Once again demonstrating its deep and abiding commitment to democracy and open elections, the Loudoun County Republican Committe — or rather, five of its key henchpersons who run the show — reacted on Monday to longtime Republican house delegate Joe May’s announced candidacy for the open 33rd District state senate seat by immediately pulling the plug on a planned GOP primary — and instead rushing out new rules a few hours later to have their candidate chosen in a closed-door meeting in which the GOP henchpersons get to decide who is allowed to cast a vote at all.
May lost his seat in the house of delegates for the upcoming term when he was defeated in an ugly intraparty challenge in June by right-wing tea party wacko Dave LaRock. After May’s announcement on Monday that he was going to run in the Republican primary for the senate seat (now open as a result of Democrat Mark Herring’s election as attorney general), the local right-wing wacko powers-that-be moved swiftly. As May explained in an announcement to supporters the next day:
“In an unannounced meeting, that was hidden from the press, the public and even other Republican Party committee members, five people made a decision which excluded all but a handful of voters from the selection process.”
May will now run as an independent, directly challenging the lockhold that the far right LCRC leadership has tried to maintain on who the voters get to vote for.
But just why do they have it in for May so much? May is a very socially conservative Republican. He was mercilessly vilified by LaRock and his cronies for having supported a modest tax increase earlier this year to pay for much-needed and long-delayed road improvements in the state. But many other local GOP officials somehow remained the darling of the LCRC/tea-party-wacko crowd even though they also voted to support the transportation bill (e.g., state delegates Tag Greason and Randy Minchew).
The real reason May is anathema to the ultrapartisans who run the local GOP is that he is willing to put the interests of citizens above partisan advantage, and work with Democrats to come up with legislation that can pass with bipartisan support— which does not fit with the far-right playbook of turning every legislative vote into an election stunt that reinforces party lines.
May has achieved the real respect of many Democrats who nonetheless utterly oppose his conservative social agenda: testimony not to the fact that he has “sold out” his party but rather to the fact that he takes his job as a representative of all of his citizens seriously, and still has the quaint idea that as a legislator his real job is to get things done. Everyone who has worked with him respects him and his willingness to listen and get the facts, and not just carry on a permanent political campaign.
The Loudoun GOP politburo’s rules for their “mass meeting” (that “mass” part is just possibly a misnomer) that will select their candidate impose a ten-year retroactive loyalty oath on participants, disqualifying anyone who has “participated” in a “non-GOP nominating process” since March 2004. The meeting is also being scheduled for the evening rush hour, apparently to tamp down the participation of anyone who, say, works for a living.
With May now running as an independent, the GOP choices are very exciting: John “The Jew Baiter” Whitbeck, and 23-year-old Fox News talking-head blowhard (so young to be so full of gas!) Ron Meyer.
Should be exciting.