roller beat Micheal 141-103. That’s right. After the failed coup of Hanger, Michael and his allies lost the Chairmanship. You’d think they would get the message. But if it were only that simple.
It seems that the Temporary Chair of the meeting made several mistakes, one of which was failing to adjourn the meeting. After Roller and his supporters left, Michael declared the first meeting invalid, conducted a second meeting and “won” the Chairmanship on a 57-2 vote.
Anyone who has been involved in politics for a while knows that these mass meetings are never perfect. They are run by volunteers. Not professionals. As a party leader, Kurt Michael (and others) knew that mistakes were being made. Instead of acting the statesmen and offering to help, they waited until they could take advantage of the parliamentary technicality and defy the will of the majority. Some leader, huh?
So you ask, is this the way to build a party? Is this the way to heal old wounds? We all know the answer. But I’ve come to realize something. Michael and crowd don’t care. They never have. And they don’t really care about ideology. What they care about is power. And they will do anything, including the destruction of their own party, to get it and keep it. Sadly, the same power grab is happening in the Sixth District Committee, with Jim Crosby challenging current Chairman Fred Anderson for the top spot.
I attended Roanoke County’s Mass Meeting (my home County) on Saturday and things could not have been more different. Two people were vying for Chairman. Both were cordial and respectful of the other. Was the meeting perfect from a parliamentary standpoint? Of course not. But we worked through it and elected a Chairman.