By J. Kenneth Klinge
Dear Fellow 6th District Delegate:
Just when you think it can’t get any weirder, Scott Sayre goes even deeper into the mud.
My name is Kenny Klinge, and I got my start in Virginia Republican politics as a Precinct Captain for Barry Goldwater in the 1964 presidential election. I have been involved in Republican election politics both in Virginia and nationally ever since.
My work for our party has included serving as Executive Director of the Republican Party of Virginia (1973-1975), Regional Political Director of Ronald Reagan campaigns (1976, 1980, and 1984), and National Political Director of the National Republican Campaign Committee (1987-1989). After I retired we moved from Alexandria to Bryce where I volunteered as the Precinct Captain of the Orkney Precinct in Shenandoah County (2010-2014).
I literally have spent my entire adult life working for our Party and our shared values.
Never before has anyone seriously questioned whether I was a Republican or not. Until this weekend. The Sayre campaign is challenging my right to be a Delegate to the 6th District Convention.
This is simply absurd.
Worse, it is voter suppression.
You see, they are challenging Delegates all across the district. What do these Delegates have in common? What is their sin? They don’t support Sayre.
It’s simply an unethical attempt to trick people into NOT coming to the convention to cast the vote they are entitled to cast.
Unfortunately, this is not the first problem with basic ethics for Sayre. Currently Scott Sayre is under investigation by the Federal Election Commission.
The legal issue is really quite simple. Under federal law an individual can only donate $2700 to a primary campaign. And corporations cannot donate at all.
So the question arises, when Sayre put his preferred candidate on his company’s payroll, was it a legitimate job, or was it evading campaign finance restrictions?
I don’t know the answer, but I assume the FEC will rule at some point. But I do know the answer to the ethical question.
Sayre is the Chairman of the 6th District Republican Party and is largely in charge of setting up the convention. He was supposed to be impartial, and fair to all. Hiring a candidate to run for office clearly fails the ethics test.
Trying to disenfranchise Republican voters just pours salt into the wound.
Fortunately we have a remedy.
Despite the hassle, I will be in Harrisonburg on Saturday and I will cast my vote for Jack Wilson to be Temporary Chairman of the convention. Jack has pledged to be fair to all the candidates. Jack will not allow anyone to change the rules late in the game to gain advantage. Jack will allow all elected Delegates to vote.
I hope to see you in Harrisonburg.
J. Kenneth Klinge