The Truth Hurts

This morning, as the sunlight glistens on the lightly frosted golf course green, I am reminded of the reasons I enjoy writing. I like to share my thoughts and emotions, but they are not as important as sharing the truth.

Sometimes the truth is positive and welcomed information that people generally appreciate. Sometimes the truth might go unnoticed if not for someone shining sunlight on it.

Contrary to what some might believe, I do not usually take joy in telling a truth that is not welcomed. It is just as hard to write about something that offends the very core of my inner being as it is to those who are the subject of it.

Case-in-point number 1:

My little corner of the world is New Kent County. I am not a member of the New Kent County Republican Committee (NKCRC) for a few reasons, but I know many people who are. The NKCRC is chaired by a local businessman named Mark Daniel.

As we edge nearer to November 5, the NKCRC has been meeting quite often, as most local units do, especially when they have difficult election seasons. They held a spaghetti dinner on October 29 at a wonderful local restaurant and invited a conservative blogger, Mr. Sandy Sanders, to be the guest speaker.

All of that is usual and expected, so I had no reason to give it a thought. Then my phone rang, and I received a few messages.

What I was told was completely ineffable, and defied all logic. I thought someone had to be exaggerating and/or have some ax to grind. Then it was repeated by someone else, and I could no longer ignore it.

It was explained to me that during his presentation, Mr. Sanders said, “People on welfare should not be able to vote

EXCUSE ME?

Single parents who work and get no child support should lose their right to vote?

Folks laid off during a recession should lose their right to vote?

Individuals with disabilities should lose their right to vote?

These words left me so incensed that I reached out to someone who could tell me, without a doubt.

Mr. Wayne Hayden was the NKCRC chairman before Mr. Daniel. I called him to get his opinion. Mr. Hayden confirmed what Mr. Sanders said, and added, I thought the Republican Party was striving to be inclusive of all. Mr. Sanders wants to exclude folks during a difficult time, kicking them while they are down.”

There were people in attendance who were rightly disgusted. They were disgusted by what was said, and also by who approved of what was said. Scott Wyatt, the nominee for the 97th House of Delegates district spoke to the committee after Mr. Sanders, thanking him for all his words of wisdom. But that makes no sense, does it?

After all, Mr. Wyatt now supports expanding Medicaid, as he has stated:

Scott Wyatt for Delegate: October 5 at 6:47 PM

Thank you to the Arc of Hanover and the Arc of Virginia for hosting this afternoon’s forum. All of the candidates may have differed on the specifics, but the common goal is clear: We must do more for individuals in our society with intellectual and developmental disabilities. I look forward to working with Arc in the General Assembly and fighting for increased waivers, lower costs, and more services.” [emphasis added]

Having built his campaign been told to center his primary campaign against Delegate Chris Peace because he (along with 19 other fellow Republicans) voted to provide much-needed health care to Virginians, Wyatt has … adjusted his view?

That is not the official Wyatt Campaign line. From Wyatt’s website:

“Medicaid Expansion is a primary reason Scott Wyatt is running for Delegate. Scott strongly opposed Medicaid Expansion.”

Someone needs to help Mr. Wyatt make up his mind. You can’t oppose expansion to win a nomination contest only to support “fighting for increased waivers” after you secured the “R” behind your name on the ballot. Well, I suppose you can (in this case did), but that doesn’t make it an honorable thing to do.

But … as everyone knows, we can just vote smart on November 5. Shade in the oval and …

             Write-In CHRIS PEACE

Anyway … back to the meeting, and my case-in-point number 2:

I do not know, nor do I need to know, how or why Mr. Daniel chooses his guest speakers or why anyone decides to attend, or not attend, the meetings. He has said to me on several Facebook messages that he always supports the Republican nominee, as required by the State Party Plan.

In Virginia, under the RPV governing documents, official committee members and especially chairpersons are not permitted to support anyone in opposition to the Republican Nominee. If they do, they are “deemed to have resigned” their position and are no longer members of the RPV. So naturally, Mr. Daniel, as Chairman of NKCRC always supports the Republican nominee.

Or does he?

I was led to that question by accident, when someone mentioned an unusual attendee of the October 29 NKCRC meeting. One or two folks came down from Greene County to visit. Greene County, Virginia, is a beautiful county between Albemarle and Madison counties to the northwest of Richmond.

But what does it have in common with the NKCRC?

Well … it seems that Mark Daniel is now faced with a bit of a quandary; sorry Mark.

Mr. Daniel is the most enthusiastic supporter of the incumbent sheriff of Greene County, Mr. Steve Smith. He even did a cute little song (that was posted to the Facebook page on 10/23) asking voters to re-elect Sheriff Smith.

(Authors note: I have never heard a bad word spoken of Sheriff Smith. I have no reason whatsoever to question his ability, and I am not attempting to say that he is anything other than a fantastic sheriff. This little situation is about Mark Daniel alone.)

I am certain that I will not be the only person wondering why Mr. Daniel, after spending months harassing reminding his own committee that support of anyone other than the Republican nominee automatically removes them from membership … is now actively supporting a candidate … in opposition to a Republican nominee.

You see, Sheriff Smith is NOT the Republican nominee for sheriff in Greene County.

This year, there are three people running for sheriff in Greene County. Sheriff Smith is one of two Independents running against the REPUBLICAN nominee, Spurgeon “Billy” Wade III.

Reported from the Daily Progress:

Bucking the trend, Republican nominee for sheriff Spurgeon “Billy” Wade III raised more than four times as much as Smith this cycle, reporting almost $2,000 in monetary donations. As of Aug. 31, he had $716 on hand.

Incumbent independent candidate Steve Smith, who is seeking his third term, took in $420 in monetary donations this period. Smith ends with $442.73 on hand.

Independent challenger Kenneth Collier Sr. is exempt from financial reporting. [emphasis added]

How is this any different from what Senator Amanda Chase did in Chesterfield?

Here is a hint: It’s not.

The location difference does not matter to the rules, given Mr. Daniel also sits as a member of the State Central Committee of the Republican Party of Virginia.

I suppose the only real question is, will the folks on the New Kent Committee hold Chairman Daniel to the very rules he demands from them? Or will he admit that he just sang his way out of the New Kent GOP?

More from Andrea Epps:

Revolution Update: Citizen-Led PACs Are Fundraising for Chris Peace Write-In Campaign
The 97th HOD Republican Citizens Write-In Revolution of 2019
Rules Are Rules … Until They Do Not Apply?
Rules Are Rules … Take 2