Yesterday a good number of people received an email from J. Kenneth Klinge calling for RPV Chairman Jeff Frederick to resign in face of the results of this month’s elections. Klinge gives his credentials in the email, but one should also note that in addition to supporting Wolf, Drake and Fimian in this year’s house elections, Klinge also contributed $250 to Democratic Virginia Senate Majority Leader Richard Saslaw.
UPDATE: Norm Leahy gives his take:
Virginia Republicans have, since 2001 but with a vengeance since 2004, gone out of their way to undermine their own cause. Yes, things have gotten better for them, at the margins at least, with the departure of people like John Chichester. But they remain ill-served with a leadership that has no agenda, with members who, generally, tend to wait until January to focus on the road ahead and an overall message that is neither coherent nor energizing (quick…what does the GOP hope to accomplish in the next session? One priority…just one…will do).
UPDATE 2: Klinge was Executive Director of the Republican Party of Virginia from 1973-1974 under Richard D. Obenshain.
Klinge’s letter is after the break.
Dear Fellow Republican,
While nationally our Republican Party experienced disappointing losses, the results from Virginia were even worse.
Virginia lost more Republican seats in Congress than any other state in the United States of America. We lost two Congressional incumbents, a GOP held open Congressional seat, and a GOP held US Senate seat.
Virginia voted for a Democrat for President for the first time since 1964.
Why were the results here in Virginia worse than any other state?
I believe the answer is the misguided efforts of RPV Chairman Frederick.
When Frederick was running for RPV Chair, he said “In the end, effort is commendable, BUT THE RESULTS ARE ALL THAT COUNT.”
This year, Frederick led the Party to the worst loss for Virginia Republicans in our modern history.
Frederick’s immaturity and lack of judgment hurt our Party.
Instead of providing the support our candidates for President and Vice-President needed, Frederick clashed with them. In a shocking lack of judgment, Frederick openly criticized the McCain-Palin Campaign in an article in the Washington Times just days before the election. The lack of cooperation between the McCain-Palin Campaign and RPV was widely reported in many newspapers. How can Frederick claim he was working to deliver Virginia for the McCain-Palin ticket while simultaneously attacking the McCain-Palin Campaign in the newspapers?
Frederick was REPUDIATED by Attorney General Bob McDonnell and Senator John McCain for equating Barack Obama with Osama Bin Laden.
Frederick never even met with Virginia’s Republican Congressional Delegation!
Frederick can’t claim he tried to help our Congressional candidates when he wouldn’t even take the time to sit down with them. During his time as Chairman, Frederick never met with Virginia’s Congressional delegation. Frederick’s lack of interest in helping our Congressional candidates led to the loss of two Republican incumbents Congressman in Thelma Drake and Virgil Goode and the loss of Tom Davis’ open seat.
Frederick failed to raise the money needed to win.
Jeff Frederick also claimed that he would be able to boost RPV’s fundraising efforts, but he has failed. When you subtract direct transfers to RPV from the McCain-Palin Campaign, the RNC, and other state parties, RPV’s fundraising was a disappointing failure. From June 1 through Oct 15, RPV only raised $373,329. Amazingly, that’s $185,312 less than the comparable period in 2004 – the last presidential election cycle – when Virginia was not a targeted battleground state and we had no statewide campaign.
Under Frederick, RPV spent $366,331 on staff, fundraising expenses and overhead (remember they only raised $373,329!) and left almost nothing for direct campaign support. Staff and fundraising expenses under Frederick have increased over the same period in 2004 – even as RPV raised less money.
Incredibly, Frederick sent out a memo on Oct. 28 claiming he raised $4 million for campaign efforts this year – when the truth is he had no role in raising almost all of these funds. RPV was only able to pay for signs and mailers because of transfers and donations from the Republican National Committee, the McCain-Palin Campaign, and other state parties. I point this important fact out because Frederick himself attacked the past RPV leadership for counting these transfers as money “raised” in earlier campaign cycles.
Where was Frederick during the campaign?
In the heat of the most important election in our lifetime, Frederick took ten days off in September to go on a junket to Israel. It’s true. While our candidates were in the fight of their lives, while Virginia was a presidential battleground state, Frederick was touring Israel with Democrat Jim Moran and other politicians. They ate at fine restaurants and stayed at luxury hotels during their week-long all expenses paid vacation.
Frederick failed to provide the support our candidates needed and was unable to raise the money our Party required, contributing to the Republican rout we witnessed on Election Day, November 4, 2008.
I know a bad chairman when I see one.
I’ve been active in the Republican Party of Virginia since 1964. I served as executive director of our state party in 1973-1974 (During Watergate). I also ran Governor Reagan’s campaign for the Republican nomination for President in Virginia in 1976, and for five (5) States in the South during his successful campaign for President in 1980.
For forty-four years, I have worked to help elect Republican candidates on all levels. I started as a precinct captain in Arlington County and went on to advise many candidates, including George Allen for Governor (1993) and United States Senate (2000), Jim Gilmore for Governor (1997), Tom Davis (1991-2006), and Rob Wittman for Congress (2007 Special Election), and many candidates in local and legislative races. Over the years, I have learned what Republicans need to do to put principled conservatives into office.
I must say that if you look at the results, Frederick ranks as the worst state chairman in the history of the Republican Party of Virginia!
Next year is a critical election year for Virginia because, not only are we electing a Governor, LT. Governor, and Attorney General, but we also must maintain our majority in the House of Delegates to keep the Democrats from further hurting Republicans during redistricting. We must also begin on the road back to a majority in the State Senate of Virginia. JEFF FREDERICK IS INCAPABLE OF PROVIDING THE LEADERSHIP THAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY NEEDS IN ORDER TO ACCOMPLISH THESE GOALS IN 2009.
If we are to rebuild, Frederick must resign.
If we are going to begin rebuilding and have a successful 2009, then the first step is for Jeff Frederick to resign as Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. If Frederick does not resign, then I’m asking you to join me in DEMANDING that the members of the Republican Party State Central Committee remove Jeff Frederick from the office of Chairman of the Party. The State Central Committee has the authority and DUTY to remove a chairman from office when the chairman cannot handle the job. I believe it is their responsibility to do so right now. If they can’t or won’t do their duty, it is time to make changes in the membership of that committee also.
J. Kenneth Klinge