Roanoke YRs Kick Out Member For Talking To Reporter

An interesting turn of events occurred Thursday night when the Roanoke Valley Young Republicans took it upon themselves to vote out one of their own who had been an active member since 2015.

Eight YRs, via a Zoom meeting that lasted just long enough to accomplish this business, cast a vote against fellow member Matt Colt Hall; one voted for him.

Eight?

That’s all it took. The club only has 12 members to begin with but apparently that small group felt they had enough volunteer help for the upcoming presidential campaign season that they could kick out one of their more dependable campaign workers.

He’s a Senior Contributor here at Bearing Drift where he writes, co-hosts podcasts, covers events, and interviews candidates.

What could possibly be the crime that made the Roanoke Valley YRs want to remove him?

The accusation was that Matt shared information from an ongoing meeting with a reporter who was a Democrat.

But that’s not exactly accurate.

According to Matt, the meeting had adjourned – that’s important to know – and the YRs were having dinner and drinks when the worrying offense took place.

And apparently the, ahem, gentlemen were busy talking smack about the young lady reporter who was a Democrat. According to Matt, he texted and gave her a heads up that she was the subject at dinner. When the reporter later confronted the YRs, they were exposed, and then charges were brought up against Matt.

I reached out to Thomas Turner who heads up the State YRs, and Dan Johnson who is a member of the Roanoke Valley YRs, but quite frankly it is still confusing how this episode escalated to the point of removing a member.

In the middle of a worldwide coronavirus pandemic that has shut down countries around the world and crippled the U.S. economy …

… and at an historic time when a black man died while a white Minneapolis policeman held his knee on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, setting off nationwide and global Black Lives Matter demonstrations unlike any since the 1960s …

… these YRs decided the most important matter before them was to kick out a member who had the audacity to text a local political reporter about the ungentlemanly conversations these YRs were having about her.

Republicans here in Virginia are apparently on such a winning streak that we have the luxury to kick out volunteers.

Oh … wait.

Let’s review the Virginia Republican Party’s losses the past 10 years.

-The Virginia GOP has held no statewide offices since the Republican sweep in 2009 for Governor (McDonnell), Lt. Governor (Bolling), and Attorney General (Cuccinelli).

-The Virginia GOP lost the U.S. Senate seats to Democrats in 2008 (Mark Warner) and 2012 (Tim Kaine), and they are both still comfortably in those seats.

-In 2017 the Virginia GOP lost 15 House of Delegates seats in an unexpected blood bath.

-In 2018 the Virginia GOP lost 3 House of Delegates seats.

-And in 2019 the Virginia GOP lost its majority in the General Assembly — State Senate and House of Delegates.

With 2020 upon us and a November presidential election looming, this party needs every volunteer they can recruit. The Roanoke Valley YRs’ decision to remove Matt Hall was extremely short-sighted.

Matt is incredibly generous to those around him with a smile on his face and a, “Well, hello friend,” on his lips. So let me tell you something about his political work that began when he was in high school as a member of the Carroll County Republican Committee:

-2008: Volunteered at the polls for John McCain’s presidential campaign; he was 16 years old

-2009: Volunteered for Bob McDonnell’s gubernatorial campaign

-2010: Volunteered for Morgan Griffith

-2011: Interned as a volunteer for Bill Stanley for State Senate

-2012: Interned as a volunteer for Morgan Griffith’s District office; interned as a volunteer at Romney Victory HQs in Blacksburg

-2013: Interned as a volunteer for Pete Snyder for Lt. Gov; worked for House of Delegates Republican Caucus as an absentee ballot chaser for Del. Yost and Del. Campbell

-2014: Joined Roanoke County GOP; knocked doors for 3 weeks for Ben Chasen

-2015: Served on the Legislative District Committee for Nancy Dye

-2016: Joined Roanoke City GOP

-Served as Vice Chairman of College Republicans

While a member of the Roanoke Valley YRs (2015-2020):

-2015: Roanoke deployment; knocked hundreds of doors for Nancy Dye and Chris Head

-2016: Knocked doors as a volunteer for Bob Goodlatte; set up Southwest Virginia tour for Jill Vogel for Lt. Gov.

-2017: Secretary of Roanoke Valley YRs; set up second Southwest Virginia tour for Jill Vogel for LG; Virginia Beach deployment; worked to get door knocking together for Del. Joseph Yost but no one signed up; Yost ended up losing

-2018: Volunteered on Ben Cline congressional campaign

-2019: Northern Virginia deployment for Herrity/Tim Hugo; and Richmond for Glen Sturdivant; knocked doors for Joe McNamara, Roanoke office holders, David Sueterlein

-Convention captain for Ed Gillespie

-Knocked doors for Gillespie and Goodlatte alone

-G-Force General; regional volunteer coordinator for Ed Gillespie

-Walked in parades for candidates, has done just about every GOP activist activity

-Young Republican Federation of Virginia: served on the campaign, bylaws, and rules committees. His wife was a silent contributor through the years and helped count ballots at one of the conventions.

-Has served as a delegate to every YR State Convention since 2015

He has attended numerous conventions:

-2014: 6th District, RPV State

-2015: Young Republicans State, RPV Advance

-2016: 6th and 9th Districts, RPV State

-2017: RPV Advance

-2018:  6th District

-2019: Young Republicans (RVA), RPV Advance

-At the 2019 Young Republican National Federation state convention in RVA, he and his wife attended a fundraiser for National YRs with Eric Cantor, the only Roanoke Valley YRs to attend the event.

-Most Roanoke Valley YR members never knocked doors without getting a paycheck; sometimes Matt would go door-to-door by himself and with his own money.

That’s quite an impressive record for someone who is just 28 years old. But he’s not finished. This weekend he will get up at 6:00 a.m. on Saturday to drive to Lynchburg to help Denver Riggleman with the 5th Congressional District Convention.

When asked about it, Matt said he wasn’t too concerned and added that he was getting a haircut to prepare for Saturday, and then took his wife to dinner. He also noted that he’s “a free man now, will be a lot happier, and will have more money and time to enjoy” his life.

There’s no telling what’s next.

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