Late last night, word came out  that embattled Facebook essayist and RPV Treasurer Bob FitzSimmonds had announced to State Central Committee that he was going to step down as RPV Treasurer.
Except, he didn’t resign. At least, not really.
Normally, when someone resigns, they give a date they’ll resign by and then they leave, like Eric Cantor did. Bob didn’t do that.
Here’s what he said in a statement he released to members of State Central last night –
“For this reason, I am resigning my position as Treasurer. The Party Plan is clear that vacancies must be filled by the State Central Committee after announcement to fill that vacancy is advertised in a Call to a State Central Meeting. Therefore, to avoid a vacancy in the Treasurer’s position for several weeks, my resignation will become effective once the position has been filled by a vote of the State Central Committee (most likely the next State Central Meeting after the August 16th meeting).”
Let me be blunt: this is an amateurish attempt at sweeping this entire issue under the rug. It’s a cynical ploy to try to take the heat off Bob without really changing anything.
Bob’s not really resigning – not right away. He intends to stay on the job until his replacement is elected. How long will that be? Well, right now, there are no scheduled State Central Committee meetings after the August 16th meeting. And, since this is an election year, there usually isn’t another State Central Committee meeting until after the election, and most likely the next meeting will be held at the RPV Advance.
When’s the Advance? December.
And who can say that in December the pressure to replace Bob will still exist? What if State Central can’t find somebody willing to be Treasurer – then Bob just has to stay. Not his fault, of course – he said he’d quit when they found somebody else, but they haven’t found anybody. Oh well. And the status quo stays the status quo.
The real result here is that until the next meeting of State Central, FitzSimmonds will still be out there on Facebook, still RPV Treasurer, still a party official who can’t stop saying ridiculous things. And that will likely be the case at least until December – five months from now and at least a month after the November election. If you read the rest of his statement, it’s clear that he’s learned nothing from what has happened and fully intends to keep saying whatever he wants on Facebook, regardless of the potential impact on the Party:
“Let me say up front that I stand by the statement. It is historically accurate, was a valid criticism of the President’s revisionist history…”
Clearly, Bob has learned nothing from what he said, he’s unapologetic about it, and he has made it clear that he’s not going to change his behavior. He is standing by his statement and even goes so far as to say he can’t help saying dumb things:
“It seems that no matter how careful I might be, I will periodically give occasion for others to portray the party in a bad light, so long as I am a party official.”
Well, I give him credit for self-awareness.
For those of you who think I am coming late to the party that was started by my colleague Jim Hoeft  and calling for Bob to resign immediately, don’t misunderstand me: I don’t want Bob to resign.
I am one of the few folks out there who didn’t call for Bob FitzSimmonds resignation. Why? Because I didn’t think he’d resign. Because I don’t believe he really cares what anybody thinks about him and he doesn’t really care that people will attribute his backwards beliefs to the rest of us who have the same letter behind our names as he does. I thought Bob wouldn’t even consider resigning, like our friendly colleagues over at the Bull Elephant  reported – incorrectly, as it were – a few weeks ago.
And, now, seeing the cynical attempt to fake a resignation just to take the heat off, I am not really surprised. I’m just angry, honestly. FitzSimmonds is essentially telling those of us outside the party establishment (that’s what SCC is, folks) that we’re idiots and he’s assuming that we’re going to take this statement and be happy that he’s “resigning” and forget about the whole incident.
So, no, I am not going to add my name to the list of people calling for Bob to resign.
I’m going to start a new list – people calling for Bob to be fired.
If Bob wants to stick around until December, that’s not good enough. We can’t afford to have him and his incurable case of foot-in-mouth disease bouncing around social media destroying the hard work of our elected and party officials. These same officials have spent an incalculable amount of time spreading the Republican message out to audiences who have been ignored, or worse, by us in the past. We shouldn’t go into this election season with Ed Gillespie, Dave Brat, Barbara Comstock and others having to keep an eye looking over their shoulder for friendly fire from the Republican peanut gallery.
The Party Plan states categorically  that the Party Treasurer serves at the pleasure of the State Central Committee. RPV Chairman Pat Mullins should issue a call for a State Central Committee meeting for as soon as is possible – including the August 14th meeting, as there is nothing in the Party Plan that demands a certain time period for calls for State Central Committee meetings that I can see. At that meeting, State Central should remove Bob FitzSimmonds from party office and elect his replacement.
No more resignation nonsense. Fire him, replace him and let’s make it clear that the Republican Party of Virginia is not going to tolerate this kind of reckless, irresponsible and clueless behavior from those who are in positions of authority within the Party. I hope that my friends Mike Thomas, John Scott and David Ramadan will help lead this charge.
Enough is enough.