Thoughts on the 6th District College Republican Representative Debacle
Unless you have been living under a Republican Party of Virginia rock, or you exclusively read BearingDrift.com, you may be unaware of the brouhaha that has emerged in the 6th Congressional District of Virginia Republican Committee.
Over the past few weeks, the Executive Board of the College Republican Federation of Virginia, along with Chairwoman Courtney Britt, voted to remove JMU College Republican Michael Walsh and replace him with Randolph College Republican Brandon Kaiser on the 6th District Republican Committee.
So, by this point, you are probably asking: Matt, who cares?
Well, apparently the Sixth District Republican Committee cares. A lot.
So much so that 6th District vice chairman and political neophyte John Massoud has organized a resistance movement against Chairwoman Britt. Here lies the conversations between Ms. Britt and Mr. Massoud as well as with other CR chairs (6th CD CR Rep).
I have interviewed both Mr. Walsh and Chairwoman Britt. Both are very nice kids with a bright young future ahead of them. However, between his interview and her interview, I have been able to decipher what was going on between the two.
Some of you may remember that last year, the College Republican Federation of Virginia decided to deploy (which is a cool word for a massive door-knock and phone bank) for Congressman Rob Wittman. This was met with a collective WTF moment from the Republican Party of Virginia, seeing that Wittman was in no danger of losing his seat while other seats were in peril. Chairwoman Courtney Britt took over the process and vowed to remedy the problem. She wanted to have the deployment somewhere east of Charlottesville.
Mr. Walsh, being the best 6th District representative that he could be, wanted to “deploy” for Delegate Tony Wilt. For those of you not in the 6th, that is the most competitive seat west of Charlottesville for a Republican incumbent member of the Virginia House of Delegates. Wilt is a strong conservative Republican and I have no problem with Mr. Walsh’s reasoning for helping him.
Where Mr. Walsh made his mistake is that the Executive Board was pushing for the deployment to be elsewhere in the state. Mr. Walsh decided to attempt to recruit votes on the Executive Board to “undermine” the Executive Board and Chairwoman Britt.
I realize that “undermine” is a loaded word and I need to explain myself. The way the College Republican Federation of Virginia Constitution is written, the district representatives are appointees of the Chair. They serve at the pleasure of the Chair. If they do anything that the Chair does not care for, the Chair and Executive Board can remove them. According to Chairwoman Britt, all district representatives sign a binding legal document stating that the district reps serve at the pleasure of the Chair and can be removed at any time. The Executive Board met and they voted to remove Mr. Walsh.
I want to make a very clear point right here:
Mr. Walsh got screwed.
Michael Walsh is a good kid. He was liked by everyone in the 6th District Republican Committee. He was thoughtful, affable, and downright nice. He has some strange political bedfellows, but he also won the liking of people like Wendell Walker and 6th District YR Representative Dan Johnson. Michael got caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. But anytime there is a personnel decision, which is what this was, someone ends up getting the short end of the stick.
I want to make another very clear point:
Chairwoman Britt was completely acting within the bylaws and Constitution of the College Republican Federation of Virginia.
If you read the CRFV Constitution, district representatives serve at the pleasure of the Chair. It’s very similar to President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. President Trump APPOINTED Jeff Sessions to the Attorney General position. AG Sessions did not follow the directive of the President. The President fired AG Sessions, and the Constitution gives President Trump that right. So if this were an SAT question: Courtney Britt is to Donald Trump as Michael Walsh is to Jeff Sessions.
I want to make a third very clear point:
Chairwoman Britt hasn’t sold this personnel decision as best as possible.
Chairwoman Britt is a very smart, very talented young lady. She will make a fine attorney when she graduates from law school at the University of Richmond. However, little information has come from her side to explain this decision. I got more details from my interview with Mr. Walsh than I did with my multiple conversations with Chairwoman Britt. She is standing by the legal language and human resources jargon. I applaud her for being so professional in her decision, but it could have been sold better.
Last, but certainly not least, I want to make a very clear point that I hope resonates across the Commonwealth of Virginia:
IT IS WRONG, GROSS, AND JUST DOWNRIGHT WEIRD FOR A SIXTY-YEAR-OLD MAN TO BULLY A TWENTY-SOMETHING CR CHAIR.
Yes, in my opinion John Massoud is being creepy in his reaction to all this. This is what I think of when I think of John Massoud:
Yes, his articles on that website no one cares to read are the equivalent of Homer Simpson’s dad yelling at the sky.
On the flip side, in his political “endeavors,” Mr. Massoud is part of the crowd that has done nothing but try to undermine 6th District Republican Chairwoman Jennifer Brown, the 6th District Republican Committee, and Congressman Ben Cline. He seeks the leadership roles in the 6th District so eagerly, but at the same time works to divide the 6th District with every move he makes.
But put all the politics of John Massoud to the side and look at the optics. We have a fifty- to sixty-year-old man lecturing and scolding a 24-year-old CR chairwoman. The optics look bad, the optics look creepy, and the optics look like he doesn’t want what is best for the Republican Party of Virginia. Michael made a bad choice in letting John Massoud come to his defense.
So in essence, this was a personnel decision gone public and gone wrong. Michael was screwed, Courtney was in the right, and more importantly old men should not be lecturing 24-year-olds.