Bearing Drift is lucky enough to have two contributors in the room: Zach Martin and Emily Brewer. We will be publishing their observations as we receive them.
For those interested:
4.1.2. A member of the Armed Forces on active duty shall not:
188.8.131.52. Participate in partisan political fundraising activities (except as permitted in
subparagraph 184.108.40.206.), rallies, conventions (including making speeches in the course thereof),
management of campaigns, or debates, either on one’s own behalf or on that of another, without
respect to uniform or inference or appearance of official sponsorship, approval, or endorsement.
Participation includes more than mere attendance as a spectator. (See subparagraph 220.127.116.11.)
Update 5:45 pm The compromise measure carries. 42 yes. 39 no. 1 abstain.
This means there will be a primary in 2016, for sure. March 1, along with the Democratic Party. However, the next RPV committee will have to take up the decision on a 2017 convention as today’s vote is non-binding.
Update 5:31 pm And the winner…of the BD Poll, that is …
125 (75%) votes – Primary
42 (25%) votes – Convention
Update 5:22 pm If comments are predictive of outcome, there is a degree of confidence on display about the compromise measure passing.
Update 5:07 pm Discussion closed. Voting on substitution motion: Primary in 2016. Convention in 2017. Secret Ballot.
Update 5:05 pm Col. Flanagan (4CD) echos the argument for primary and that the military should not be excluded. He also can’t commit to the compromise of having a 2017 convention.
Del. Jackson Miller, speaking on behalf of the General Assembly, favors a primary for data and grassroots development. Stating it would help immeasurably for state House and Senate elections.
Update 5:00 pm Less than 20 minutes of speaking time left, notes Whitbeck. Clara Bell Weaver (5CD) states that we need a primary for inclusion and a better grassroots outcome. If the party uses JPJ arena, 14k will be telling 6 million who their nominee is.
Stearns, according to Zach Martin, has made a statement that there could be issues that could occur with the primary petitions that could prevent folks from qualifying on the ballot. Things that would cause one to question the validity of the signatures. Martin said it sounded “threatening.”
Update 4:55 pm 9CD says an overwhelming number of their members would like a primary. Same in Fairfax.
Update 4:50 pm Russ Moulton said the party will lose too much money if we don’t hold a primary and won’t be able to fund a mandatory state convention. The party will “lose” $300k, in his estimate. Eric Herr (1CD) argues that the Republican nominee loses when it holds primaries. Cites 2008 and 2012 primries. 2009 convention. Interestingly, he didn’t mention the 2013 or 2014 convention results.
Update 4:40 pm Arguments are flying fast and furious. Chris Stearns (3CD) and Travis Whitt (5CD) favor conventions to prevent dilution and “Operation Chaos” type activities. Others are saying that conventions are restrictive against the military, minorities, people with disabilities, etc. A question was posed how do we “limit participation to 14k? What if more would like to participate?” Albertson again states that’s what the subcommittee is for. Kevin Gentry (6CD) said that the party can barely handle a June convention, let alone trying to get one together of this magnitude in March.
Proxy for Jake Lee states that we will collect data on 700k voters in the course of a primary process – roughly half the votes that will be necessary to defeat the likely Democratic nominee.
Update 4:26 pm Morton Blackwell (National Committee) and Gary Byler (2nd) argue in favor of a convention. The rationale being crossover voting by Democrats, that “it worked or Obenshain for Senate” and that only consultants win in a primary. Bill Flanagan, from the 4th, offered the Webb plan as a substitute motion.
CRFV (convention is during midterms, youth are grassroots and are being shut out (convention may be cost prohibitive)), Virginia Federation of Republican Women (member poll 399-290 for primary) speak in favor of primary.
Update 4:18 pm Whitbeck is saying that in recent years Democrats have outpaced Republican growth in voting 5:1. He says that the process chosen today will not determine victory. But for the last decade we have been internally arguing while Democrats hold meetings and register thousands of voters. The RPV holds meetings to fight. The chairman also requests that the RPV divisions not be aired publicly. He is asking for unity for the sake of winning elections.
Update 4:15 pm Webb is presenting Chris Muir’s guest post on Virginia Virtucon  nearly verbatim as an alternative for RPV’s consideration. This includes plans for a 2017 Gubernatorial Convention and a 2016 GOP Primary.
Update 4:11 pm: Albertson is recommending a subcommittee to help answer the questions that have been posed such as “how do we prevent 28,000 people from participating?” As well as to answer details related to the mass meeting and convention process. Details have to be reported to RNC by October 1. Additional questions from the floor were asked about how much net profit was received from the last two conventions. Answer deferred to a report authored by RPV Chairman John Whitbeck.
Webb to now present on alternatives.
Update 4:00 pm: JPJ arena holds 14,593 people. By March 19, 30 states will have already voted for the GOP nominee.
Update 3:55 pm: There is a proposal on the floor by Steve Albertson, a representative of RPV’s 1st Congressional District, that discusses the $25k filing fee for candidates for a convention. The proposal is for the convention to be held March 19 at the John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville. District Conventions held March 5. Dan Webb, chairman of the Young Republican Federation of Virginia will be presenting on alternatives. He lives in the 6CD and is political director for Rep. Bob Goodlatte. There will be one hour for members to make remarks.
Update 3:50 pm: The vote for determination appears to now be for secret ballot. A voting member changed their vote to secret. The motion for secret ballot carries 41-39.
Update 3:35 pm: Roll call will be the method of voting to determine the primary/convention question. It passed 40-39 with two abstentions.
Update 3:20 pm: Once arriving at the State Central Committee Meeting in Staunton today, the sequence of events has been anything but smooth. After commencing a quarter past 1 p.m., the Committee has entertained motions to change the nomination method in the 24th Senate District to a convention, which was entertained without a brief provided this is still ongoing.
The Bylaws Committee recommended several changes to Party Plan, some unanimously sent forward from the committee, others sent for consideration with a majority blessing. After much question as to why materials were not provided to State Central Members in advance, the SCC voted to table this to the next meeting for time to review the proposed amendments.
Without enough chairs for visitors, and the hotel indicating that RPV only wanted no more than 20 chairs for guests, I remain writing from the literal floor of the meeting.
Arguments over secret ballot versus roll call for voting has commenced.
Lynn Mitchell is also providing notes  on today’s meeting.