Does RPV Deserve Blame for Bloody Tuesday Losses?

The Republican Party of Virginia’s 2017 Bloody Tuesday is one for the history books with the loss of governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general as well as 16 House of Delegates seats. Watching that House advantage shrink to one or two was painful as well-known legislators fell on election night, one after the other, like redwoods crashing to the ground.

So after that historic drubbing, there are calls for RPV Chairman John Whitbeck to step down. In the Washington Post video above, Whitbeck, an attorney from Northern Virginia who has been chairman since January 2015, said he had no intention of resigning which would mean his hand-picked executive director, John Findlay, would also remain.

The question is who would replace them, and who would determine what direction Virginia Republicans go in the future?

Tuesday’s results will be the main topic of discussion for those who bother to attend this year’s Republican Advance held in December, something Whitbeck and Findlay are heading up. Of course, there is a State Central Committee meeting during that weekend so perhaps the Johns will tender their resignations at that time. Or not.

Update: John Whitbeck said he has no intentions of stepping down as RPV Chairman.

  • David Eggleston

    While RPV is not responsible for the defeat, it did not help by sandbagging candidates with idiotic tweets, hamfisted social media ads, and inane unsolicited attack mailers. There is a reason the RGA and RNC stepped in to take over the ground game.

    • Chad Parker

      Absolutely! The RPV put out some horrendous attack ads on Facebook. It was a strategy designed to invigorate the base but instead it polarized Republican candidates. We can’t win without pragmatists and independents. . .and they don’t vote for polarized candidates. RPV needs to flush the Johns.

      • David Eggleston

        An honorable team would voluntarily resign, but I don’t expect that.

  • mezurak

    Why could you blame the RPV for Tuesday’s loss?

    They haven’t been anywhere near politics since November of last year.

  • Connie S.

    The buck stops at the top. That’s the way it works in the corporate world.
    You’re rightly judged by results.

    Unless you’re the Party leadership, then it’s just a country club mentality. Politics is something for party leadership to dabble in & go through the motions. If your candidate wins – hey, great! If not – meh, it’s no skin off your nose.

    The RPV is a corporation, according to the IRS filings. It’s high time RPV be held to account. SCC – DO YOUR JOB.


  • Craig Scott

    On the other hand… The DNC committed all their staff directly to Virginia and heavily out spend the RPV.
    How about this…
    Sell freedom vs. statism / corporatism. Take the fight to minority areas through out the commonwealth. Market based school and health choices are winners for these (really most) communities. Reform the marijuana laws, this will free up resources, increase revenues and lessen gang (drug) violence. Remove the (hated) vehicle tax, at least on cars and trucks below 30k. This will peel off libertarian leaning Democrats of northern Virginia. These and other win / win strategies will help to unite our Republican party also.

  • Craig Scott

    Oh, by the way WAPO has no credibility with yours truly.
    “Those who are capable of tyranny are capable of perjury to sustain it.”
    -Lysander Spooner

  • JReynolds79

    Are we really questioning whether John Whitbeck is going to do anything other than what he feels is most politically expedient for John Whitbeck? This is the same guy who was willing to throw the Senate to the Democratic Party by rigging the Republican nomination process to ensure he got the nod (remember his last campaign–a special election trouncing). He has never cared about the long-term health of the party…as further evidenced by his largely incoherent, Trumpian email blasts.

  • MD Russ

    The RPV did it right this time around. They let the voters pick the nominees through a primary instead of letting a hijacked convention pick the nominees in the middle of the night. I strongly suspect that a convention would have nominated Cory Stewart, something that would have been an even bigger fiasco than Ken Cuccinelli. Once Gillespie was the standard-bearer, he became the de facto leader of the RPV. Any mistakes or lack of coordination between his campaign and the RPV falls on him. Can you imagine the RNC ignoring or working at odds with their own Presidential nominee? I can’t and as a former RNC chair Gillespie should have understood that. When you are the Republican nominee for Governor of Virginia, then you are in charge of the RPV. It is just that simple. Whether the RPV was off the reservation or not is immaterial. This election was Gillespie’s to lose and he found a way to do it. If he couldn’t control the RPV, then how was he going to direct and control the executive branch of the Commonwealth as Governor, much less enact his legislative agenda in the General Assembly?

    • David Eggleston

      Because the Governor has authority over the Executive Branch, whereas the gubernatorial nominee has to rely upon the goodwill of the RPV apparatus, which has a history of being fickle and self-serving. Whitbeck & Co. saw Stewart’s strong showing in the primary, and they hitched their wagon to the Trumpists. Who challenges Stewart for the nomination will have a significant impact on whether Whitbeck & Friends stay or go.

      • Jim Portugul

        I really doubt Republicans are going to make any significant investment in who ever runs against Kaine after last Tuesday. Surely the money will go where R’s have a chance of winning. And it ain’t in Virginia.

    • David Eggleston

      There is a reason why the RGA and RNC took over operations from RPV, and their lack of confidence was reinforced by RPV’s hamfisted handling of social media.

  • Jim Portugul

    Somebody deserves the blame. But, just like the Hillary loss last year nobody will be held accountable. That’s the American way.

    The short story is that reverse robinhood ideology is no longer electable in America. Ed Gillespie with all his establishment money was just not a talented enough liar to pull it off. Trump was/is that special sort of talented liar.

    Just wait till next year.

  • old_redneck

    has hijacked the Republican Party and is using it to promote his
    neo-fascist ideas.

    He is neither a Republican nor a Democrat.

    He is
    an authoritarian dictator who chafes at the Constitutional constraints
    that may thwart his wish to consolidate his personal power. This is why he shows such
    admiration for other dictators around the world.

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