by Kellen Squire
Last week, I posted an article about discovering that my opponent, Delegate Rob Bell, sat through a meeting of the Greene County, Virginia, Republican Party where they interviewed Jason Kessler- organizer of the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville- about his reputation as a white supremacist… then was unanimously voted in as an associate member of the Republican Party, having to pledge to support all Republican candidates running in Greene County.
What did my opponent do?
That’s right. Mr. Bell sat there, silent, as Jason Kessler pontificated on whether he was really a white supremacist, or was just fighting for “western values”. Mr. Bell sat there, silent, as they voted Mr. Kessler into their group unanimously. Mr. Bell sat there, silent, as Mr. Kessler was forced (per the requirements of the Virginia GOP) to pledge to personally support Mr. Bell along with the entire Republican ticket in Virginia.
Now, if you ask me, I think the reason he sat there and said nothing was pretty clear. He’s a guy who hasn’t had to run opposed in almost a decade; he’s someone who is responsible for drawing the boundary lines for the district we’re in; and if he wants corporate or lobbyist money, he can pick up a phone and have a five-digit check tomorrow. He’s never had to be held accountable to anyone but party politics and big donors, and having to listen to a white supremacist in person wasn’t going to cure his case of affluenza.
Still, the right thing to do would’ve been to man up and say: “Hey. I didn’t say anything and I should have. There’s no excuse for that.”
But luckily for my opponent, he was bailed out from having to admit he’d screwed up. See, he went to that meeting to help push attendance for Congressman Tom Garrett’s town hall event- if you don’t remember Congressman Garrett, he’s the one who said liberals were the REAL evil in this country– and since he went as a campaign surrogate for Mr. Garrett, Mr. Garrett’s campaign manager helpfully provided a rationale for exactly why Mr. Bell couldn’t speak out against white supremacy.
Yes. You read that correctly.
Robert’s Rules of Order.
There’s no witty rejoinder to be had here, folks. We have one of the senior leaders of the Republican Party of Virginia who sat through an interrogation of a white supremacist that then organized a rally of real-life Nazis where one counter-protester was killed, many were injured, an entire community was traumatized… and the Republicans actually think using Robert’s Rules of Order is a good way to excuse him from having any culpability.
If you wanted a clearer example of how bereft of leadership my opponent is, I don’t think you could find one. Nor a better example of exactly what we’re all wrought without campaign finance reform and non-partisan redistricting. Even politicians incompetent enough to think it’s a winning political strategy to suggest “Robert’s Rules of Order” can be safe enough to get cushy jobs with Federal congressman or run unopposed for years at a time.
That ends, this year– with your help. We’ve got them in a panic. Even the Republican leadership is after us now, including the future Minority Leader of the Virginia House of Delegates, Todd Gilbert. He’s so thin-skinned when I poked at him for being the future minority leader, implying we’d win back control of the House of Delegates this fall, he totally lost it, and not only went after me personally, but told me that he’d been personally briefed on our candidacy, their oppo file on me, and exactly how they planned to hit us this fall.
The Democratic Party of Virginia knows- but they have 87 other races to support. That’s why I need your help, today. You can help us make up the difference between the party and the pavement. Every single dollar we raise now goes to GOTV. Signs. Palm cards. Getting volunteers to neighborhoods to canvass in. Mailers. Phone banking.
Join us today, and we can fight to bring someone to Richmond who knows expanding Medicaid coverage isn’t just a good idea from a budgetary perspective, but it’s our moral obligation, and a matter of life and death for some people. Who won’t rest until every Virginian has access to the 21st Century Economy, regardless of zip code; until we’ve expanded broadband internet to every school, farmhouse, holler, and hill in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Someone who won’t let Robert’s Rules of Order keep him from standing up for ALL Virginians, from ALL walks of life (“Y’all means all!”), regardless of their circumstances.
Join us today, and we can bring progress together!
Kellen Squire is an emergency department nurse in Charlottesville, Virginia, running for the Virginia House of Delegates in the Trump Winery district this fall. Donate, Volunteer to Phonebank, or get the word out about our people-powered campaign today!